HC Deb 06 July 1896 vol 42 cc801-95

moved:— That, Her Majesty having directed a military expedition of her Native forces charged upon the revenues of India to he dispatched to Africa in aid of the Egyptian troops, this House consents that the ordinary pay of any troops so dispatched, as well as the ordinary charges of any vessels belonging to the Government of India that may be employed in this expedition, which would have been charged upon the resources of India if such troops or vessels had remained in that country or seas adjacent, shall continue to be so chargeable: provided that if it shall become necessary to replace the troops or vessels so withdrawn by other vessels or Native forces, then the expense of raising, maintaining, and providing such vessels and forces shall, in so far as may not be otherwise provided, be repaid out of any moneys which may be provided by Parliament for the purposes of the said expedition. The noble Lord said: I rise to make the Motion which has been for some days on the Notice Paper of the House. Every-Member who has read it will see that it divides itself into two parts. The first part suggests that the ordinary pay connected with the troops dispatched to Suakim should for a certain time be apportioned to Indian revenues; and the second part of the Resolution proposes that any extra charge of any kind or sort, arising either directly or indirectly from the employment of these troops, should be charged on the Imperial revenue. Roughly speaking, the two propositions which this Resolution contains are—first, that India shall not make money by participation in an enterprise in which she has a common interest with this country; but, on the other hand, she should not be asked to spend any money because she is interested in common with this country in such enterprise. These two propositions taken together seem incontestibly just, always provided that one can show that India has a special interest in the object of the expedition to which these troops may be attached. Perhaps I may explain why it is necessary to move this Resolution. It is to comply with the 55th Section of the Government of India Act of 1858, which relates to the expenditure connected with the employment of troops outside the external frontiers of India. During the past few years a number of expeditions have been sent from India for various purposes, and perhaps it will interest the House if I give these expeditions in chronological order. The first occasion on which troops were employed outside the external frontiers of India after the Government of India had been transferred to the Crown was in 1859, in connection with the third China War. In 1867 a large expedition was sent to Abyssinia from India; in 1875 a small expedition was sent from India to Perak to put down certain disturbances there; in 1878 a considerable number of Indian troops were sent from India to Malta. In the same year a war occurred in Afghanistan, which necessitated the employment of a considerable number of Indian troops outside the external frontiers of India. In 1882 an expedition was sent to Egypt, and another expedition was sent to the Soudan in 1885, and this year two expeditions left India, one for Mombasa and the other for Suakim. These expeditions naturally classify themselves into certain categories in accordance with the financial arrangements connected with each. First come those expeditions in which no charge whatever was made, either in connection with the ordinary pay or extraordinary expenditure, on the revenues of India. The expeditions in which this has occurred are the third China War; the movement of troops to Malta, and recently the movement of troops from Bombay to Mombasa. In no instance where the whole of the expenditure has been borne by any funds other than the revenues of India has any Resolution been moved in Parliament. In the second category come those expeditions in which the ordinary charge is placed upon India and the extra expense placed upon other sources, and these comprised the Abyssinian War of 1867, the expedition to Perak in 1875, the Soudan expedition of 1885, and the expedition which left this year. In all these cases, with the single exception of Perak, a Resolution was moved in the House of Commons. Last come the cases in which not only the ordinary expenditure, but all expenditure above that, was placed upon the revenues of India. Two expeditions only come under this class—namely, the second Afghan War and the expedition sent to Egypt in 1882 by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. In both of these cases a certain contribution was eventually made from Imperial funds, but on each occasion the greater part of the extraordinary charges was placed upon Indian revenues. The practice, therefore, has been uniform, no Resolution has been moved unless it was intended that certain charges should ultimately be paid out of Indian revenues. This section is not one, as has been stated, to restrain the prerogatives of the Crown or the Executive in moving troops from one part of the Empire to the other, but only for the purpose of safeguarding the Indian revenue. All the lawyers who have been consulted are unanimous in so interpreting it. There is, it is true, a certain obiter dictum by a Secretary of State for India which is opposed to that view. I have the highest regard for the opinion of a Secretary of State, but the views of a Secretary of State do not necessarily constitute law. [Laughter.] The only doubt, as far as I know, ever entertained by lawyers concerning the construction of the section is whether, from its peculiar phraseology, it is necessary to move a Resolution where the ordinary pay only was to be defrayed by Indian revenue. A consensus of opinion in recent years is in the affirmative, but a contrary opinion prevailed some time back. The financial result of the Resolution will be that the ordinary pay and allowances of the Indian troops, amounting to about £5,000 a month, will be borne by Indian revenues. It is true that the Council of India have restricted that charge to the close of the present year. It is, I think, very unlikely, but, if the Indian troops are in Egypt at that time, the Council will consider itself perfectly free to act as they may think fit. The extraordinary expenses, independently of any expenditure for local transport from Suakim, will be about £140,000, which will be paid from the Treasury Chest.

MR. LEONARD COURTNEY (Cornwall, Bodmin)

How long will that last for?


That is for the same time. Two arguments have been advanced against this arrangement. The first is that there is a risk in taking such a number of troops from the Indian establishment, and the second is that the financial charge on the Indian revenue is not a fair one. Let us consider each of these. As to the first I quite agree that the greatest caution is necessary to prevent India being drawn upon to meet any of the military emergencies that may occur in Africa. Imperial interests are rapidly spreading in that continent, and there is no doubt that from time to time demands will be made for troops to maintain law and order, and to the Indian Government and the Indian Army will the Imperial Government look as extraordinarily well suited for this purpose. When we take into account the numbers of men in past and in the present expeditions, we see that the present expedition involves a much smaller abstraction of force, for a temporary period, from the military strength of India than has been involved in former expeditions of recent years. The total forces in India now number 75,000 Europeans and about 140,000 natives. At the dates of previous expeditions the numbers were considerably less—about 60,000 Europeans and 120,000 natives. The expedition to Abyssinia consisted of 14,000 men—10,000 natives and 4,000 Europeans; they were all taken from the Indian establishment. Considering that that expedition left India within ten years of the Mutiny, I must say it does seem to me to have been a somewhat dangerous weakening of the military establishment in India. It was in that sense that the present Prime Minister, speaking in the other House, laid down the maxim that India could not be looked upon as a reservoir from which this country could draw an unlimited number of troops without paying for them. In 1882, when right hon. Gentlemen opposite were in Office, they sent a considerable expedition from India to Egypt—6,700 men, of whom 2,000 were Europeans. In 1885 the same Government sent another expedition, consisting of 3,200 native troops. The present expedition numbers only 2,500, and to deduct that number from a total Army of 210,000 is a very different thing from deducting 14,000 from a total force of 180,000. Of course, the risk which a country runs by having a force taken away is increased by the length of time that that force is absent, and therefore the Government will take the precaution to put a limit on the time during which India is to pay the ordinary expenses of the troops.


That is not in the Resolution.


It is not in the Resolution, but it is in the Dispatch. No Resolution in this House in reference to expenditure is binding upon the India Council. So much for the allegation that we are unduly drawing on the military establishment of India. I turn now to the more serious consideration that this proposal is unjust to the Indian revenue. Any protest of that kind coming from the Indian Government is worthy of the most careful consideration—[cheers]—and the Council at the India Office have given a very exhaustive examination to the arguments and the reasons which have been urged by the Indian Government. Roughly speaking, and stripped of all phraseology, the contention of the Indian Government amounts to this—that since the neutralisation of the Suez Canal India has no special interest in Egypt over and above other parts of the British Empire. I have examined that contention to the best of my ability; I have taken the advice of some very able authorities; and I venture to say that neither from the historical nor from the military point of view can that contention be maintained. India has always had a special interest in Egypt over and above that of other portions of the Empire, and if we were to assent to the present contention of the Government of India—which, after all, is only the ipse dixit of the Government of the day—it would be difficult to mention any expedition outside the frontier of India in which India has had any special interest. No one who has watched the development of India can deny that Indian interests in different parts of Asia and Africa are decade by decade increasing. I have always contended and will always contend for a fair distribution of the expenditure which will be necessary to defend those external interests; but if the Home Government were to assent to the proposition of the Indian Government it seems to me that, no matter what expedition be necessary in Asia or Africa, it will be impossible ever to ask India to bear any part of the expenditure connected therewith; and as those interests outside India grow and develop and require protection, the whole cost of that protection will fall upon the taxpayers of this country. Rut while the Home Government cannot agree to the particular proposal of the Indian Government, I am much in sympathy with the substance of their complaint. Those who have read the Dispatch of the Indian Government will notice that four-fifths of it do not deal with the proposal now before the House, but they deal with transactions of the past. No one can deny that from time to time charges have been put upon India somewhat in excess of the interests which India has had in former expeditions. [Opposition cheers.] It is the recollection of these transactions that has been in the mind of the Indian Government. The Abyssinian expedition was too heavy a drain on the military establishment. But—and I do not say this for the purpose of annoying right hon. Gentlemen opposite—the particular transaction which rankles in the mind of the Indian Government is the action taken in 1882. [Cheers.] That action was of a very summary character. The Government of the day requested the Indian Government to send a large expedition to Egypt to work in accord with the British force; and on July 24th the Home Government telegraphed to the Indian Government that, subject to final decision on any representation the Indian Government desired to make, the Home Government proposed that the Indian Revenue should bear all the expenses of the Indian contingent. This was the reply of the Indian Government on the 26th:— We beg unanimously to protest very strongly against the proposal that the Indian revenue shall hear all the expenses of the Indian contingent for service in Egypt. The next day the right hon. Gentlemen then in Office brought down a Resolution to this House which put all the charges on the Indian revenue; and it was the present Leader of the Opposition who formally moved that Resolution. In that transaction the Indian Government does seem to me to have been treated with but little consideration. But even in that controversy the Indian Government did not take up the position which has since been assumed by the present occupants of Office in India. They did not then object to paying a certain portion of the expenses of the expedition; their objection was that India should pay the whole cost; they pointed out that the precedents of the past were against such a proposal; and they looked with anxiety upon the establishment of so dangerous a principle for the future. Well, the Home Government did, to a certain extent, moderate the Resolution, and a certain contribution was made from the Imperial Exchequer towards meeting a portion of the extraordinary charges of the expedition; but India had to pay 60 per cent. of the extraordinary expenditure. Again, in 1885, the right hon. Gentleman placed a Resolution on the Notice Paper of the House, without giving the Indian Government time to have its views laid before Parliament. What is the result of thus, in the past, placing undue obligations upon India on the assumption that the Indian Government has a joint interest with this country in these enterprises? The Indian Government, to save themselves from charges which they consider excessive, now repudiate all common interest in expeditions outside of India.




I think they do so; in the Dispatch laid upon the Table of the House they lay it down that they have no special interest in Egypt. ["No!" and some HON. MEMBERS, "In the Soudan!"] Very well; but in 1882 the Indian Government did admit that they had an interest, because they were willing to pay the ordinary charges, and having had to pay the extraordinary charges laid upon them, they then denied that they had an interest in order to avoid these charges. [An HON. MEMBER: "In the Soudan!"] It is practically the same thing. Anyhow, my contention is worth consideration; and it is that the result of putting unfair or excessive charges on India in the past is that the Indian Government now repudiate that they have any interest in these expeditions. That is a position which I do not think any responsible Minister can accept. Desiring as I do to protect the Indian revenue, and anxious as I am to find a working solution of a difficulty which is constantly cropping up, and which is detrimental to the efficiency of military expeditions from time to time, I venture to suggest that, in the Dispatch to India, I have laid down a principle which will secure that equity in these matters which the House desires, without rendering us in the future liable to the suggestion which has now come to us from India. I do not know if any hon. Members have read our Dispatch to the Indian Government. If they have they will find three propositions laid down which are for the future to govern the financial arrangements of expeditions of this character. In the first place we say:— It may be laid down that on all occasions when the temporary loan of a military force is urgently required either by Great Britain or by India, such assistance will be promptly given so far as the ability, resources, and situation of either country at the time may permit. There are two military establishments—one in India and one in England—and there is in all ordinary times a certain margin of reserve strength in each establishment, and it is desirable in the common interest of the Empire that this double reserve should be available for any expedition it may be necessary suddenly to send out. Therefore, it is desirable that not too onerous obligations should be imposed on the country that wants to borrow the force, because it is necessary that the utilisation of it should be made as expeditiously as possible. In the next place, we lay down:— It would seem to be established that if the object for which such assistance is required is one in which the Government supplying the troops has no special interest beyond that which must be common to all members of the Empire, the whole cost of the force, so long as it is required, including both ordinary and extraordinary charges, must be borne by the Government that needs its assistance. That is a principle which I think will recommend itself to the House. ["Hear, hear!"]But it is a principle that was not inserted in the Dispatch merely to give plausibility to our position. It was put in in order that it might be effective; for we have had to decide, not only the question of the apportionment of the expense in connection with Suakin, but also in connection with Mombasa, and we came to the conclusion that no part of the expenditure in connection with the regiment sent on the latter expedition, though sent out of India, should be placed on the Indian revenue. After some discussion and correspondence with the Treasury we have brought the Treasury round to our view, and they have assented to it. Therefore, by our second proposition we have established a precedent which cannot fail to be a great safeguard to the Indian revenue in the future. ["Hear, hear!"] Our third proposition is:— If the circumstances are such that the Government supplying the troops has a distinct and special interest in the matter at stake, then, although that interest may be less strong than that of the Government requiring assistance, the Government supplying the troops should be content to bear in one form or another a portion of the burden which the operations involve. In this category falls the Suakin expedition. The House will naturally assume that if the Secretary of State in Council, after full deliberation, came to the conclusion, that the expedition to Mombasa fell into one category and the expedition to Suakin into another category, there must be in the view of those who made that distinction strong differences in the natures of the two expeditions. I will explain the difference between the two expeditions. There is no doubt that in the neighbourhood of Mombasa and Zanzibar India has a considerable commercial interest—perhaps the largest commercial interest of any portion of the British Empire. Still, we did not feel that that fact was sufficient to justify India being made to bear part of the expenditure of the expedition to Mombasa. The interest of India, as apart from the other portions of the Empire, did not appear to be of that particular and substantial character which would justify a distinction, and therefore we decided that the whole of the cost of the regiment must be borne by sources other than Indian. But when we came to the expedition to Suakin it seemed to us impossible to pretend that India has not very special interests in Egypt. Let us assume for a moment that India belonged to a foreign country. Would that not constitute an enormous and gigantic diminution of our interest in Egypt? [Cheers.] By merely putting that question it is self-evident that India has, of all parts of the Empire, a special interest in Egypt. ["Hear, hear!"] I venture to say that there is an unbroken series of precedents in political actions and in military enterprises which support that contention. There has not been an expedition sent by this country to Egpyt during the present century in which Indian troops have not participated. In 1801—a time when the Suez Canal was not thought of, when communication between India and England was by the Cape, when England was scarcely the predominant power in India—so vital were the interests of India then in Egypt that a large expedition was sent from India under Baird to co-operate with the English troops in Egypt. Before I came to a decision on this point I was anxious to ascertain the points which decided the apportionment of the expenditure in. connection with that expedition, and on looking into the appendix to the first Report from the Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company I found that the East India Company claimed a refund of the whole of the expenditure connected with the expedition, less the ordinary pay of the troops in Egypt. There was a further proviso that the ordinary charges of such of the regiments as went from India to Egypt and did not return thither, of the regiment that was in Egypt but did not proceed to India, and the ordinary charges of levies made in India to replace volunteers from native corps sent to Egypt, should be borne by the Imperial Government. The principle on which the claim was founded was that India should bear the ordinary charges of the troops sent from India and returned thither, but not the ordinary charges of regiments which did not return, and which, therefore, were treated as being struck off the Indian establishment from the date of embarkation, and that she should be paid the cost of any extra troops raised in consequence of their absence and all extraordinary expenses consequent on the expedition. We therefore find that in connection with an Egyptian expedition as far back as 1801, when India was in the hands of shrewd business men, arrangements were made identical with the arrangements which have been made now. I cannot understand how anyone can pretend that India has no special interest in Egypt. Why, our government in India could not exist if it had not a constant supply of soldiers going out to India from this country year after year to replace other soldiers in India; and it is, in consequence, of vital importance that the shortest route between England and India should be secured. Egypt is the natural resting-place, the natural stepping-stone, between England and India; and if there be stepping-stones across a river which are used by neighbours on both sides of the river, no one will pretend that it is an unfair thing to ask both sides of the river to pay for their repair; and that is practically what we are doing in this case. The House must also recollect that a great change has taken place in the method of dealing with many questions which are purely Eastern and purely Indian in origin and character. Owing to the extension of the influence of European Powers in Africa and Asia, there are many questions which are purely Indian in character and origin which, for convenience' sake, are now settled in London instead of in Calcutta; and they are so settled because, being raised in places in the neighbourhood of which certain European authority exists, they have a European aspect as well as an Asiatic aspect, a Western aspect as well as an Eastern aspect. But it must not be assumed that because the locale of settlement has, for the purposes of convenience, been changed, that therefore the questions have changed in character, and that they do not still remain Indian and Eastern questions. ["Hear, hear!"] The Press outside has been good enough to assume that there are great differences of opinion between us and the Indian Government. It is true we differ in details, but the points on which we agree far exceed those upon which we differ. The Government of India have in the first place asked for reciprocity. They say that in the past arrangements have been made beneficial to the Imperial Treasury, but that there has been a disinclination to apply similar principles where they would be beneficial to the Indian Exchequer. In this' Dispatch we have laid down principles which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has admitted shall be reciprocal in character, and we have established an important precedent in the case of Mombasa. [Opposition "Hear, hear!"] I am glad to get that cheer, because I am the first Secretary of State for India who has sent an expedition from India to Africa the whole cost of which is not to be borne by India. [Cheers.] Therefore, so far as Mombasa is concerned, we are in complete accord with the Indian Government. The Indian Government also wish that their statements and their Dispatches should be laid in their totality before Parliament. I was not able in the first instance to assent to that proposal because it came during the Recess, and I was under an obligation to introduce a Resolution sending the troops to Egypt; but as soon as we came back I willingly assented, and for the first time the statement of the Indian Government has been laid in its entirety before Parliament. Therefore, in three out of four questions we are in complete accord with the Indian Government, and we have been able to comply with their wishes; but in the case of the fourth—for reasons I have mentioned—it is not possible for us to assent to their particular suggestion. I venture to say that if anyone will impartially consider the arrangements which I have laid down in that Dispatch as regulating the finance connected with expeditions of this character for the future, he will see that they will be advantageous in many ways. Those arrangements will secure a unity of military organisation; they will protect Indian finance, and establish permanently a working and equitable principle on which the expenditure in connection with these expeditions will in future be regulated. Before I sit down there are two other matters to which I should like to allude. The right hon. Member for Montrose is about to follow me. He has been using exceedingly strong language out of doors about this expedition; and he has accused us of embarking on a new and wanton war. [Opposition cheers.] That is really the most astonishing statement I have heard. We are not embarking on a new war; we are trying to finish an old war. [Cheers and Opposition laughter.] The fact is incontestible. Ever since Hicks Pasha was allowed to go to his doom there has been an unceasing, relentless, brutal warfare between the Egyptian Government and the Mahdi and his successors. The one governing factor of it all has been the power of the Mahdi and his successors to inflict injury on Egypt. When strong the Mahdi has invaded Egypt, and if he had his will he would sweep the Egyptian Government into the sea. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] [Cheers and laughter.] It is to prevent that that the expedition is at Suakin. The war may have varied in its character, but that which has dominated it has been the power of the Khalifa to inflict harm on Egypt. ["Hear, hear!"] Everyone knew that if Kassala fell it would give a great increase to the prestige and power of the Khalifa, and all that we have done is to anticipate that danger and, by a forward and offensive movement, to reduce to the smallest dimensions this war, which we have inherited from our predecessors. [Cheers and ironical cheers.] Then the right hon. Gentleman has attempted; to disparage the operations in which we are engaged by associating them with what he calls "the discreditable disasters in the Soudan in the past." I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman has ever considered what was the origin and cause of those disasters, which I admit to have been discreditable. The right hon. Gentleman is the great exponent of the policy of abstention and non-interference in Egyptian affairs. Is he aware that all this trouble and difficulty arose from the principles which he professes getting for a short time the upper hand in Egypt? [Cheers.] The history of our troubles and disasters in the Soudan is very remarkable. In 1883 the English Government were masters with regard to Egypt, and the Egyptian Government proposed to send an expedition under Hicks Pasha to reconquer Kordofan. Hicks Pasha knew that he had not the strength for the undertaking, and he implored the Government of the day to help him. [Cheers.] Our representative in Egypt impressed in the clearest and strongest way upon the Government of the day the necessity of doing one of two things—either reinforce Hicks Pasha or prevent him from going on his errand. What was the final policy of the Government? Earl Granville to Sir E. Malet, June 11,1883.—Your telegram of 5th. Reinforcements for Soudan. Report decision of Egyptian Government as soon as you can, taking care to offer no advice. [Ironical Ministerial cheers.] Later on Sir E. Malet, who was not allowed to advise or interfere or do anything, sends home to the Government a number of Dispatches, saying (13th August 1883):— I have the honour to enclose copies of three telegrams from General Hicks in regard to affairs in the Soudan, and the numherlcss difficulties 'with which he is surrounded. ["Hear, hear!"] And on August 18 Sir E. Malet wrote to General Hicks:— I congratulate you on your appointment as Commander-in-Chief and General of Division. The act is spontaneous on the part of the Egyptian Government, for, although I am ready to transmit to it telegrams that come from you, I am debarred by my instructions from giving advice with regard to action on them. [Cheers]. For a few months that policy of abstention and non-interference, with which the right hon. Gentleman is inseparably associated, got the upper hand; and in a very short time after the telegram instructing Sir E. Malet to "take care to give no advice," the British Government had to take the whole affairs into its own hands, and year after year large expeditions were sent out which resulted in nothing but profitless and futile slaughter, and which involved great expenditure to the Egyptian, the English, and the Indian taxpayer. [Cheers.] Therefore, if the right hon. Gentleman likes to refer to "the discreditable disasters of the past," he can do so; but they are associated with his principles and not with ours. [Cheers.] The only transaction which can be fairly charged to our policy is not a "discreditable disaster" but the victory of Ferkeh—[cheers]—which is remarkable for the physical and moral regeneration shown by the Egyptian troops [Cheers.] say that the right hon. Gentleman, although he is one whom we all admire, has never been accepted by his own side as sacred in Egyptian matters; and why is he going to move this Amendment? The Front Bench opposite, when in Office, moved two Motions similar to to this, but they were far more drastic and placed far heavier obligations on the Indian Government. I have looked through the Division Lists, and there is not a single Gentleman sitting on the Benches opposite who took part in the Divisions of 1882 and 1885 who did not vote for the Resolutions similar to that which I am now proposing. [Cheers.] And, therefore, when I explain to the House the modifications and safeguards and concessions with which we have surrounded this Resolution, I cannot believe that right hon. Gentlemen opposite will decline to give us that assistance which they, when similarly circumstanced, never hesitated to give themselves. [Cheers.]

