HC Deb 22 June 1893 vol 13 cc1674-5
SIR W. WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether the Secretary of State for India has received a Memorial, dated 18th August, 1890, from Mr. M. M. Murzban, late Assistant Traffic Superintendent, State Railways, complaining that, after eight years' service, he was discharged from the Service with three mouths' notice on the sole ground of reduction of establishment, although there were eight officers (Europeans) junior to him in the grade, and four probationers, of whom three were appointed within one month prior to the notice; whether the Secretary of State is aware that Mr. Murzban was one of the only two native officers appointed to the Traffic Department since 1879, as against 22 European officers; whether the Secretary of State is aware that about the time of Mr. Murzban's discharge, he had been strongly and repeatedly recommended for promotion by his immediate superiors, and that the only two European traffic managers under whom he served can now bear witness to his efficiency; whether it is the fact that, before his discharge, Mr. Murzban had no opportunity of being heard in his own defence; whether, if there are any charges against him of misconduct or inefficiency, the Secretary of State will direct that he be given an opportunity of making his defence; and whether, if there are no such charges, the Secretary of State will be pleased, in view of the hardship of the case, to direct that he be employed in some suitable appointment under the Government of India?


(1) A Memorial from Mr. Murzban, appealing against his discharge from the Service on the ground stated in the question, was forwarded by the Government of India in 1890, and considered by the Secretary of State in Council; (2) the Secretary of State has not the means of verifying the figures; (3) the Secretary of State has not received the Reports referred to from Mr. Murzban's immediate superiors and the two Traffic Superintendents; (4) on receiving the notice of discharge, Mr. Murzban had the opportunity of representing the facts of his case, which have been fully considered by the Government of India and the Secretary of State in Council; (5) Mr. Murzban was not dismissed for misconduct or inefficiency. The terms under which he was employed did not entitle him to serve for pension, but gave the Government the right to discharge him in the event of his services being no longer required. In 1888 it was decided in the public interest to reduce the establishment of the Traffic Department, and it became necessary to select officers for discharge. As the Reports on Mr. Murzban had not been favourable, he was selected for discharge in accordance with the terms under which he had accepted employment. The Secretary of State sees no reason for re-opening the question in the manner suggested, or for directing the re-employment of Mr. Murzban by the Government of India.