SIR MANCHERJEE BHOWNAG-GREE (Bethnal Green, N.E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether the Government of the Nizam reduced the royalty payable by the Hyderabad (Deccan) Company last year from four annas to one anna; and whether, in consequence of this reduction, the royalty fell in 1904 to £2,622, as against £9,727 recovered in 1903, causing a loss to the Hyderabad State of upwards of a lac of rupees; and, if so, will he state if this reduction in the rate of royalty was effected with the concurrence of the officer of the Government of India who advises the Nizam on financial matters, together with the reasons which prompted the reduction in question.
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BRODRIOK, Surrey, Guildford)
The Nizam's Government informed the Government of India in May, 1904, that they had decided to offer to the Hyderabad (Deccan) Company a reduction of the royalty payable by the company under the terms of the Singareni Coalfield lease to a fixed and uniform rate of two Halli Sicca annas per ton, and that the arrangement proposed had been accepted by the company. The reason given by the Nizam's Government was the lengthy and intricate character of the rules for assessing the royalty which were framed in 1893. I am not aware whether the Financial Secretary 1212 to the Nizam was consulted in the matter, nor have I received any report as to the financial effect of the new rate.
SIR MANCHERJEE BHOWNAG-GREE
Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire if the Financial Secretary's advice was asked?