HC Deb 16 March 1881 vol 259 cc1148-214

SUPPLY—considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

(1.) £500,000, Afghan War (Grant in Aid).


The important proposal which I have now to make to the Committee is, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, the redemption of a pledge. As respects the House, it is a matter with which the Committee, as far as I know, in respect of any previous proposal, is perfectly free to deal. We were not, as I have recently explained, in a position to redeem this pledge at an earlier period, because it was only during the early part of the present year—I do not remember the exact date, but after the last Session of Parliament—that we were able to form a trustworthy estimate as to what the aggregate expense of the Afghan War was likely to be. We should have wished, indeed, having arrived at that knowledge, to make known our intentions to Parliament at an earlier date; but the manner in which the House has been occupied, in an unbroken course, upon Irish questions prevented our giving effect to that wish. Let me also say that although this proposal is one in regard to which I have no special right to anticipate the judgment of the House, yet it forms no part whatever of the general Indian or Afghan controversy. Even the supporters of the Motion of the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Stanhope) relating to Candahar might give their support to the present proposal; and, on the other hand, an opponent of that Motion might, if he thought fit, decline to give us the assistance we now ask for the people of India. I wish, therefore, broadly to separate this question from the important questions of policy involved in the Candahar Vote. A question of policy is certainly involved in this Vote; but it is entirely and absolutely distinct from that which is involved in the Candahar Vote, and, happily, it may be discussed with little reference to the general motives and objects which govern the Indian or the Afghan policy of the Government at the present time. Now, Sir, with respect to Parliamentary opinion, it will be borne in mind that the late Government refused, on more than one occasion, I think, to accede to the Motions which were made for the purpose of committing it to assist the Indian Treasury in relation to the Afghan War in the manner proposed by this Motion. But at the same time I think I am correct in saying that although the present Parliament is not bound by the decisions of the late Government, and may in some respects entertain a different opinion—I do not dwell now upon that point; but what I wish to point out is that those decisions, adverse to the proposal made by my right hon. Friend the Postmaster General (Mr. Fawcett) were not decisions founded on an absolute difference of principle. The language adopted by the Government of the day was rather, I think, in the first instance, that the time had not arrived when we could look upon the question as definitively considered; and, in the second instance, a proposal was actually made and was adopted by the House, by which a limited aid involving a small gift and an inconsiderable advance of money was accorded to the Indian Treasury. So far as the abstract principle of pecuniary assistance to India is concerned, I think it may be said that it was conceded by what was done by the late Parliament, because, although the advance of £2,000,000 borrowed for the purpose of assisting the Indian Treasury at the moment was to be repaid under an arrangement by the Act that sanctioned it, yet, on the other hand, the interest of that money was undertaken as a charge by the British Exchequer, and the re-payment to be made by India was not, I think, to include any allowance for that interest. I am not quite certain; but my impression is that the interest on the whole or on part of that money did remain as a charge on the British Exchequer. Then, Sir, I wish to mention what the plan of the Government is. The proposal of the Government is that we should raise our aid to India to the sum of £5,000,000, partly of converting the advance of £2,000,000 into a grant, and partly by taking on the Ways and Means, for a series of years, half-yearly grants of £500,000, amounting in all to £3,000,000. These two proposals, although in my mind they form one plan, are entirely distinct from one another. We cannot make a proposal to the House, at least in the present form and state of Business, by which the House would commit itself to the whole plan. We must necessarily, if we obtain this Vote from Committee of Supply, bring in a Bill for the purpose of altering the Act under which the £2,000,000 were borrowed. Therefore, there will be an independent judgment of the House on the two portions of the proposal; but we at the same time submit the matter as a whole, and as representing in a whole, that which we think it is reasonable for the country to do. We may be asked, perhaps, why we have fixed on the figure of £5,000,000? It is a Vote in aid of the Indian Exchequer for the purpose of meeting in part the charge of the war, which in round numbers, I believe, may be put down at £13,000,000, without including in that charge a sum which might, perhaps, be included in it—namely, the cost of the Frontier railways, which, undoubtedly, are connected with military, although I trust they will be very useful for other purposes also. We have adopted this figure as, upon the whole, perhaps, preferable to taking any certain given proportion of the charge, which would be looked upon, I think, more like precedent than the independent figure, if I may so call it, we have thought fit to decide upon, and we take it because we think it amply fulfils the engagements into which we entered during the last Session, that we should ask Parliament, under all the circumstances, to make what we have always called a substantial contribution in aid of India towards the great expenses of the Afghan War. I think I have explained how the £5,000,000 are made up. As this sum of £5,000,000 has to be made up, it may be thought exceedingly strange, and may require a word of explanation, why we should have brought this Vote upon the House in the expiring days of the financial year, with only a short notice of our intention. The reason is this—that having arrived at the conclusion that the most expedient course would be, not to borrow the amount of money in a lump sum that we propose to make over to India, but to take a series of payments from Ways and Means, we find ourselves in this position—that it appeared obviously right that the financial year 1880–1 should bear a portion of that charge, and that we should not postpone the commencement of it until 1881–2. That being so, it became necessary to get an Estimate placed among the Supplementary Estimates, and we are asked to vote it now, before the financial year expires. I think that I need not dwell upon the arguments that have led the Government, in conformity with declarations made by most of us on former occasions, to think that a Vote of this kind ought to be given. It is certainly a serious matter. I do not at all disguise that from myself. It was a serious matter when a more limited proposal was made by the late Government and adopted by the House. The whole notion and conception of direct pecuniary aid from the British Exchequer to the Exchequer of India, for the purpose of meeting in part the charge of a war which was only carried on from India, like the Abyssinian War, but carried on upon the Frontier of India, is a serious question, which the House ought not to treat lightly, and I am sure would never dream of treating lightly. But the con- siderations which led the late Government to think that aid ought to be given, and which have led us to think that that aid ought to be substantial and considerable, to the extent we now propose, are these. Not the absolute financial necessity of India. We believe that, as far as financial necessity is concerned, we could not justify our proposal on that ground alone, and we do not place it on that ground alone. Neither do we at all disguise our opinion that in a financial point of view this relief will be, not only a welcome relief to a labouring exchequer, or even a full exchequer, but a sensible and a very useful relief to the Indian Exchequer, and valuable on the ground of public policy, for the purpose of supporting Indian credit, and giving strength to the system of Indian finance. So far I think I may safely carry the argument. Next, I cannot doubt that this grant will have a very excellent effect in India. I am now speaking of what may be called the policy of the grant. There has prevailed in India, as prevails in this country—and of necessity prevails in this country—that we cannot clearly define as an Indian object the purpose of the Afghan War. An Indian object no doubt it might be held to be by those who approve of the war, and primarily an Indian object; yet not, I think, even by them could it be held to be exclusively an Indian war. If even in this country that feeling has prevailed, much more must it be expected to prevail in India; and I have not the least doubt that the best of all investments for a Government is an investment in the good-will, loyalty, and affection of those whom it governs. I do not, therefore, in the least degree hesitate to recommend this grant to the House as being a wise grant in respect to the hold which we desire to retain on India—not merely by superior force, but more and more by commending ourselves to the minds of the people of India as their real friends. But I would also say that it is of that mixed character of policy, having reference, undoubtedly, to the general stability of the Empire, and even to purposes which were European as well as Indian. It is of that mixed character of policy, which in the main forms the basis of the ground upon which we make this recommendation to the House. There is one other matter connected with the subject which I wish to mention. I am certainly bound in all these questions to look to the interests of the Indian Exchequer; and I have felt, and my Colleagues have felt with me, that it was our duty to look to the financial arrangements of India herself in regard to meeting the expenses of this war, and to give some assurance to the House that we are desirous of avoiding the imposition of an unnecessary burden upon them, if we think, or even reasonably hope, that we can point to some means of material public economy in India herself in the management of her finances. Now, there is a point which, at different times, has attracted the attention of different Secretaries of State for India, and which, in particular, was often in the mind of my noble Friend, Lord Halifax, when he was Secretary of State for India. The House is well aware—and, indeed, we have painful proof of it—that the financial organization of India is in a very crude and backward state as compared with the condition to which, happily, we have arrived in this country. But the House is not, for a moment, to suppose that a highly developed and strictly and rigidly organized financial arrangement belongs to any state of Government, but one very highly advanced. You may find states of Government highly civilized and advanced, and yet not exhibiting their advancement in that particular form; but you will find no instance of any highly organized and economical financial arrangements in the strict sense of the term finance—that is, in the management and account of public money. You will find no instance where that stage of financial development has been reached, except where Governments are comparatively old, thoroughly established, and normal in their condition, and have brought to bear upon them motives of enlightened statesmanship and great administrative ability. It has been only since the Peace of 1815 that our own financial arrangements, in this sense of the word, have, by a great number of successive steps, been brought to this condition; and, therefore, although we may be greatly astonished at the defective and crude state of things which kept us all so long in the dark with regard to the expenses of the Afghan War—and although we may earnestly look for the adoption of better arrangements in the future—we must not be too severe upon those who govern in that country, and who have had much to consider in the establishment of the system under which it is now administered. But the point which has attracted the attention of Indian Ministers is the condition of the balances in the Indian Treasury. We are certainly under the impression that those balances might be put upon a basis much more economical, with a much smaller standing amount of cash, and, at the same time, without the smallest risk of disarrangement to the means taken for meeting the demands of the Public Service. The able gentleman who, with great knowledge of India, has now gone there to take special charge of the Indian finances is, I think, fully prepared for a careful examination of this subject; and I am not committing him when I say I think he shares the hope which I, for one, and others have entertained, that considerable economies for the benefit and relief of India might be attained, and would be exceedingly desirable to realize, at this present juncture, which has certainly been a critical one for Indian finance. I only refer to this matter because I think the House will feel that when we are about to ask them to impose a serious burden on the British people to meet a moral obligation, it is also part of our duty to look at a subject of this kind, and see whether Indian finances afford hopeful means of effecting considerable economies. Having said that, I will only add that it may be asked what we propose to do with respect to the £2,000,000 loan. The basis on which that loan has been placed is this—The money was borrowed in a lump, and became part of the debt of the country; but the Act under which it was borrowed provided for certain repayments from the Indian Treasury, the first of which falls due within the financial year now about to expire, and the provisions of the Act requires that these repayments, as they are received, should not pass into the Ways and Means of the year, but should be applied specifically and directly to the liquidation of that particular debt. I need not say that if the House thinks fit to adopt, in the first place, the Vote which we are now proposing, as one of a series of annual Votes—and we shall have to ask for a similar Vote in the course of the Session to make provision for 1881–2, and shall likewise adopt part of the plan as a whole—there will be no specific provisions remaining in the law for the redemption of this particular debt of £2,000,000. With regard to the £2,000,000, I must add that I think the question whether any particular provision ought to be adopted in regard to that sum is a question which does not belong so much to the present subject as to the general financial arrangement which may be come to with regard to this debt. In that view it may be right to look at it; but it has no bearing upon the present question, and if it is thought fit to have a separate discussion, the time for that will be when we introduce a Bill for the purpose of remitting the obligations of India to make these repayments. I think, Sir, I have now troubled the Committee quite sufficiently in making our general motives intelligible in explaining what is the exact character of the proposal we have to make, and I have only to trust that it will meet with the favourable consideration of the Committee.


