§ Mr. MACKARNESS
I rise to move as an Amendment to the Address, at the end, to add: "But humbly represent that this House, while cordially welcoming the proposals which have been laid before it for the reform of the Government of India is of opinion that the success of those proposals is gravely endangered by the fact that British subjects in that country are subjected to imprisonment and deportation without having had any charge made against them, and without having been convicted of any crime."
It is unnecessary to say much about the first part of the Amendment welcoming the reforms in the Government of India, because every step taken in the direction of associating the people of the country more closely with the government of their own country must be a step in the right direction. The proposals are undoubtedly in the right direction and especialy after the conspicuous success which hat attended the experiment of associating the people of the Transvaal and of the Orange State with the government of these countries, this Government ought to be prepared to try the same experiment in other parts of the Empire. Therefore I need hardly say that we welcome the steps which Lord Morley is taking, though they may not go far in the direction of self-government in India.
But the other parts of the Amendment are those to which I desire to direct the attention of the House. Those are the parts of the Amendment which urge that the success of reform cannot be complete as long as arbitrary measures are taken by the Government of India which include deportation and imprisonment for unlimited periods of British subjects without any charge being made against them, and without their being told what their offence is, and without their being con- 808 victed of any crime in any court of justice. Two features of the new policy are to revive what is called the Bengal regulation of 1818, which now seems to have been made part of the normal machinery of government in India. Under that no less than eleven British subjects in India within the last few years have been banished from their homes and imprisoned for an indefinite time without being charged with any crime.
There has also been passed quite recently what is known as the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. Under that Act large numbers of British subjects in India—I do not quite know how many—have been declared criminals and rendered liable to criminal prosecution merely from the simple fact of belonging to certain associations. Those associations have been declared criminal by the Government of India without anything whatever being proved against them. The objects of these associations in the first instance were admittedly not only innocent but laudable ones.
The Secretary of State for the Viceroy's Government, the other day, in describing them in the Viceroy's Council, said they outwardly professed to be devoted to certain laudable objects, such as the keeping of order at meetings, and the helping of pilgrims at festivals; and there is no doubt they have done a great deal in that perfectly harmless and laudable way, but though they have never been engaged in any disturbance, yet, simply because they were supposed to be engaged in some seditious propaganda, the simple fiat of the Executive has declared them unlawful, and their members liable to criminal prosecution and to be punished. The very same thing was done in this country in 1887 by the Coercion Act in Ireland under which the Government were given powers to proclaim the Land League and all its branches. The whole Liberal party led by Mr. Gladstone protested against the Act.
§ Mr. Gladstone ,
whose name to all Liberals is a great and venerable name, spoke on that occasion in these words:—The arbitrary will of the Government is to be substituted for the regular action of law. This principle of assumption of guilt in place of law is a principle most dangerous, and I think most disgraceful to be enacted in any country.I call attention to the words "in any country," because it is frequently said that you can do all sorts of things in India which it would not be right to do here or now. Mr. Gladstone, with his wide knowledge of India and the whole British Empire, observed that this particular method would be a disgrace to be enacted in any country.
But that is not the only objectionable feature of this Act. Under this Act British subjects may be committed for trial on most serious charges—murder for instance—by a magistrate sitting in secret in the absence of the accused, without anyone to represent the accused or anyone being there on his behalf and without any chance of his calling evidence to rebut the charges made against him. The provisions of this Act are absolutely unparalleled in this or any other civilised country. It is provided that "the accused shall not be present unless the magistrate so directs, nor shall he be represented by any pleader during any such inquiry, nor shall any person have any right of access to the court of the magistrate while he is holding the inquiry."
That is not all, because afterwards the accused is tried by judges without a jury, and if the witnesses who have given evidence against him in secret in his absence before the magistrate do not appear on the trial before the judges, and the court think that the disappearance is in the interests of the accused, he may then be tried by the Judges on the depositions of the witnesses who have given evidence in secret in his absence, and he might be convicted on that evidence which he has never seen, heard, or had any opportunity of knowing anything about.
