HC Deb 10 June 1887 vol 315 cc1582-4
Mr. KING (Hull, Central)

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether the Government of India, having, since the Commission as constituted under Sir Charles Aitchison broke up, appointed a limited Sub-Committee to inquire into the subject of the admis- sion not only of Natives but Europeans to all the more important branches of the Public Service connected with the Civil administration of the country, thus largely extending the scope of the inquiry, any arrangements have been made to give the Uncovenanted Service a fair opportunity of laying its grievances before the Committee; whether his attention has been, called to the expressions of alarm in the Indian Press and among the Anglo-Indian community at the course being pursued by the Government of India, owing to the suspicion that very important changes are contemplated in the organization and conditions of the Services, especially in the direction of a large admission of Natives to important positions in the Services; whether the Secretary of State has information that the Bengal Chamber of Commerce has had submitted to it a letter strongly deprecating the course now being pursued by the Government in relation to this question; whether, having regard to the grave interests involved, he can make any statement with regard to the ultimate object of the inquiry, and the time within which it will be brought to a conclusion, which may have the effect of re-assuring investors and others having interests in India that no serious changes are about to be made in the direction indicated in the above letter; and what object the Government of India has in view in its present proceedings?


The Public Service Commission has not broken up. It was originally appointed, in consequence of a despatch of the Earl of Kimberley, dated July 15, 1886, to inquire into the admission of natives of India to offices formerly reserved exclusively for members of the Covenanted Civil Service. The Resolution of October 4, 1886, appointing the Commission, and the Resolution of March 8 last, appointing the Sub-Committee referred to by the hon. Member, have been laid upon the Table. It is for the Commission and the Sub-Committee to make arrangements for obtaining full information on the subjects of the inquiry; and I have no reason to suppose that the Uncovenanted Service will not be given a fair opportunity for stating its grievances. There is no ground for the alarms and suspicions referred to in the second and third paragraphs of the Question which have found expression in the newspaper articles and the letter mentioned. It is intended that the Sub-Committee shall conclude its inquiry by the autumn; and that then the Commission, as a whole, shall be re-constituted for the purpose of preparing its Report to the Government of India. Any changes which the Government of India may then have to propose will be submitted to the Secretary of State in Council, and will be considered with the care due to the importance of the subject.