MR JOHN MORLEY, (Montrose Burghs)

moved to leave out from the word "that" to the end of the question, and to add the words— it is inexpedient that any portion of the charges of the Indian force that is being dispatched to Africa in aid of Egyptian troops, whether ordinary charges or extraordinary, should be imposed upon the revenues of India.' The right hon. Gentleman said: The noble Lord has remarked that I have out of doors permitted myself to use strong language in connection with this expedition. I propose, with the permission of the House, to repeat that strong language in the presence of the noble Lord. [Cheers.] I do not suppose that an important Debate was ever entered upon by a Government under more discouraging circumstances than those of the present Government tonight. [Cheers and. Ministerial cries of "Why?"] I am asked why? Because there is not, as far as I can ascertain—and I have taken some trouble to survey the ground—one single organ of the right hon. Gentleman opposite which does not condemn the demand which he has now made. [Cheers.] The only cheer of any magnitude which the noble Lord secured during his speech was that which followed when he diverged into what I may call complete irrelevance. [Cheers.] The noble Lord gave the House a history of the expedition of Hicks Pasha, and he said that that all came from compliance with the principles of which I am the very humble professor, and from following the doctrines with which I am inseparably associated. Yes, Sir; but—(pointing to Mr. Chamberlain)—who is sitting next to the noble Lord? [Cheers.] The noble Lord asks why we did not take part in the Divisions in connection with the expeditions of 1882 and 1885. As far as 1882 goes, it was impossible for me to take part in the Division because I was not a Member of the House; and in 1885, if I took no part in the Division, I did not support the Government of which I was in general an adherent. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the noble Duke the President of the Council—it is they whom the noble Lord has been attacking in his recitation of the circumstances of the expeditions of 1882 and 1885. [Cheers.] It is for my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary to defend himself and the Government of I which he was a member and not for me. [Renewed cheers.] The noble Lord had prided himself in his remarks about his decision in the case of Mombasa. As I shall presently show, he did establish an admirable precedent in the case of Mombasa; and I move the Amendment which stands in my name exactly because the noble Lord has departed from that precedent on which he so much prides himself. It will be felt by his own adherents and by those who expected most from his explanation that the noble Lord has wandered very wide of the mark, and has scarcely, in one single observation, come to close quarters with the dispute between himself and the Indian Government. ["Hear, hear!"] The question to-night is not whether this expedition in the Soudan is a good thing or a bad thing in the interests of humanity and civilisation. Nor is it the question whether resort to an Indian force is a good thing or a bad thing in the interests of Egypt or Great Britain. The noble Lord says I asserted the other day in the country that the Government have made a new departure. But have they not? We were repeatedly assured by right hon. Gentlemen—by the First Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Secretary to the Colonies—that these operations were to be limited and measured by the financial and military resources of Egypt. [Cheers.] How can it be said that you are limiting the operations by the military resources of Egypt, when you are to-night asking the House of Commons to sanction a charge upon the Indian revenue in order to justify the introduction of an Indian force to eke out the failure of the military forces on the part of Egypt? That may be right, or it may be wrong; but do not pretend that you are not now making a completely new departure. But, again, that is not the question which I wish to discuss to-night. The question before us is this. The Secretary of State in Council of Her Majestjy's Government takes a certain view of the proper incidence of the charge of this Indian force. The Government of India—which is, after all, the only representative body where the views and interests of the population of India can find a voice and an expression—takes an exactly opposite view. The question is before us as an almost judicial tribunal—the question which of those two authorities is right and which is wrong. This House and the other House are, by the Act of 1858, Section 55, constituted the arbiters in this dispute. It is to that point and to that great issue to which I wish to call special attention, and on which I wish to base my Amendment. The noble Lord, like some of those who have gone before him on that Bench, has not appeared to me to give the House a very clear view as the exact state of the legal and constitutional question. I do not wish to overload what I have to say with a discussion of that legal and constitutional question; but I think I have a right, and it is my duty to call attention to the extraordinary divergence of language which has been used by gentlemen on the Treasury Bench in connection with this vital and organic section of the Act of 1858. The only gentleman who has been uniformly right in his statement of the law is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. On the 11th of May the Chancellor of the Exchequer told the House that the Government was bound, according to the Act of Parliament, where any charge was laid upon the Indian Revenue, to come to the House of Commons. [THE CNANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER dissented.] I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman should dissent. It is very much to his credit.


I had forgotten that I ever said a word about it. [Laughter.]


They are always forgetting. [Laughter.] Perhaps the First Lord of the Treasury will say he has forgotten that the very next day after the Chancellor of the Exchequer had laid down the law correctly he came and told the House this:— In point of actual law there is no obligation under the statute to have the assent of Parliament, unless some extra charge is thrown upon India. The evidence of precedent is undoubtedly in favour of giving Parliament an opportunity in these cases of discussing whether India should bear extraordinary charges Surely by this time the right hon. Gentleman will have seen that that is a completely inaccurate and misleading statement.


It is perfectly right.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not mean by this to say that there is no obligation to come to this House unless there are extraordinary charges I That is not the case. You are bound to come to the House, and you are coming to the House to-night. The point which the noble Lord has argued is that this is the imposition upon the revenues of India, not of an extraordinary, but of an ordinary charge. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will see that his statement was misleading and incorrect. The noble Lord the Secretary of State for India has been guilty of some inconsistencies in this matter. The noble Lord, in his dispute with the Treasury as to the Mombasa case, caused the following to be written:— In this connection I am directed to call your attention to the provisions of the Act for the better Government of India, 21 & 22 Vict., c. 106, s. 55, to the effect that the revenues of India cannot, without the consent of both Houses of Parliament, he applied to defray the expense of any military operation beyond the frontiers of that country. It appears to Lord George Hamilton that if the ordinary pay and allowances of the force employed on this expedition are defrayed from Indian revenues, it may and will be argued that this section has been contravened, unless the assent of Parliament be previously obtained, The Attorney General will recollect the Debate in 1886, in which there was a duel between himself and Mr. Gladstone as to whether this prior consent before even an ordinary charge was laid upon the Indian Revenues was or was not necessary. These issues are raised by the loose language used by Gentlemen on that Bench with reference to a constitutional point of the highest importance—a point upon which, for example, Lord Selborne and Lord Cairns carried on in 1878 one of the most remarkable duels in the history of British law. That shows that the noble Lord has not carefully informed himself as to the ground on which he is travelling.


I said the law I believed was perfectly clear except on this particular point as to whether it was absolutely necessary to move a Resolution when the only charges are ordinary charges.


The point is whether you are bound to move a Resolution before you impose a charge or take steps involving a charge. I am far too prudent, I hope, to venture upon a disputation of this kind. But the noble Lord is quite mistaken if he thinks that any interpretation whatever of this important section is one upon which great lawyers have agreed, or do at this moment, as I believe, agree. I would point to the language used by Sir Stafford Northcote in connection with the Abyssinian expedition when in 1867 he came down to the House and admitted that he and the Government had been guilty, in view of the strict construction of the law, of a contravention of that law, and he apologised to the House for it. Mr. Gladstone, who was then Leader of the Opposition, congratulated him upon admitting his illegality, and he laid down the great dictum—which I submit to hon. Gentlemen opposite when they come to consider this matter in the case of Mombasa—that the strictest construction of an Act of Parliament is the only construction that is tolerable within the walls of Parliament. We may depend upon it there is no place where the strict construction of an Act of Parliament—especially a great organic Act like the Act of 1858—ought to be so highly regarded and cherished as in this High Court of Parliament. [Cheers.] The noble Lord intimated that he might be found in some conflict with a former Secretary of State for India. The Secretary of State to whom he refers was the present Duke of Devonshire, then Lord Hartington. I think we should be missing an important point in this Debate if we did not recall the weighty language used by Lord Hartington in 1882 in making that very Motion which the noble Lord has said so much about—the language of Lord Hartington upon the conditions under which resort to the Indian troops could be lawfully had. Lord Hartington went much further than the noble Lord seems even to dream of. Lord Hartington said that there were two objects in Section 55. The first was to prevent such a contingency as that the Government should carry on military operations by means of troops maintained on Indian establishments and without having to come to Parliament for its consent at all. The House will perceive that that is a different point from the point raised in the Resolution, which is simply the point of the Revenue charge. But Lord Hartington laid down the great constitutional doctrine that it is going beyond the spirit of the 55th Section to do as you did in Mombasa—to use Indian troops outside the frontier and outside the cases excepted in the Act without the consent of Parliament, whether you impose a charge on India or whether you do not. I was glad to hear the noble Lord admit—it was to me one of the most important parts of his speech—that we cannot be too vigilant, too jealously careful, at this moment especially, in regard to examining the conditions under which Indian troops may be employed; because, as the noble Lord very well said, we are in an era of what I may call adventures in South Africa, when the temptation to resort to the employment of Indian troops will be immense. How immense it will be is shown even in the case of Mombasa, and it is most important that Parliament should make up its mind with something like definiteness whether or not Indian troops may be brought out of India for military operations beyond the Indian frontier without the consent of Parliament. The Indian Government in that Dispatch—and it is one of the most important and most significant things in the Dispatch—express their apprehension lest the principles which are now unfortunately defended by the noble Lord should be extended and applied to cases where, as they contend, it is most inexpedient, both in the interests of India and, perhaps, in the interests of Great Britain, that there should be this unfettered right to claim on the part of the executive Government to move Indian troops into Africa or elsewhere whenever they think fit without the consent of Parliament. [Cheers.] It is well known now that there is a strong and probably a growing school who argue that East Africa is to become a sort of annexe of the Indian Empire, and that the real and effective military base of what they expect to be our East African possessions is to be found in India and the Indian Army. In these circumstances, and in view of these apprehensions, which the noble Lord shares with some of us, I feel—and many in the House, irrespective of Party, will feel—that nothing can be more delicate or more important in the view, not only of the present contingency, but the future, than the relations between the Indian Army and the Parliament sitting at Westminster. [Cheers.] The noble Lord referred to, but did not quote, the very remarkable statement of doctrine which was made in this House in 1867 by no less a person than the Prime Minister. For my own part, I am satisfied with that expression of doctrine; and upon the language used by Lord Cranborne in 1867 I shall be content to found all the arguments brought before the House. Such passages have been quoted from this remarkable statement of doctrine in the public Press, and some have found their way into the Dispatch from the Government of India. The House will recollect the circumstances in which the language was used. It was proposed to take the Indian troops to Abyssinia. Mr. Fawcett announced his intention to move an Amendment that no charge, ordinary or extraordinary, for that purpose should be put on the Government of India; and the Lord Cranborne of that day said that he entirely agreed with Mr. Fawcett, and, though he deprecated the taking of a division on the Amendment, Lord Cranborne approved it, and Mr. Bright and Mr. Forster supported him. Lord Cranborne said:— I do not like India to be looked upon as an English barrack in the Oriental seas from which we may draw any number of troops without paying for them. It is bad for England, because it is always bad for us not to have that check upon the temptation to engage in little wars which can only be controlled by the necessity of paying for them. [Cheers.] Lord Cranborne then put to the House a dilemma which applies equally to the case of to-night:— If this garrison which we keep in India is, as all Indian authorities assure us, necessary for maintaining that country in security and peace, that garrison ought not to be rashly diminished. If, on the other hand, it is too large, and India can for any length of time conveniently spare these troops, then the Indian population ought not to be so unnecessarily taxed. [Cheers.] A perfectly admirable statement of doctrine, and I only regret that Lord Salisbury to-day does not adhere to it. The noble Lord to-night, instead of coming to close quarters with the particular case which he was bound to present and to defend to the House, wandered over the precedents; but the noble Lord himself, in what he has said in the Dispatch of June 30th to the Government of India, has completely swept away the whole foundation of those precedents if they are made as an argument to the Resolution which the noble Lord proposed to the House. He says in his Dispatch to the Government of India:— It is impossible to say that the decisions which have been arrived at on previous occasions with regard to the distribution of charge for troops lent by India to Great Britain or by Great Britain to India are such that any very clear or definite doctrine can be drawn from them. What is the good of the noble Lord taking up half an hour to go through the precedents of China and Perak when he has himself told the Government of India all through that there was no doctrine to be drawn from these precedents? The important passage from the point of view of precedent is the declaration made by another noble Lord, a colleague of the right hon. Gentleman opposite in 1887—I mean Lord Cross. [Cheers.] This I regard as a fundamental passage; it is the opening of a completely new position by the Secretary of State for India in this country. This is what Lord Cross said in respect of the expedition of 1885, an expedition which was begun by the Government of Mr. Gladstone and which was not wound up till the Government of Lord Salisbury was in power. Lord Cross had to deal with the matter, and after he had examined the papers and the arguments he told the Treasury and the Government of India for their information and encouragement:— The Secretary of State for India in Council, however, feels that there is much force in the general scope of the arguments"—the arguments repeated to-night as to the incidence of the ordinary charge—"of the Government of India, and desires to take this opportunity of expressing his earnest hope that on any future occasion, when Indian troops are employed on duties not directly attributable to the requirements of the Government of India, or dispatched to a country distant from India, no portion of the expenses of such troops may be charged to India without the full assent and concurrence of the Government of that country. [Cheers.] Could anything be clearer or more definite than that? [Cheers.] Then the Treasury, in their reply, showed that they, at all events, understood the full weight and significance of this declaration of Lord Cross, for the Treasury said:— Their Lordships make no doubt that, should the occasion again arise for employing Indian troops outside India, the views of the present Government of India and of the present Secretary of State for India in Council on the question of the expense of such employment will be respectfully weighed by the Imperial Government of the day. [Cheers.] But Lord Cross is himself a Member of the Imperial Government of the day, and, therefore, there rises before our mind's eye a vision of Lord Cross, the Privy Seal, respectfully weighing the views of Lord Cross, the Secretary of State for India, and finding, apparently, those views devoid of any force or weight. [Laughter.] The noble Lord went on to make reference to the case of Mombasa. What is the significance of the case of Mombasa? Indian troops were sent to Mombasa in these circumstances. The Foreign Office writes to the noble Lord to say that there is trouble in the East African Protectorate and suggesting that an Indian regiment should be dispatched in order to inspire confidence on the part of friendly natives and to deal with the rebels. On February 21 the Foreign Office communicated to the noble Lord their expectation that the charge would fall, as before, on the Government of India. The Foreign Office had forgotten the dictum of Lord Cross; but the noble Lord had not; and now we come to a series of most interesting transactions which I submit to the House, and if any hon. Member be at the trouble to read with moderate care the noble Lord's dealings with the Treasury in the matter of Mombasa he will find that the noble Lord took up in almost every particular a position from which he now entirely recedes, and used arguments from which to-night he is running away. [Cheers.] He manfully defended Lord Cross's position. Writing, under date February 27, to the Foreign Office, it is said:— In reply, I am to express Lord George Hamilton's opinion that there is no justification for charging upon Indian revenues any portion of the cost of this force, so long as it is employed out of India and for purposes exclusively Imperial. In a letter dated March 25th, 1890, the Government of India lays down as a principle that, when circumstances and the safety of India permit, aid should be freely given to the Imperial Government; but that, when the objects of the expedition or campaign are unconnected with India, the whole of the expenses of the troops drawn from India should be paid by the Imperial Exchequer, just as the whole of the expenses of the troops drawn from England for an Indian expedition would he paid by Indian revenues. It appears to his Lordship that this principle is sound, and that, if the course suggested in your letter were adopted, the result would be that the cost of the operations would in effect he shared between India and the United Kingdom. [Cheers.] Let me look one by one at the arguments used by the Treasury and raised by the noble Lord in the Mombasa case, some of which, at any rate, he has refuted to-night. The first plea adduced by the Treasury why the Indian revenues should be chargeable with the ordinary expenses were that financial and commercial interests were at stake, and that there were "numerous British and Zanzibar dhows owned by Indians all along the German coast." On April 15th last the noble Lord gave a tart answer to any contention of that kind:— In your letter much stress is laid on the Consular reports and statistics of Zanzibar as showing that the expedition is 'connected with India.' With much greater force could it he shown that British interests are connected with the trade of India, but, as already observe d, no assistance is given by the Exchequer of the united Kingdom in defraying the charges of the military forces in India. The second position of the Treasury in February was that the whole cost of the Naval defence of India is paid for by the United Kingdom. The Treasury used that fact as an argument why India should not refuse to pay this charge; but the noble Lord brushes that argument aside in a single peremptory sentence. When the Treasury tell him that the United Kingdom bears the cost of the whole of the Naval defence of India he says that he cannot admit that in regard to Naval defence India is under any special obligation, because the protection of the general trade of the United Kingdom in Eastern seas is undertaken by the Admiralty at the cost of the Imperial revenue. The noble Lord brushed aside, therefore, any contention that we are justified in imposing an ordinary charge upon India because they do not contribute to their own Naval defence. Then the third argument on the part of the Treasury was—we are still on the Mombasa case—that we were not asking India to bear any military charge in regard to the East African Protectorate, but only to consent not to save money. The noble Lord to-night used the expression "the Indian Government was not to make money." The expression used hitherto, and rightly used, is that the Indian Government is not to save money as the result of employing troops in the protectorate. India, it was stated, was not asked to defray any part of the charges, but only to lend some troops to a third party, who was making a saving out of the transaction. I was not quite sure, but I think the noble Lord took up that argument and used it in defence of the attitude of the Government in reference to the expenses of the present expedition; at all events, it has been used, and I dare say will be used again. But the noble Lord summarily dismissed that argument in May last when he said— On the argument that troops lent, and not replaced can continue to be paid for by India without adding to their burdens, I am to point out that the work of the Army must necessarily he performed by a smaller force than is deemed requisite, thereby entailing a risk, even if it be not shown in a financial aspect, and that India would be confessedly paying for the employment of a force beyond her own frontiers from which she derives no benefit. Therefore, the noble Lord, in dealing with Mombasa has brushed aside that argument. But then a very strange transformation came over him, and all the sophistry which he had so triumphantly and so efficiently demolished in May he himself reproduces in his own Dispatch of June 30. In that Dispatch he says— For this important object, then, India is not asked to incur the smallest additional expenditure or to impose the slightest extra taxation. The noble Lord must know quite well, or must certainly have known in May, that there is no ground in this argument whatever, and he was told this in plain and almost blunt language by members of his own council. The opinion of men of such remarkable competence and authority as Sir James Peile and Sir Donald Stewart is very important, and they pointed out, with reference to the argument addressed to India, that she would have to pay the troops even if the troops had not been sent, so that it made no difference; that there was a great difference between paying your own men for doing your own work in your own country, and paying the same men for doing other people's work in a foreign country. [Opposition cheers..] The Treasury had urged that if India did not pay the ordinary charges there would be an actual saving in the Indian Budget, but is it unreasonable, they ask, that India should make a saving by not paying for what she does not get? ["Hear, hear!"] Surely it was a monstrous doctrine, they continued, that we were to impugn the Government of India because they claimed a right under these circumstances. These two sentences of Sir James Peile and Sir Donald Stewart seem to me to contain the whole of this case. Does anybody who has attended to Indian affairs at all deny that the Indian military charges are enormous? ["Hear, hear!"] And ought not this House, apart from the general consideration of the subject, to be glad of an opportunity of allowing the Indian Government to make a saving—small and insignificant as I admit this is—upon these military charges? Suppose that I were on such terms with the noble Lord that, finding that he had got a pair of carriage horses which he was not going to use this summer, I said to him— I have an Egyptian friend who would be glad if you would allow him to use your carriage horses. And supposing that the noble Lord acquiesced, what would he think of me, or of my Egyptian friend, if at the end of the time when we were returning him his horses we sent him in a Bill for the oats, the hay, the straw, the shoeing, the grooming, and all the regular charges which he would have been at if these carriage horses had remained in his own stable? And if he said that was rather hard measure, what would he think if we reproached him by saying, "Oh, you want to make a money saving then!" [Opposition laughter.] That is an exact parallel to the position taken up by those who object to India making any saving out of this force. It is not wise, surely, to let the Indian population think that you are keeping up in India a native army larger than is necessary, and are loading her for purposes of your own with a charge which is wholly unnecessary so far as she is concerned. I am not, of course, going into the vexed question of the adjustment under normal circumstances of military charges between the Home Government and the Government of India, because there is a Departmental Committee, I think, appointed by my right hon. Friend, the Member for Wolverhampton, considering that point, and I confess I am not competent to express any general view upon a question of that kind. I see the Secretary to the Treasury in his place; he is a Member of the Government, and a not unimportant one, and perhaps the House would like to hear his views on the subject of whether the account against India is or is not a just one—I am sure the hon. Member for King's Lynn would. [Laughter.] The right hon. Gentleman has said that the more we looked at these Indian military charges the more unjust they appeared to be, and the injustice was all the greater when we compared the treatment of India with the treatment which our colonies received. [Opposition cheers.] But, whether it is a just account or not, I do not think anybody will deny that the military account between ourselves and the Government of India is a pretty rigorous account, one which is without abatement or relaxation, and if you hold them to a rigorous account of this kind you cannot be surprised at the Government of India, when opportunity arises, holding you in your turn to an equally rigorous account. Before finally leaving the Mombasa case I would make one observation. The Treasury argued that the case for making a charge upon the Indian revenue was stronger—and this is really an important point—in regard to the Mombasa case than in regard to the Abyssinian expedition and the expedition of 1885. Now they have given up the case of Mombasa, therefore it seems to follow, by reasonable implication and deduction, that they have given up the precedents of the Abyssinian expedition of 1868 and the expedition of 1885. I submit that that is a perfectly sound argument. After all the real crux of this discussion is the question of Indian interest. [Ministerial cheers.] What is the Indian interest? I think the House must have have felt that the noble Lord dealt rather rapidly and perfunctorily with that vital part of the discussion. ["Hear, hear!"] The constructive interest of India has been strangely abused, and the noble Lord I think admitted that there were cases in the past where this constructive interest of India would not now be regarded as an interest of India at all. There was the very first case of all, which I think my right hon. Friend the Member for the Forest of Dean will recollect—the trivial, but significant case of the Sultan's ball, where the Government of India was charged with £10,000 because it was thought expedient to give a great ball in the quadrangle of the Government offices to the Sultan of Turkey. [Laughter.] I think Mr. Fawcett said, in true, though alliterative, language, that that was a "masterpiece of melancholy meanness." [Laughter.] There has been a great deal of melancholy meanness since, and I think to-night the House is being asked to perform an act of melancholy meanness. ["Hear, hear!"] What sort of interest is it supposed that India had in the Abyssinian case? The doctrine was that you might fairly charge India if interested. The House will recollect that in that case certain envoys had been maltreated by King Theodore in Abyssinia, and it was gravely argued in this House that it was to the interest of India that semi-barbarous potentates should be taught that they could not with impunity ill treat the envoys of Her Majesty's Government—not in India, but in Africa. [Laughter.] Then came the Suez Canal case, and I admit that there was some force in the argument in that case. Then came the case of 1885. As a matter of fact I had nothing at all to do with the Government of 1885, of which I had not the honour to be a Member. His argument was that if Osman Digna or the Mahdi did battle with Egyptian troops that would disturb the equilibrium of the Mohammedan world. The second argument was that the expedition arose out of the philanthropic and generous impulses of the people of this country, who could not bear to contemplate the possibility of what might happen to the Egyptian garrison, and that satisfaction of our generous impulses was represented from that box as being an Indian interest. ["Hear, hear!"]