That is quite contrary to anything allowed by our law. I know of no other law which allows such a thing. It is allowed in our laws to take what are called the dying depositions of somebody on the point of death, and the evidence of that person so given may afterwards be used, though it has never been heard by the accused or cross-examined on. With that exception, I believe it to be quite unprecedented to allow evidence that has never been heard by the accused or cross-examined on by him to be used against him afterwards on the trial. I go on to the Bengal regulation. That dispenses 810 with every form of trial whatever. Under it persons are deported and imprisoned for an indefinite period without being told what is against them, or being heard any way in their own defence. I will read the words of the regulation in order that the House may see that under it, ex hypothesi, the persons are those against whom there is no legal evidence. Here are the words of the regulation:—Whereas reasons of State occasionally render it necessary to place under personal restraint individuals against whom there may not be sufficient grounds to institute any judicial proceedings,Whereas the Governor-General in Council. for good and sufficient reasons, has seen fit to determine that A.B. shall be placed under personal restraint at—, You are hereby requested to receive him into your custody and deal with him according to the orders of the Governor-General in Council.
That is the power that was exercised by Charles I., and which led to civil war in this country. It is a regulation which violates the fundamental safeguard of our liberties laid down in Magna Charta as long ago as 1215, affirmed by 37 statutes in the course of the next 200 years, reaffirmed just before the Civil War in the celebrated Petition of Rights, and which was actually finally vindicated by the Parliament of Charles II. by the Habeas Corpus Act in 1679. I am almost ashamed to have to say to a House of Commons in the 20th century what that principle was, but I will venture to read to the House the following words from Magna Charta:—No man, of whatever state or condition that he be, shall be taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to death, without being brought to answer, by due process of law.That was Magna Charta in 1215, but it was a fundamental part of the common law of England long before that, and was derived, no doubt, from the Roman Law. We have on record the Roman Law as declared by one of the greatest Emperors in the year 102, at the beginning of the 2nd century of the Christian Era, in regard to a proposal to do in an Asiatic province in the Roman Empire precisely what is being done in India to-day—namely, lock up people without charge or trial, and without any sworn information on part of the accuser. In answer to a proposal of that kind the Roman Government issued this very distinct order, which ought to be written in letters of gold over the door of the India Office:—Under no circumstances should anonymous accusations be listened to. They are of the worst example and quite contrary to the spirit of our age. Suspected persons are not to he sought out. When properly charged and convicted, then they must be punished.That is the Roman Law of 102. But we have a higher authority than any of those great and memorable authorities—namely, the Prime Minister. Only five days ago in 811 this House the present Prime Minister laid down this salutary maxim:—You cannot convict without evidence. No tribunal in the world, not even a drumhead court-martial, ought without evidence to convict any man of any crime with which he may be charged.That was his answer to a taunt that the Secretary of State for India was administering coercion in India. If coercion is wrong in Ireland—and I think that is admitted—I fail to see why it should be right in India. Regulations taken over from the East India Company are being enforced, and already 11 British subjects have been put into prison without trial. Several of them are men well known to this country, men of great social and educational achievements, whose character and record are blameless.
The best known among them perhaps are Lala Lajpat Rai, Aswini Kuman Dutt, Krishna Kumar Mitra, and Satish Chatterjea. I only know the first one personally; I made his acquaintance when he came over to this country after having suffered imprisonment in the way I have described. I have learned from personal acquaintance that he is a man of high character, and I should say of moderate opinions. His record shows that he has been unceasingly engaged for over 25 years in philanthropic work organising funds for the relief of famine and earthquake victims; and the moment he came out of gaol after deportation he began to organise a fresh fund for the relief of the victims of the recent famine. That is one of the men who have been deported as a seditious person. He was charged by a newspaper in India and in this country with sedition, and he has come over to this country to vindicate his character.
