HC Deb 25 May 1905 vol 146 c1386

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the Municipal Government in Calcutta, established by Lord Northbrook in 1876 and developed by Lord Dufferin, so that out of seventy-five members of the corporation fifty were elected by the ratepayers, has during the last few years been reorganised in such a manner as to reduce the number of elected members to twenty five and thus place them in a perpetual minority; and, in view of the fact that a Committee has bean appointed to prepare a scheme whereby the administration of Calcutta will be broken up into boroughs, will he explain why no member of the Corporation of Calcutta has been appointed to a seat on that Committee.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Brodrick.) The Committee of six (three being Europeans and three Natives) appointed by the Government of Bengal to work out a scheme for decentralising the work of the Calcutta Corporation, includes two members of the corporation. A third member of the Committee was recently a member of the corporation. I am unable to say why no elected member of the corporation is on the Committee, but having regard to the fact that of the three native gentlemen on the Committee one is a Judge of the High Court and two are members of the Bengal Legislative Council, I have no reason to suppose that any better selection could have been made.