Whose speech was that?


It was that of the Under Secretary of that day. I am glad to be able to refer to a high Conservative authority, who is, unfortunately, no longer among us. Sir Stafford Northcote admitted in 1867, in connection with the Abyssinian expedition, that there were cases in which it would be the height of shabbiness and of injustice to employ Indian troops without paying their charges, such as cases affecting the balance of power in Europe, which could not be represented as an Indian interest; of affairs with France, Russia, or Italy—[cheers]—these, he said, could not be treated as Indian interests. [Cheers.] Other cases he mentioned were cases affecting our American or West Indian colonies, or attempts to acquire new territory. "There can," says Sir Stafford Northcote, "in such cases be nothing more disgraceful than to employ Indian troops without paying for them." Now the noble Lord claims to have laid down three principles with which little fault is to be found. I think they are a fair statement of a just view. What are the tests of what would constitute a justification for charging the Indian revenues with the cost of the troops employed in this expedition according to the principles of the noble Lord? "India," he says— must have a distinct and special interest in the matter at stake beyond that which is common to all the other members of the Empire. Those are the noble Lord's tests. Lord Cross laid down a test of rather a stiffer kind. That noble Lord said:— Military duties required from the Indian forces must be duties directly attributable to the requirements of the Government of India. Suppose that we adopt Lord Cross's test. By that test this employment of Indian troops in the Soudan must have been moved or supported by the Indian Government, and, therefore, you must have been in communication with the Government of India in respect of current events in Egypt. Is there a single Dispatch that you can produce or cannot produce to show that you have consulted the Indian Government on current events in Egypt? Were you thinking of the military requirements of India for one instant when you ordered operations to relieve the Italians from their embarrassments at Kassala? [Cheers.] India never entered into the thoughts of the Government. No wonder that the noble Lord has laboured without much success to bring before us a specific Indian interest. I think we can imagine the troubled dialogue that must have occurred between the noble Lord and his advisers, to whom he was giving instructions for drafting the Dispatch of June 30. His advisees would say, "What is it to be?" The noble Lord would say,— We are to make a charge upon the Indian revenue and we are to say there is an Indian interest involved. The advisers would say, What is it to he this time? ["Hear, hear, and laughter."] Is it to he prestige with the Arab races and the Mohamedan tribes? Why we used that before. Is it to be safeguarding of the mortgages on the clove plantations which we used in February? Is to be commercial interests or the equilibrium of the Mohamedan world as in 1885. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] "For my own part," I think the noble Lord would say, "I suppose you will find nothing better to fall back upon than the Suez Canal." [Cheers and laughter.] And then the noble Lord and his advisers would sit down with all the gravity they could to pen what I call—the noble Lord has destroyed my character for moderate language—the most spurious and insincere paragraph that was ever printed in any Dispatch from any Department. [Cheers.] The paragraph is this:— The Government of India has no greater interest than the maintenance of rapid and secure transit, in times of peace and war alike, whether for commercial or for military purposes, between India and the United Kingdom. This is true of India in a sense in which it is true of no other great dependency of the British Empire, for it is upon Great Britain that India relies for the recruitment of the most important (though not the most numerous) part of its civil and military establishments, for Army reliefs, for Government stores of all kinds, and, in short, for a large and essential portion of the machinery of administration and defence. It is therefore obvious that, apart from all considerations of trade, the preservation of free communication by the shortest route with a country on which she is so largely dependent is to India a matter of vital importance. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] When did the relevancy of that argument to the expedition to the Soudan occur to the Government? ["Hear, hear!"] During the years in which the Soudan has been out of the possession of Egypt there has been no danger to those communications. When the Mahdi and the Khalifa made a movement, did you tremble for your stores or for your machinery of administration and defence? You never trembled at all, because you knew that it had nothing to do with their safety. [Cheers.] Lord Salisbury said the other day that we have upon us a moral obligation to restore Khartoum to Egypt. I may remark, with reference to that moral obligation, that it is not to become operative beyond the limits for which Egypt is willing to pay. [Cheers and laughter.] It is a very singular moral obligation which Lord Salisbury never said or thought could by any strain of construction be made an Indian moral obligation. [Cheers.] I mean to ask the noble Lord another question. In 1888, in the course of a Debate in another place, Lord Salisbury, whom we are now to regard as considering the restoration of the Soudan to Egypt an indispensable condition for the safety of the Suez Canal, said, "We accept the policy of abandoning the Soudan." [Cheers.] How could Lord Salisbury have said anything of that kind if the restoration of the Soudan to Egypt was an indispensable condition of the maintenance of our communications with India? ["Hear, hear!"] Then Lord Salisbury on that occasion used some language about Suakim which is worth quoting here. Lord Salisbury said:— Egypt has no interest in Suakim whatever. If I were advising Egypt from the Egyptian point of view alone, I would say to Egypt abandon Suakim. The importance of Suakim, Lord Salisbury said, was in connection with the suppression of the slave trade. But does the suppression of the slave trade come within any one of the noble Lord's tests? Is it not exactly one of those interests which are common to the whole Empire? [Cheers.] We may, therefore, dismiss that argument. I wonder whether Lord Cromer will not smile when he reads the contention of the Government both in the Dispatch and on the lips of the noble Lord that the Suez Canal was in danger from the Dervishes? Those who know more about Egypt than I do assure me that the canal is, and has been, no more in danger from these Dervishes whom you are now fighting than is the city of London. [Cheers.] I do not wonder that the noble Lord in that Dispatch of June 30 wanders away as fast as he can from his own principles, and the application of those principles, and sinks into what I may call the language of weak apology. ["Hoar, hear!"He has used the same kind of language, though much more shortly, to-night. He says that this is going to be a very short expedition. He draws attention to the comparatively small size of the Suakim force. He anxiously protests that the assistance is essentially of a temporary nature, and he implores the Indian Government to accept the principle of loans of small bodies of troops for short periods. The noble Lord must be a very sanguine man and a man of great prophetic power if he can foresee the exact time for which that Indian force will be required. ["Hear, hear!" But, of course, that does not arise, because, as I understand the matter, he has agreed that after December 31 the whole matter is to be reconsidered, and I infer from an engagement of that kind it can only mean reconsideration with a view to removing from the revenue of India the whole of the ordinary as well as the extraordinary charges. I would remind the House that this Resolution, if it is passed to-night does not limit the number of months during which this force can be used. We pass this Resolution as a general and not as a terminable Resolution. I cannot imagine a much weaker case for resisting the appeal of the Indian Government than that the expedition is small and the time is limited. ["Hear, hear!"] The noble Lord has told us to-night that the whole sum for which the Government of India is being, as it were, flouted is about £35,000. This proceeds from the specially Imperial Party, and the glory of the Empire is to be tarnished for £35,000! [Cheers and Ministerial cries of "No!"] I am sure to a great many Gentlemen opposite this is not a matter of Party, and that they are just as much ashamed of this Vote as the most debased Little Englander. ["Hear, hear!"] should like now to ask the House to listen to some words written by Lord Lawrence to Sir Stafford Northcote in the year 1868. He used this language:— I cannot admit that India has the slightest interest in the question at issue between England and King Theodore. We shall be neither stronger nor weaker here, if he is duly punished for his misdeeds. Abyssinia is too distant from India; the communications between the two countries are too slight for the people of India to take any interest in what goes on in the former part of the world. The true grounds of the war are the vindication of England's honour.…If England could not afford to pay the expenses of the war, and if the finances of India were in a flourishing condition, the Government of India, as the representatives of the interests of the people, might perhaps have been asked to contribute its quota. But the case is exactly the other way. India is really a poor country. The actual condition of the masses of the people is a bare, I might say a miserable, existence. We, its rulers, are at our wits' ends to increase the amount of taxation, to devise new sources of public revenue which may be remunerative, and not extremely unpopular. And it is at this time that it has been decided by the Parliament of England that India must bear a portion of the expenses of a war in which it has really and truly no interest. … India is treated very differently to the colonies. No one would think of asking any of the latter to pay a portion of the war expenses of Abyssinia. I would ask the House to recollect what Lord Lawrence pressed on Sir Stafford Northcote in 1868, and to remember that while we are chattering here about £35,000, the Indian Government is not in such easy circumstances that even £35,000 would be of no consequence to it. [Cheers.] There are two considerations that come into our minds in connection with to-night's transaction. The first is the effect of these proceedings of ours on the credit and authority of the Government of India with those over whom they rule. ["Hear, hear!"] There are these men, diligently discharging on behalf of this nation their share in the most noble and beneficent task that any nation in the history of the world has ever undertaken—[cheers]—and invested with every shred of authority with which you can clothe them. What do you suppose will be the effect on the moral authority of the Government of India, which is far more the secret of our power in India than mere military establishments, when the population of India see the Government of India treated with so little ceremony that decisions are taken on questions without waiting for more than a mere brief telegraphic summary? [Cheers.] Do you think that the people of India do not understand that the decision arrived at in so summary a manner is a slight on the Government of India? When they see, moreover, that the pledge given to the Government of India in 1887 by Lord Cross, that their full concurrence should be required when anything not demanded by the requirements of India took place, is broken, what will be the effect in India upon the contentment with the rule of this nation and this Parliament? [Cheers.] What will be the effect when they find such a statement of the case against this nation and this Parliament as is contained in the masterly Dispatch of the Government of India? [Cheers.] The Government of India gave the House a warning. They say:— We have already adverted in this Dispatch to the opinions of the Government of India previously recorded, showing that the imposition on Indian Revenues of burdens for services in which India is in no way interested would ha an impolitic course to adopt. We would add that, since the passing of the Indian Councils Act of 1892, the annual Financial Statement of the Governor General in Council comes under discussion in the Legislative Council of the Governor General; and from the discussions which have since taken place it "will be seen that the finances are watched and scrutinised, and their utilisation for purposes which are viewed as illegitimate or unauthorised is vigorously challenged. What do we read in The Times this morning from India?— The decision of the Ministry with regard to the expenses of the Suakim brigade has been received here with something like indignant surprise, as the case presented by the Government of India in the Dispatch made public on Friday seems an overwhelming one. For some time to come it is certain that there will be the strongest denunciation of the selfish policy of the home authorities in every newspaper, English and native, throughout the country. The impression thus produced will be a lasting one, for a belief will obtain that Indian interests will be sacrificed on future occasions. The weakness of the India Office in yielding to the Treasury is much commented upon. The risk of all this mischief is to be run for the sake of £35,000, because somebody in Whitehall can patch up some sort of a case. This is not a question for an arithmetician or an accountant. [Cheers.] The question is whether this is an item which this House ought to exact; but even the accountant's view renders it doubtful whether there is any fair ground for the imposition of this charge, and where there is a doubt clearly this House ought to decide the doubt against itself—[cheers.]—and in favour of those who have no representative in the House and whose only representatives, namely, the Government of India, have protested against this plan. I do not say that this House is capable of supervising every minute detail of administration in India as we supervise administration in England. I do not think that it is desirable that we should be too keen to intermeddle in Indian administration; but this Resolution is in opposition to the past opinions of great authorities now sitting in the Cabinet, and is based upon pleas and arguments which were repudiated by the noble Lord in a parallel case not two months ago. Its foundation in the plea that the Suez Canal may be endangered by the Dervishes is a spurious and insincere foundation; the Resolution tarnishes the honour of England in the very field where our work is most glorious, and it is because it does this that I beg to move the Amendment that stands in my name. [Cheers.]

