HC Deb 19 March 1885 vol 295 cc1680-1

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If he will cause to be presented to the House as brief a memorandum as the subject will allow, showing the main heads of the arrangements connected with the permanent settlement of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa, entered into in 1793, so as to bring out the nature and extent of the promises made by Government to protect the rights of cultivators, and how far these promises have since 1793been fulfilled or left unfulfilled; also the money settlements between the Zemindars and the Government, as to the ratio of the sums collected from the cultivators to be paid to the Government, and the amount and the ratio to be retained by the Zemindar, with estimates of the then total revenue likely to be realised, and contrasting these estimates? with those of modern times so as to show the differences; further, information to be supplied, regarding all public works obligatory to be executed by the Zemindars, and how far these obligations have been fulfilled and works of a character beneficial to the cultivator have been carried out or neglected; the land rates levied from cultivators at the time of the settlement, as far as these can be ascertained, to be contrasted with the existing rates and with the land rates levied in other parts of India; and, generally, any other information which will make the permanent settlement as clear as it can be made, such as the areas of land cultivated formerly and at present, and uncultivated; the areas of Madras and North West Provinces with their land revenues to be shown in contrast with the area and land revenue under the permanent settlement?


After considering very fully the possibility of presenting to the House such a Memorandum as that indicated by my hon. and gallant Friend, it seems that, however interesting and instructive such a document might be, it would necessarily be of so controversial a nature as to be valueless, except as being the expression of the opinion of the person who had compiled it. In connection with the Bengal Tenancy Act, the India Office has received about 5,000 pages of printed matter, a selection from which will be presented. These Papers will, I hope, place hon. Members in possession of much of the information asked for by the hon. and gallant Member for Kincardine.