As soon as he brings his action against the English newspaper the proprietors put in a defence that they do not intend to justify the charge, and they pay him over money as damages. Mr. Kuman Dutt is known to many hon. Members of this House, for he is the founder of a great educational establishment at Barisal, and he has been several times at the head of the Municipal Council in that town, and he has exercised, so far as I know, a most wonderful influence for good among all the people in his district. It is quite true that he has been a strong advocate of the promotion of home industries in India as against the importation of goods from this and other countries, but surely, in the British Empire, we can hardly regard that as detrimental.
Then there is Mr. Krishna Kumar Mitra 812 and he is a man who was also engaged in educational work in Calcutta at the City College, and he has borne the highest character. He is also the editor of a newspaper, and the most remarkable thing is that just before he was arrested, in his newspaper he addressed an appeal to his readers to have nothing to do with the unlawful and violent means of promoting their political views. I have here the appeal which this gentleman issued, and I desire to call the attention of the House to it:—No nation on earth has ever gained anything by murder. Read the history of the world and you will find that nations which have tried to gain freedom by terrorism have only degraded themselves and worsened their condition. Wrongdoing can never help a good cause. This is an eternal truth.
That does not seem to be the sort of man the Government would do good by deporting. The other man is Professor Satish Chatterjea, and from those who, know him I gather that his record is equally good. There is a well-known Constitutional way of dispensing with legal proceedings and imprisoning men without trial, and it is by proclaiming Martial Law when it has been found impossible to deal with citizens by the ordinary legal processes. If a case of that kind had been made out here, it would of course be entitled to a very careful consideration.
But there must be a condition like that of war or insurrection. And I maintain that no case has been made out. Yet, this has been an axiom of statesmanship that before you can enter upon those extra legal proceedings you must establish such a case. Here, again, I quote the Prime Minister. On the same day that he made the quotations which I have already given, he said defending himself against the introduction of coercion in Ireland on the ground that there were only 576 agrarian offences last year in Ireland: Take the three great Coercion years. In 1880 (he said) there were 2,585 cases;in 1881, 4,439;in 1886, 1,056; and 576 in 1908, and he added that there was no case. We have not been given in this House, and so far as I know in the House of Lords, any record of prevalent crimes which would justify this extra legal method. In another place the Secretary of State contented himself with a reference to the speeches of the Viceroy and Sir Harvey Adamson in the Viceroy's Council.
I have read these speeches with all the care they deserve, and I am bound to say that, although Sir Harvey does cite a certain number of crimes of violence—the two attempts on the life of Sir Andrew Fraser and three or four others, and a 813 certain bomb conspiracy that is still sub judice; with these exceptions there have been no series of crimes that can possibly be called justification for deportation and for the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
There is still a graver aspect than that which I have alluded to. That is that the agency through which these extra-legal methods are carried out is the agency of the Indian Police. The Report of the Royal Commission, appointed by Lord Curzon in 1902, and which reported in 1905, was a scathing indictment of the whole force, the truth of which has never been questioned. It was presided over by Sir A. Fraser, then Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. The Commissioners visited Assam, Bengal, the United Provinces, the Central Provinces, Burmah, Madras, Hyderabad, Bombay, the Punjaub, and the North-West Provinces. That Commission examined every grade of policeman. Let me read a few things said by this Commission.
It says:—The evidence in most provinces is that the canker of corruption affects the force in greater or less degree from constable to inspector (p. [...]93)." And that—"Suspects and innocent persons are bullied and threatened into giving information they are supposed to possess…Inquiries degrading in their character are conducted corom populo… Actual physical torture is now rarely resorted to, but it is easy, under the conditions of Indian society and having regard to the character of the people, to exercise strong pressure and great cruelty without having recourse to such physical violence as leaves its traces on the body of the victim. (p. 17)." They summed up their indictment as follows:—"There can be no doubt that the police force throughout the country is in a most unsatisfactory condition, that abuses are common everywhere, that this involves great injury to the people and discredit to the Government.