*MR. J. M. MACLEAN (Cardiff)

asked to be allowed to second the Amendment, because he wished the principle of fair play to India to be adhered to, and deeply regretted the course which the Government had taken in bringing this Resolution forward. He felt no doubt in his own mind that if this question were left to the independent judgment of the House the Government would not have very many supporters that night. The noble Lord's speech seemed to show that his heart was not in this business, and it was difficult to suppose that the Secretary of State who had showed conclusively that India ought not to be charged for the expenses of the regiment sent to Mombasa could really think that India ought to pay for the expedition now under consideration. The noble Lord must have allowed his better judgment to be overborne by the representations of the British Treasury. It had been said by the Secretary to the Treasury that India ought not to expect to save money because her troops had been sent to Suakim. But the saving of money was just what the Government on their side desired to effect. If Indian troops had not been sent to Suakim, we should have been obliged to send British troops there. These British troops were now at home, and should any little war arise elsewhere than in Egypt, they would be available. A great deal had been said about precedents. For his part he was in favour of establishing a new precedent, if necessary, in connection with this matter. The speeches and Dispatches of Lord Salisbury and Lord Cross had been cited; all showed their great anxiety not to make use without payment of the immense reserve of military strength that we possessed in India. But there was a still higher authority he could cite. What was the precedent set by Lord Beaconsfield in 1878? The First Lord of the Treasury, early in the Session, reminded them, perhaps somewhat unnecessarily, that Lord Beacons-field was dead. That was true, and pity 'twas 'twas true. But there were still many Members on the Ministerial Benches who borrowed Lord Beaconsfield's name and would like to be guided by his example. When Lord Beaconsfield brought Indian troops to Malta in 1878, he did not charge the Indian Government a single rupee for the expenses of that expedition. If they were to be guided by precedents, they could not have a better precedent than that. That high-minded and far-seeing Statesman was too great a man to care about paltry considerations of the cost incurred by the British Treasury. He wanted to show our enemies that we had a great Reserve in the Army of India, which could be called upon to help us whenever we should have any difficulty with European nations. As long as he taught that lesson, Lord Beaconsfield cared very little about the money part of the matter. He dissented altogether from the view that seemed to be held that India could not be shown to have a very important interest in Egypt. When at the beginning of this century the first expedition was sent to Egypt Lord Wellesley, who was Governor General of India, said that he had come to the conclusion that to expel the French from Egypt was necessary for the future security of the British Empire in India. That statement of policy still held true. Both Napoleon and Nelson were agreed that whatever Power could bestride the Isthmus of Suez and command the valley of the Nile would become masters of India. Some people, he knew, thought that we ought to abandon the Mediterranean, and that India could be protected by troops and munitions of war sent by the Cape of Good Hope. A friend of his was anxious the other day that Indian troops should be sent to South Africa to aid us in our difficulties there. It was evident therefore that in the future Indian troops might be called upon to serve in any part of Africa. Well, supposing that this precedent which they were asked to establish were set up would it not open the door to unlimited abuse of the principle of sending Indian troops to Africa? The proposal of the Government might lead possibly to dangerous consequences. The Secretary of State for India, in his Dispatch in reply to the Indian Government, laid down three principles, which showed a desire on his part to do what was right towards India, but the noble Lord had apparently forgotten certain things which it was essential to pay regard to if those principles were to be carried out. In the first place the burdens of Imperial administration ought to be fairly distributed among all parts of the British Empire, but India at present bore far more than her fair share of Imperial burdens. Before they put a fresh burden upon the revenues of India they ought to examine this question as a whole, and see that all the component parts of the Empire shared the Imperial burdens fairly, according to their respective capacities. When a short time ago there was a discussion about the incidence of new taxation in India, the noble Lord said that all that he asked for was perfect equality of treatment for Bombay and Lancashire, and he examined the tariff with the most minute and microscopic nicety of discrimination, in order to see whether the balance did not incline by a hair's breadth in favour of India, and when he found himself able to shift a large portion of taxation from Lancashire into Bombay he claimed that he had secured perfect equality of treatment. Why was there not to be perfect equality of treatment now? What was the burden that fell upon India at the present moment? India paid 24½ millions out of a total expenditure of 70 millions on the armaments of the Empire. That was to say, India paid more than one-third of the total charges for the armaments of this immense British Empire, while the self-governing colonies only contributed an insignificant fraction of the whole expenditure. The Chancellor of the Exchequer lately showed that the Army and Navy charges in England had risen from £30,000,000 in 1885–6 to £38,000,000 in 1895–6, or an increase of 30 per cent. in ten years. He had compared these figures with a return relating to India, and found that the military charges in India rose from 17 millions in 1884–5 to 24¼ millions in 1894–5, or an increase of about 44 per cent. in ten years. They must remember, too, that the burden of responsibility now laid on the Indian Government was immensely heavier than it was in former times. During the last twelve years, since the annexation of Upper Burma, they had added immense unproductive territories to the area of British India; they had increased her Army by 30,000 to 35,000 men, and they had compelled her, practically, to subsidise or to pay blackmail to the whole population of Central Asia from the Indian frontier up to the Russian frontier. And look at the enormous extent of territory India now had to defend. She had to maintain an Army of 225,900 men, because they had given her a frontier of something like 1,500 miles to defend against Russia; and now to improve the matter they had given her a frontier down on the southeastern side of India to defend against France. In addition to that, look at the charges with which they saddled her. Not only did she pay the expense of every British soldier sent out to garrison India from the moment he left these shores, but India had also to pay a very large sum for the training of these soldiers in the United Kingdom. The sum of £600,000 a year was paid by India for that purpose. It had been said that night, as a set off against that, that India paid nothing for the British Navy. That was not the case. India paid £106,000 as an appropriation in aid of the expenditure of the Navy.

ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

Only this year.


said she paid it regularly, and he should say that that was a larger amount of money than would pay the whole expense of the East Indian Squadron. If they compared that with what was done by Australia or any of their colonies, they would see how much they took from India for this purpose. Not only was that contribution paid, but India had to maintain two monitors at Bombay for the defence of that port; she had also to purchase gunboats and torpedo-boats and catchers, and she had to maintain, as well, an Indian Marine, which did all the trooping service around her own coasts, and some of the vessels of which were used to convey the troops to Suakim. He thought it would be admitted that India really at the present moment paid a very much larger share than she ought to do of the Imperial burdens. He might mention that, in addition to these charges, India maintained the agencies in the Persian Gulf, subsidised the Sultan of Muscat, and supported such unpaying possessions as Aden and the Somali dependencies on the opposite side of the Gulf. Altogether, if they included the subsidy to the Legation in Persia, and what she spent in China, India was made responsible for the greater part of their Imperial expenditure in the whole of the East beyond the Isthmus of Suez, and no further burdens ought to be placed on her until these matters were fairly inquired into, and until they saw whether she did not at present pay more than her fair share of Imperial expenditure. He opposed the Motion on the ground that it was being pressed against the wishes of the Government and the people of India. It was being pressed against the public opinion of this country also. The Government had no supporter in the Press who said that this was a fair charge for them to make; and he was astonished at the perversity of a Government which, after throwing over with a light heart the most important legislative Measure of the Session, now came forward and obstinately persisted in laying this charge on the people of India. He did not think the noble Lord in his speech, or the Government as a body, had shown any adequate sense of the value of India to this country, or they would not have ventured to make such a proposition. What was it that made England occupy such an immense place in the imagination of mankind, except that she possessed the wealth, the power, and the glory that attached to the Dominion of India? India was of far more value to them, in matters of trade, than all their self-governing colonies put together. They were told the other day that they ought to enter into some newfangled arrangement in order to obtain a qualified free trade with 300 millions of people. Why, they had perfect free trade with 250 millions already. India demanded no preferential treatment for her goods, and she would not get any, as they knew. Their friends from Lancashire would take care of that. And he might say, in a parenthesis, that he would warn his Friends from Lancashire, who came down there to demand that warlike expeditions should be sent for Imperial purposes, if they thought India was going to pay for them, they must be prepared to bear the fresh taxation which would be necessary to enable her to do so. They knew that India could barely pay her way now. She had had to increase her taxation in order to do it, and here they were ready to make fresh charges on her. They knew she had had to increase the pay of her native troops in order that she might obtain an adequate supply of men, and General Brackenbury had stated that further charges would have to be made in order to increase the supply of English officers for the native army. With all these things within their recollection, how could they dare to say to the Government and people of India, that they must pay this paltry charge to relieve the British Treasury. No doubt they had a despotic Government in India, and could do pretty much as they would, but it ought not to be necessary to tell the British House of Commons that no despotism, however strong it might appear, could exist for a long time unless it was based on fair administration and on the goodwill of the people subject to it. He had no doubt that goodwill would be forthcoming in time of trouble if they treated India fairly. An hon. and gallant Gentleman said that night, in an interruption, that they did not call upon Canada to pay for these Imperial expeditions, because she helped them voluntarily. Had not the princes of India helped them voluntarily only lately in the Chitral expedition? Were not the Imperial service troops sent up there at the cost of the princes, and not at the cost of the Government? And if any greater danger threatened this country, if the occasion arose when England was engaged in a struggle for her very existence against a coalition of European Powers, then England would look to her colonies and her dependencies for aid, and would expect that aid to be given voluntarily, ungrudgingly, and without counting the cost. Then India would be happy and proud to take her part in that Titanic struggle, if, meanwhile, they did not irritate her people and weaken the foundations of their rule there by behaving in a shabby and sordid manner unworthy of a magnanimous people. They had, in his opinion, rightly refused to give India representative institutions, which were inconsistent with the character and traditions of the people; but because they had taken upon themselves the great responsibility of governing that country without representative institutions, it was all the more necessary that they should be scrupulously careful in their dealings with India. It was a case in which the maxim noblesse oblige applied with especial weight. He had risen to second the Amendment because he believed that the claim of India in this matter was founded on reason and justice and was supported by authority and, above all, that it appealed with an irresistible force to the sense of honour of the English people.

MR. VICARY GIBBS (Herts, St. Albans)

said he supported the Amendment, because he believed that, in taking this course, he was doing his duty, not merely by India, but by England as well. There was one part of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite with which he could not quite agree. He seemed to have fears that, in consequence of the extension of their territory in Africa, the demands on the Indian troops would increase. He quite agreed that these demands were likely to increase, and he desired that they should be able to be increased. He thought that, considering the immense difficulties they had in England in producing a sufficient Army for their Imperial requirements, it was most desirable that they should be able to draw upon India; but it was most desirable that they should draw upon her on terms which were satisfactory to the Government of India as well as to the Government of England. He could not think that it was in the interest of this country that they should, for a trivial sum such as this, produce a feeling in India that they were prepared to sacrifice the opinion of the Indian Government to suit the economic views of the British Treasury. There was another point to which the right hon. Gentleman referred on which he should like to comment. It had been said by the noble Lord the Secretary of State for India, that this case was differentiated from that of Mombasa, because Egypt had a special interest for India. He had no doubt that that was said, but consider for a moment whether Egypt could possibly be indifferent to the result of English warlike operations in any part of the world. India depended upon England, and if the present course could be defended, then in any warlike operations upon which England embarked it could be shown that India had an interest for which in his judgment, it was as much entitled to be called upon to pay as it was in the present case. This was not a question of the retention of Egypt in which they were concerned. Could any one on the Treasury Bench get up and say that since the fall of Khartoum, there had been any sort of representation from the Indian Government that they regarded their interest as seriously endangered, or the Suez Canal seriously endangered because the Soudan had passed out of the control of Egypt? If it was essential to the proper holding of India that Egypt should belong to England, what became of all the statements that as soon as Egypt was strong enough to run alone they should leave Egypt? It seemed to him that the plan of the Government was unjust, mean and impolitic, and on that account he felt compelled to support the Amendment.

On the return of Mr. SPEAKER after the usual interval,

*MR. M. M. BHOWNAGGREE, (Bethnal Green, N. E.)

said that he had approached the consideration of the Resolution, since it was put down on Paper, with some misgivings, but, at the same time, in view of the promise made with regard to the production of the Dispatch from the Indian Government, he had kept his mind perfectly open. They now had the Dispatch of the Government of India before them, with the reply of the Secretary of State, whose eloquent explanation he had also heard with attention, and, having kept his mind open up to that afternoon, he had now come to a conclusion which he would presently state. He must, however, first offer his congratulations to Her Majesty's Government on the one hand and to India on the other, on the fresh proof which had been accorded on behalf of the British nation of the confidence which was felt in the loyalty, the devotion, and the valour of the Indian troops, by their being called upon to serve in Egypt. [Cheers.] He wished he could carry this sentiment of congratulation further into the consideration of this question; but he was sorry he felt himself utterly unable to do so. The noble Lord had referred to precedents; and there were earlier precedents than those which had been cited. In the first China War, under the East India Company, India paid, as is now demanded, the ordinary expenses; but it must be remembered that between the company and the Government of the day there were mutual relations involving reciprocal concessions. In the Persian Expedition, India bore the ordinary charges and one-half the extraordinary charges, and there was good reason for it, because the Persian Expedition was undertaken mainly in the interests of India. To the third precedent, that of the second China War, he wished to direct special attention, because Sir Stafford Northcote, in submitting a Resolution to the House on the Abyssinian Expedition, admitted that no expenses at all were charged to India, and the reason he gave was that "much tenderness was felt for India on account of the Mutiny." Looking at the discontent with which the present Motion was regarded in India, the expressions used by Sir Stafford Northcote might be recalled with significance and force. The noble Lord the Secretary for India had laid special stress upon the decision to which Lord Cross came in 1887 as the result of the representations made by the Government of India. And in Lord Cross's Dispatch dated February 3rd, 1887, it was stated that he had impressed upon the Treasury that, in the event of the employment of Indian troops outside India in future, no part of the expenditure should be charged to India without the previous assent of the Governor General in Council. That was what he might describe as the final decision of Her Majesty's Government in regard to the employment of Indian troops outside India; and he should have thought the noble Lord would have insisted upon the observance at any cost of the principle enunciated in that Dispatch by Lord Cross. He gratefully acknowledged that the noble Lord had carried that principle to its right conclusion when he resisted the demand of the Treasury to call upon India to pay the ordinary charges of the troops sent to Mombasa a few months ago. He should have thought that the noble Lord would have had no difficulty in pursuing that principle again, and in insisting that the ordinary charges of the Indian troops sent to Suakim now should not be claimed from India. He regarded this matter from more points of view than one. It had been attempted to be made out that India had an interest in the present complications in Egypt, but when they looked back on the history of the origin of the expedition to Dongola, and searched the speeches of Ministers in regard to it, they would not find the slightest allusion to any interest India had in the expedition. The purpose of the expedition was acknowledged to be purely Egyptian—namely, to recover the lost territory around Dongola. No later than Friday last the First Lord of the Treasury stated that the expedition was in the interest of Egypt; that it should be carried out at the cost of Egypt, and that if it should happen—a contingency which the right hon. Gentleman did not anticipate—that England had to come to the financial assistance of Egypt, the House of Commons would, of course, be taken fully into the confidence of the Government. If, then, it be a fact that not a penny out of the British Treasury was to be devoted to this expedition, why should a large sum be taken out of the Indian Treasury for such a purpose? It was not because of the £35,000 or £40,000 which would be charged to India that he objected to the action of the Government, but it was because of the principle involved. He denied that India had even the remotest interest in the expedition to Dongola. Whether or not the Egyptian Government succeeded in regaining the lost territory of the Soudan, no one could say that the Suez Canal was in danger—["Hear, hear!"]—and, that being admitted, the last shred of excuse for saying that India had an interest in the expedition was removed. ["Hear, hear!"] He would make any sacrifice in reason to maintain an intimate loyal connection between India and England, and if Her Majesty's Government were to appeal to the Indian Government saying that they required the loan of those Indian soldiers and Indian vessels for some Imperial object, he should support their demand, at least to some extent. But he could not support the present demand when it was based on the assumption that the interests of India were involved. If the logic of that statement were once accepted, it would be said that the interests of India were at stake whenever we went to war in any country the way to which lay through the Suez Canal. [Hear, hear!"] When Indian soldiers were called upon to fight against Britain's foes, Statesmen proclaimed their sympathy with Indian interests; we then say to him— You are good in heart and hand; You are a credit to your calling and to all your native land. May your luck be never failing, may your love he ever true, God bless you, Tommy Atkins, here's your country's love to you! But when the battle is won and peace restored, how is this love expressed? When in our own colonies, as well as in foreign countries, Indian subjects of Her Majesty—not only coolies, but merchants and traders, men who helped to make British settlements—were treated in a manner that was a disgrace to the Empire, were robbed of the rights that belonged to them not only as citizens of the Empire, but as human beings, without a word of protest from Statesmen who have the direction of foreign and colonial affairs, no wonder this talk about care for Indian interests was regarded as hollow by the whole community of India. The people of India keenly watched how their interests were guarded by the Imperial Government of the day, whatever Party was in power, and mistakes like those he had alluded to shook their belief in the beneficence of British rule in India. He was sorry that he had been compelled to say these things; but he should have neglected his duty to the people of India if he had not given expression to the sense of deep injustice which the demand made in the noble Lord's Resolution aroused in their minds. [Opposition cheers.] He should think that the British spirit of fair play would recoil from the attempt to relieve the burdens of the British taxpayer at the expense of such a poor country as India. ["Hear, hear!"] Such an attempt was acceptable neither in the sight of God nor of man. "In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenues of the wicked there is trouble;" and there would be trouble some day if the unwise policy contained in the Resolution were persisted in, and those who made it their mission in life to expound to the people of India the benefits of British rule were thereby rendered powerless for good. He besought Her Majesty's Government to withdraw the Resolution—[cheers]—and if they would not do that, let them at least place the charges with regard to the Indian troops on the same basis as those for the English troops—a debt to be discharged out of Egyptian funds. The Resolution would give rise to an amount of discontent in India which few hon. Members could realise. ["Hear, hear!"]

*MR. R. B. HALDANE (Haddington)