said, he would endeavour to approach the discussion of the subject in the same tone and temper as that in which it had been approached by the right hon. Gentleman. He was exceedingly glad to hear from the right hon. Gentleman, in the first place, that it was perfectly possible to discuss the great financial question raised by the present Vote without reference to the causes of the original Afghan War, or the occupation or abandonment of Candahar. He would certainly not discuss either of these points now. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that day, what, in fact, he had told them on more than one occasion before—that no graver financial question could be raised than that which was raised by the present Vote. He (Mr. Stanhope) could not, in the first place, understand why it was necessary to raise that great financial question at the present moment. Primarily, it was a very inconvenient mode of raising it. They were approaching the very end of the financial year, and were, in consequence, rather driven into a corner; because if they entered into a long discussion they ran the risk of delaying the Votes that were necessary to complete the financial arrangements of the year. In the second place, he felt that they approached the discussion now under very considerable difficulties, because they had not the advantage of having before them the actual financial condition of India, as explained in the Budget Statement of the Indian Government. The noble Lord the Secretary of State for India told them some time ago that one of the main reasons why he was unable last year to state to them exactly what contribution should be made by the English Government towards the expenses of the Afghan War was that they expected a Report from the Viceroy of India and the new Finance Minister, who would examine into the question as soon as he reached India, and would then make a Report to the Government of this country as to the mode and the form of the contribution. The first question, therefore, which he wished to ask the Government was, whether they had received such a Report? He supposed they must have received it, after the noble Lord's statement; and if so, he was fairly entitled to ask that the Report should be laid upon the Table of the House. Then he did not understand, if that were so—if they were only going to vote £500,000—why that course should not have been taken last year. He could have understood the delay if they had been asked last year to make a Vote finally, without any future prospect of discussing the arrangements that were proposed to be made as to giving assistance towards the cost of the Afghan War. He could also understand that the Government might not have finally decided what grant they would give; but the state of facts now, instead of having changed since the month of August for the worse, had changed very much for the better, and instead of the war having cost as much as it was expected to cost in the month of July, subsequent Estimates had enabled the Government of India to reduce the amount. Therefore, he thought they might have been able last year to deal with so limited a proposal as that of the granting of £500,000. He was heartily glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman say that he did not base the Vote upon the financial necessities of India. Nothing was more desirable than that it should be made perfectly clear to the country that this grant was not asked for because of the financial difficulties of India. They were told last year by the noble Lord the Secretary of State for India that if they were to exclude from calculation the expenses of the Afghan. War, he arrived at the satisfactory conclusion that India, in the course of the last three years, would have had a surplus of income over expenditure amounting to no less than £11,000,000. Since that time, he believed, the prospect had improved. Nothing, at any rate, had occurred to lead them to suppose that there had been any falling-off in the Revenue. On the contrary, he believed that when they received the Budget Statement they would find the situation more satisfactory than it was anticipated last year. He did not think the people of this country, therefore, ought to lose sight of this great result—that, although the expenses of the Afghan War had been enormous, nevertheless, India had been practically able to defray the charge for the war without imposing any new taxation and—with a very small exception, which he could not accurately estimate now, but which, he believed, amounted to only £1,000,000 or £2,000,000 sterling—she had been able to pay the amount without adding to her debt either in England or in India. Nobody could deny that that was a satisfactory state of things. He approached now the financial question, and, in the first place, he would point out that it was a proposal quite distinct from that made by the late Government. The late Government received an application from the Government of India. The Government of India represented that in consequence of the state of the silver market it was entirely impossible for them to make, during the financial year, the necessary provision for the service of the Home Government, and they applied to the Government of England to give them some assistance. The proposed form of that assistance was a temporary loan of £2,000,000, to be repaid by annual instalments. In that view the late Government acquiesced, and, in making the loan, took steps to insure that it should be repaid by seven annual instalments. But the present Vote was of a totally different character. It was nothing more or less than a direct subsidy to India out of the Imperial Exchequer. Towards the close of his speech, the right hon. Gentleman referred, incidentally, to the great advantage which might attend this proposal if it enabled a more efficient control to be established over the cash balances of India, He heartily agreed with the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman. He thought the main difficulty of the whole situation and the real cause of the mistake in the Estimates for the Afghan War was that the Indian Government was unable, at any specific moment, to say distinctly what was the amount of their cash balances. At the same time, he thought they must be exceedingly careful how far they instituted a Parliamentary control over the financial arrangements of India. The right hon. Gentleman said quite fairly that it was impossible to establish, in a country not so advanced as this country, a system of finance that was suitable here. He hoped they were not likely to err in that direction; but they must not run the risk of giving to India institutions for which she was not prepared, nor must they attempt to force upon her European methods before she was absolutely ripe to receive them. A control had always hitherto been exercised by the Financial Department at Calcutta. The Financial Department of Calcutta occupied the same position that the Treasury occupied here; and he believed that exactly the same complaints were made against it by the spending Departments in India as was made against the Treasury by the spending Departments in England. There was one other point which he heard with great satisfaction from the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman had expressed his strong opinion in favour of further economies in India. That was the opinion arrived at, after careful consideration, by the late Government. He had not heard up to the present moment, any sufficient acceptance of that doctrine on the part of the present Government; but he now heard it with satisfaction. He next came to the direct financial question raised by this Vote. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that it was exceedingly desirable that they should take any reasonable steps calculated to secure the affection and respect of the people of India. In that sentiment he heartily concurred; but there was another important consideration they ought to bear in mind, and that was that in any steps they took to benefit the people of India they must be quite sure that they carried with them the favourable opinion of the people of this country. Now, the nature of the steps the Govermnent were proposing to take would undoubtedly be to revolutionize the relation between the people of England and India. His noble Friend, Lord Derby, the other day, in a speech which he made in "another place," referred to this difficulty in terms far more able than he (Mr. Stanhope) could command, and explained that if, for the first time, they made India a direct burden on this country, they would run the risk of raising a state of public opinion in this country which would be most disastrous to the future maintenance of our Empire there. Now, those were weighty words, which deserved to be thoroughly considered. They had not, on the one hand, as other conquerors had done, endeavoured to draw any revenue from that country; but, on the other hand, they had at all times been able to say to the people of this country that India had not been a burden to us. If now, for the first time, we said—and said, too, in the most objectionable form, the form of an annual grant—if we said, year after year, to the people of this country—"Look here, there is this great India, of which some people are so fond of speaking, a source of serious and annual charge to you"—then he was very much afraid we should run the risk of raising a condition of public opinion which we must hereafter deeply regret. Considering the matter from another point of view, it might have the effect of diminishing the responsibility of the public servants engaged in carrying out the administration of India in India. Any rash enterprize had hitherto, undoubtedly, been checked by this very important consideration—that in regard to any war they waged the cost would have to be taken out of the resources of India. He remembered a very excellent speech made on this very point not many years ago by a noble Lord who was once an ornament to that House. He referred to Lord Sherbrooke, from whose remarks he would now venture to cite one passage— It is desirable," said the noble Lord, "at all times to maintain an effective control over a distant Government such as that of India; but there is this check, that by undertaking rash wars the Government knows that it is embarrassing its own resources. If it once got hold of the idea that it had the boundless credit of the Imperial Exchequer to fall back upon this check would be lost. [Cries of "Hear, hear !"] He was glad to hear that that sentiment was cheered by hon. Members opposite; but were they not going now in direct opposition to it, because they were taking a step which would, undoubtedly, tend to diminish the responsibility of any future Government of India, by inducing them to believe that in embarking on any enterprize they felt it necessary to undertake they would be able to rely not only upon the finances of India, but ultimately upon the resources of the British taxpayer. They would also run very considerable risk of raising even a larger question, and that was an Imperial responsibility for the finances of India. That was one of the gravest questions that could possibly be raised in that House. It had always been, as far as he knew, denied in Parliament that this country was in any way directly responsible for the finances of India; and we had always held out to the creditors of India that they must look to the resources of India alone, and not to the Imperial Exchequer. But if they once began to supplement the resources of India in the form of an annual grant, people would believe that although they might say in principle that England was not liable to make good any of the deficiencies in the Indian Exchequer, yet, after all, if it came to a pinch, this country would be ready to fill up those deficiencies. He ventured to point out to the House these dangers, and he would now say why he had done so. If the Government was prepared, upon its responsibility, to make a proposal to break through these principles, it was their duty to tell the House very distinctly what limits they intended to impose. Did they propose to enter upon this policy solely in case of war, or did they propose to enter upon it from any other causes? Was it to be limited to India, or was it to be extended to other parts of our great Dominions? It would be perfectly certain, when they had created a precedent, that they would have unexpected demands springing up from various quarters, which they would find it extremely difficult to meet. He would take one case—that of famine. God forbid that there should be for many years to come a great famine in India; but they must confess to themselves that such an event was not only possible, but almost certain in the course of years. Suppose at such a time the Indian finances happened to be embarrassed by the vast cost imposed upon the Government in consequence of the duty of feeding the starving population, and that the Indian Government came to this country and said—"The Government is interested in the Imperial duty of feeding the starving millions under its rule, and, therefore, we call upon it for a subsidy." How were they going to answer that appeal? It would be all very well to answer it as they had done before when some such idea was mooted—namely, that they never granted subsidies out of the Imperial Exchequer; but when they once broke through the rule they would find such demands exceedingly difficult to resist, unless they were prepared to lay down definite limits to the proposal they were now making, and were also prepared to give the fullest possible assurances to the House and to the country that under no circumstances would those limits be departed from. He had ventured to make these remarks to the House in the hope that they might elicit, before the debate closed, some authoritative declaration from the Government on this and other points he had raised, and he was quite sure if they did so that it would facilitate the progress of this Vote.


said, the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down asked Her Majesty's Government what limit they proposed to put on demands of this kind from the Indian Exchequer for aid from the British Government. He could not answer for Her Majesty's Government; but his personal answer to the question was that a grant of this kind would only be proposed when it appeared that Her Majesty's Government, disregarding the interests of India, had involved India in a war that was not for her own advantage. It was only on that ground, and that alone, that we should be asked to put our hands in our pockets. It was quite impossible, upon the present Vote, to enter into the general question of the finances of India, upon which the hon. Gentleman opposite had slightly touched. The hon. Gentleman took a rosy view of the finances of India when he asserted that the Afghan War had been carried on from the taxation of India, and without any addition to the debt. He (Sir George Campbell) could only say that he did not accept that statement; but he received it under protest, until the time came when he could discuss the subject, and when the House would be in a better position to come to a judgment upon it. In regard to what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, it struck him as rather hard on the Indian Financial Department to put the House in possession of the idea that that Department was in so crude and inefficient condition. He joined with the hon. Member opposite, when he said that, after all, they had a considerable Financial Department in India, and that it possessed some functions analogous to the Treasury of this country. He was bound to say that, in his opinion, although it was not so perfect and polished an instrument as the Treasury in this country, in reality it was more capable of performing its functions than the right lion. Gentleman seemed to suppose. He said this because, from his personal view, it was not the Indian Financial Department that was wholly and entirely responsible for the extraordinary and serious and gross blunders which had occurred in regard to the expenses of the Afghan War, and which we were now, unhappily, called upon to supplement. There was a Scotch proverb—"There are nane sae deaf as those who winna hear;" and there was no class of public servants who were so unlikely to get the truth in regard to a great war as those who had recklessly entered into it, and who did not want to know the truth. The real authority upon whom the blame of the blunder should fall was not so much the Indian Financial Department, as the late Viceroy of India—Lord Lytton. If that noble Lord had been anxious to know what had really been expended, without regard to financial consequences; if he had not taken upon himself, in the most reckless manner possible, to contradict the statements which had been made by Members of Her Majesty's Government, and if he had been really anxious to know the truth, he might have known it if he had chosen to do so. By sending, as a private individual would do, for his bankers' book, in order to see how much had been spent, he might have made himself acquainted with the truth almost within 24 hours. If he had required an estimate of the cost of the war, he might have obtained some kind of estimate; but, on the contrary, he thought fit to enter upon the war without any sufficient estimate, and to continue it upon statements which were no estimates at all, but mere haphazard guesses of the total sum, in round numbers, that might possibly be spent if the war were brought to a speedy conclusion, when it was evident it could not be so. He (Sir George Campbell) did not want to enter into details; he only wished to say this—that in concluding this painful subject, he hoped that the blame of the great financial blunder would be laid on the right shoulders; and, if so, then the late Viceroy was the individual who was principally to blame in the matter. In regard to the Vote now before the Committee, he had not expected that it would be submitted, in the present year, in so broad a form as that in which the right hon. Gentleman had now submitted it. He had expressed his opinion last Session that it was more becoming the dignity of this country that they should make immediate provision for the subvention of the Indian Revenue for the cost of the Afghan War; but he had felt that being then in the middle of the financial year, when the arrangements were for the most part made, it might be difficult to make provision in that year for the large sum that might be required. He understood the arrangement to be that Her Majesty's Government, in the present year, should give to Indian finance such small amount of assistance as it was possible to give. He presumed that the sum of £500,000 now proposed to be given was as much as the Government could well give in the present financial year. He had hoped, however, that it would be understood that in the following year some larger arrangement would be made, and that the Government would find themselves able to settle the matter more rapidly than was now proposed. In regard to the present year, it certainly seemed to him that the arrangement proposed by the Government introduced an anomalous state of things. The Government of India would be relieved of something like £800,000—£500,000 in the shape of grant, and £290,000 in the shape of remissions, which would otherwise have to be paid. But while they were making these remissions, they were called upon to provide only £500,000, and this appeared to him to be an anomalous state of things. It appeared that while India had failed to pay its instalment of the loan of £2,000,000, we were not, in the present year, to make any provision for the sum due in the shape of instalment. The consequence would be that this country, in addition to making a grant of £500,000, would, at the end of the year, find itself £290,000 more in debt than it ought to have been if the arrangement which had previously subsisted had been carried out. It could not be hoped that any other arrangement would be made in the course of the present year; but he trusted that, in the course of the ensuing year, some arrangement would be made to provide that the loan of £2,000,000 should be paid off. The money was borrowed by Her Majesty's Government and lent to India, and he hoped that some means would be provided for paying it off without allowing it to remain as a permanent debt upon this country. With regard to the arrangement, which had been explained to the House by the right hon. Gentleman—namely, that the sum of £3,000,000 should be distributed over six years by annual instalments of £500,000 per year—it would, in his humble opinion, notwithstanding the high authority of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, have been much more calculated to preserve the dignity of the House, and would have been of more advantage to India herself, if an arrangement had been proposed which would have provided for the more speedy payment of the grant. We were, he thought, placing ourselves in an unfair and undignified position. For a great, rich, and powerful country like this to go to a comparatively poor country like India, like needy debtors pleading poverty before a County Court Judge, and asking to be allowed to pay the debt we admitted that we owed, in half-yearly instalments, was certainly an undignified proceeding. It would be much better to put our hands in our pockets at once and supply the means for paying off the debt we owed to India. He agreed with the remarks which had fallen from the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Stanhope), in regard to the general financial position of this country in reference to India, and the feeling which might be engendered here if it were supposed that the principle of the subvention of India were likely to be adopted. The subvention of India ought only to be permitted on those rare occasions in which it was generally admitted that this country had done wrong to India, and that it was necessary to repair that wrong. But it seemed to him that if wrong had been done, it was not only right that something should be done by the Imperial Parliament to heal the wrong, but that the people of this country should be made to feel that we had been wrong. Although he did not speak as a responsible financier, he would say that if he had any control in the matter he would put 3d. additional upon the Income Tax this year and pay off the whole grant at once—making the people pay for the Afghan War in a way that should make them wince under the infliction, and determine that in future they would never have a Government which could render such things possible. That was the view he took of the situation. [An hon. MEMBER: Put it only on the Conservatives.] An hon. Gentleman said—"Put it only on the Conservatives." He believed that the Conservatives formed the majority of the people who paid Income Tax. For that, among other reasons, he would put the entire cost of the war, in one lump sum, upon the Income Tax; and the working classes, who paid most of the indirect taxation, would escape. The working classes, as a body, were never in favour of the Afghan War; but it was the Conservative supporters of the late Government, hounded on by The Daily Telegraph and Pall Mall Gazette, who encouraged them in their Jingo policy. It was only fair and just that they should now be made to pay for that policy; and he should have rejoiced if the Prime Minister had proposed a somewhat heavy addition to the Income Tax, instead of distributing the payment of the grant over six years. A good heavy, substantial addition to the Income Tax would have made the real culprits wince; whereas they would hardly feel the annual subvention of India by a sum of £500,000. In carrying out the policy which had been announced by the right hon. Gentleman, they should endeavour not only to do justice to India, but to do it in such a way that it would commend itself to the feelings of the people of India, and tend to cement the good will which he hoped would long continue to exist between the two countries.