As to the constables, the Commission reported:—Everywhere we went we heard the most bitter coin-plaints of the corruption of the police……The corruption of the constable is more intolerable, because of the greater opportunities of oppression and extortion which his police powers afford.…These men are too often rough, ill-trained, and underpaid.ߪThe annoyance and vexation which their practices of extortion and oppression of ten inflict on the people have been strongly urged before us.,'
Next as to investigating officers, who are selected constables, the Commission said:—We regret to have to report that we have the strongest evidence of the corruption and inefficiency of the great mass of investigating officers of higher grades.…The forms of this corruption are very numerous. It manifests itself in every stage of the work of the police station. The police-officer may levy a fee or receive a present for every duty he performs.…More money is extorted as the investigation proceeds.…A body of police comes down to a village and is quartered on it for several days.…Suspects and innocent persons are bullied and threatened into giving information they are supposed to possess.…If, in the police-officer's opinion, enough evidence is not thus obtained to secure a conviction, he will not hesitate to bolster up his case with false evidence.…Deliberate association with criminals in their gains, deliberately false charges against innocent persons on the ground of private spite or village faction, 814 deliberate torture of suspected persons and other most flagrant abuses occur occasionally.…What wonder is it that the people are said to dread the police?
I next come to the inspectors. The verdict of the Commission on them is as follows:—We find that the public do not regard them as honest.…They have not generally the respect of their men, nor the necessary influence over them, even if they were animated by an earnest desire to permit only that which is right. One of the strongest proofs before us, of the corruption of the police, is the testimony of respectable parents, teachers, and other gentlemen as to the difficulty experienced by a young man in accepting one of the direct appointments of sub-inspector or inspector now sometimes offered. He finds himself a member of a corrupt service. He is surrounded by influences that forbid his acting uprightly.
Finally, here is the view of the Commission about the superintendents:—The prevailing opinion…is that the superintendents are, with the rarest exceptions, upright men beyond the influence of corruption.…The charges made against them are, that they are often not well educated or intelligent men, that their training is defective, that their knowledge of the vernacular is not such as to enable them to have free intercourse with the people…that they are too much in the hands of their subordinates, that they are not accessible or even courteous to natives, that their views are too narrow…to allow them to pay due regard to complaints against their subordinates…The Commission is of opinion that there is a great deal of truth in these complaints.
It is through the instrumentality of such a police force that we Liberals are allowing our fellow-citizens in India, not only to be deported and confined by the Executive, without charge or trial, but to be prosecuted on the most serious charges known to the law in their absence before magistrates. At these secret inquiries it is the police who, as prosecutors, found the charges. And what says the Commission of them?—These officers are ignorant of law and procedure and inefficient for the purpose required. In Bengal the prosecution of police cases before the magistrates is in the hands of sub-inspectors. They have sometimes court head constables as assistants. They are ill-trained and incapable of conducting a case of any intricacy before the Court.
It will be seen, therefore, that every grade of policeman, from the top to the bottom, has received severe criticism from this Commission, which reported only three years ago. If there be any question about these strictures holding good, I think it will be removed by recalling the grave scandals which took place in more than one well-known trial within the last year or two. There was one case at Rawal Pindi, in which 56 out of 59 men were charged with sedition, and owing to the breakdown of the police evidence they were ordered to be discharged. In another case at Midrapur, out of 26 men charged, the case against 23 broke down hopelessly, because it was said that the principal police witness had been either bullied or tortured into making a false 815 statement. Since then he has been prosecuted for perjury; I do not know what the perjury consisted of. But we know the fact that the witness was withdrawn, and the whole case collapsed against 23 of the 26 men.
All these men were kept in gaol for several months. Within the last few weeks there have been two very serious cases of police torture. There was a case at Secunderabad in December, where two policemen were convicted of torturing a man badly in order to compel him to confess his guilt. The last case, which only appeared in the papers which came by mail this day week, is a much worse one. A woman was actually charged with murdering her husband by poison in the Punjaub. The chief evidence against her was an admission of her own that she had poisoned him. Upon the case being brought before the High Court, the Chief Court of the Punjaub, it appeared that the evidence of the woman had been extorted by the police. This was the finding of the two judges: that the police had first brutally outraged the woman and then actually tortured her.