said that he would be expressing the feeling of many Members when he referred to the pleasure which it had given him to listen to the speech of the hon. Member who had just sat down. The hon. Member had spoken as a native of India with singular moderation and directness, and, what was most important, in no sense on Party lines. He agreed that the conduct of both Parties on this subject had been not a little inconsistent. There had been great inconsistencies in the course which the Leaders of the Liberal Party had taken; but a point had been reached when it was possible for the House to lay down principles which should be just to India, and at the same time fit to be relied on in the future. The doctrine laid down by the noble Lord the Secretary of State was apparently this—that it was right for the Government, two months after the event, to ask the sanction of the House of Commons to the use of Indian troops for Imperial purposes. That doctrine was in accordance neither with the spirit nor the letter of the Constitution. It had been challenged more than once, and it would be wrong to allow this occasion to go by without a protest, lest silence should be construed into an admission to be quoted in the future. It was of great constitutional importance to lay down the principle that in the interests, not only of the people of India, but of this country also, it was not right for the Government of the day to assume the legal and constitutional powers of making use of Indian troops—a standing army outside the standing army over which Parliament had control—for the purpose of sudden and unexpected expeditions and small wars. This question had been raised in connection with Abyssinia, Egypt, Burmah, and Malta, and on the last occasion the very strongest protest was made by the present President of the Council, then Lord Hartington. The noble Lord said:— I maintain that the powers of the Government for making war are far greater than they have been at any previous time; and I believe that the precautions and restrictions which Parliament has always thought it necessary to take against the existence of a standing army should not be relaxed, but rather strengthened. He did not admit that the days were gone by when it was necessary to maintain the doctrine contained in the Bill of Rights—that the House of Commons alone should have control over the size of the standing army at the disposition of the Government. There was no pretence to a divine right of Kings now-a-days; but there was a pretence to a divine right of Cabinets and Executive Governments to undertake and spring upon the country expeditions on which the country had not been consulted, and which came to the notice of the House for the first time when it was asked for its approval to a policy which it was too late to revoke. He did not wish unduly to limit the power of the Government in the conduct of affairs. At times they must act upon an emergency, as when they had to face an unexpected call to war, which arose through no choice of their own. Then the Government took the responsibility of immediate action, and the House of Commons, in such circumstances, would always he ready to give its sanction and support to the Government. But that was not the case in the present instance. The House and the country knew nothing of this expedition to the Soudan until they read of it in the newspapers; and then, long after the expedition had been undertaken and the Indian troops had been dispatched, the Government asked Parliament for its approval of steps which could not he retraced. The House ought to declare that it had not relaxed its control over the means which the Executive possessed for waging war. It was high time to show that the House had not parted with any of the privileges which it undoubtedly possessed at one time. Before the Government could make use of Indian troops, it was the business of the Government to get the previous and not the subsequent consent of Parliament. There were certain admissions which he was ready to make. In the first place he would admit that the command of the Indian troops was in the Crown; but the extent of the troops which were at the command of the Crown was a question entirely for the House of Commons, and not for the Executive at all. His second proposition was that the Imperial troops in the Queen's dominions were limited to those the raising of which was sanctioned by the annual Army Acts with one exception only—namely, the troops in India, which were for the use of the Government of India only within the limits of India, unless Parliament should give its consent to their use outside those limits, just as it might give its consent to the increase of the ordinary Army. There was nothing in the India Government Act which contradicted in any way the doctrine he had laid down. That doctrine was as true to-day as when it was first laid down. Lastly, he contended that in all cases of the kind in question it was necessary for the Government to obtain the consent of Parliament before they acted, and that this consent was to be distinguished from subsequent consent or acceptance. ["Hear, hear!"] The argument put forward by the noble Lord the Secretary for India, if it was justifiable, would come to this: that it would be within the power of the Government of the day, without the previous consent of Parliament, to take Indian troops out of India to Gibraltar and elsewhere, or even to bring them, and move them, in ships on the coasts of this island. The effect, of course, would be that the Government would have the power of increasing the strength of the standing army of this country, independently of the consent or control of Parliament. ["Hear, hear!"] He was enunciating no new principle. In fact, there was no principle of our constitution that had been laid down with more persistency and greater clearness since the reign of the Stuarts than that the standing army in time of peace was under the control of Parliament, and that the previous consent of Parliament was necessary to the increase of the Army. It had likewise been laid down with equal clearness in the India Government Act, 1858, and other Acts, that, except under clearly-defined circumstances affecting India herself, Indian troops should not be employed by the Government of this country beyond the frontiers of India itself, without the previous consent of Parliament. By the Army Annual Act, moreover, Parliament controlled, year after year, the numbers of outstanding army in time of peace, and the very object of the Act was to prevent Governments of the day raising a greater force than was necessary, and to protect the country from small and sudden military expeditions, ["Hear, hear!"] But the noble Lord invited the House to throw over altogether the main principle of the Army Annual Act, for if the Government of the day had the power of employing Indian or Colonial troops in an expedition they were carrying out, the effect practically was to increase the force of our standing army, independent of the consent or control of Parliament. ["Hear, hear!"] But he denied absolutely that any Government of this country had that power. As long as the Bill of Bights and the Army Annual Bill remained, it would be a direct violation of the constitution to bring troops from any foreign source into any part of the Queen's dominions without the previous consent of Parliament. It was equally a violation of the laws that had been enacted in relation to our government of India to take her troops beyond her frontier, as in this case, without first consulting Parliament. It was a violation, both in the spirit and the letter, of the Army Annual Bill, and it behoved Parliament to be very jealous of its prerogative in this matter. ["Hear, hear!"] He believed there was as much danger from Cabinets today as there was in the days of the Stuarts. More and more a tendency was becoming apparent on the part of Cabinets to consider themselves free from the control of Parliament, especially in regard to small military expeditions, such as the one under discussion, at a distance and in time of peace. And Parliament should be alive to the danger. In 1858, when the India Bill was discussed, Mr. Gladstone was so conscious of the difficulty and danger involved in the matter—was so anxious to make it clear that the Indian Army should not be used by the Government of this country in addition to our standing army in such expeditions as that now in Egypt, that he moved a clause on the point which was actually carried by the House of Commons, and was only altered somewhat when it reached the House of Lords. The clause was in these terms—that, except for preventing or repelling actual invasion, or for meeting any sudden and urgent necessity, Her Majesty's forces in India should not be employed for any military purpose beyond the external frontiers of India without the consent of Parliament. As he had said, the clause was somewhat altered by the House of Lords; because it seemed to restrict unduly the prerogative of the Crown, but in the end it was passed in the form in which it now stood in the Act—Clause 55, and it also contained the words that— the revenues of India cannot, without the consent of both Houses of Parliament, he applied to defray the expense of any military operation beyond the frontiers of that country. Was there in these words any repeal of the. Act of Settlement—anything inconsistent with the Mutiny Act, or with the doctrine in point if its control of its standing Army is to be subject to Parliament? Was there anything in this to justify any reasonable man in saying that the consent of Parliament was consent after the event, instead of before the event? Mr. Gladstone said the word "consent," whether used in an Act of Parliament or in the House meant previous consent. If that was the case it was impossible to allow this matter to pass now without some sort of protest. The doctrine of the noble Lord amounted to this, that for the future it would be said, you allow without protestation, a Motion to pass on the footing that it was within the right of the Government and the prerogative of the Crown to make use of Indian troops as an extra and additional force with which to wage their wars. That would be a very convenient doctrine, especially when taken with the addendum that they might charge the people of India with the cost so long as the charge was not an extra charge.


I only said on that point and on many others that lawyers differed.


pointed out that in regard to the Mombasa expedition, the noble Lord said no Resolution was necessary. That meant that the Government had the right to take troops for the Mombasa expedition or anything of the kind without going to Parliament. He maintained that they were face to face with a very grave question of principle. He did not wish to raise it in any acrimonious spirit. He was only taking the ground which had been taken by the Party opposite. It was true that the Liberal Party had been guilty of inconsistencies and injustices with the administration of the forces under the great Indian Government Act of 1858; but this, at least, they might say, that some of the severest criticism of their methods, some of the hardest things said against them, some of the most definite layings-down of principles, came from hon. Members prominent on the Front Bench opposite, and who were now themselves acting contrary to the doctrines they had previously maintained. These principles ought to be maintained. They could not be laid aside and regarded as obsolete because they had to deal with a Cabinet instead of a crowned head. He supported the Amendment, in the first place, for the sake of India. We were stronger than the people of India. But we held the power as trustees, and were not entitled to abuse our trust by making it something which was used for our own profit and not for theirs. The Government of India had their interests in these matters. Surely of that the Government of India were the best judges, and when they sent Dispatches entreating the Government of the day to hold their hand, and pointing out that misunderstanding and bad feeling would be aroused in India, then surely it was not only the province but the duty of the House of Lords to step forward and say that the course alike of generosity and policy compelled them to resist the proposal that the revenues of India should be used in a matter about which India had not been consulted, and about which India, except in the most remote way, had neither lot nor part. In the second place, he supported the Motion for the sake of a great and useful and vital principle. Just as Parliament limited the powers of the Crown in days gone by, so he held that Parliament must continue to limit the power of the Government over the troops which it had at its command. He believed that the constitutional safeguard of the Act of Settlement remained intact and unaffected. He believed that the doctrine laid down by Lord Camden and Lord Bathurst, by the great statesmen of a century ago, and by Lord Hartington and Lord Selborne more recently, was true to-day; and with that faith, and in that conviction, and with a feeling that it was a matter upon which all sides of the House had done well to unite in raising their testimony, he, for one, would support the Amendment.

*MR. EDWIN LAWRENCE (Cornwall, Truro)

said the House had listened to a most interesting constitutional speech, but it might be worth while to bring the House back for a few moments to the question at issue. That question was whether India had or had not an immediate interest in the expedition now undertaken in the Soudan. He held with those who said years ago that no power could hold Egypt which did not also hold the Upper Nile. Therefore he felt when England years ago abandoned the Upper Nile she had taken a course which sooner or later she would have to reverse, and that she would have to reconquer the Upper Nile. Knowing something of engineering, he believed it was possible for a civilised Power holding the Upper Nile to so divert its tributaries that the rising of the Nile should be no longer possible. Therefore he held that it was of vital importance that those who held Egypt should also hold the Upper Nile, and he appealed to his hon. Friend who spoke on behalf of the people of India, and whose presence they welcomed in the House of Commons, that India was interested in the expedition, because she was interested in Egypt and the Upper Nile. With these views he felt that it was right that India should pay some portion of the cost. But as a matter of fact India was not asked to pay anything. She was only asked to allow a certain number of troops now in barracks to have an opportunity of fighting in Egypt. He believed there was no body of Indian troops that would not like to be selected for the work, and that nothing would make the Service more popular in India than the movement of these Indian troops to the Soudan. In these circumstances, he failed to see any reason for the great protest of the Indian Press. India's future depended on the preservation of the way to India. If ever we ceased to hold the power to pass through the Suez Canal we should lose our hold over India. Therefore India was interested as much, if not more, than this country, and he felt sure that when the matter was fully understood in India the Indian people would feel that the Government were taking the right course. He strongly supported the Motion.

SIR ANDREW SCOBLE (Hackney, Central)

said he certainly agreed with the last speaker that the Indian Army was ready to fight side by side with our own Army in any campaign where the dignity, honour, and interest of England were concerned. Therefore he had no doubt—though his hon. Friend appeared to be under some misapprehension as to the sort of duty they would have to discharge at Suakim—that these troops would go there cheerfully in the hope that they might have a chance sooner or later of going to the front. But that was not what they had to consider. He was very glad that the Debate had not been a Party Debate. What they had to consider was this. What were the precedents which ought to guide them, on this occasion, and in the absence of precedents, what was the course which the House ought to take? It was admitted by the Secretary of State that there was really no governing precedent in this matter, and the House had to make a precedent to-night. The nearest precedent was that of 1885, in which the House came to a decision behind the backs of the Government of India. Since that decision it had been recognised, both at the India Office and the Treasury, that the Government of India had the right to be consulted before any expenditure on this account was adopted. Therefore they had to consider what they ought to do on this occasion. His noble Friend took credit to himself for having in his last Dispatch laid down three principles which ought to guide the Government. The noble Lord wrote— The true principles upon which the relations between England and India should rest, are that the Indian Army should he considered a branch of Her Majesty's Imperial Army. That, he thought, everyone in the House would confirm.— That, when circumstances and the safety of India permit, aid should be freely given to the Imperial Government. That was another point which would command universal acquiescence— But when the objects of the expedition or campaign are unconnected with India, the whole of the expenses of the troops drawn from India should be paid by the Imperial Exchequer, just as the whole of the expenses of the troops drawn from England for an Indian expedition would be paid by Indian revenues. It was the third point they had to decide; it was for the House to determine upon whom was to rest the responsibility of saying whether the objects of the expedition were connected or unconnected with India. He was ready to admit that in the interest of Egypt it was proper the Soudan campaign should be undertaken, and that if in pursuing the present Soudan policy we could give a helping hand to our friends the Italians further south, it was our duty and our interest to do so. But the Soudan operations did not seem to him to be in the slightest degree connected with Indian interests. The noble Lord told them that the free passage to India was a desirable thing to maintain. He evidently had in mind the Suez Canal, but did anybody with the slightest geographical knowledge mean to say it made any difference whatever to the free use of the Suez Canal whether the Egyptians were at Wady Haifa or at Dongola? He could not understand how it could be said that this expedition had even an indirect bearing upon the free transit of our troops, our commerce, and our travellers between England and India. This very question arose in 1885, and how was it dealt with by the Government of India of that day? They had not an opportunity of putting their views before Parliament before the Vote was passed, but they wrote— There is no question now of the safety of the Suez Canal, which was urged in 1882 as a reason why the Indian Government should bear its share in the expenditure then to be incurred. The operations taking place in the Soudan have no connection with any Indian interests, and lie altogether outside the sphere of our responsibilities. We can look for neither advantage nor loss from them. The pretensions and the aims of the leaders of the rising in Africa are a matter of indifference to the Government of India, which is in no way interested in disputing or putting down by force the claims of political or religious pretenders in regions of the world remote from its own limits and from those of its neighbours. If that argument was good then it was equally good now, and by whom was that put forward? By the Government of Lord Dufferin, than whom there was no statesman of a more Imperial mind. Those arguments ought to have been present to the mind of the Government before they resolved to make the present demand. Precisely the same view was taken of the Soudan operations by Lord Elgin's Government as was taken in 1885 by Lord Dufferin's Government. In spite of all the protests, and for the paltry sum of £35,000, they were to do this mischief, for there could not be any doubt whatever that mischief would follow, mischief of a character which was not appreciated by a good many Members of the House. For the miserable and wretched sum of £35,000 they were asked to blacken the faces of the Government of India and to raise a spirit of disaffection amongst the Indian people. It appeared to him that this Vote, if passed, would be passed rather from a desire not to embarrass the Government than from any feeling that the demand was a righteous one. He was very sorry that the Government, who was strong enough to have taken a righteous course, had not taken it. It was a disappointment to him that, having the opportunity of doing the right thing, they had failed to do it.

*SIR W. WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)

was sorry the noble Lord the Secretary of State for India had made this a question of confidence, and not left his supporters to vote freely. The good name of the House and the country was involved, and, therefore, the pressure of Party discipline should not have been brought to bear on any Member to vote either one way or the other. The question of finality was also involved, for no one could suppose that a Party vote would dispose of the matter. He had the honour of serving on the Royal Commission which had to deal, amongst other things, with the apportionment of the charges between England and India, and he felt the labours of that Commission would be very much aided by such a free discussion of this question in the House as could take place if no pressure were employed. He regarded both Parties as sinners in respect to their dealings with India, but if anything the Tories had the better record, and therefore it did not lie with the Liberals to call the Tory kettle black. There were five important precedents, of which three were bad; the cases of Abyssinia, of Egypt in 1882, and of the Soudan in 1885. These were cases in which the recommendations and protests of the Government of India were set aside by the Liberal Government. There were two good precedents, those of Malta and of Mombasa, and they were both made by a Conservative Government. It appeared to him it was not too late even now for the Government to allow the House a free hand in this matter! When the noble Lord decided to wait until the Government of India had an opportunity of putting forward their own view of the case, he thought the noble Lord was building a golden bridge for his own retreat. ["Hear, hear!"] Having already two good precedents, it would be well if he would make a third; and if the Government were not willing to change the recommendation they had made, they might, at all events, leave the responsibility of a decision to the free judgment of the House. There were two important declarations made by two Conservative Secretaries of State. In 1887, Lord Cross laid down the doctrine of the veto to be exercised by the Government of India; and again the present Secretary of State laid down on the 30th of June last, the excellent doctrine of reciprocity between India and England. The noble Lord's three rules must recommend themselves to all sides of the House; but on one point, perhaps, they did not come up to the full extent of reciprocity. His first proposition was that, when temporary and urgent need arose, assistance should be promptly given by either party; but the reciprocity stopped if the two conditions existed under the second and the third rules, for this reason that the objects for which an Indian contingent was required were generally temporary and emergent, whereas the objects for which British troops were required in India were of a more permanent kind. Therefore, in order to give the Indian people advantage from this reciprocity, we must make an allowance with regard to British troops serving in India, although they remained from year to year. If that point was conceded and complete reciprocity established between the two Governments everthing would be settled on a fairly equitable basis, and it would then not be necessary to consider very carefully this difficult question of what were special interests because it would not matter much, for whatever the decision was it would apply equally to both parties. At present the Indian Government made enormous payments every year for British troops, not only for the use of them in India, but also for the transport and training of them. If an account was taken for the past it would be found, however much might be charged against India, there would be a large balance in her favour. The suppression of the Indian Mutiny was a matter specially affecting the welfare of England. British supremacy in India was vital to the British nation. Yet on the suppression of the Mutiny, not a penny was paid by England and unfortunate India was saddled with a debt of about £46,000,000. It was said that India would be put to no additional expense, and would, therefore, lose nothing by the proposed arrangement; but allowance ought to be made for the effect of these requisitions on the military-budget of India; it would be necessary to make provision for the average annually required for such contingents. It might be that Indian troops were willing to serve in other parts of the world, but it must be remembered that Suakim was a very unhealthy place, and the liability of Indian troops to be sent to unhealthy climates made recruiting in India more costly and more difficult. Another point to be remembered was the difficulty the Viceroy would be placed in his own Legislative Council when he had to bring forward proposals for granting money for purposes regarded as illegitimate by the whole public opinion of India. What a position it was to put a Viceroy in to compel him, in the face of his own Dispatch, to assure the Council that the payment could properly be passed by the representatives of the people of India. It had been pointed out that since 1892 a different complexion had been given to the Viceroy's Council, and that there were in the Council men who in a great measure did represent the people of India. The Viceroy himself, his Finance Minister, and the Military Member would have a bad quarter of an hour when they brought forward these proposals and, against their own declared convictions, proceeded to force them through by means of their mechanical majority. He earnestly urged the Government to reconsider their decision.


who, on rising, was received with Ministerial cheers, said: I think it my duty to trespass for a time on the attention of the House on this subject, but I shall be as brief as possible, because I am aware that there are several other Members who are anxious to address the House. I will not attempt to follow the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, or the hon. Member who spoke a little time ago, into the question of constitutional law, as to the power of the Government of the day to employ Indian troops without a, previous Resolution of the House. It is the view of Her Majesty's Government that there could be no ground for asking the House of Commons to come to a Resolution upon the subject unless it related to the question of the payment of the troops. ["Hear, hear!] That matter may arise on another occasion to-night, at any rate, it does not arise at all, although the right hon. Gentleman opposite took up a very considerable period of time—["hear, hear!"]—in impressing the House with his views on the subject. We gave notice, as soon as we had arrived at the decision that India should have this charge, of our intention to propose the Resolution which has been proposed by my noble Friend, and if that Resolution has been delayed for a month it has been delayed solely, as the House is aware, in deference to what I am quite sure is the universal desire of the House to be thoroughly acquainted with the views of the Government of India before arriving at a decision. [Ministerial cheers.] Therefore, Sir, in this case at any rate, there is no necessity whatever for me to go into the merits of a question of constitutional law, on which two such eminent persons as Lord Cairns and Lord Selborne hold diametrically opposite views. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose found some fault with my noble Friend for devoting a very small portion of his speech to the past history of matters in the Soudan. He said that the question before us to-night was not whether the expedition which has been undertaken to Dongola was right or wrong, or whether it was right or wrong to employ Indian troops in garrisoning Suakim; but when I listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman I could not help thinking that he had largely pre-judged this question which is now before us, and that not a few hon. Members on his side of the House have done the same, owing to their conviction—which, of course, they are perfectly entitled to hold—that our policy in Egypt, in sanctioning this expedition to Dongola, has been wrong, and that, therefore, they could not approve of any Motion which should provide funds for purposes connected with that expedition, whether those funds were to be provided by England, by India, or by Egypt herself. ["Hear, hear!"] will not attempt to argue that part of the question. Neither will I dwell upon the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman that this matter before us to-night is part of a policy on the part of Her Majesty's Government to employ the Army of India in unhallowed expeditions for the conquest of the habitable globe.


I beg pardon for interrupting the right hon. Baronet, but I did not refer to Her Majesty's Government in that respect; on the contrary, I desired to express my opinion that the apprehensions of the Government of India, which the noble Lord had raised, that they might have to provide troops on a larger scale were not ill-founded. There was no attack on the Government.