said, that he cordially agreed in one remark which had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone)—namely, that this was not the opportunity for discussing in any Party spirit the question of the Afghan War. Although the hon. Member opposite (Sir George Campbell) had expressed an extraordinary opinion regarding those who ought to be held responsible he would not follow the hon. Gentleman in the remarks he had indulged in; but would confine himself to the real question before the Committee. The question was not a new one. He thought he was right in saying that this was the fourth time within the last three years that the subject had come before the House. He hoped, however, that in addressing himself to it he should be able to maintain the opinions which he had always expressed on the question—namely, that it was politically immoral for this country to bear any portion whatever of the cost of the Afghan War. [Mr. R. N. FOWLER: No, no.] His hon. Friend on his left said "No, no;" but perhaps his hon. Friend would allow him (Mr. Onslow) to have an opinion equally with himself. The discussion came on last year when there was necessarily an absence of full information on the subject; but Her Majesty's Government had promised a Report from India on the subject. It was due, he thought, to that (the Opposition) side of the House that someone on the opposite Bench should inform them why no communication had yet been made by the Government from India, seeing that they had now been 12 months in Office, and the Finance Minister had now been for a considerable period at his post; but yet no opinion from the Government of India had been produced for the urgency or necessity of this Vote. It had been said that the conduct of Her Majesty's late Government in only giving £2,000,000 towards the war, and requiring that sum to be repaid hereafter, was shabby and unjust. Those were words that were used in the debate upon the question last year by a right hon. Gentleman opposite; but, in his (Mr. Onslow's) opinion, the extraordinary step now taken for contributing to to India any portion of the expenses of the war in Afghanistan would be looked on by the people of this country as unnecessary, uncalled for, and as an additional burden unjustifiably placed upon the taxpaying community of this country. He maintained that no financial necessity had been shown for this step; and he believed that it was only done as part of a pledge given by the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister last year, and in compliance with the views expressed by the right hon. Gentleman and by many of his supporters at the General Election that they disagreed with the policy of Her Majesty's Government in having entered upon the war and with the mode in which it was proposed to provide for the cost of the war. Having disagreed with what the late Government had then done, this Vote was now submitted to the House of Commons rather more or less under the influence of Party spite than as a question of policy. ["No !"] The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister said he hoped by this Vote to make the people of India more loyal to the Imperial rule of Great Britain. He (Mr. Onslow) had no intention of entering into a history of the Afghan War, or of endeavouring to show who was right and who was wrong; but he might tell the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell) that every Native of India, from the highest to the lowest, and especially the thinking portion of the population, heartily agreed in the policy of Her Majesty's late Government. ["Oh !"] He had the best authority for saying so; and he believed that the policy of the late Government, irrespective of any financial considerations, had made the people of India more loyal than they ever were before. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) had cast a kind of stigma upon the Treasury of India. Having been connected with that Department for many years, he could assure the right hon. Gentleman that there was no more hard working body of men within Her Majesty's Dominions than the public servants connected with the Financial Department of India. It was, he believed, in the previous Administration of the right hon. Gentleman that two gentlemen—Mr. Foster and Mr. Whiffen—were sent out to inquire into the financial administration of India, and to make such alterations in the mode of keeping the accounts as they thought necessary—of course, with the sanction of the Viceroy and his Council. Those gentlemen had succeeded in reforming the financial admi- nistration of the country; and he (Mr. Onslow) believed that, at the present moment, the accounts in India were kept quite as well as they were in this country. There were, however, enormous difficulties experienced in keeping the accounts in India, owing, in many instances, to the entire absence of railway and telegraphic communication, and to the numerous Treasuries at wide intervals from each other; but, bearing in mind all the difficulties of the country, the mode of keeping the accounts in India could not be made any better than they were, until we had a better means of inter-Treasury communication. The right hon. Gentleman had alluded to certain reductions of expenditure which had been made in India. Now, ever since he (Mr. Onslow) had been connected with that country "economy" had always been the watchword; but whenever they began to reduce the expenses in one Department additional sources of expenditure were sure to crop up in another. It was a most difficult thing to keep down the expenditure in this country. It was far more difficult in India, where there were such enormous military and public works to be carried out, and when there was such a pressure from this country for the speedy execution of so-called remunerative public works. As soon as they began to reduce their military expenditure the expenditure on public works was sure to increase. He did not say that there was anything wrong in this. The more money that was spent on public works in India the better for India and the better for this country; but, at the same time, he sincerely hoped that before long it would be found possible to reduce the expenditure in India materially, though he very much doubted whether it would be possible to do so. Every successive Finance Minister fondly hoped that he would be able to reduce permanently the expenditure of the country; but no one had as yet succeeded in doing so. He did not imagine that Major Baring would be more successful than his predecessors. His hon. Friend opposite (Sir George Campbell) had accused Lord Lytton, the late Viceroy, of being the sole cause of the error made in calculating the cost of the Afghan War. He (Mr. Onslow) did not concur in the censure which the hon. Member cast upon Lord Lytton. It was not for him to blame any particular individual, and he should be sorry to speak in disparaging terms of any Viceroy of India who had so nobly done his duty to his country as Lord Lytton had. No doubt an error of calculation was committed; but he believed that the responsibility for the mistake did not attach itself to any one particular Department. He was afraid that there had been great carelessness displayed in more Departments than one; and although he had no wish to throw the blame altogether from the shoulders of the Viceroy, still he did not see why the hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir George Campbell), who had been for so many years connected with India, should speak so disparagingly of the late Viceroy, seeing that a good many people might be inclined to speak disparagingly of his own Administration. He (Mr. Onslow) should certainly, if the Vote went to a division, divide against it. He saw no necessity for it. He saw no necessity for it two years ago; and he saw no necessity for it now. No fresh information had been laid before Parliament to show that it was necessary; and he thought it was a grave error on the part of Her Majesty's Government to make such a proposition now. It might be drawn into a very serious precedent hereafter; and he hoped they would look upon the question as upon every other Indian question, not so much in connection with the triumph of a particular Party, for if they did that our rule in India would soon be destroyed, but as a grave and serious financial question which required calm and careful consideration.


said, he had a strong conviction that the Government, in proposing this Vote, was taking a vital step for the security of the Indian Empire. That magnificent Empire, which he hoped no Minister would ever think of abandoning, rested on two pillars—one of force, and the other of justice. We had already shown the overpowering nature of the physical force which we could bring to bear on the maintenance of our rule in that country; but he thought it would be an evil day when we relied on the policy of force alone, and did not also take into account the moral element of justice. In his experience he had always found that the best security for our influence in India rested upon the conviction amongst in- telligent Natives that, on the whole, our rule was animated by the desire to act fairly and do good to the country. The position there was such that the tests applied were mainly financial; and he had always found that the topics which engrossed most attention, and which formed the touchstone by which they decided the sincerity of British proceedings, were questions of finance. In that respect it could not be denied that a great many things had been done in this country, and especially of late years, which had tended to shake, to a considerable extent, the confidence which the people of India felt in the intentions of England. In former times what an immense burden had been imposed on the finances of that country by the Army Regulations for the amalgamation of the Indian Forces with those of the Queen, and the adoption of the system of short service with reference to the necessities of India. There could be no doubt that those changes were at that moment costing India at the rate of £2,000,000 a-year. Again, there was the question of import duties. No doubt, it was desirable that the import duties on British manufactures should be reduced; but what must be the feeling in India when they saw that, although our Colonies were allowed to impose rates on British manufactures, they were prohibited from so doing? The same question might be asked with regard to the famine tax. What would intelligent Hindoos feel when they found taxes extremely oppressive and noxious in their nature, imposed on the solemn pledge that they were to be appropriated to the relief of the distress caused by famine, swallowed up in the expenses of the Afghan War? He ventured to say that every nine men out of ten in India considered that this war was unnecessary. These were the things that affected our rule in India. He valued this Vote, not merely for the financial relief which it gave to the country, but for the moral assurance it gave that England did not wish to carry on wars for Imperial objects alone, or to influence Party Elections at home, while, at the same time, charging India with the whole cost. The arguments which had been used on the other side of the House seemed to him not to have touched the essence of this question—whether it was a purely Indian or Imperial war. The Com- mittee had been told that the state of finance in India was so prosperous and flourishing that India could very well afford to pay all, and that England ought not to give any relief. He totally denied the assumption that the finances of the country were in so flourishing a state. The assumption could be made only by ignoring the £30,000,000 added to the Debt, upon which there was hardly 5s. per cent returned. But was the doctrine to be that if the finances of India did become flourishing that India was never to get the benefit in the extension of public works and the remission of taxation? If one thing was needed more than another in India to make our rule popular, it was the judicious remission of taxation. Let the Committee consider the licence tax, which took from a large number of ignorant traders from three to five rupees each. Was that never to be repealed; and because Gentlemen sitting upon the opposite Benches had confidence in the Revenue of India improving, was all this to be applied to meet war expenses to which England was not to contribute? It was said it would be a bad example for England to become, under any circumstances, responsible for Indian finance. But the answer to that was very simple—"Do not drag India into a course which will oblige her to incur that expenditure. Nothing could be clearer than the precedent set in this case. It established that, where a war was undertaken contrary to the temper and current opinion of Indian statesmen from Lords Canning, Mayo, and Northbrook downwards—where a policy of that sort was forced on by the Ministry at home for Imperial purposes—India should not bear the whole expense of that war. Was the policy suggested by hon. Gentlemen opposite the way to win the affections and to secure the intelligent support of a vast Empire like India? He thought not. It appeared to him that a number of questions had been raised on the opposite Benches which were quite irrelevant to the present issue. But there was the question of the enormous mistake made in the Afghan War Estimate. On that subject he coincided, to some extent, with the hon. Gentleman opposite, because he did not think the Indian financial machinery was so much to blame as those who worked it. What had occurred re- minded him of the recent railway accident, in which the engine-driver forgot that the steam was reversed, and in the darkness of the night ran back and caused a collision. The question whether India was to pay the whole of this expenditure, or England was to bear a share of it, turned on the consideration whether this was purely an Indian local war, occasioned simply and solely by Indian obligations and Indian policy, or whether it was, as Lord Beaconsfield described it, an Imperial war, for Imperial objects. If they could go back five or six years, was there anybody who would adopt what was called a forward policy, and would now quarrel with Shere Ali? There could be no doubt it was an unfortunate idea that prompted a single Secretary of State, for the sake of a diplomatic triumph, to reverse the policy of his predecessors by forcing a resident on Shere Ali. If, as Lord Beaconsfield had explicitly stated, this was an Imperial war, he did not see how it could be possible to refuse some contribution to its cost, without fixing in the mind of the people of India that England meant to make them pay—right or wrong—for the mistakes of a policy dictated front home; and in doing so he felt convinced England would be taking a step fatal to the interest of that great Indian Empire which he wished to see transmitted unimpaired to generations to come.


said, the question arose whether the contribution was in the nature of a subvention, or whether it was a matter of account. If it were in the nature of a subvention he should vote against it, because he did not think that the United Kingdom was so situated that it would be fair to vote for a subvention towards a country so flourishing as India was in theory. This question had been raised very concisely in a Resolution presented for the consideration of the House by the present Postmaster General, which was to the effect that, considering it had been officially stated that the Afghan War was undertaken in the interests of England and India jointly, the House was of opinion that it was unjust to make India pay towards the cost of that war more than seven times as much as would be contributed by England. The propriety of the Vote rested on the question whether there was foundation for that Resolution or not. He believed there was founda- tion for it, and that it would be unjust for England to shrink from paying her fair share of the burden. There was another subject intimately connected with Indian finance upon which he held very strong opinions—that was to say, he believed that England, by her peculiar policy, was largely accountable for the derangement of the Indian finances. It was believed on the discovery of gold in Australia and California that the price of gold would diminish, and that the price of silver would increase. But the reverse had occurred. Now, he wished to call the attention of the Committee to the fact that Parliament was accountable for the state of things which had artificially reduced the value of silver as an article of commerce; and in doing so, he reminded them that the precious metals had become money-agents, from the fact that their values were conveniently shut up in a small compass. We had prevented silver being an article of manufacture in this country by levying an ad valorem tax upon it as a manufactured article, and had thereby destroyed a class of trade which it was in the interest of India to cultivate rather than discourage. The result was that silver, which had to bear a tax of 30 per cent when manufactured, had depreciated because its chief market had virtually been closed against it.


