HC Deb 29 April 1887 vol 314 cc356-7
MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether he has any information that Mr. C. G. Master, Member of the Council of Madras, was, in 1885 and for several years preceding, proprietor of a tea and cinchona estate at Ootacamund, which was worked by him for commercial purposes, in violation of the Civil Service Covenant; whether Mr. Master is still owner of the estate in question; and, if not, when, and to whom, it was transferred; whether he is aware that Mr. H. E. Stokes, Chief Secretary to the Madras Government, and Mr. J. H. Garstin, Member of the Board of Revenue, Madras, are shareholders in the North Travancore Land Planting and Agricultural Society (Limited); whether the holding of shares in such a Company is a contravention of the Civil Service Covenant, and of the direct instructions of the Secretary of State and Government of India; and, whether the Secretary of State will institute an inquiry into these and other alleged breaches of the Covenant that have recently occurred in the Madras Service?


The information in the possession of the Secretary of State is that the land in question consisted of 50 acres appurtenant to Mr. Master's dwelling, partly planted with tea and cinchona trees; that it was not worked for commercial purposes, but that in 1885 a sale of cinchona seedlings was made to Mr. Master's son, which was censured by the Government of India as a trading transaction. The Government of India issued orders in 1885 positively forbidding the cultivation by Government officials, for purposes of profit, of tea and cinchona on lands connected with their dwellings. I do not know whether Mr. Master is still the owner of the land in question, My answer to the third paragraph is, Yes; but it is not contrary to the rules for a civilian to be a shareholder in such a Company, provided he takes no part in the management. The matters referred to have already been fully inquired into and dealt with by the Government of India and the Secretary of State.