§ SIR EDWARD CLARKE (City of London)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to Section 3 of The Indian Councils Act, 1861, which provides that if any person appointed an honorary member of the Governor General's Council shall be in the military service of the Crown, he snail not, during his continuance in office as such member, hold any military command or be employed in any military duties; whether, in view of the fact that under the scheme of military administration about to be introduced, the officer holding the highest military command in India is to be the head of the new Army Department, and to become for all general purposes an ordinary member of Council, instead of, as at present, an extraordinary member, appointed only at the discretion of the Secretary of State, he has taken advice as to the legality of the constitution thus proposed; and, if so, whether he will inform the House what legal authorities have been consulted, and whether his action has been in complete accord with their opinions.
I beg also to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to Section 2 of The Indian Civil Service Act, 1861, which provides that the Secretary, Junior Secretary, and Assistant Secretary to the Government of India shall be reserved for members of the Indian Civil Service, with certain 628 exceptions, namely the Military, Marine, and Public Works; whether he has been advised that the appointment of military officers to the secretarial offices of the two new Departments in India, namely, the Army Department and the Military Supply Department, can legally be made under this section; if so, whether he will inform the House what legal authorities have been consulted; whether, in the event of the appointment of military officers to the above post not being permissible under Section 2 of The Indian Civil Service Act, 1861, it is proposed that the appointment of such officers should be made under Sections 3 and 4 of the same Act, which provides for the provisional appointment of persons qualified under the Act, subject to the approval within twelve months of the Secretary of State in Council; whether, in that case, it is proposed permanently to fill these posts by a series of provisional appointments; and whether he has been advised that such procedure will be in accordance with the Statute.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. JOHN MORLEY,) Montrose Burghs
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer both the Questions together, by stating that I consulted not only the legal authorities at the India Office, but also the Lord Chancellor, as to the arrangements recently made in connection with the new Army Department, and they were clear and unanimous in advising that there can be no doubt as to those arrangements being in complete accordance with the law.