I would point out to the hon. Gentleman that he is travelling beyond the Question before the Committee.


ventured to say that he was on the point of applying his arguments to that question, nevertheless he at once bowed to the ruling of the Chair. He reminded the Committee that when the loan for £5,000,000 was contracted, one of the arguments upon which the late Chancellor of the Exchequer laid great stress was that it was a temporary measure rendered necessary by the derangement of finance in India owing to the depreciation which existed in the value of silver. That he wished to submit as an additional reason why England should take some portion of the cost of the war upon its own shoulders.


cordially welcomed the proposal of Her Majesty's Government, and, indeed, would have gladly supported them had they seen their way to go further in the same direction. The right hon. Gentlement, in opening the debate, had said it was quite possible to support Her Majesty's Government in their proposition as well as that contained in the Motion of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire. He was in the position described by the right hon. Gentleman, agreeing with his hon. Friend in his Motion on Candahar. He would not then enter into the Party questions which had been discussed in the course of the debate; but it must be borne in mind that the Afghan War was represented by Her Majesty's late Government repeatedly as an Imperial and not an Indian question, and it was upon that ground that he had given them his support when he was a candidate at the last Election. That was the reason, also, why India should not, in his opinion, bear the whole cost of the war. The hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire, in his able speech, referred to the fact that the Indian finances were in a very flourishing condition; and that statement, coming from so high an authority, was very gratifying. Taking three years together, and apart from the war expenditure, the hon. Gentleman had stated there was a surplus of £11,000,000. But he must remind the Committee that there were various questions connected with the administration of Indian finance, relating to the reduction of taxation, still requiring attention. He believed the House would be glad to see taxation in India reduced as much as possible. The Committee must be aware that there were a number of Members of that House, and many persons outside it, who agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for South Durham (Mr. J. W. Pease) in the Motion he had to make upon the subject of the opium trade, which they regarded as a scandal, and considered that something ought to be done to make the Revenues of India no longer dependent upon it. Again, the salt tax was regarded as objectionable as a source of revenue by many people; and he thought all hon. Members would be glad to see the day when that tax—a tax on a necessary of life—could be, at any rate, diminished. Then there was the land tax, which, it seemed, had been raised to the highest point at which it could be sustained. None of these sources of revenue were to him perfectly satisfactory. Undoubtedly India was a poor country as compared with England; and, under the circumstances, he thought it hard that India should be asked to contribute to the expenses of a war which, although it was connected to a certain extent with that country, was, nevertheless, waged for Imperial purposes. Believing, therefore, that the war had been waged for Imperial purposes, it was upon that ground that he now gave his cordial support to the proposition of Her Majesty's Government.


rose to support the proposal of the Government. In doing so he would allude to the very hard phrase used by the hon. Member for Guildford. The hon. Member had said that it was politically immoral to pay anything towards the cost of the war in Afghanistan. But he (Mr. Bradlaugh) could not help thinking it was much more immoral to tax the North-West Provinces of India, as they had been taxed for two years, for a war which was utterly unjust and mischievous, and which ought never, in his opinion, to have been entered into at all. While the hon. Member for Guildford thought himself entitled to speak for the intelligent and educated people of India, there was a large number of poor and starving people in that country for whose sake he hoped the wicked steps of the late Government would be retraced.


reminded the hon. Member who had just spoken that there were other persons in that House who represented the poor and starving people of India as well as himself. The speech just delivered by the hon. Member for the City of London had given him great satisfaction as coming from that side of the House, because it showed there were hon. Members who acted on occasions like the present with perfect freedom from Party considerations. He could not, however, agree with his arguments. The hon. Member had said the Afghan War had been waged for English, and not for Indian, purposes, and that, therefore, England ought to pay something towards the cost. If his premises were true, how could the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer propose such a miserable contribution towards the cost of the war as £500,000 a-year. It seemed to him that if we ought to pay anything at all we ought to pay a much larger portion of the expense than that proposed. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy regarded this Vote simply as a Vote of Censure upon Lord Lytton. That was a large question, into which he did not intend to follow the hon. Member; but could not help thinking he would have held a different opinion had he still been Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. The war was undertaken to avenge the death of an Indian civil servant who had been murdered at Cabul. He had no hesitation in saying that the lives of civil servants in India were unsafe as long as that murder remained unavengel, and that the whole of the Civil Service in India were of this opinion. But this £500,000 a year was to continue for six years. The expenses of the Afghan War would be defrayed at once. The Imperial subvention would be nothing but annual subsidy to the general expenses of the Indian Government. How, then, could it be said that the money was to go in payment of the expenses of the Afghan War? In his view, the Vote took the form of a subsidy to be expended in ordinary matters, and not in the cost of the Afghan War. The hon. Member for Orkney, who had also been Financial Minister in India, said that the war had been undertaken for the sake of our interests in Europe. But it must be borne in mind that the whole of our complications with Russia were the result of our possession of India—that is to say, if there were no India there would be no Eastern Question so far as we are concerned. The nation, whatever it might be, which ruled India must necessarily be brought into the same relation with Russia as we stood in at the present time. The Committee had heard from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the finances of India did not require to be subsidized. The subsidy, he had already pointed out, must necessarily be applied to general expenditure, and not to the special expenditure of the war. But supposing at the end of the six years over which the subvention was thrown India was in need of financial support, how could England consistently refuse it, when at a time of financial prosperity this unnecessary subsidy had been voted? The Vote involved them in a pecuniary obligation of indefinite duration.


could not understand why so much op- position had been raised to a contribution on the part of this country towards the expenses of the Afghan War, seeing that it was entered into under orders from the Cabinet of England. He might remind the Committee that the war of 1840 which was unjustly called the Opium War, with China was carried on by England mainly by Indian troops, and that the greater part of the war expenditure was paid by England, leaving on India the charge for the ordinary pay which the Indian troops would have received in India. In regard to the Persian War also, England made a handsome contribution to the war expense incurred by India—a much larger sum than that now proposed for the Afghan War, and the same thing took place with regard to another war in China in 1860. For these reasons he had always thought it fair on the part of England to contribute largely on account of the Afghan War. It was a war avowedly carried on for Imperial as well as for Indian interests; and as regards the cost of the war, he must frankly state to the House that, so far from relying on the expense only amounting to £20,000,000, a writer in The Pall Mall Gazette had calculated that the amount would reach £30,000,000; and he had very little doubt that the calculation would prove nearly correct when the accounts were finally closed. He did not agree with the Prime Minister in blaming the system under which the finances of India were managed. He had had considerable experience with regard to the military expenses of India; and he must say that, so far from the system being to blame for the mistakes which had occurred, it was, in his opinion, individuals, and not the system, that ought to be blamed. There had been every desire on the part of the late Indian Government to conceal the amount which was to be expended on account of the war. The first Estimate prepared by the Military Department stated the cost for the few months of 1878–9 at £1,200,000, and even that was not at once made known. The first knowledge which the people of this country received on the subject was in the Financial Statement of the Government of India that the war expenditure in 1878 and 1879 would only be £670,000. It was not just and fair to the people of India to let English public opinion run away with the idea that the system of finance in India was so defective as to have prevented the Indian authorities making known, if they had so wished, the real amount to be expended on the Afghan War. As regards this war expenditure, it was objectionable, because he thought that it might have been better laid out; for he agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for Orkney that if we desired to make India happy and contented we must reduce Indian taxation to a very large extent indeed. Whatever sums of money we could afford by avoiding useless wars would, in his opinion, be advantageously spent in relieving the people of India from the heavy taxation which had fallen upon them. He believed the late changes with regard to the salt and licence taxes had been extremely detrimental to our rule in India. He particularly deprecated the salt tax as one which bore on the masses of the people of Southern India in particular with extreme heaviness, and was detrimental to the interests of that country.


said, he should not have interposed in the debate had it not been that several side issues had been introduced into it which would tend very much to distract the attention of the taxpayers of the country from the point at issue, and had it not been for the question put by the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. E. Stanhope), to which, up to the present, no answer had been given—namely, the question as to their being now asked to take a new departure in Indian finance and set a dangerous precedent. This new departure had been controverted by one or two hon. Members; but, so far, the statement of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire had not been seriously impugned. He was by no means inclined to admit the argument so jocularly brought forward by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy, to the effect that because the Afghan War, for which this subsidy was required, was a tax upon the country by a Conservative Government, it ought, therefore, to be paid by laying an Income Tax on the Conservative Party. He did not know whether the Prime Minister would endorse that idea; but certainly it had appeared to be received on the Front Bench with some applause. No doubt, as a joke it was a very good one. It could hardly be taken seriously, because the people of this country were uncommonly well aware by this time—not only those who had read through the Blue Books, but those who had seen the statements in the newspapers with regard to the Russian Correspondence discovered at Cabul—that the late Afghan War was not at all attributable to the Conservative Party; but was a legacy left by Lord Northbrook and the Duke of Argyll to the late Government, which no Ministry coining into Office at the time could have avoided dealing with. He looked upon the manner in which this question had been brought forward to back up the request for this Vote, and the way it had been alluded to as a necessary consequence of Conservative policy, as only another instance of the desire of hon. Members opposite that the country should regard any piece of misfortune that happened during their Administration as attributable to the action of their Predecessors, and any piece of good fortune—whenever it arose—as equally owing to their own sagacity and prudence. The country were convinced that, however, this war was an Imperial question—and that it was there could be no doubt—it was also an Indian question. Every Indian question of importance must be an Imperial question; but that did not prove either that the expenditure connected with it ought to be paid out of Indian finances, or that they were not now asked to make a new departure and establish a precedent that might be dangerous in the time to come. If the policy which the Liberal Government were pursuing at present, as to the abandonment of Candahar, was to be followed out very probably the taxpayers of England would be called upon for additional instalments, and for much larger payments than the present one. This was one point of view in which the Vote ought to be regarded; and he objected, as strongly as it was possible for him to object, to admitting a precedent that might be fraught with the most serious consequences in the future.


said, the debate had been carried on so far by hon. Members who might be described as "specialists." No doubt, those Gentlemen ought to be at the front; but the question had bearings which were of the deepest interest, both morally and financially, to the people of this country. The question as to who was to blame for the origin of the war, and as to whether the taxpayers should not contribute towards it, must be a question of the very first importance to the taxpayers of the country at this moment. No doubt, the Vote before them was proposed, and would be laid on the shoulders of the people of this country at a time when they had not recovered from the impoverishment arising from the depression of industry and commerce that had been going on for the past four or five years. He was not sure that there was not some truth in the hint given by the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, that when misfortunes did come on this country they had, in some degree, a political origin, and arose from the mistakes made by the Conservatives when in power. It was, no doubt, true that the late Government came into power at a period when this country had passed through a season of almost unexampled prosperity——


I must explain. I only said that the Liberal Government attributed all misfortunes to their opponents.


said, he had no objection at all to put it in a hypothetical form. The late Government acceded to power at a time of great prosperity, and when it was not difficult to mislead the people of the country into what was called a "spirited foreign policy." It would be remembered that the late Prime Minister had stated that it might be of great advantage if more attention were paid to foreign affairs and a little less to the affairs of England—he was not quoting words which had been used; but was giving the substance of the policy as indicated by the right hon. Gentleman then Prime Minister in this House. Happily, we had been brought back into a much more sober state of mind, and he put it that there could not be a more pointed proof given of the ultimate judgment of the people than the readiness with which he was sure they would take on themselves a share of the expense of this war—there could not be a more pointed proof of their belief that the war was not one undertaken for Indian interests alone, but one having its origin in a supposed Imperial necessity. The question had been asked as to where the line should be drawn, and whether we should consider the financial difficulties of India; and he would reply that it should be drawn when the country was undergoing a fit of Russophobia—when it had given the guidance of its foreign policy to a Minister of strong Oriental imagination, who sent a feeble and vain Viceroy to India. This, he believed, explained why the Afghan War was entered upon; and, furthermore, why, whilst it was being carried on, the British public were kept in ignorance as to the real expenditure. It had been objected that the present proposal would be a dangerous precedent to establish; but the precedent had been established when a loan of £2,000,000 for India was asked for and granted by the House. It had been attempted to account for that loan by reference to the Indian exchanges and the depreciation in the value of silver; but the attempt had been of a very flimsy character. A precedent for contribution by the British taxpayer to meet Indian exigencies could not be put upon a more flimsy ground. He hoped the Committee would divide on this question, because he should be sorry for it to go out to the country that the Conservative Party had no opinion upon the Vote. They had heard speeches not altogether favourable to it—somewhat carping in their tone—but he was afraid there was a lack of courage to go to a division amongst hon. Members opposite. He trusted that this one good result would follow from this Vote and this discussion—namely, that the people of this country would take warning not to lend themselves too readily to the views of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite—politicians who got up wars on such flimsy pretexts as this Afghan War originated in—and, further, that it might be made clear to the people of India that the great mass of the British people were prepared to do justice to their country, and not to indulge in Imperial fancies on the one hand, and to repudiate Imperial obligations on the other.