I think the right hon. Gentleman laid stress upon some suggestions of the Government of India that they might have a reasonable apprehension of some kind of policy of that sort on the part of Her Majesty's Government, and the right hon. Gentleman went on to quote some words, which have now become celebrated, of the Prime Minister, to the effect that we must not look upon India as an English barrack in the Oriental seas from which we may draw any number of troops without paying for them. Sir, those words were quoted with approval by the right hon. Gentleman, they were cheered by his followers behind him, and I confess I was delighted to find that the wit and wisdom of the Prime Minister were for once properly appreciated on that side of the House. [Cheers.] I entirely agree, and every Member of Her Majesty's Government agrees in that sentiment of the Prime Minister's; it is as true now as it was when he uttered it. But there is nothing in what we are now proposing in any way contrary to that sentiment. ["Hear, hear!"] Addressing an audience in the country a little time ago, the right hon. Gentleman said that if we passed such a Motion as this we should admit that there is an unlimited reservoir of Indian forces which may be applied to unlimited and indefinite objects. [Opposition cheers.] Nothing can be more definite as an object than the garrisoning of Suakim—the number of forces is strictly limited to 2,500, and the time even is limited to the close of the year. [Cheers.] Therefore, all these wild apprehensions of the right hon. Gentleman are entirely beside the mark. What we have to decide to-night is an issue of importance—it is not merely a matter of £35,000, as the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think—["hear, hear!"]—it is an issue of importance, but it is a comparatively narrow one. It is whether, in the circumstances before us and in similar circumstances in the future, India shall do in the service of the Empire what India has done in the past. [Cheers.] I entirely agree with my noble Friend the Secretary for India that the proposal which he has made to the House is a more favourable one to India than has ever been made before under similar circumstances. [Cheers.] He had proposed no more than was proposed in 1885, that India should bear the ordinary expenses of her troops which she would have had to bear if those troops had remained in India; but he had coupled with that proposition certain statements of opinion as to the policy to be pursued in future as between the Government of India and the Imperial Government which have met with the approval of the hon. Baronet opposite who has just sat down, and which, I venture to say, will be considered by those who have taken up a strong line on this matter on behalf of India as far more favourable to them than any propositions that have ever yet been accepted by the Government of this country. ["Hear, hear!"] Let me recall the House for a few minutes to what occurred in this matter with regard to the Abyssinian expedition. It was proposed by the Government of the day that the ordinary pay of the large number of Indian troops employed in that expedition should continue to be borne by the Government of India. Mr. Gladstone was then in opposition, and Mr. Gladstone supported the proposal of the Government of the day. We probably entertain on opposite sides of the House different ideas of the political career of Mr. Gladstone, but no one has ever accused him of a want of consideration for weaker races or for India. But what did Mr. Gladstone say with regard to the employment of Indian troops in be Abyssinian expedition, in which we all admit now India had a very remote interest indeed? Mr. Gladstone on that occasion rather blamed the Government for being more liberal towards India than to England. Mr. Fawcett, who was opposing the Motion at the time, dwelt upon what he considered to be the injustice to India in making her pay this portion of the expenses of the campaign, whereas, on the other hand, she was compelled to pay the whole cost of English troops that were sent out to India. Mr. Gladstone, in his reply, almost ridiculed the idea that there was any injustice to India in the matter. He dwelt at some length upon the question, and he repudiated the idea that any adequate return was made [for the responsibility of the United Kingdom for the defence of India merely by the payment by India of the English troops that happened be there at any given moment. He said:— Our responsibility for the military government of India is not measured by the amount of English troops there. We are hound to keep in reserve a force adequate to meet all the contingent demands of India. Suppose India wants men—a soldier cannot be made in a day. But we are bound to keep up the stock of soldiers from which the wants of India can be supplied at a moment's notice. India again ceases to want men. Three, four, or five regiments are sent back, and the moment they come to England they become matter of charge against us. They do not come back because we want them, but because India does not want them. The right hon. Gentleman summed up the whole position in these words:— England must keep a military bank on which India can draw cheques at pleasure, and to which again, when it suits her, she may make remittances whether we have employment for them or not. Therefore, at that time, such an authority as Mr. Gladstone thought that there was no ground for this charge of injustice to India which is made against us to-day when we are asking India to continue to bear the ordinary pay of her troops which she has sent to the Soudan. ["Hear, hear!"] That was the language of Mr. Gladstone in 1867. With regard to what occurred in 1882 and 1885, let me in the first place name two points on which I think we are all agreed. I do not think that I have heard this evening any objection taken to the dispatch of Indian troops to the Soudan. ["Hear, hear!"] Certainly no one connected with the Indian Council or with the Indian Government has raised it. The hon. Member for Hackney, who objected to India being compelled to bear the cost of the pay of her troops employed in the Soudan, expressed his delight that they had been sent there, as it was a proof of the mutual relations that existed between England and India. ["Hear, hear!"] Again, I think we are agreed upon the principle that where Indian, interests are concerned, India ought to pay some of the costs of expeditions undertaken to protect those interests, even if those expeditions should be outside of her own territories. ["Hear, hear!"] But, of course, as the hon. Member for Hackney remarked, the point is whether this expedition to the Soudan is undertaken in furtherance of the interests of India. ["Hear, hear!"] Of course the Government of India has always disputed the position that has been taken up from time to time by the British Government on this question. Her Majesty's Government in England has always held that Egypt possesses a very material interest for India. The Indian Government in 1882 and 1885, and in the present year, have taken a different view of the matter. They have contended that Egyptian affairs were Imperial affairs, and that the great interest involved in the Suez Canal was an English rather than an Indian interest, and that even if it were an Indian interest in any degree, it was still more a colonial interest, and that, therefore, England was not justified in asking India alone to bear a portion of the cost of any Egyptian expedition. That, I think is the view of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, who told the meeting to which I have already alluded, that the interests of India and Egypt as corn and cotton-growing countries were antagonistic. I do not think that I ever heard a more narrow view put forward. Let me turn to what was said on this subject by the right hon. Gentleman who sits by his side— the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton. That right hon. Gentleman, when he had to deal with this matter as a Member of the Government in 1883, when there was a proposal that India should bear not merely the ordinary pay of her troops employed, but 60 per cent. of the extraordinary expenses incurred by the large Indian force sent to assist in jutting down the rebellion in Egypt, said:— It was perversity of intellect to resist the proposal that the Indian Exchequer should pay a very small sum towards the expenses of a war which he ventured to say was in the main, if not entirely, for the benefit of our Indian Empire.

*SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

said that he was not a Member of the Government at the time to which the right hon. Gentleman referred.


If the right hon. Gentleman was not a Member of the Government at that time, I think that his words are entitled to even greater weight. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] And then he went on to say that his opinion was that unless they had an Indian Empire to protect, no Government would have ventured to propose, and he was quite sure the country would never have sanctioned, a war in Egypt at all. [Cheers.] Well, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose was perhaps ignorant of that expression of opinion on the part of his colleague. The right hon. Gentleman found very severe fault with my noble Friend the Secretary of State for India with regard to the eighth paragraph of his Dispatch. He characterised it as a spurious and insincere paragraph, because my noble Friend put forward his views as to the interest which India has in the particular operations in which we are engaged. I admit that so far as these operations are concerned, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton is not bound by what he said in 1883; but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, a few weeks ago, challenged the opinion of this House on the policy of Her Majesty's Government in undertaking these operations. That policy was fully discussed, and by a very large majority the House approved that policy as an essential part of the policy of the English Government in Egypt, in attempting to perfect and maintain the tranquillity of that country. [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman has characterised the Dispatch of my right hon. Friend as spurious and insincere.


That paragraph of it.


Yes, that paragraph of it. May I refer him to the opinion of a gentleman in high position and authority, Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, a Member of the Council of India, and, therefore, by no means disposed to consider the question in any other light than that of the interest of India? ["Hear, hear!"] He said:— The main argument used by Sir James Peile and Sir Donald Stewart is that India has, in their opinion, no direct or substantial interest in the operations now in progress in the Soudan. I altogether demur to this assertion. I hold that India has a very direct and substantial interest in the safety and tranquillity of Egypt, and in safeguarding that country from attack. The position of Egypt, lying, as it does, on the direct route from England to India, being, as it is, the highway by which our British troops have to travel to and from India, renders it as essential to the interests of India as it is to British interests that Egypt should be protected from her foes, and that her present peaceful and prosperous condition should be maintained. And, if it be, as I believe it is, requisite to this end that the supremacy of Egypt in the Soudan or in a portion of it should be re-established, then I submit that the success of any operations which have to be undertaken with this object is a matter which has a direct and substantial interest for India. The truth is"— and I agree in this:— that, if it were not for her Indian Empire, England would have no practical interest in Egypt. That is the opinion of the majority of the Indian Council, who are, at anyrate, as much entitled to decide a question of this nature as the Indian Government. My hon. Friend behind has said:— Who ought to decide this question as to whether the interests of India are or are not involved in any particular matter? No doubt it is right that we should attach importance to the views of the Indian Government on any such subject; but the authority to which Parliament has deliberately intrusted the right of agreeing to or refusing any Indian expenditure is the Council of the Secretary of State in London, and the Council of the Secretary of State, after having deliberately considered this question, have decided, on the grounds I have quoted, by a large majority, that India may be fairly charged with this expenditure. ["Hear, hear!"] Now, what is the charge proposed? Is it that India should bear one single penny of taxation more than she does now? Not a bit of it. [Cheers.] What is proposed is that India should bear the ordinary pay of her troops, which she would have had to bear if they had remained in India [Cheers.] We are told that that is not fair, because they are taken away from India and are serving somewhere else. But does India want them? Supposing that the £35,000 were paid over to India to-morrow, would India raise more troops? Certainly not. ["Hear, hear!"] The idea that we are depriving India of something that she requires is altogether wrong; because, if she had required it, the Government of India would not readily, I may almost say voluntarily, have assented to those troops being sent to Suakim. All that India loses is this, that troops that would be in barracks in India are in barracks at Suakim. [Cheers.] It is said by some hon. Members that this means that we are charging India for our own advantage with a larger Army than she would otherwise maintain. [Opposition cheers.] I hear a cheer at that, but is it really supposed that there is any Army in the world, whether it be the English Army the Indian Army, or even the American Army, which is merely confined to the number of troops requisite for garrison duty? ["Hear, hear!"] Every Army must include a considerable, number of men which may be available for any unforeseen emergency. [Cheers.] The Indian Government having considered, of course, the requirements of India at the time, and not considering that these 2,500 men were likely to be required for any emergency, have readily allowed them to be sent to Suakim. How can it be urged that we are imposing on India any extra burden, or that we are compelling her to employ, owing to the temporary employment of these men at Suakim, a larger force than it would be otherwise necessary for her to keep up? ["Hear, hear!"] That is really the whole of this question. We are not asking the taxpayers of India to bear a single penny of additional taxation. We are asking them to utilise for the benefit of the Empire of which they form a part, for the service of the Empire to which they are proud to belong, their forces, which are only too anxious to be employed in the military duties of the Empire, without the cost of a penny to themselves; and we are doing nothing in this but following the precedents set in the past. ["Hear, hear!"] Hon Members opposite have told us that there is a Commission now sitting to inquire into the apportionment of the charge between the Governments of the United Kingdom and India for purposes in which both are interested. No doubt this, as well as matters of more permanent charge, must necessarily come under the consideration of that Commission. It may be that they may disapprove of the present rule. It may be that they may not be satisfied with the proposal of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the future, to which I, as representing the Treasury, have readily given my consent; but pending the consideration of this question, I say we are not entitled to give such authority as is claimed to the views of the Government of India. The Government of India are not an independent Government. The Government of India are entitled to hold an opinion and to express it; but what was said by Mr. Gladstone in the very Debate I have already quoted with reference to the Government of Bombay I He said:— The Governor is not a person acting on the part of a local Legislature or on the part of a nation invested with privileges; he is a confidential servant of the Secretary of State, his representative and agent at Bombay. Great though their authority may be, I say that it is subordinate to that of the Secretary of State in Council, and to that of the Government of the Queen, and I protest against making any change, without the authority of the Commission, in the practice which has hitherto been pursued. I protest against placing the Government of India in a position of almost independent authority, to which position I contend they have no claim. [Cheers.]


The right hon. Gentleman seems to be under the impression that hon. Members on this side of the House have prejudged the question because they think that the general policy of the Government in connection with the Soudan is wrong. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that I have not approached the consideration of this question in any such spirit. The question before the House is not as to the wisdom or folly of any policy that may be pursued in Egypt. The question is, as the right hon. Gentleman most fairly stated, whether in the circumstances India shall do in the service of the Empire what she has done in the past. The right hon. Gentleman admits that it is an issue of importance, but he says that it is comparatively narrow. I differ from him; I think the issue is much wider; I think that he himself, in his concluding remarks, which amounted, I would almost say, to a very serious attack upon the Government of India—[cheers]—has put the question on a much broader basis. I shall ask the House to consider, not whether India shall do in the future what she has done in the past, but whether India has not been compelled to do in the past what she ought not have been compelled to do, and whether this House will impose the same burden upon her in the future? The right hon. Gentleman said that the Dispatch of the noble Lord was very much in advance of anything that has been done in the past, but the determination of the Government is very retrograde as compared with what Lord Cross laid down 10 years ago, when he said that when Indian troops are employed on duties not directly attributable to the requirements of the Government of India, and are dispatched to a country distant from India, no portion of the expenses of those troops could be charged to India without the full assent and concurrence of the Government of India. The issue now is whether we shall or shall not agree with the views of Lord Cross, whether we shall or shall not put this burden upon the taxpayers of India without the full assent and concurrence of the Government of that country? ["Hear, hear!"] I think the right hon. Gentleman was inaccurate when he said that Parliament had placed the control of the expenditure of the revenues of India in the nanas of the Council of India. Undoubtedly it has done so as a general rule, but Parliament has reserved cases of this kind, and with reference to them Parliament alone must decide.


What I meant was this—the control of the expenditure is placed in the hands of the Council of India. If the Council had not agreed that India should bear this expenditure, no proposal of this kind could have been made to Parliament.


Even if the Council had agreed, and if the Government of India had agreed, and it has not, the final and supreme tribunal is Parliament. There is one precedent to which attention has not been specially drawn to-night. It is the case of Perak, when the Abyssinian precedent was followed—namely, that India should pay the ordinary charges and that the extraordinary charges should be borne by the Imperial Exchequer. The Indian Government objected, and quoted Lord Lawrence and Sir William Muir, great authorities. What did Lord Salisbury say on that occasion? He said that he recognised the soundness of the principle laid down in Lord Lawrence's Minute— But that, as it appeared to the Government that the expedition to Perak would be of brief duration, and would not involve the employment of troops from India for such a length of time as to give rise to any general inconvenience or danger, and in view of the interests which India might be said to have in a speedy termination of the war, it was right to agree to an arrangement similar to that adopted in the ease of the expedition to Abyssinia. But Lord Salisbury added:— That this was not to be regarded as a precedent for any future ease in which troops might be required from the Indian Establishment for Imperial purposes. But that is one of the very precedents which have been quoted to-night as precedents which we ought to follow, although Lord Salisbury distinctly stated that it should not form a precedent for future application. ["Hear, hear!"] A great deal has been said to-night about Mombasa, and I should like to call attention to that case and the arguments which the Treasury employed respecting it, because there can be no doubt that the policy now submitted to Parliament is the policy of the Treasury. I think the case of Mombasa is a very good illustration of the manner in which the Treasury has approached the whole question, and I would draw attention to the reason which I am bound to assume the right hon. Gentleman himself gave or sanctioned for maintaining that India should bear the entire cost of sending Indian troops to Mombasa. "My Lords" gave as their first and principal reason that the trade with Zanzibar and Mombasa amounted to £335,000 of exports and £146,000 of imports, and they thought that India had such an interest in Mombasa and Zanzibar that she was justified in sending her troops, and paying for them, to put down the rebellion that had arisen there. The right hon. Gentleman is generally very accurate in his quotations, and I have no doubt he verified those quotations about the trade with Zanzibar before he gave it the Treasury stamp of being a good reason for importing troops from India. But we cannot compare, these figures in pounds, shillings, and pence. We must put them into tens of rupees. I put the trade with Zanzibar higher than the right hon. Gentleman has put it, but I cannot make it amount to a million tens of rupees. But is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the proportion that that bears to the whole trade of India? The imports and exports of India for the year with which the right hon. Gentleman was dealing, and in regard to which he thinks a million tens of rupees is to justify this interference, is to form the connecting link between the interests of India and the Indian military expenses, were 185 millions of tens of rupees. I put it to the House whether it would matter one brass farthing to India if the trade with Zanzibar were to be swept out of existence? [Cheers.] The Treasury says that the trumpery interest of the 180th part of the whole trade in India is the justification of that interference. [Cheers.] I say that simply in passing, and I wish to come at once to the main principles involved in this question, and which are set forth with great clearness in the Dispatch of the noble Lord. I entirely agree with him as to his three principles. I think they are wise and statesmanlike, and I think they would be sound as future regulations in these Indian disputes. But I cannot assent to his application of the three principles that are to regulate the interference with the Indian troops to the reason which he gives with reference to free communication with Egypt by the shortest route. The object of the expedition has been fully dealt with to-night, and I will simply say, in one sentence, that this expedition is far more to serve Italian interests and Egyptian interests than Indian interests, and I would ask, is it just that the Indian taxpayer should be forced to find the money for the payment of the troops employed on the service of an ally of Great Britain? ["Hear, hear!"] The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down seemed to be very much surprised that we should demur to the interests of India being involved in this operation. I have no recollection of what I said in 1883, but I have no doubt the right hon. Gentleman quoted me accurately, and I only corrected him to say that at that time I was in a position of greater freedom and less responsibility. [Ministerial laughter.] But I then held—and I hold now—that the justification of the whole military operations of 1882 was the Suez Canal; but if we follow Lord Salisbury's advice and look at a large map I do not think we shall find the interest of the Canal is in any way affected by the Soudan or the conquest of Khartoum. Khartoum has not been in the hands of Egypt for the last dozen years, and our communication with India has never been, I will not say imperilled, but has never been even in dispute. [Cheers.] I admit and I think that if a question arose with reference to the Suez Canal, India has a large, preponderating influence in it. So has Australia, so has New Zealand, so has Hong-kong, so has Ceylon, and so have all our settlements in the East. [Cheers.] But that question has not arisen in this case, though if it did I should be the last man to deny that India had an interest in it. But who is to be the judge as to whether India has this interest or not? I think Lord Cross gives the right answer when he says the Government of India. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite argued with great force in favour of the adoption of that view. The right hon. Gentleman denies that, and says it should be the Council at home. We say here to-night, whatever may be the view of the Government of India or the view of the Council at home, it must be Parliament, who must ultimately decide this question. [Cheers.] I will state as shortly as possible why I think Parliament should decide this question in favour of India. My first reason is that the revenues of India pay the whole cost of the Indian Army. They pay the cost of recruiting and they pay the cost of training, and, when you say you are paying the cost of the troops, let me say that the daily pay of these troops is a very small part of what they cost. [Cheers.] No one knows better than the Chancellor of the Exchequer that that is not the rule which is applied with reference to the employment of British troops in India. India pays for every British soldier that is sent there—every shilling which that soldier has cost from the moment of his enlistment to the day of his death, including his pension. [Ministerial cries of "No!"]




Yes; embarkation. [Ministerial laughter and cheers.] But what I mean is that the capitation fee of £7 10s., which is additional to pay, covers the whole of those extra charges—the capitation fee, which is now the subject of investigation by a Royal Commission, and which is alleged by the Treasury not fully to cover, and by the Indian Government to more than cover, the entire cost.


As the right hon. Gentleman has been good enough to notice my interruption, perhaps he will allow me to ask him—Does he mean to say that the Indian Government pays for the cost of the soldiers in a link battalion serving at home?


