HC Deb 02 March 1885 vol 294 cc1768-9

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether the Secretary of State for India has lately had under consideration proposals for lessening the numbers of the Covenanted Civil Service now employed in Madras and in the North-western 'provinces and Oudh; whether, in the case of Madras, the proposals were accepted, while in the case of the North-western provinces and Oudh they were rejected; and whether he can state the reasons of these different decisions; whether proposals have been made by European members of the Covenanted Civil Service, of ten to twenty years' standing in the Northwestern provinces and Oudh, to retire upon special reduced pensions; and whether there is any objection to take advantage of such opportunities for the appointment of Native Indians of tried capacity and integrity; and, whether, by the substitution of Native Indians for Europeans retiring upon special reduced pensions, any saving in the cost of the Civil Service would be effected?


I think my hon. Friend is under some misapprehension as to the reasons for the proposals made with respect to the Covenanted Civil Service in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh and Madras. The facts are as follows:—In 1876, in consequence of a block in promotion, certain officers of the Covenanted Civil Service in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh were allowed to retire on special pensions, although they had not served long enough to be entitled to pension under the ordinary rules. And for the same reason the same privilege of retirement on special pension has since been extended to the Madras Service. But recent applications from officers in the North-West Provinces and Oudh for a further extension of the concession of 1876 have been negatived by the Secretary of State on financial and administrative grounds. The question, I must point out, is not one of permanently reducing the numbers of the Covenanted Civil Service or of substituting Natives of India for Europeans. It is simply a question whether certain concessions are to be made in favour of certain officers who entered the Service in particular years, and whose promotion, from unavoidable circumstances, has been perhaps somewhat slow.