did not propose, in the few remarks he had to make, to travel over all the subjects which had been touched upon by hon. Members on the other side of the House. He apprehended that the question they had to do with was not either how the Afghan War came about, or whether the accounts had been properly kept. It had nothing to do with the actual expenditure on the war; but the question they really had to determine was the broader one as to whether England ought or ought not, under any circumstances, to contribute towards the expenses of a war of this character. This question had been debated more than once in this House; but, within the last week, an entirely new argument had been invented in favour of the course suggested by the Government—and the creation of that argument, in its original form, was due, he believed, to the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department. That hon. Gentleman's view, as expressed at Oxford, was that England ought to be called upon to pay for this war, in part at all events, in order to teach the English taxpayers never to permit any Government again to indulge in such an undertaking. The hon. Gentleman wished to teach the taxpayers a lesson; but it should be pointed out to him that the lesson they might learn might be exactly the opposite of that which he desired they should be taught. It was possible that the English taxpayer might be induced to conclude, from this suggestion being brought forward by the Government, that the mistake they had made was not in supporting the late Government, but in putting the present Government in power, because he apprehended there was no doubt whatever that had the late Government remained in power no proposal of this kind would have been made to the House. But his hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell) had improved on this argument, for he not only wished to teach a lesson to the taxpayer in general, but the Conservative taxpayer in particular, because what he had said was that he should like the whole of the subsidy to be thrown on the Income Tax payers, who had supported the late Government in the course they had adopted. The hon. Member's view was that the wealth and intelligence of the country were on the one side and the working men on the other. ["No, no !" and laughter.] Well, he would retract the word "intelligence," and would put it the wealth on one side and the working men on the other. But the point was not one he wished to press. It seemed to him that the hon. Member might have improved on his novel suggestion, and have argued, that because the Conservative voter was guilty, still more guilty was every Conservative Member who voted for the policy of the Government, and the more Income Tax they should have to pay; that the Members of the Cabinet should be even yet more heavily taxed; and as for Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Lytton, he did not see how they could possibly get off under a payment of 20s. in the pound. He did not know whether the hon. Member seriously meant to propose that as a new fiscal arrangement in the country. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy had made reference to the accounts of the Afghan War, and had seemed to think this a fitting occasion on which to bring an accusation against the late Viceroy for the grave, and, as he must admit, most dreadful error made in the Afghan Accounts. He did not know whether the hon. Member was in his place ["No !"]—then he would leave that part of the question, which was not really of very great importance. The substantial argument they had to deal with was the question of justice. It had been alleged by hon. Members opposite—it was alleged by the Members of the present Government when in Opposition—that we were bound in justice to make this contribution towards the Indian Exchequer. But he was rather puzzled to make out why, if it was a matter of justice, our contribution was to stop at £5,000,000. If we were entirely responsible for the war; if it was our wickedness and folly that caused India to indulge in it—and that was the contention of hon. Gentlemen opposite—he wanted to know why it was that we were going to restrict our contribution to £5,000,000—why, when the whole burden amounted to £13,000,000, we came down here and made a great parade of justice and generosity, and said—"We will pay £5,000,000." That was an odd form of justice. We were either bound to pay £5,000,000 or not bound to pay it—if we were bound why should we not pay the whole sum? He had listened to a great many debates on this subject, and had always found that the argument as to justice was based on the single circumstance that the war was alleged to be an Imperial war. When, on the other side, the question was asked—"Why was it an imperial war?" the answer was immediately—"Oh, Lord Beaconsfield said it was." Now, he never before heard of a measure being recommended to Parliament which would throw a burden on the English taxpayer of £5,000,000, and would subvert the whole of the financial arrangements between this country and India, which was founded on the casual phrase of a Minister detached from its context. He was ready to admit that in one sense the war was an Imperial war, for undoubtedly it had to do with the safety of the Empire. Nobody questioned that—[Mr. WILIS: I question it.]—at any rate, he himself did not question it, being perfectly convinced that it was not an Imperial war. That, however, was not an argument for throwing the burden upon England. If England was to pay part of all the expenditure which would otherwise fall upon India when the action of the Indian Government was beneficial to the Empire, it was manifest that India ought to pay part of the expenditure when the action of the English Government was also beneficial to the Empire. He did not see how that conclusion was to be avoided. He admitted that the whole Empire had gained by the Afghan War; but, assuming that at some time we might, unfortunately, be driven to a war in the East of Europe with Russia, might it not possibly happen that India would benefit by its results? Would anybody, in that case, think of saying, therefore—"This is an Imperial war from which India has benefited, and she must pay part of its expense?" No responsible statesman would think of coming down and saying that. During the existence of abnormal relations between the Government of England and the Government of India, it was always possible for casuistry to raise a difficulty of some kind; but he apprehended that in the main the division rested on broad and intelligible principles, and he took these broad and intelligible principles to be that England should pay all the expenses of any war which she would have made, supposing her separated from India, and that India should, in the same way, pay the expenses of a war she would have entered into, supposing that she had no connection with England. They left out of account the indirect and ulterior benefits derived by other parts of the Empire, and considered that each part of the Empire was responsible for wars it would have had to undertake had it stood by itself. The relations between the Afghans and India were not dependent upon the relations between England and India, but would exist whether India was attached or unattached to England. Ever since there had been Rulers over the whole of India the relations between Afghanistan and India had always occupied the attention of those Rulers. It had never been admitted that Afghanistan stood in the same relation to India that one European State stood in regard to other European States. The relations between Afghanistan and India were not similar to the relations which existed between England and France; and it had always been felt by the Rulers of India, Native and Foreign, and by every Indian statesman of English extraction, that it was absolutely essential that Afghanistan should be friendly and independent. That was never felt by any English statesman more than by the late Lord Lawrence. This being so, he would point out that this war arose because the Indian Government believed that the relations between Afghanistan and India were not of a kind which every Indian Government said they ought to be in order that India might be safe and secure. Therefore it was that, strictly speaking, he looked upon the war as an Indian and not an English concern. It was not as though the war had been undertaken without the consent of the Indian Government. If it had been forced on by this country; if the Indian Government had been compelled, against their own judgment, to enter into a war, there would be, he admitted, a great deal to be said in favour of the position taken up by hon. Gentlemen opposite. Let them imagine a case. Let them assume that in consequence of their leaving Candahar, great expense and danger was incurred by the Indian Empire. It was perfectly well known—everyone knew—that we left Candahar in the teeth of the opinion of the Indian Government. The Indian Government might come and say, "You compelled us to leave Candahar, and, in consequence of our so doing, expenses have fallen on the Indian Exchequer. You are bound to assist us in paying those expenses." But no such argument could be advanced as to the Afghan War, because the Indian Government were as firmly convinced of its necessity and justice as the Home Government; and it was, therefore, only fair that they should bear part of the expense. So much for the question of justice. There now remained the question of generosity—and he fully granted that this country was always ready and proud to answer an appeal to their generosity. The hon. Member for Hackney, in one of his speeches during the late Parliament, had said that he should have no hesitation in urging this claim to the generosity of his constituents, being assured of their approval. [Mr. FAWCETT: Justice, I think it was.] No doubt, the hon. Member's appeal would have met with a response. He would point out, however, that they had in private life come to the conclusion that charity, however good in itself, might do harm if injudicious—and in Imperial matters, just as in private life, there was such a thing as indiscriminate and injudicious charity. He firmly believed that if they reversed the wise and ancient policy that governed the relations between the Exchequer of this country and India, ever since India had belonged to England, they would open the doors to endless appeals and abuses, they would check a great guarantee for economy, and render it easier for the Indian Government to enter into unnecessary wars. For these reasons he trusted the Committee would hesitate, and consider the matter very carefully, before it assented to the proposition of the Government. Before sitting down, he would make one appeal to the noble Marquess the Secretary of State for India (the Marquess of Hartington). He did not know whether the noble Lord ever appealed to the Government of India on any subject whatever. Parliament had been presented with all the Correspondence with reference to Candahar that the noble Lord thought it desirable they should have. They knew that the Indian Government had given no opinion upon the subject, or, at any rate, no opinion that could be published. Here was a question of great importance as to our future relations with India, and yet we had not one tittle of information of any kind or description as to what the Indian Government thought on the subject. He did not know whether the noble Lord had ever appealed to the Indian Government; but he would point out that by the course he (the Marquess of Hartington) adopted in regard to the Indian Government, he laid himself under the suspicion of one of two faults in policy—either that he did not consult the Government; and in that case the Administration of India was only half an Administration; or that he had consulted that Government, and could not lay its opinion before the House. Which of these two alternatives was the correct one? Were they to enter into this novel course proposed by the Government without receiving the slightest information as to Lord Ripon's opinion, or the opinion of a single Member of his Council? If they were to consent to this, of course they must, if the majority so wished it; but he hoped that, at all events, they would not agree to it until they definitely knew all the facts and circumstances that ought to guide their judgment in the matter. Perhaps the noble Lord opposite would answer this one question as to the opinion of Lord Ripon and his Council.


reminded the Committee that the attention of the Committee at this moment should not be directed so much to Candahar as to Afghanistan and the late war. He hoped the country would carefully weigh the statements of hon. Members near him, who had spoken in the course of this debate as to the expense of that war. If the late Governor General of India did not know what those expenses were, he certainly ought to have obtained reliable information; and he showed by his ignorance in that, as in many other instances, how unfit he was for the appointment he held. In his opinion, in the late Government we had had two most unscrupulous Ministers—the most unscrupulous Minister that ever governed this country, and the most unscrupulous Governor General that ever went out to India. That had been his opinion from the beginning, and in that opinion, so far as the late Governor General was concerned, he was confirmed by all the accounts that reached this country of the conduct of the noble Lord in India. If it were true that there was a possibility of reducing the expenditure in India, his wish was to see so desirable a thing effected, because he was anxious to see remitted some of the heavy taxes that now fell on the people of India. As had been rightly said by the hon. Member for Orkney (Mr. Laing), our hold in India depended not only on force, but on the sense of the justice of our rule, and of the consideration for the welfare and happiness of the inhabitants with which it was administered, on the know- ledge that they had that we desired to govern their country to their best interest, and not to the benefit of this country. Therefore, if the finances of India were in as prosperous a condition as had been stated, he sincerely hoped that we might be able to remit some of the taxes, particularly the salt tax. Reference had been made, in the course of this debate, to the revenue we derived in India from the production of opium. Well, he felt this to be a revenue that was scandalous and disgraceful to our country, because, whether in India or elsewhere, it was our duty to promote as far as we could the morality of Her Majesty's subjects. There was no part of the Revenue of India which did us less credit than that which was derived from opium; and, more than this, the duration of this source of revenue was very doubtful, and dependence on it unwise. The growth of the poppy prevented the growth of many articles of produce that would be most important to the people; and for this reason, as well as on account of the immorality of the trade, he sincerely trusted that it might be in the power of the Government to get rid of the tax. With regard to what his hon. Friend below him had said, he feared it was too true that the expense of the Afghan War would be found to be something very much greater than it was believed in this country to be. Let the people of England know the kind of expense we were involved in through the action of the Government who engaged in that war. They engaged in it, it must be remembered, in opposition to the views of the wisest and best Viceroys who had ever gone out to India, especially of that most excellent Governor General the late Lord Lawrence, who had given an opinion most strongly condemning it. He recollected Lord Lawrence saying to him on one occasion—"They do not know what they are talking about. They speak of £50,000 per annnum to guard an unscientific Frontier, and then they tell us that a scientific Frontier is to be guarded for £5,000." The noble Lord felt, and nearly all who had ever been connected with India felt, that the war was a most unwise proceeding, contrary to the welfare and best interests not only of India, but of this country. He should give his hearty support to his right hon. Friend in the proposal he had made; and had he gone further, and proposed that they should have paid still more than £5,000,000, he should have supported n>him.


I wish to put a Question to the noble Lord the Secretary of State for India, the answer to which, I think, will be of great importance in the further consideration of this subject. It is, whether the Government of India have given any opinion upon this matter; and, if so, what that opinion is?