I mean to say that what India pays as a capitation fee, in addition to other charges, is £7 10s. or £8 a head for every British soldier that is employed in the Indian service—£7 10s. or £8 per head per annum, and that that sum includes the cost to which I refer. Another reason is this. You have intrusted the Administration of India to a Viceroy and Council practically chosen by ourselves. They are the Constitutional Guardians of the Revenue of India, and except in some supreme necessity involving the very existence of the Empire, we have no right to apply these revenues for any other than Indian purposes. [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman says this is a loan. But there is a lender as well as a borrower. We are the borrowers, and we dictate the terms of the loan, and India has no voice in saying whether she is willing to lend on these terms. ["Hear, hear!"] Again, I say there is no reciprocity. The charges upon India in respect of English soldiers going to India are not put upon the same basis as the cost to India of troops coming out of India:— England" (said Lord Lawrence) "paid no portion of the heavy expenditure of the Mutiny. All the troops and the materials which were sent from England to aid in putting down the Mutiny were paid for out of the Revenue of India. It was never urged because this Measure afforded temporary relief to the British Exchequer that a portion of the ordinary cost of these troops should be paid by England. Lord Northbrook, a great Viceroy, said in the House of Lords speaking of the Abyssinian expedition:— The whole of the ordinary expenses were paid by India, the argument used being that India would have to pay her troops in the ordinary way, and she ought not to seek to make a profit. How did the Home Government treat the Indian Government when troops were sent out to the Mutiny? Did they say, 'We do not want to make a profit? 'Not a hit Every single man sent out was paid by India during the whole time—though only a temporary use was made of them—including the cost of drilling and training as recruits until they were sent out. If this principle was to be applied in sending out troops to India, surely it ought also to be applied when Indian troops were sent on Imperial expeditions. [Cheers.] I will quote a still higher authority—Lord Salisbury:— The special injustice of the course now about to be pursued consists in this, that when we employ English troops on Indian duty they are paid for out of the Indian revenues from the moment that they land in the country but when we employ Indian troops on Imperial duty we say that India must pay for them. [Hear, hear!"] Is the Army of India to be regarded as a reserve? Some Gentlemen hold the view that, as we have great Asiatic and Eastern interests, the Indian Army is to be regarded as a reserve from which both the Imperial and the Indian Government can draw. If that is so, the Imperial funds should pay some proportion of forming it. If it is to be an Army of reserve, and we are to draw upon it in aid of any of our requirements, we ought to pay our share of forming it, recruiting, training, and all the other ordinary expenditure of the Indian Army. ["Hear, hear!"] The right hon. Gentleman was rather impatient of the allegation as to the Army of India being too large or too small, as the argument is put. If it is too large we ought to reduce it; if it is too small it cannot be depleted. All I can say is this—I think the noble Lord knows better than I do that successive Viceroys Commanders-in-Chief, and India Councils have maintained during a long succession of years that the Army was only sufficiently large for Indian purposes, and that it would not be safe to make any reductions. When the right hon. Gentleman spoke just now of the readiness with which the Indian Government lent these troops, the eagerness with which they afforded evidence that the troops could be spared, I think he had forgotten one paragraph of the Dispatch which I will read— We would point out that Her Majesty's Government add to our responsibilities by calling upon us to furnish Indian troops for service at an unhealthy station like Suakim, in the worst season of the year, in order to avoid the risk involved in sending troops for the purpose from England; during the absence of those troops we have to govern India with an Army smaller than our needs impose uaon us, and we cannot too strongly urge, therefore, that, whilst our responsibilities are thus increased, India should not at the same time be called upon to pay for troops not available for Indian needs. ["Hear, hear!"] That difficulty, therefore, Sir, was clearly present to the mind of the Indian Government. Another point I would make is this. In this arrangement of ordinary and extraordinary charges, the Imperial Government lays down the principle and the Imperial Government is the sole judge of its application. ["Hear, hear!"] In finance we must remember another point—namely, that the Exchequer which makes this demand is the rich Exchequer, and the Exchequer from whom the demand is made is the poor Exchequer. ["Hear, hear!"] Look at the contrast! And I think the Indian people will look at the contrast. ["Hear, hear!"] Not very many Members of this House heard the singularly able and lucid speech of the only hon. Member of the House who is emphatically a native and resident in India, and who contended with great force against the injustice of imposing any charge whatever of this description upon the poverty of India. When the Indian people read the speech which the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered in this House three or four months ago they will see that he announced that the realised surplus of the last year upwards of £4,250,000; that he was was able to state that the taxation of 100 millions which he was proposing would involve no pressure upon the people of this country; that he declared that, with our Sinking Fund, we had a reserve fund equivalent to something like £200,000,000 sterling—and this is the rich Exchequer which is putting the pressure upon a poor Exchequer, which has developed its own country entirely at its own cost, where the sources of taxation are limited, and where the tax which every man, woman, and child pays—the tax on salt—is already at a war limit, has been recently raised, and ought to be reduced! This is a question which the House of Commons, in dealing with the matter as it must do, not on narrow, but broad Imperial grounds, cannot ignore. And for what a paltry sum! I do not believe in the £35,000. I believe it will be more. I know that Estimates always increase in Government Departments. It would suit my argument better if it were £35,000. I believe £60,000 or £70,000 will be nearer. But even if it should be £35,000, is it wise or statesmanlike to defy the public opinion of the people of India, to commit the Imperial Government to a course which, as has been stated by high authority, "the whole Native and European Press condemn as impolitic, as dangerous and unjust." Is it wise or statesmanlike to overrule the unanimous opinion of the Government of India on a question on which they say "public opinion in India is practically unanimous"? That Government—of which I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman spoke as he did to-night—is our creation. We have decreed its constitution and composition. We have confided to it the government of the millions of India; and remember they regard it as the embodiment of the Imperial rule under which they live. It represents to them the Sovereign and the Parliament, and that Government, in no hesitating or doubtful language, approves of their protest against the course now pursued. We are told that the proposal before the House is in accordance with precedent. The noble Lord in his last Dispatch says it is impossible to controvert the logical conclusion at which he has arrived from the premisses he has laid down. Although I believe the precedents do not justify his action, although I believe that his premisses are unsound, and his conclusion is fallacious, I am quite willing to waive that belief, to admit his premisses and accept his logic, and in so doing I think I shall put my case on a different and a higher plane. The precedents of 1882 and 1885 have been quoted. A bad precedent does not demand, much less justify, its repetition. The Government which was responsible for the decisions of 1882 and 1885 was not infallible. ["Hear, hear!"] The Parliament of 1895 is quite as competent—and I think on many grounds much more—as the Parliament of 1880 to create a precedent. We are not bound as a House of Commons—I say it openly, frankly, and fairly—in dealing with a question of this sort, where there has been no distinct, uniform precedent laid down, where the precedents have differed as widely as the cases have differed—we are not bound to follw an isolated precedent. I believe the decision of the House in 1882 aroused the strongest feeling of disapproval in India. And if for the moment I admit that the precedents and premisses of the noble Lord logically lead to the conclusion at which he has arrived, my answer is the reply which his greatest Leader once gave in this House when taunted with logical inconsistency on some political question. Mr. Disraeli, in one of those epigrammatical sentences in which he was wont to crystallise his experience of our Constitutional system, said, "England is not governed by logic; England is governed by Parliament." ["Hear, hear!" and cheers.] And it is the essence of Government by Parliament that Parliament can, does, and must recognise that national sentiment which we call public opinion, even if that national sentiment seems to conflict with something which may have been done in similar circumstances. No student of history can ignore the great part which national sentiment has played in human affairs, and every English Government, whether the strongest English Government or the weakest, not only carefully watches the growth and spread of public opinion at home, but eagerly scans the growth and tendency of public opinion in our colonies, whether self-governing or under the control of the Crown. Our colonial blunders in former days were the results of high-handed action in Downing Street, disregarding the views, the opinions, and, if you like, the prejudices of our fellow colonial subjects. Why, if you watch colonial sentiment, if you regard colonial public opinion, are you not to regard the sentiment of India? [Cheers.] Are we to listen eagerly to every expression of popular opinion in Canada on Canadian affairs, in Australia on Australian affairs, in South Africa on South African affairs—[cheers]—and shut our ears to the public opinion of India? [Cheers.] It may be said that this is a question of money. No, it is not a question of money. We cannot conduct and adjust our varied, our delicate relationships with our greatest dependency on the huckstering principle of buying in the cheapest and selling in the dearest market. The first Secretary of State for India summed up in a sentence the spirit which should guide the attitude of the British Government to India in all the circumstances which that union would necessarily involve. "India," said Lord Derby— is a great glory, a great responsibility, a great danger; a great glory if we studiously do our duty, a great responsibility —I would ask the House to mark these words— and, therefore, every member of Parliament should be as anxious to protect the interests of India as to protect the interests of his own constituents"—[cheers']—"a great danger, and, therefore, any injustice done to India may return to us with fearful retribution. I think that wise, that statesmanlike sentence should not only be emblazoned in the Council Chambers of Calcutta and Whitehall, but should regulate every vote which this House gives on a question affecting India. The issue of this Division is no Party squabble; it involves no election pledges—[cheers]—it recalls no political programmes. Parliament in its Imperial capacity is called upon to discharge an Imperial duty, as my right hon. Friend said, to perform a judicial act. Let us discharge that Imperial duty and give that decision in an Imperial spirit worthy of the great people in whose name and by whose authority we act. [Cheers.] We are not asked to-night to adjust some trumpery balance of account between the Exchequer of Great Britain and the Exchequer of India. We are asked to reverse, to override in our own interest the opinion of the people of India constitutionally embodied in the unanimous decision of the Viceroy and his Council, to whom we have confided the Government of India. At whose instance are we asked to take this step? I venture to say, not at the instance of the constituencies that sent us here. [Cheers.] I honestly believe that the overwhelming preponderance of public opinion in this country is at this moment on the side of India. [Cheers.] In this House only one solitary Member has spoken on the other side in favour of the course which the Government are taking; but men who have spent their lives in India—the one Conservative Member who is himself an Indian has spoken—men of all parties, men inside politics and men outside, men who know India, men who are jealous of the honour of Great Britain, the organs in the press of Conservative, Liberal Unionist, and Radical, are at one in their utterance on this question. The people of England know that we have the power to do what is wrong? I cling to the belief, the well founded belief, that their desire is that we should have the courage to do what is right. [Cheers.] This House has a rare—I might say almost a priceless—opportunity of frankly recognising and ungrudgingly accepting the decision of the Indian Government on an Indian question, in which the Government and the people of India feel that the interests of India are in danger. Such a frank recognition, such a self-denying acceptance will quicken the growth of those feelings of mutual confidence, of mutual sympathy, of mutual good will, which will rivet India to Great Britain by ties stronger than the power of our Army, and more enduring than the splendour of our administration. [Loud cheers.]


In the short time that remains to us before the House comes to a decision upon this question I shall not attempt to survey the whole field of Debate which has taken place to-night. Much has been said upon legal and constitutional issues. Much also has been said upon the course taken by the Government in regard to the troops sent to Mombasa. But I am sure that I shall be consulting the wishes of the House if I brush aside both those topics, interesting and important though they doubtless are, and if I come at once to what I believe to be the kernel and the central proposition of the opposition to the proposal which the Government has laid before the House. One other topic there is, indeed, upon which I would gladly have said a word if the opportunity had suited. I should have asked the House to consider whether the time has not arrived when we might, with advantage both to India and to England, constitute some kind of tribunal of arbitration—if I may use the phrase—for the determining of questions of this sort—["Hear, hoar!"]—some tribunal in which the interests of India and Great Britain should be alike and equally represented; which might have authority in India and might have authority in this country—an authority which, perhaps, neither the expressions of the Indian Government, speaking for India, nor the expressions of the British Government, speaking, as they endeavour to do, not for Great Britain alone, but for the whole Empire—["Hear, hear!"]—do not always carry with them. [Cheers.] But those are subjects too long for treatment to-night, and I shall go at once to the dominant consideration, which will, I believe, much influence the voting in the Lobby, and shall give upon that central principle the views of Her Majesty's Government, so far as I am confident to express them. What is the real argument which, adorned and expanded and decked out as it may be by other arguments and by historical illustrations, lies really at the root of the opposition to the Resolution moved by my noble Friend? In one word, it is believed—erroneously, I think—by those who oppose this Motion that the action of the British Government is a mean action. [Opposition cheers.] Those who oppose the Motion think we are using our power as the dominant partner in this association with India to squeeze out of India money which India does not owe us. [Opposition cheers.] But if I shared those views, and if my colleagues shared those views, I need not tell the House we should he the last people in the world to bring forward a Resolution of this kind. [Cheers.] I may perhaps be assisted in my argument if I remind the House of a topic used against us in the Debate, but which really ought to appeal to impartial minds in our favour. We have been told that the sum at stake is a trifling sum. So it is. It is not even certain, or even probable, that that sum, trifling as it is, will be paid by the British Exchequer. But that has been used by hon. Gentlemen opposite as proof of the extraordinary pettifogging and huxtering meanness of this Government. Surely it shows that in the course we have been pursuing we have not been animated by those natural motives which have influenced British Governments of relieving the British taxpayer of some burden and of relieving the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the necessity of finding new resources, but that we have been animated, and animated alone, by a sincere belief that the principle which is embodied in this Resolution is not only wholesome for England but wholesome for India also, and wholesome, above all, for the Empire of which India and Great Britain are the largest constituencies. [Cheers.] It is admitted, as I am glad to see, by hon. Gentlemen who have spoken against this Resolution, that Her Majesty's present advisers have made great changes, and beneficial changes, in the financial relations between this country and India. ["Hear, hear!"] It is admitted by speakers on both sides of the House, who view with suspicion and even with resolute opposition the policy we are pursuing, that at all events that policy is not the policy, in all its details, which has been pursued up to this time; but that we have made great and beneficial changes in the interests of India in the policy which we have now adopted. "Hear, hear!" Everybody has accepted the three principles laid down by my noble Friend. But my noble Friend has done more than laid down principles acceptable to all classes of opinion in this House. He and the Government of which he is a Member have for the first time taken care that the views of the Government of India shall be laid before this House and be considered by this House before the House comes to a decision. [Cheers.] That is the first change. The second is that he has laid it down that when either India is called upon by Great Britain or Great Britain is called upon by India to lend troops for any particular service, if the time for which those troops are lent shall exceed the very brief period of six or seven months, the whole cost, and not merely the extraordinary cost, shall be borne by the part of the Empire which is making the claim on the other part of the Empire. [Cheers.] And he has bud it down in the third place that there shall in future be reciprocity in this matter between Great Britain and India; and if, in addition to the ordinary British Army in India, there should, for any Indian purpose, be a temporary loan required from Great Britain, that loan shall be dealt with in precisely the same way and on the same principles as a loan which Great Britain may ask from the Empire of India. These are great changes. [Cheers.] They are changes entirely in the interests of India. They are changes entirely in the interests of absolute justice as between the two countries. And when I look back to the long series of precedents on this subject; and when I remember that hi 1867 Mr. Gladstone said that the arrangements made by the then Conservative Government were too favourable to India—["Hear, hear!"]—when I remember that in 1882, not only the whole of the ordinary cost, but the whole of the extraordinary cost, was thrown upon India, and that by a tardy and imperfect act of justice some small fraction of the extraordinary cost was afterwards paid back; when I remember that in 1885 Mr. Gladstone for the third time gave emphatic recognition to this rule without any of the limitations which we imposed upon it; and when I remember that almost every hon. Gentleman opposite who then had a seat in the House, either by speech or vote, or by speech and vote, endorsed these principles—[cheers]—when I remember all that—I confess I am astounded at the air of disinterested virtue—[loud cheers]—with which they now come forward and, not content with all that we have done to put these financial relations upon a sound and equitable basis, accuse us of sacrificing, forsooth, the interests of India to those of England? [Cheers.] We have not gone half the length that they went. [Cheers.] We are all agreed that the policy of my noble friend is an enormous improvement on the policy of any of his predecessors, from whichever side they have been drawn. There is another principle, quite removed, I am glad to think, from party politics, and the discussions as to who said what, when and how, and whether his vote and speech now was consistent with his vote and speech ten years ago. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] There is another principle of far deeper application on which every man in this House will be glad to agree. We are all of opinion that whatever justice dictates in this matter should be done. ["Hear, hear!"] We are all agreed that for us, the stronger Power, to put upon the shoulders of the weaker Power any portion of the burdens of the Empire which it is our business to bear, would be an act of public wickednessand infamy—[cheers]—and the question, therefore, only remains to determine whether or not the Resolution of my noble Friend and the policy which that Resolution embodies does or does not violate the rules and principles on which every man in this House, to whatever party he belongs, is glad cordially to subscribe his assent. But let me remind the House that the particular proposition which, amid general assent, my noble Friend has laid down for the practical division of the burden in this case as between England and India is merely a practical rule, and must rest upon deeper principles—principles perhaps not capable of mathematical or logical expression, but the general scope and bearing of which every man can understand. I assume that England and India are parts of one Empire having common interests, common objects, and therefore animated by common motives and a common policy. ["Hear, hear!"] I assent, of course, at once to the proposition that there are matters in which the direct interest of India is so remote that it almost vanishes, as there are Indian questions in which the direct interest of England is so remote that it likewise almost vanishes, and becomes what mathematicians call a negligible quantity. But consider those great Imperial questions on which no man can say that the interest of India is a vanishing quantity. Let me remind the House in this connection that the foreign and military policy of Great Britain has for many generations been largely influenced by Indian considerations. [Cheers.] And yet I am not aware that India has over contributed, or has ever been asked to contribute, to that diplomatic machinery which has been largely used on her behalf. [Cheers.] I apprehend that the Crimean War—whether you think it good or bad, just or unjust, and I am not going to pay a compliment to that war, or rather to the authors of it—[laughter]—was largely an Indian war, was largely dictated by considerations of Indian policy. ["Hear, hear!"] Towards that war India never contributed a sixpence. The right hon. Gentleman first told us that, so far as the Army is concerned, India pays every penny which is required for the soldiers which India uses. But India, so far as I am aware, contributes not one sixpence to that great Reserve which we have accumulated, not for the needs of this country alone, but for the needs of any part of the British Empire, and notably for the needs of India. [Cheers.] That line of argument, important as regards the Army, gains double strength when we refer to the Navy. ["Hear, hear!"] The cost of the British Navy is 20 millions a year, and the contribution of India to that Imperial Navy is £100,000 annually. ["Hear, hear!"] It has been said that India would have to keep up a navy if she was not already protected by the Navy of England. ["Hear, hear!"] Is there any man who can suppose that, if England and India were divorced one from another, India could maintain a navy adequate to protect her shores from invasion for £100,000, or for ten times or 20 times £100,000 a year? [Cheers.] Let the House remember what is the position of India, and what it is acknowledged to be by right hon. Gentlemen opposite. India depends upon England as its base, and the communications between England and India are absolutely vital to the existence of the Indian Empire. A defeat of the Indian Army on the Indus would be a trifling disaster for India compared with a defeat of the British fleet in the Channel, and the day which sees our military communication with India through the fleet severed, will be the last day of the Lido-British Empire. ["Hear, hear!"] Who pays the cost of this communication? What would you say of a general who said the whole cost of his Army was to be limited, or qualified or determined by the amount paid for the soldiers engaged in active operations in the front, ignoring the incomparably more important cost of keeping open communications with his base? That general would be regarded as either a very poor arithmetician or a very bad strategist. ["Hear, hear!"] The truth is that, if you sum up all that is now done, and done without complaint, by this country for the common Empire, in the way of diplomacy, in the way of military reserve, and in the way of our fleet, I think you will find that, if a strict account was drawn between the Indian Empire and the British Government, a large amount of arrears was due from India to the British Exchequer. But, Sir, though this consideration ought not to be lost sight of, we are the last people to suggest that in this partnership the heaviest burden should be thrown upon India. All we say is that in establishing a rule of this kind it must in fairness be remembered that the rule is one most favourable to India, and that Great Britain is the partner which suffers most pecuniary loss. The right hon. Gentleman laid down the methods by which my noble Friend's principal rule is to be applied. My noble Friend laid it down as a practical rule governing the relations of the Exchequer that, where Indian interests are not concerned in an obvious and direct manner, India should not be asked to pay. "Who is to be the judge of that?" asks the right hon. Gentleman. He then says, quoting from a Dispatch of Lord Cross, that the Indian Government are to be the judges in the matter. [Sir H. FOWLER: "It should at least be with their assent."] When did the right hon. Gentleman invent this principle? He borrowed it from Lord Cross, but what a pity it is that he did not read Lord Cross's Dispatch when in office. [Cheers.] I distinctly remember that one of the first things the present Government had to do when they came into office was to review a decision of the right hon. Gentleman opposite with regard to Chitral. [Cheers.] And what was that decision? It was a decision overruling the unanimous opinion of the whole Indian Government without exception. [Cheers.] I am bound to say I think the Indian Government are much better judges of the policy to be pursued in Chitral than they are of the larger and more Imperial question which we are discussing now; and if they are to be overruled by the sole authority of the Secretary of State for India with regard to a purely Indian matter like Chitral, surely they must not be regarded as having the verdict without appeal upon a question in which England and the Empire at large are at least as much interested or more interested than they are themselves. [Cheers.] The time is growing short, and I must compress my arguments into the closest compass of which they are susceptible. I will only therefore say, as regards the contention that India is not interested in the operations now going on in Egypt, that at all events the Unionist Party and the House have committed themselves by immense majorities to the proposition that the present expedition is in the interest of Egypt, and will have excellent effects upon the interests of Egypt; and all we ask is that the natural conclusion shall be drawn from that—namely, that what is obviously for the benefit and the security of Egypt should not be regarded now as it had never been regarded in the past, as outside the purview of Indian statesmen. The relations between England, Egypt and India have been matters of consideration to the statesmen of both England and India for more than a century—[cheers]—and never yet has it been suggested that the good order and good government in Egypt, and the international relations which depend upon good order and good government in Egypt, are not matters partly of Indian concern. Therefore, we are brought directly to the question of what is the sacrifice which India is asked to make on behalf of this Indian interest. I do not mean to discuss the pecuniary interest at great length, but one word I must say. Though it is impertinent of me to attack eminent men and high authorities on this subject, I am bound to say that greater nonsense appears to me to have been talked both in and out of this House, both in and out of some public Dispatches upon the subject of the drain on Indian military resources than on almost any subject which I can recall to mind. One of my hon. Friends who spoke on this point is intimately acquainted with City affairs, and I am quite sure he spoke excellent sense from a City point of view—[laughter]—but let it be remembered that you cannot draw a parallel of this kind between an army reserve and a banker's reserve. About 1 per cent. of the Indian Army is being taken for six months. Any Indian necessity within that time would of course require the transport of the army back to India, and the transport of the army back to India is quite as rapid an operation as the transport of the army within India from one end to the other. This army is still available for Indian purposes if India requires it, and there is no suggestion either that England should borrow from India or that India should borrow from England under any circumstances whatsoever troops which in any human probability will be required for the internal necessities of one part of the Empire or of the other. Everybody knows that the strength of the army, be it the Indian, or the English, or the French, or the German Army, is absolutely unnecessary year after year—decade after decade I had almost said—in time of peace. What it has to be kept for are those happily rare cataclysms to which every national nerve is strained to the utmost and all national resources drawn upon to the full. This is not such a period in India any more than it is such a period in this country, and one part of the Empire surely has a right, if it can do so without injury to the other part, to ask it to lend for a few brief months at most, without loss to itself, troops for which by hypothesis it can have no possible use. [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman has told us that the effect of this resolution if carried, as I earnestly hope it will be—[cheers]—will be disastrous to our position and to our prestige in India. I cannot agree with that. I hold precisely the opposite opinion. If India was an estate which this country was going to exploit for its own advantage, if we regarded India merely from the point of view of national vanity or national profit, it might be said:— You get your profit, your vanity is satisfied; it is not for you to ask even the imaginary sacrifice—for imaginary it is—which this Resolution imposes upon the Indian people. But I should be sorry to think that such a view of the relations of these two integral parts of the Empire should become fashionable either in Britain or in India. I regard them as two elements in one great whole whose interests cannot be divorced, each of which must suffer with the sufferings of the other, each of which must gain in the gain of the other, and which cannot look on with indifference on any of the needs or any of the policy which either one party or the other is obliged to pursue. [Cheers.] To tell the Indian Government that while we preserve in part for them—I do not put it higher than that—diplomatic, military, and naval establishments, while we keep open lines of communication, whether they be by the Canal, Aden, or the Cape of Good Hope, and pay the cost thereof—to tell them that when some question arises in which they and we are interested, it may be in different degrees, but still alike interested, they are not to make a sacrifice, not even to make the imaginary sacrifice which they are called upon to make by this Resolution, is to breed ideas as to the true relations of this country which must ultimately end in their separation. [Cheers.] This sum of £35,000, whosoever pays it—whether it be England, Egypt, or India—is an absolutely insignificant item in the national account; but, Sir, if this House decides that India is so little a part of, has so slight a connection with, this Empire, is drawn to us by bonds so slender and so insignificant, that even under the terms proposed by my noble Friend, they cannot send 2,000 men to Suakim, then, Sir, I say you are educating, not merely the British public, but the Indian public in absolutely false notions—[cheers.]—of what we all owe to a common Empire, and it is in the name, not merely of England, not merely of India, but in the name of that common Empire itself, that I ask the House to assent to this Resolution. [Loud cheers.]