The right hon. Gentleman has put a Question to me which has already been asked by the hon. Member for Hertford. The Government of India have certainly not been consulted, and have given no opinion officially, upon this question. I am aware—though I do not rely upon it as a consideration that ought to guide the opinion of the Committee—that both the Viceroy and the financial Members of the Council are favourable to the policy of Her Majesty's Government; but it appears to me that if the Indian Government are to be invited to offer an expression of opinion upon a matter of this sort, it ought to have been obtained before embarking in the war, and not now. If this is to be a matter of bargaining, then certainly the Indian Government ought to have the opportunity afforded to it of expressing its opinion as to how the expenses are to be divided between the two Governments, whatever they may be. The late Government did not think it necessary to take that course before they sanctioned the war; and I certainly should not now, at the conclusion of the war, think it a desirable or necessary policy, or one tending to the good relations between the two countries, or to the dignity of the Government of India, that they should be asked to place themselves in the position of making a demand upon the justice or generosity—or whatever you may like to call it—of this country, or to apply to this country, in the form of suppliants, for a grant. For these reasons, it seems to us that the policy which ought to be recommended to Parliament in this matter is one which ought to be initiated at home, and on which it was not necessary to formally consult the Government of India. Perhaps I may take this opportunity—though I desire to hear any further views that Members of the Committee may wish to express—to make a few observations on this discussion so far as it has proceeded The hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. Stanhope) referred to some pledge which he understood I had given to the effect that I would call for a Report from the Government of India, as to a statement I made with regard to our contribution. I did not recollect at the time the hon. Member was speaking to what he referred; but he has been good enough to inform me since, that he referred to something I had said in my Financial Statement last year. In speaking of this matter, I find I said that it would not be desirable to make the contribution until the Viceroy and the Finance Minister had had time to consider in what form it should be given. That was my opinion at the time, and it is my opinion now; but I do not find in these words any pledge given by me, that I was going to call on the Government of India for any formal Report on this matter. The Government have had time to consider the form in which the proposal should be made to the House, and it has been made to-day. The Estimate has been laid on the Table; a Statement has been made by my right hon. Friend; and the mode in which the contribution will be applied by the Government of India will be stated very shortly by the Finance Minister in the Financial Statement. I do not consider that, when I made the speech which has been referred to, I pledged myself to obtain for ourselves or give to the House any further information than that which has been laid on the Table in the Paper that has been presented. The hon. Gentleman says that nothing has happened since the discussion last August to strengthen the case for making a contribution to India towards the cost of the war. On the contrary, he says, there is an improved condition of things. I do not know to what the hon. Gentleman can have referred. I stated in August last that the cost of the war, to the best of my impression, would be £15,000,000, or, deducting the sum for estimated profits due to the Revenue in consequence of the war, £14,000,000, and £4,000,000 for the Frontier railway; in all, £18,000,000. The Papers which have been presented to Parliament include a despatch dated November 24th, in which an Estimate was given which we have made the basis upon which to work. The Estimate for the war is brought to 15 crores 77 lacs of rupees, and for the railway to 5 crores 9 lacs, giving a total of 21½ crores, or, making the necessary deductions, 20 crores 997 lacs of rupees. In previous calculations which I laid before the House in August we, as usual, assumed the rupee, for the purpose of these Estimates, to be of its nominal value—2s.; therefore, the Estimate of November, as compared with the Estimate of the Government in August, was about £20,000,000 as compared with £18,000,000. There was no reason to think that the estimated cost of the war was at all less than was supposed, but considerably larger, than the figures I stated last August. As the House is aware, it is necessary, for the proper regulation of the transactions between the Indian and the Home Government, to take into account not the conventional value of the rupee, which is 2s., but it actual value—1s. 8d. At that rate, the 21 crores to which I have referred as the latest Estimate of the total cost of the war represents £17,498,000, or, deducting the railway, £13,148,000. That is the sum which the Government have had before them, and that is the sum upon which they have resolved to recommend to the House the contribution of £5,000,000. The hon. Gentleman also stated that the whole of the cost of the war, there was reason to hope, in consequence of the improved condition of India, could be paid by the Indian Government without any addition to the Indian Debt. Considering that the Financial Statement must shortly be made, I do not think it would be desirable to enter into details which might possibly not be perfectly correct, and which would, therefore, have to be corrected by the full information which will be contained in that Financial Statement; but, no doubt, with the exception of the £2,000,000 which have been advanced by the Home Government to India, there is reason to hope that these expenses may be met without any considerable addition to the Debt of India. But, at the same time, the hon. Gentleman must remember that in arriving at this result, the whole of the provision made for insurance against Famine has disappeared, and that during three or four years the whole of the new taxes proposed for the purpose of providing against Famine have been devoted, not to the purpose for which they were intended, but for the purpose of carrying on a war. Well, the hon. Member also made some observation upon what had fallen from my right hon. Friend (Mr. Gladstone) in regard to the imperfect character of the Indian finance system as compared with the more highly organized and complete system which we have in this country. The hon. Member seems to think that my right hon. Friend somewhat underrated and disparaged the value of the Indian Financial Department which, as he said, occupies in India much the same position that the Treasury does at home. I do not in the least desire to undervalue the services of the Financial Department in India, or to disparage the great ability and great public spirit of the officers in that Department; but it would, I think, be a great mistake for the House to suppose that the Financial Department in India does or can possibly exercise functions at all analagous to or of so great an influence as those exercised by the Treasury at home. The Treasury at home derives its great influence over the spending Department of the country from the support it receives from Parliament. The Treasury has to defend its financial arrangements for the year, and the Representatives of the Treasury in this House have to be responsible for the proposals for the expenditure of Her Majesty's Government, which proposals, it is well known, are made the subject of close examination and criticism in this House, which, as a machinery, as a connecting link, enables the Treasury to exercise the beneficial influence that it does. Now, in India, it is unnecessary for me to point out that there is no Representative Government, and no support to the Financial Department at all corresponding with that which the Treasury receives in this country from Parliament. All that the Financial Department in India can do is to appeal to the Viceroy and his Government. No doubt it does exercise those functions, and does produce certain results in that way. The hon. Member further referred with satisfaction to what had fallen from my right hon. Friend as to the desire of the present Government to prosecute the economical reforms that were instituted by the late Government. The hon. Member seemed to think that, up to the present time, there had been some want of assurance given by the Government to the effect that they were properly impressed with the necessity of prosecuting that policy. I can give him the general assurance that the Viceroy and Council are not only engaged in minor Departmental reforms already instituted, but that they have taken seriously in hand the most important point of Indian Expenditure—that on which all Indian authorities are agreed all financial reforms and retrenchment must ultimately depend—namely, the Military expenditure. The Report of the Army Commission appointed by Lord Ripon is now being considered, and its various recommendations are being taken up in detail by the Viceroy; and I hope it may shortly be possible for the Government of India to make known to the Government at home, and through it to this House, the measures they propose to take with regard to this matter. But, coming back to the proposals before the House, the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire described this proposal as practically a subsidy from this country to the Government of India; and he said, and said very truly, that it was a proposal that differed very considerably in its character from the proposal made by the late Government for a temporary advance, or loan, without interest. The hon. Member was perfectly right in saying that the proposal differed in its character; and the reasons which induced us to make this proposal differed, and differed favourably, from the reasons adduced by the hon. Gentleman for the proposal of the late Government. And I could not help thinking that there was a good deal of force and reason in the observations made by the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Illingworth) with regard to the reason on which it was alleged by the Secretary of State for India that the proposals of the Government were made. I understood the hon. Member to say that the late Government had arrived at their opinion on account of the unfavourable state of the Exchanges, which made it impossible for the Government of India to remit the necessary sums in the course of the financial year. Now, it seems to me that this is an extremely dangerous and an extremely unsound basis upon which to rest any proposal of financial assistance from this country to India. If such assistance is given only on the ground on which we ask the House to give it—namely, on the ground of justice and fairness to the Indian people, I do not think there is any reason to fear or any risk of our being led to any dangerous lengths. But, putting aside altogether the grounds of justice and fairness between the taxpayers of the two countries, if, as explained by the hon. Member, we are to come forward and save India whenever the Exchange is favourable or unfavourable, or whenever the Indian Financial system is unsatisfactory, then, I agree with him, a dangerous system would be introduced. The hon. Member (Mr. Stanhope), speaking about our proposal, said it was one which would revolutionize the relations between England and India. Now, I do not wish to underrate the importance of the proposal that has been made. I do not think it is a proposal that need be characterized in any such strong terms. Although it is true it is a different proposal from the one made by the late Government, and although the Indian Government always refused to adopt this measure when it was pressed on them, still it was one which they never absolutely rejected. They always gave the House to understand that the proposal was one which, upon further information, they might be induced to make to the House. The hon. Member for Hertford (Mr. A. J. Balfour) said that this proposal never would have been made but for the change of Governments; but, if he had remembered some proposals that were made by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer and the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire, he would not have been so certain that some such proposals would not have been made if the late Government had remained in Office. I could quote many speeches of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer; but one extract from the right hon. Gentleman, I think, will be enough. Speaking on the 17th December, 1878, he said— 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 the 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. After that, I do not know how the hon. Member for Hertford can feel so convinced that if the late Government had remained in Office no proposal of this sort would have been made. On the 11th February, 1880, the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire rejected, as he had done before, the Motion of the present Postmaster General. He said— It was hard to blame the Government because in the absence of information they refused to come to any absolute conclusion. They knew that hostilities had been renewed, and that further expenses had been incurred; but the new facts in relation to that expenditure were not yet in their possession. He believed he was right in saying that before many weeks—he might almost say before many days—were over they would have the figures of the Indian Budget at hand. They certainly hoped before the end of the month to have an Estimate of all that had been spent, or was likely to be spent, up to the end of the financial year, on the war in Afghanistan, with a good Estimate of what the probable expenditure would be in the future. When they had obtained that information, the Government would thoroughly consider the whole question and see how they stood in that matter; and he hoped that there would be ample time to do so before the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced the English Budget. What was the meaning of that reference—"The Government would thoroughly consider the whole question and see how they stood in that matter?" Must not the hon. Member have had in his mind that it might be the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in bringing in his Budget to take into consideration the expediency of making some grant in aid of India. The hon. Member concluded by saying— Therefore, in now asking the House to reject the Amendment, he only desired to add that they did not by that course in any way prejudge the question, but only expressed the opinion that the Amendment was premature, and that they must postpone their decision on that subject until they had received further information."—[3 Hansard, ccl. 472–3.] When I find language of this sort used, which, I must say, seems to me to point to the consideration of a proposal to be made by the late Government, I am somewhat surprised to find that hon. Members consider it necessary to characterize the proposition before the Committee as one which is about to revolutionize the relations existing between England and India. The hon. Member then went on to say that this was a proposal which would diminish the responsibility of the Indian Government; but I do not think it would necessarily have any such effect. It is not, in my opinion, a proposal which introduces any new principles at all into the relations between the two countries. As has been pointed out, there are questions on both sides. The Indian troops have been employed in wars which were distinctly not Indian wars, but which, nevertheless, have been carried on by the Indian Army. They were employed, for instance, in the Persian, the Abyssinian, and the Chinese Wars. The Indian Government has not been called upon to pay a farthing towards the cost of these wars, the whole cost having been defrayed by the English Government. There are other cases, such as the Persian War, where part of the expense has been defrayed by the Indian Government and part by the British Government; and there have, too, been great emergencies through which India has passed—for example, the great Famine, in which India had to bear the whole cost, and no contribution was asked for or offered. The principle has been, where the object was exclusively an imperial one, then India was not asked to contribute; but where it was exclusively and clearly Indian, then the whole burden has fallen upon India. In this case, our contention is that the war—and I am not going to enter into a discusssion as to the necessity for or policy of the war—was not exclusively an Indian war, that it was not waged for Indian purposes; but was a portion of a larger policy—the policy of the late Government—the cost of which it is not fair to lay exclusively upon either India or England. That is the ground on which we make this proposal. I do not go the length of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy, who said it was an unjust war, forced upon India by Conservative voters, and which, therefore, ought to be paid for entirely by Conservative voters. I cannot go that length; but, on the other hand, I cannot go the length of saying that this was a war which would have been made by the people of India in their own defence, if they had been consulted. Whether the war was right or wrong, there can be no doubt, I think, that it was one which was initiated, and the policy of which depended, on larger than merely Indian considerations, and one of which it is just that England should bear a part of the cost. In these circumstances, I cannot see that the proposal of Her Majesty's Government will in any way diminish the responsibility of the Indian Government. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite that it would not have been desirable, at the outset of the war, to have informed the Indian Government that a certain proportion of its cost would be borne by the British Exchequer. I think it would have diminished the responsibility of those who had the management of the war if they had had the opportunity of carrying it on at the expense of other people; but I do not think in the slightest degree that responsibility is diminished, if, on finding that the war has proved more costly than was anticipated, part of the burden should be borne by the Home Government. If it will not diminish the responsibility of the Indian Government, I think it will considerably increase the feeling of responsibility with which wars of this description, or wars of any description, will be initiated hereafter or sanctioned by the Home Government. I do not think it can be maintained that that war was not partly due to the policy of the Government at home. Without going into any discussion as to what may be said on the subject of Earl Beaconsfield's policy, it is a fact well known at the War Office, and which has never been denied, that the late Governor General of India left this country with instructions to place our relations on the North-West Frontier on a better and more satisfactory footing, and that policy led to the war. That war was part of the policy of the late Government, and it was thoroughly approved of and initiated by the Government, and I have always understood that they were perfectly willing to take their full share of the responsibility. I cannot help thinking that the Parliament which supported the initiation of this war would have thought more about the responsibility they were undertaking in sanctioning the proceedings of the late Government, if they had felt that part of the burden would fall upon their own shoulders. I think it is most desirable, in the interests of India and in the interests of the relations between this country and India, that the tax-payers should feel when they sanction a war, whether necessary or unnecessary, that they are sanctioning a policy which may add to their burdens. That will increase in the most salutary manner the responsibility of the Parliament which sanctions the proceedings and policy of the Government at home, and it will not unduly diminish the responsibility of the Government of India. There is only one more observation I wish to make. The hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr. S. Leighton) said that this payment was made to India, not in relation to the war, but in relation to its ordinary Expenditure. But the proposal of the Indian Government for the disposal of this money will be fully explained in a few days. But I may explain that it is the intention of the Government at home and of the Government of India that this sum shall not be in any way applied to the diminution of the ordinary burdens of the Government of India, but that it shall be applied in some way entirely to the reduction of taxes, to the reduction of the heavy burden which rests upon the people of India. I do not, therefore, think the hon. Member need be under any apprehension that this proposal will be in the nature of a mere subsidy.


I must apologise to the noble Lord for having, by the Question that I put to him a short time ago, called upon him to address the House at an earlier period than he had intended. At the same time, I am convinced that the Committee will agree with me that it was absolutely impossible for us to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion on the proposals submitted by the Government without being made aware of the views of the Government of India. I am sure that many things which have been said by the noble Lord in the course of his address have greatly facilitated the settlement of this question, and have cleared up certain points which it was very desirable should be cleared up. I refer especially to the closing observations with regard to a subject upon which I felt considerable anxiety. It appeared to me that, according to the proposal made by the Prime Minister, India would be in the receipt for the next three years of an actual payment of £1,000,000 a-year.


£500,000 at the close of this financial year, and another £500,000 for the next.


I am afraid I do not clearly understand. I understand that a total sum of £5,000,000 is to be, in one shape or another, paid by this country to India; £2,000,000 of that in the form of a remission of a debt which India owes to this country—and that will involve the remission of between £250,000 and £300,000 a-year to India—and then there is to be a payment of £3,000,000, which is to be spread over, how many years?


Six financial years.


Therefore, the receipts of India from this country, directly or indirectly, will be somewhat less than £1,000,000 a-year. Directly, £500,000; and indirectly, between £200,000 and £300,000—£700,000 or £800,000 a-year—will have to be paid. It is important that we should understand that. Then the noble Lord said it might be extremely prejudicial to the financial administration of India that for three or six years the Indian Treasury should be in receipt of this payment, and then the payment should terminate. I understand now, and we all understand from the noble Lord, that that will be applied to the reduction of permanent Debt. That being so, I have also entirely to accept what the noble Lord has said with regard to the statements which I have made on behalf of the late Government as to the spirit in which we should be prepared at what we thought the proper time to approach the question of any contribution to India in respect of the late war. We had in no way committed ourselves upon that matter; but we had reserved it as a matter of most serious consequence, involving questions of the greatest anxiety and delicacy between the two counties, for full consideration when the proper time should arrive. We were convinced—I express that for myself—that nothing could be more injurious than that we should, while hostile operations were carried on at the direction of and under the control of the Indian Government, express our intention of bearing any share of the cost, because that, as we know by bitter experience, would have produced great relaxation in economy. Therefore I quite admit, so far as that goes, that the course taken by the Government in waiting for the conclusion of military operations, and then coming and proposing that a certain sum should be paid for the reduction of the permanent Debt, if that is to be done at all, is the proper course to be pursued; but, subject to these admissions, I wish to draw the very serious attention of the Committee to the position in which we stand, and in which we are going to place ourselves, towards the Government of India, and which I think the Committee ought to consider more seriously than it has yet done before it finally commits itself to the whole policy of the Government. I am very glad to hear that we shall have further opportunities for considering that policy as a whole; and I think it would be desirable that when those opportunities are given us, we should further pursue certain comments which, perhaps, now it is better we should only generally touch upon. But I warn the House that it will not be safe for us to go lightly into a matter of this sort because India is poor, or because hon. Gentlemen object to the conduct or initiation of this particular war, or for any reason of that kind, and to commit ourselves to a policy which, whatever the noble Lord may say, does most materially affect, if it does not revolutionize, the relations between the two countries. I asked the noble Lord to tell us whether the opinion of the Government of India had been taken upon this matter, and what that opinion was; and, if I rightly understood him, the opinion of the Indian Government had not been taken on the matter. If it has been taken, it has not been communicated to us. That is a most serious matter. Are we really going in cases of this kind to ignore the Indian Government, and to take the whole responsibility of matters upon the Imperial Government, acting under the direct influence and direct authority of Parliament? Because, if we are—it may be a good thing or it may not—it is a most entire and complete revolution in the relations between the two countries. The noble Lord thinks he settles the question by saying that the late Government ought to have consulted the Government of India before they began the war; but that is not an answer to the question at all. You have established deliberately, and after a good deal of consideration, certain relations between the Government at home and the Government of India—I am not going for one moment to say that the relations you have established are right relations; I am not going for a moment to say that they do not or may not require re-consideration and, perhaps, entire alteration—but so long as those relations are maintained, or supposed to be maintained, it is a very serious thing indeed to depart from them. The relations between the two countries do vary very much indeed in respect of questions of policy, and especially upon policy bearing upon peace and war, and in respect of financial policy. I apprehend, in respect of the policy which led to the unfortunate war in Afghanistan, that the policy was conducted entirely in accordance with the terms, and even with the spirit, of the law which regulated the relations between the two Governments. ["No, no !"] I hear an hon. Member say "No !" I should like to be informed in what respect it was not so. Questions bearing upon a policy of peace and war, under the present Constitution, are questions which have always been reserved, and properly reserved, I think, for what is called the Secret Department; and there is no question whatever that the opinion of the Government of India was taken and was acted upon in that Department in the manner contemplated by the law in respect to those operations which immediately led to the unfortunate events in Afghanistan. I do not ask hon. Gentlemen to say whether the policy pursued was right or not. I am quite prepared to hear—and I wish we could have it once for all—that everything that was wrong was due to the late Government, and everything that is right is due to the present Government. It would simplify matters if the Committee got to that point; and, undoubtedly, it would be convenient if you could shut out, not only what happened since the late Government took Office, but also a great deal of what happened before they did. And though it is convenient to say that these matters originated in what took place in 1878, if we were to go into the whole origin, we might put a different complexion on the question. But I do earnestly entreat hon. Members, not for the sake of avoiding chaff, or anything in the nature of recrimination with reference to the great importance of the question now at issue, to try for a moment or two to lay that matter aside. When we ultimately come to a decision—when we have determined to raise this money—then we can consider whether we will raise it by tax upon the readers of The Daily Telegraph, or in any other form. So far as the initiation of the proceedings took place, it took place not only with the thorough knowledge of the Government of India, but even to a very great extent on the representations of the Government of India, as to the position of affairs which in their opinion rendered it absolutely necessary for us in the interest of India herself, and in the interest of the Empire, to take a certain course which ultimately led to war. But with regard to the question of financial assistance to the Government of India, there, I think, you have very carefully to consider whether the Government of India approve of that course, and if they do approve of it, within what limit do they approve of it? Do they approve of it in case of war? If they do, a line must be drawn somewhere. An hon. Member said just now—"I draw it at Russophobia in England, and vain Viceroys in India." You cannot draw lines in that way. Is a line to be drawn arbitrarily or upon some principle, and if upon some principle, what is that principle? Because nothing can be more dangerous than to leave India to suppose that she is to receive aid from England under any circumstances. You altogether weaken the responsibility, which you ought to strengthen, on the part of those who are entrusted with the expenditure of the money. The noble Lord agreed just now that in the case of war it is important that their responsibility should not be weakened by the belief that England would come to their aid. Such is the case with regard to every class of expenditure, and nothing could be more mischievous than that the India Government should be allowed to carry on their financial operations with an understanding of an undefined character that in the event of their getting into difficulties they were to come and ask for aid from England. Are the Government of India really consulted at all, or are they entirely set aside? There is much in the language of the present Secretary of State for India that leads us to suspect that the Government of India are put aside altogether, and we might just as well be without them. I was reading the other day the old story of the burning of the Library of Alexandria by the Caliph Omar, and the ground upon which he put that action was this:—If what these books contained was in accordance with the Koran, then they were unnecessary; and if not, then they were mischievous. It seems to me to be the same view that the noble Lord takes of the Government of India. If the views of the Government of India are in accordance with the views of the Government at home, then the Government of India are superfluous; and if they are not, then the Government of India are mischievous. Therefore, it seems to me, you might just as well get rid of the Governor General and the Council of India, and govern the great Empire of India from Downing Street. It is perfectly possible to detach one or two Members of the Council of the Secretary of State—Sir Erskine Perry, or Sir Henry Norman, or anybody you please—to sit at Calcutta or Simla, and receive by telegraph directions from this country, and those directions would, no doubt, be given under a sense of direct responsibility to Parliament. It may be—and it is worthy of consideration—that that would be the best way of governing India. But do you think so? If you do, let us consider that question most seriously, for it is a question which would affect to its very roots the whole of the relations between this country and the great Indian Dependency. And, for Heaven's sake, do not let us, for mere minor objects, simply to gratify, perhaps, a sentiment—I will not say whether it is a generous, or just, or reasonable sentiment—jeopardize and change the whole relations between the two countries. I am bound to say that the spirit and tone in which the Prime Minister made his proposal were such as it was not in our power, even if we had desired, to object to; and I am prepared to say that in cases of this kind I shall not be desirous of looking too minutely into a question involving an appeal to English generosity, or to the general sense and spirit of the English people. But do not let us proceed on those principles to a radical alteration of the relations between the two countries. Now, when the noble Lord says that what they now propose is different from and better than the loan which was proposed by us a year or two ago, he must bear in mind that there are circumstances of which he has not taken notice. In the first place, that proposal did not originate with us, but came as a request from the Government of India. The Government of India have always been very chary indeed in regard to such matters. They have felt very strongly upon the question of advances; and when on some former occasions I, on the part of the British Government, intimated a willingness to look into the question of advances to India, I was always met by the answer that the Indian Government did not wish to, and indeed would prefer not to, raise the question. But upon this question, because of the extraordinarily low rate of exchange—1s.d. per rupee—and the pressure of the war, they did ask us to aid them by a loan which, although it was of great assistance to them, did not at all injure their credit; on the contrary, put them on their mettle to repay, as they ought to repay, what was advanced. And they would have repaid without any doubt; and we were rather strengthening them by admitting them as, in our opinion, good debtors. Now, however, you are doing a different thing. You are proposing, on the ground that they cannot pay their way—[Mr. GLADSTONE intimated dissent.] No; the Prime Minister said it was not because the Indian Government could not pay their own way—and I think that by his observation he strengthens their position. Then, with regard to the views we have always expressed, I have more than once endeavoured to state in this House the view we have taken with regard to the proper distribution of the expenses of wars, as between the British Government and the Government of India. The general principle I have more than once tried to lay down is that India ought to be self-supporting, and that if she is self-supporting then she ought to be self-dependent, and if a war takes place within the Indian system, India ought to bear the expenses of that war. If, on the other hand, a war takes place into which India is drawn—out of what may be called the Indian system—for the defence of Imperial interests; or if a war, begun for purely Indian purposes, is enlarged in its scope by the introduction of some great Power outside what may be fairly called the purview of India's friends and foes, then it would be a matter of duty for the Empire to come forward and take its proper share of the expense. I have always maintained, and am prepared still to maintain, if necessary, that the events which led to the unfortunate war in Afghanistan properly came within the Indian system. There is a difference of opinion upon that subject; but I freely admit that the cost of that war was very large, and that there was a certain Imperial element which entered in the course of the proceedings into that matter, which may fairly be considered to furnish a case for exceptional action on the part of the British Government. I am not opposed to the particular proposals made with regard to a certain contribution to the finances of India up to the present system; but I do earnestly press the Government to be very cautious how they disturb the relations which ought to exist between the two countries. I hope we shall have this matter of the responsibility of the Indian Government much more clearly defined before we pass the Bill which I understand will be necessary for remitting the debt which India owes to us; and that we shall be in full possession of the views of the Indian Government, so that we may see whether all these considerations have been taken into account. So far as I am concerned, I desire it to be understood that, while assenting to this proposal of £500,000, I reserve my opinion of the scheme as a whole. I think the questions that are raised are much larger than we have yet been allowed to see, and I hope the House will be extremely careful before it takes stops which will be of the largest and most permanent consequence to our relations with India.