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Curzon, Rt Hn. G. N. (Lane. S. W.) Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down)
Aird, John Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.) Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol)
Ambrose, William (Middlesex) Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead)
Arnold, Alfred Dalkeith, Earl of Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)
Arrol, Sir William Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hopkinson, Alfred
Ascroft, Robert Darling, Charles John Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Davenport, W. Bromley- Howard, Joseph
Atkinson, Et. Hon. John Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Howell, William Tudor
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon Hozier, James Henry Cecil
Bailey, James (Walworth) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn
Balcarres, Lord Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Hudson, George Bickersteth
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r) Drage, Geoffrey Hunt, Sir Frederick Seager
Balfour, Gerald William (Leeds) Drucker, G. C. Adolphus Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Isaacson, Frederick Wootton
Barry, A. H. Smith-(Hunts.) Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies
Barry, Francis Tress (Windsor) Edwards, Gen. Sir James Bevan Jebb, Richard Claverhouse
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Fardell, Thomas George Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Farquhar, Sir Horace Jenkins, Sir John Jones
Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants.) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Jolliffe, Hon. H. George
Begg, Ferdinand Faithful Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Kennaway, Sir John Henry
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Kenny, William
Biddulph, Michael Fielden, Thomas Kenrick, William
Blundell, Colonel Henry Finch, George H. Kimber, Henry
Bond, Edward Finch-Hatton, Hon. Harold H. Knowles, Lees
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lafone, Alfred
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Firbank, Joseph Thomas Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall)
Boulnois, Edmund Fisher, William Hayes Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) FitzGerald, R. Uniacke Penrose Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)
Brassey, Albert Fitz Wygram, Sir Frederick Lees, Elliott (Birkenhead)
Brodrick, Hon. St. John Flannery, Fortescue Legh, Hon. Thomas W. (Lanc.)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Fletcher, Sir Henry Leighton, Stanley
Brown, Alexander H. Flower, Ernest Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset)
Bullard, Sir Harry Folkestone, Viscount Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn (Swansea)
Byrne, Edmund Widdrington Forster, Henry William Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A R. (Essex)
Carlile, William Walter Forwood, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur B. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Gilliat, John Saunders Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Drbyshr) Godson, Augustus Frederick Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool)
Cayzer, Charles William Goldsworthy, Major-General Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller
Cecil, Lord Hugh Gordon, John Edward Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent)
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Bir.) Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (S. Georges) Lucas-Shadwell, William
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc.) Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Goulding, Edward Alfred Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Charrington, Spencer Graham, Henry Robert Macdona, John Gumming
Chelsea, Viscount Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Maclure, John William
Clare, Octavius Leigh Green, Walford D. (Wdnesbury) McCalmont, Col. H. (Antrim N.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury) McCalmont, Capt. J. (Antrim, E.)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs) McKillop, James
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gretton, John Malcolm, Ian
Ceilings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gunter, Colonel Manners, Lord Edward Win. J.
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hall, Sir Charles Maple, Sir John Blundell
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Halsey, Thomas Frederick Martin, Richard Biddulph
Combe, Charles Harvey Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo. Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.) Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm Maxwell, Sir Herbert E.
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hanson, Sir Reginald Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Cox, Robert Hare, Thomas Leigh Meysey-Thompson, Sir II. M.
Cranborne, Viscount Hatch, Ernest Frederick George Milbank, Powlett Charles John
Cripps, Charles Alfred Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Heath, James Milner, Sir Frederick George
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Helder, Augustus Milward, Colonel Victor
Cruddas, William Donaldson Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter Monckton, Edward Philip
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hickman, Sir Alfred Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants)

The House divided:—Ayes, 275; Noes, 190.—(Division List, No. 311.)

The announcement of the figures was received with loud Opposition cheers.

More, Robert Jasper Rentoul, James Alexander Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh.) Ridley, Rt. Hon Sir Matthew W. Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.)
Morrell, George Herbert Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Thornton, Percy M.
Mount, William George Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Tollemache, Henry James
Muntz, Philip A. Robinson, Brooke Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Murdoch, Charles Townshend Rothschild, Baron F. James de Usborne, Thomas
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute) Round, James Verney, Hon. Richard Greville
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Russell, Col. F. S. (Cheltenham) Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Russell, Sir George (Berkshire) Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Newdigate, Francis Alexander Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Warkworth, Lord
Nicol, Donald Ninian Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Savory, Sir Joseph Webster, Sir R. E.(Isle of Wight)
Oswald James Francis Seely, Charles Hilton Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.
Parkes, Ebenezer Seton-Karr, Henry Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Pease, Arthur (Darlington) Sharpe, William Edward T. Wharton, John Lloyd
Pender, James Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew) Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)
Penn, John Sidebottom, William (Derbysh.) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Simeon, Sir Barrington Wigram, Alfred Money
Pierpoint, Robert Skewes-Cox, Thomas Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm.)
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Smith, Abel (Herts) Willoughby de Ereshy, Lord
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch) Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)
Priestley, Sir W. Overend (Edin.) Stanley, Lord (Lancs) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Pryce-Jones, Edward Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Purvis, Robert Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Wyndham, George
Pym, C. Guy Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Quilter, William Cuthbert Stone, Sir John Benjamin Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Rankin, James Strauss, Arthur TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Reed, Henry Byron (Bradford) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Abraham, William (Cork, N. B.) Crilly, Daniel Hazell, Walter
Allen, Wm. (Newc. under-Lyme) Crombie, John William Heaton, John Henniker
Arch, Joseph Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dalziel, James Henry Hogan, James Francis
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Holburn, J. G.
Atherley-Jones, L. Davies, W. Rees-(Pembrokesh.) Holden, Angus
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Davitt, Michael Horniman, Frederick John
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hulse, Edward Henry
Bainbridge, Emerson Dillon, John Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Baird, John George Alexander Doogan, P. C. Jacoby, James Alfred
Baker, Sir John Doughty, George Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Banbury, Frederick George Dunn, Sir William Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Edw.
Barlow, John Emmott Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)
Bartley, George C. T. Ellis, John Edward (Notts) Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn. Sir U.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Ellis, Thos. Edw. (Merionethsh. Kearley, Hudson E.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Esmonde, Sir Thomas Kenyon, James
Beckett, Ernest William Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton) Kilbride, Denis
Bhownaggree, Mancherjee M. Evershed, Sydney King, Sir Henry Seymour
Birrell, Augustine Farquharson, Dr. Robert Kitson, Sir James
Blake, Edward Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Labouchere, Henry
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Fison, Frederick William Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land.)
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Flynn, James Christopher Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington
Bryce, Right Hon. James Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Leng, Sir John
Burns, John Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Leuty, Thomas Richmond
Buxton, Sydney Charles Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir Hen.(Wol'tn) Lewis, John Herbert
Caldwell, James Fowler, Matthew (Durham) Lloyd-George, David
Cameron, Robert Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Lockwood, Sir Frank (York)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Logan, John William
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson Goddard, Daniel Ford Lough, Thomas
Causton, Richard Knight Gold, Charles Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Cawley, Frederick Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley Macaleese, Daniel
Channing, Francis Allston Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Griffith, Ellis J. M'Arthur, William
Clough, Walter Owen Haldane, Richard Burdon M'Dermott, Patrick
Colville, John Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William M'Donnell, Dr. M. A. (Queen's C.)
Compton, Earl (Barnsley) Hardy, Laurence M'Ewan, William
Condon, Thomas Joseph Harrison, Charles M'Iver, Lewis
Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd) Harwood, George M'Kenna, Reginald
Cozens-Hardy, Herbert Hardy Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- M'Laren, Charles Benjamin
M'Leod, John Perks, Robert William Spicer, Albert
Maden, John Henry Pickard, Benjamin Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Pickersgill, Edward Hare Stevenson, Francis S.
Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Yorks) Pirie, Captain Duncan Vernon Strachey, Edward
Molloy, Bernard Charles Tower, Patrick Joseph Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Price, Robert John Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Priestley, Briggs (Yorks) Tennant, Harold John
Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir G. O.(Denbs.) Reckitt, Harold James Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Reid, Sir Robert T. (Dumfries) Trevelyan, Rt. Hn. Sir Geo. Otto
Morley, Rt. Hm John (Montrose) Rickett, J., Compton Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)
Morrison, Walter Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Morton, Edward John Chalmers Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Mundella, Rt. I In. Anthony John Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Wayman, Thomas
Nussey, Thomas Willans Robson, William Snowdon Wedderburn, Sir William
O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) White, James Martin
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Schwann, Charles E. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Oldroyd, Mark Scott, Charles Prestwich Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
O'Malley, William Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Owen, Thomas Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.) Wilson, John (Govan)
Paulton, James Mellor Shaw, William Rawson (Halifax) Woodall, William
Pearson, Sir Weetman P. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks) Yoxall, James Henry
Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.) Smith, Samuel (Flint) TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Maclean.
Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham) Souttar, Robinson

Main Question put. The House divided:—Ayes, 252; Noes, 106.—(Division List, No. 312.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Cecil, Lord Hugh Fieldon, Thomas
Aird, John Chaloner, Captain E. G. W. Finch, George H.
Ambrose, William (Middlesex) Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm) Finch-Hatton, Hon. Harold H.
Arnold, Alfred Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Arrol, Sir William Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Firbank, Joseph Thomas
Ascroft, Robert Charrington, Spencer Fisher, William Hayes
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Chelsea, Viscount FitzGerald, R. Uniacke Penrose
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Clare, Octavius Leigh Fitz Wygram, Sir Frederick
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Flannery, Fortescue
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Coghill, Douglas Harry Fletcher, Sir Henry
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cohen, Benjamin Louis Flower, Ernest
Balcarres, Lord Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Folkestone, Viscount
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r) Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Forster, Henry William
Balfour, Gerald William (Leeds) Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Godson, Augustus Frederick
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds) Goldsworthy, Major-General
Barry, A. H. Smith-(Hunts) Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Gordon, John Edward
Barry, Francis Tress (Windsor) Cox, Robert Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. G'rg's)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Gripps, Charles Alfred Goschen, George J. (Sussex)
Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Goulding, Edward Alfred
Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants) Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Graham, Henry Robert
Begg, Ferdinand Faithful Cruddas, William Donaldson Gray, Ernest) West Ham)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Cubitt, Hon. Henry Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry)
Biddulph, Michael Curzon, Rt. Hn. G. N. (Lanc. S. W.) Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Curzon, Viscount (Bucks) Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs)
Bond, Edward Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Gretton, John
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Dalkeith, Earl of Gunter, Colonel
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hall, Sir Charles
Boulnois, Edmund Darling, Charles John Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.
Brassey, Albert Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Win.
Brodrick, Hon. St. John Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon Hanson, Sir Reginald
Brookfield A. Montagu Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hare, Thomas Leigh
Brown, Alexander H. Drucker, G. C. Adolphus Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.
Bullard, Sir Harry Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry
Butcher, John George Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Helder, Augustus
Byrne, Edmund Widdrington Edwards, Gen. Sir James Bevan Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down)
Carlile, William Walter Fardell, Thomas George Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol)
Cavendish, E. F. (N. Lancs) Farquhar, Sir Horace Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)
Cayzer, Charles William Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry

The announcement of the numbers was received with Ministerial cheers.

Howard, Joseph Martin, Richard Biddulph Seely, Charles Hilton
Howell, William Tudor Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Seton-Karr, Henry
Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Maxwell, Sir Herbert E. Sharpe, William Edward T.
Hozier, James Henry Cecil Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Sidebottom, William (Derbysh.)
Hudson, George Bickersteth Milbank, Powlett Charles John Simeon, Sir Barrington
Hunt, Sir Frederick Seager Mildmay, Francis Bingham Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice- Milner, Sir Frederick George Smith, Abel (Herts)
Isaacson, Frederick Wootton Monckton, Edward Philip Smith, Abel, H. (Christchurch)
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Stanley, Lord (Lancs)
Jebb, Richard Claverhouse More, Robert Jasper Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Jenkins, Sir John Jones Morrell, George Herbert Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Mount, William George Strauss, Arthur
Kennaway, Sir John Henry Murdoch, Charles Townshend Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Kenny, William Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Kenrick, William Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Kimber, Henry Murray, Col. Windham (Bath) Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.)
Knowles, Lees Newdigate, Francis Alexander Thornton, Percy M.
Lafone, Alfred Nicol, Donald Ninian Tollemache, Henry James
Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Oswald, James Francis Usborne, Thomas
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks) Parkes, Ebenezer Verney, Hon. Richard Greville
Lees, Elliott (Birkenhead) Pease, Arthur (Darlington) Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)
Legh, Hon. Thomas W. (Lanc.) Penn, John Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Leighton, Stanley Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Warkworth, Lord
Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset) Pierpoint, Robert Webster, R. G. (St. Tancras)
Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans'a Platt-Higgins, Frederick Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of W.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. (Essex Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Priestley, Sir W. Overend (Edin.) Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Long, Col. Charles (Evesham) Pryce-Jones, Edward Wharton, John Lloyd
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool) Purvis, Robert Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)
Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Pym, C. Guy Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John Quitter, William Cuthbert Wigram, Alfred Money
Lucas-Shadwell, William Rankin, James Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)
Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Rasch, Major Frederick Carne Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Reed, Henry Byron (Bradford) Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)
Macdona, John Cumming Rentoul, James Alexander Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Maclure, John William Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
M'Calmont, Col. H. (Antrim, N.) Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Windham, George
M'Calmont, Capt. J.(Antrim, E.) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
M'Killop, James Russell, Col. F. S. (Cheltenham) Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Malcolm, Ian Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Manners, Lord Edward Wm. J. Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Maple, Sir John Blundell Savory, Sir Joseph
Arch, Joseph Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kenyon, James
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Dillon, John Kilbride, Denis
Baker, Sir John Doogan, P. C. King, Sir Henry Seymour
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Esmonde, Sir Thomas Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Evershed, Sydney Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'ld.)
Birrell, Augustine Farquharson, Dr. Robert Leng, Sir John
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Leuty, Thomas Richmond
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Fison, Frederick William Lloyd-George, David
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Flynn, James Christopher Lockwood, Sir Frank (York)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Fowler, Matthew (Durham) Logan, John William
Burns, John Gedge, Sydney Lough, Thomas
Caldwell, James Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Cawley, Frederick Gold, Charles Macaleese, Daniel
Channing, Francis Allston Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Griffith, Ellis J. M'Dermott, Patrick
Clough, Walter Owen Harrison, Charles M'Donnell, Dr. M. A. (Queen'sC.)
Compton, Earl (Bamsley) Harwood, George M'Laren, Charles Benjamin
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hazell, Walter Maden, John Henry
Crilly, Daniel Hogan, James Francis Molloy, Bernard Charles
Crombie, John William Holburn, J. G. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Jameson, Major J. Eustace Morton, Edward John Chalmers
Dalziel, James Henry Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Davitt, Michael Kearley, Hudson E. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Oldroyd, Mark Schwann, Charles E. Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)
O'Malley, William Scott, Charles Prestwich Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Owen, Thomas Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wayman, Thomas
Pickard, Benjamin Shaw, William Rawson (Halifax) Wedderburn, Sir William
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Smith, Samuel (Flint) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Power, Patrick Joseph Souttar, Robinson Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Price, Robert John Spicer, Albert Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
Priestley, Briggs (Yorks) Stanhope, Hon. Philip J. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Reckitt, Harold James Strachey, Edward TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Mr. Wm. Allen and Mr. M'Kennna.
Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Robson, William Snowdon Tanner, Charles Kearns

Resolved:— That Her Majesty having directed a Military expedition of Her Native forces charged upon the Revenues of India to be dispatched to Africa in aid of the Egyptian troops, this House consents that the ordinary pay of any troops so dispatched, as well as the ordinary charges of any vessels belonging to the Government of India that may be employed in this expedition, which would be charged upon the resources of India if such troops or vessels had remained in that country or sea adjacent, shall continue to be so chargeable; provided that if it shall become necessary to replace the troops or vessels so withdrawn by other vessels or Native forces, then the expense of raising, maintaining, and providing such vessels and forces shall, in so far as may not be otherwise provided, he repaid out of any moneys which may be provided by Parliament for the purposes of the said expedition.