As I brought forward this question on no fewer than four occasions in the late Parliament, I hope I may be allowed to say a few words upon it. I think the Committee may well be congratulated on the tone of this afternoon's debate; for whether we listen to speeches from this side of the House, or from the other side of the House, I cannot help feeling that those speeches are, as a general rule, calculated to place the financial relations of India on a juster and more satisfactory basis. Not only on this side of the House, but on the other side of the House also, speeches have been made which, far from objecting to the proposals of the Government, have only produced one objection from this side—and that is, not that we throw too large a burden on the people of England, but that the English people might well make a greater contribution in discharge of a just obligation. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the speech he has just made, has again and again appealed to the importance of maintaining the financial independence of India. I think I can refer to speeches which I have made to this House under very different circumstances, when India, for instance, was in the direst hour of suffering and famine, to show that no one could place a higher value on the maintenance of the financial independence of India than I do; and if I thought that the proposal of the Prime Minister, however well-intentioned, would in the slightest degree weaken the financial independence of India, I should consider that it would fatally relax all the guarantees made for economy, and I should consider that it ought to be strongly and sternly opposed. But as I understand the speeches of the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for India, they make this proposal not in the slightest degree to assist India as an act of generosity. If you begin acts of generosity, where are you to stop? But the proposal is the discharge of a legal and equitable and honourable obligation; and to show that it is a legal and equitable and honourable obligation, it would be necessary for me to do little else than to refer to the speech we have just listened to from the late Chancellor of the Exchequer. He distinctly laid it down as a principle, that if the war was purely an Indian war, India ought to bear the entire expense of it. But then he went on to say that if there was something Imperial about the war, if it was not solely a war undertaken for the defence of India and for her safety, we might come to England for a contribution. Now, I think I can show that this proposition can not only be maintained as a question of equity, but that it is in accordance with the law laid down in 1858; and that law we are bound to observe. The whole of this question turns upon the character of the war; and can anyone, for a moment, pretend to say, with the speeches we remember; and the declarations that were made, that this was purely an Indian war? I do not wish to lay undue stress upon a single word of the late Prime Minister delivered at a critical and momentous time, when he was anxious to obtain the approval of this country; but what he said in his place in Parliament was this—"I ask you to sanction this war"—remember, not to maintain and preserve India from danger; those were not his words, but his words were—"I ask you to sanction this war to maintain and uphold the influence and character of England in Europe." Therefore, it seems to me that it is conclusively shown that this war falls within the category of wars which the late Chancellor of the Exchequer has said is one the expenses of which ought to be jointly shared by England and India. Let me now quote a sentence from a speech by the late Viceroy. The late Viceroy stated that he was sent out to India, after having repeated conversations with the Marquess of Salisbury, with instructions to treat the Indian Frontier question—not from the Indian point of view, not from the point of view of the Frontier which would be best for India—but, he said— I went to India instructed to treat the Indian Frontier question as one indissolubly connected with the general foreign policy of Her Majesty's Government, and mainly to be determined as an Imperial question. If, after the admission of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, and after these authoritative declarations, I were to occupy the time of the Committee for one moment longer to prove what was the character of that war, I should be wasting the time of the Committee. But the late Chancellor of the Exchequer has apparently rested his objections on the single circumstance that the noble Lord did not consult the Government of India and the Council as to this question of paying their portion of the expenses of the war. Well, remembering to what extent the Council was not consulted two or three years ago; remembering, for instance, that many things were done without the opinion of the Council; remembering, too, that an old Act of Parliament was rummaged forth to outvote the Council on the question of the repeal of the import duty on cotton goods, I think it augurs well for the future of India that we have discovered this new-born zeal to consult the Council of India; and I rejoice that the right hon. Gentleman has laid it down that it is most important that the Council of India should be consulted. But I cannot help feeling that the House of Commons, by the Act of 1858, is the body which ought to be consulted, and that the Secretary of State might be led into an awkward position if he personally consulted the Council of India as to whether they would like to receive a certain sum of money, and after having obtained their consent, he found that he had not the power of giving that which he had asked them to receive. Now, I think I can show that what has been done by the Government is exactly what is prescribed by the Act of 1858 with regard to this question of the proportion of the expenses of a war, as between India and England. Most of the precedents which have been referred to by the hon. Member for Orkney (Mr. Laing) and the hon. Member for Kincardine (General Sir George Balfour), took place before the Act of 1858 was passed; but our conduct in this matter of apportioning the expenses is in accordance with the 55th section of the Act of 1858, to which, I believe, no reference has been made. That section of the Act was introduced in the House of Lords by the late Earl of Derby, and it was accepted by this House without one single word of objection to it. Now, I will quote the late Earl of Derby's words in introducing this section. He said the object of that section was to secure that the Indian troops should not be used for military purposes beyond the Indian Frontiers; and that if that was done, not only would it be disastrous to the finances of India, but the Constitutional consequences might be most serious; for if the English Government wished to carry on war, they could escape from the control of Parliament by employing Indian troops. Therefore, in order to prevent that, he introduced this section, and, in doing so, he used these memorable words— The effect of the clause would be that Indian troops, except for the purpose of preventing anticipated invasion, or of repelling actual invasion, should not quit their own territory; or if they did, the expense should be defrayed out of the revenues of this country, and not out of the revenues of India. And then he went on to say— If the troops were employed out of India, it would be for Parliament to decide whether they were employed upon Indian or Imperial objects. The clause did not prevent the Crown from making use of the Indian troops, subject only to this—that as a general rule the expense of those troops must be defrayed by Parliament; and the same constitutional check, therefore, was imposed on the Crown with regard to troops serving in India which was imposed with respect to troops serving in every other part of the globe.—[3 Hansard, cli, 1697.] This is what was the intention of the section of that Act; and this, I understand, is exactly the course which has been pursued by the Secretary of State for India and by the Government; and the House of Commons is asked by this Vote, which the Prime Minister has brought forward, to determine the character of the late war. The First Lord of the Treasury, I believe, would be the last to propose that any assistance whatever should be given to India if the war was an Indian war. He has said that it was in part an English war; and, therefore, he proposes that England should bear part of the expense. Now, there is only one part of the speech of the late Under Secretary of State for India (Mr. Stanhope) to which I should wish to refer. He said that there was great danger of India being able to carry on a war, and then to throw the expense on England. If the Indian Government were to carry on a war which we considered unjust and unnecessary, and if the English people bore the cost of that war for a single moment, they, as a representative people, could dismiss the Indian Government; and if they did not do so, they would righteously deserve the burden thrown upon them. That is a danger which ought not to be classed for a moment with the incomparably greater danger of allowing an ambitious Government, anxious for a spirited foreign policy, which has not the courage to ask the people to pay for it, to throw the cost of that spirited foreign policy, not upon the English people, but upon the impoverished and unrepresented people of India. That is, to my mind, a danger which infinitely outweighs the danger referred to by the late Under Secretary of State for India; and it is because I believe that the proposal now brought forward would do something to prevent this danger arising in future, that I think it ought to be supported alike in the interests of England and in the interests of the Indian people.

Vote agreed to.

(2.) "That a sum, not exceeding £3,560,250, be granted to Her Majesty, on account, for or towards defraying the Charge for the following Civil Services and Revenue Departments for the year ending on the 31st day of March 1882, viz.:—

Great Britain:—
Royal Palaces 7,000
Marlborough House 600
Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens 20,000
Houses of Parliament 6,000
Public Buildings 26,000
Furniture of Public Offices 2,500
Revenue Department Buildings 35,000
County Court Buildings 8,000
Metropolitan Police Courts 2,500
Sheriff Court houses, Scotland 2,000
New Courts of Justice, &c. 30,000
Surveys of the United Kingdom 40,000
Science and Art Department Buildings 4,000
British Museum Buildings 1,000
Natural History Museum 8,000
Edinburgh University Buildings - -
Harbours, &c. under Board of Trade 2,500
Rates on Government Property (Great Britain and Ireland) 45,000
Metropolitan Fire Brigade 2,500
Public Buildings 30,000
Science and Art Museum, Dublin - -
Shannon Navigation 3,500
Lighthouses Abroad. 2,000
Diplomatic and Consular Buildings 5,000
England:— £
House of Lords, Offices 6,000
House of Commons, Offices 6,000
Treasury, including Parliamentary Counsel 12,000
Home Office and Subordinate Departments 15,000
Foreign Office 12,000
Colonial Office 7,000
Privy Council Office and Subordinate Departments 4,000
Privy Seal Office 500
Board of Trade and Subordinate Departments 30,000
Charity Commission (including Endowed Schools Department 5,000
Civil Service Commission 6,000
Copyhold, Inclosure, and Tithe Commission 2,500
Inclosure and Drainage Acts Expenses 1,500
Exchequer and Audit Department 9,000
Friendly Societies, Registry 1,200
Local Government Board 35,000
Lunacy Commission 2,500
Mint (including Coinage) 20,000
National Debt Office 3,000
Patent Office 4,500
Paymaster General's Office 4,500
Public Works Loan Commission £1,500
Record Office 4,000
Registrar General's Office (including Census) 100,000
Stationery and Printing 85,000
Woods, Forests, &c., Office of 4,000
Works and Public Buildings, Office of 8,000
Secret Service 6,000
Exchequer and other Offices 500
Fishery Board 2,000
Lunacy Commission 1,000
Registrar General's Office (including Census) 20,000
Board of Supervision 2,000
Lord Lieutenant's Household 1,000
Chief Secretary's Office 6,000
Charitable Donations and Bequests Office 250
Local Government Board 10,000
Public Works Office 6,000
Record Office 1,000
Registrar General's Office (including Census) 20,000
Valuation and Boundary Survey 4,000
England:— £
Law Charges 15,000
Public Prosecutor's Office 600
Criminal Prosecutions 35,000
Chancery Division, High Court of Justice 25,000
Central Office of the Supreme Court, &c 20,000
Probate, &c. Registries, High Court of Justice 16,000
Admiralty Registry, High Court of Justice 2,000
Wreck Commission 2,500
Bankruptcy Court (London) 7,000
County Courts 20,000
Land Registry 1,000
Revising Barristers, England - -
Police Courts (London and Sheerness) 2,000
Metropolitan Police 100,000
County and Borough Police, Great Britain 1,000
Convict Establishments in England and the Colonies 100,000
Prisons, England 70,000
Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Great Britain 70,000
Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum 4,000
Lord Advocate and Criminal Proceedings 10,000
Courts of Law and Justice 15,000
Register House Departments 10,000
Prisons, Scotland 20,000
Law Charges and Criminal Prosecutions 15,000
Supreme Court of Judicature 15,000
Court of Bankruptcy 1,500
Admiralty Court Registry 200
Registry of Deeds £3,000
Registry of Judgments 500
County Court Officers, &c. 10,000
Dublin Metropolitan Police (including Police Courts) 20,000
Constabulary 220,000
Prisons, Ireland 30,000
Reformatory and Industrial Schools 25,000
Dundrum Criminal Lunatic Asylum 1,500
England:— £
Public Education 500,000
Science and Art Department 50,000
British Museum 25,000
National Gallery 1,000
National Portrait Gallery 600
Learned Societies, &c. 4,000
London University 2,000
Deep Sea Exploring Expedition (Report) 1,000
Sydney and Melbourne International Exhibitions 2,000
Public Education 110,000
Universities, &c. 3,000
National Gallery
Public Education 150,000
Teachers' Pension Office 500
Endowed Schools Commissioners 200
National Gallery 300
Queen's University 800
Royal University 500
Queen's Colleges 2,000
Royal Irish Academy 500
Diplomatic Services 40,000
Consular Services 50,000
Suppression of the Slave Trade 1,500
Tonnage Bounties, &c. 1,500
Suez Canal (British Directors) 400
Colonies, Grants in Aid 5,000
Orange River Territory and St. Helena 600
Subsidies to Telegraph Companies 9,000
Superannuation and Retired Allowances 120,000
Merchant Seamen's Fund Pensions, &c. 1,000
Relief of Distressed British Seamen Abroad 8,000
Pauper Lunatics, England - -
Pauper Lunatics, Scotland - -
Pauper Lunatics, Ireland 65,000
Hospitals and Infirmaries, Ireland 4,500
Friendly Societies Deficiency - -
Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances, Great Britain 800
Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances, Ireland 500
Temporary Commissions 7,500
Miscellaneous Expenses 1,200
Total for Civil Services £2,810,250
Customs 60,000
Inland Revenue 120,000
Post Office 270,000
Post Office Packet Service 100,000
Post Office Telegraphs 200,000
Total for Revenue Departments £750,000
Grand Total £3,560,250


Is this the reduced amount?


Yes; for two months.


wished again to ask, why the Government had not put down further Business in Supply, under circumstances which they had stated were urgent? He pointed out that by reason of that urgency, private Members were deprived of opportunities of bringing on their Business, and yet for the third time sufficient Business in Supply had not been placed on the Paper to occupy the whole Sitting.


inquired what Business would be taken on Friday?


said, they proposed to take the Army Vote to-morrow, and on Friday to bring forward the Navy Estimates. As to the charge that more Votes were not put down, all he had to say was there was nothing the House would more justly resent than putting down from day to day a large number of Votes in Supply without reference to the very remote possibility that a fragment of time might be available for their consideration. How did the matter stand at that moment? There were three great subjects remaining. The one was the Army Statement and Vote, and the other the Navy Statement and Vote, and the third the Transvaal. He asked the House, would it have been judicious to have put down any of these on the chance that they might be reached? It was usually the case that more Business was put down than was gone through.


pointed out to the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst) that if the Government had adhered to their intention of asking for a Vote on Account for three months, the Sitting would not have been too long for the discussion of the Votes. The change they had made had given an extra hour or two, which the House, he thought, should not be sorry to get.

Vote agreed to.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.

Committee to sit again To-morrow.