That will be found in the judgment of the learned judges, who said that the matter was a most serious one, and ought to be inquired into at once by the Government. I cite those two cases to show that the condemnation of the Commission in 1905 seems to be a condemnation which is as true to-day as it was then. If this is so, are the Indian people, watching these things, likely to receive favourably boons even of administrative reform? Some of the most respectable Indian citizens are liable to be prosecuted or deported on the evidence of the police, whom they know to be of this character. Just before Mr. Gokhale left this country—he is a man who enjoys the confidence of the Secretary of State, as well as of a great number of people in India—he spoke in the strongest terms on this subject of Reforms. Reforms, he said, could be of no use unless accompanied by a conciliatory measure of amnesty for political prisoners.
We have never been told, either by the representative of India in this House, or, so so far as I know, by the Secretary of State, for what offences these men have been so treated. We are told that they are deporte[...]d under these regulations, save that it is for good and sufficient reasons, or it is for good and sufficient reasons, or because the internal peace of the country demands it. Anything more specific than that we have not been able to obtain. 816 The Correspondent of the "Times," telegraphing from Calcutta on the 22nd. January, says:—Information from Eastern Bengal shows that the deportations and the disbanding of the Samitis have exercised the sobering effect which was expected. The simple villagers round Barisal acted on the principle that the man to whom they had to defer was the man who exercised authority. Many signs have indicated that Aswini Dutt was this man. He controlled the supply of the magistrate's servants, ordered the people to buy dear country-made instead of cheap Manchester dhoties, placed pickets before the dealers in European goods, and had this man beaten and that ostracized for refusing to obey his orders. The British Raj seemed helpless to protect the loyal natives or to defend British trade.
Is this really the sum of the offence? I say with all respect that we have not been able in this House or anywhere else to see what offence has been committed. I believe that crime committed by any of these gentlemen should be punished, and punished severely, as it deserves, but a thing is not a crime until it is proved. At the present moment we have in India the most drastic laws for the purpose of detecting and punishing all kinds of crime of a political nature. The last two years have been years of increasingly repressive legislation. There is the Penal Code, the New Press Act, the New Public Meetings Act, the New Explosives Act, and finally the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
Therefore, why was there any reason to resort to the arbitrary measure of deportation without charge or trial? They are methods unknown in this country since the Stuarts, but which were used by Louis Napoleon to carry out that great political crime by which in 1851 he seized supreme power in France, and methods which are denounced by the opinion of the civilised world. You may cut down the freedom of the Press in India. You may forbid political meetings. You may abolish trial by jury, and introduce ex parte inquiries held in secret. You may place the personal liberty of British subjects at the disposal of an Executive supported by a hopelessly corrupt police force. But you cannot crush out the two root causes of the unrest, namely, the passionate feeling against the partition of Bengal, and, what Mr. Gladstone salled. "those laudable sentiments of national independence which lie at the root of patriotism." A little time, as he said. may no doubt be gained by gigantic labours in repression, during which not even the slightest ripple of discontent will he discernible. And within that little time statesmen, dressed in their brief authority, may claim credit of the world for the peremptory assertion of power. But they are only damming up the stream and 817 accumulating the waters which, when the day of bursting comes, will be absolutely ungovernable.
In the great biography of Mr. Gladstone with which the Secretary of State has enriched our literature, there is a striking description of how in 1881 a knot of Irish Members made a memorable fight in this House against Mr. Forster's Coercion Act. Upon this incident the biographer of Mr. Gladstone makes this pregnant comment: "After all, the suspension of habeas corpus is a thing that men may well think it worth while to fight about." Most true, indeed. But if true about Ireland, how much more about India? In Ireland the suspension of habeas corpus was for a limited time, and under the watchful scrutiny of this House, with its able and zealous representatives of the Irish people. In India the suspension is permanent at the will of the Executive, and the people affected have neither voice nor vote to influence that Executive. Unrepresented in their own country and unrepresented here they have nothing to rely upon but that which they have been taught to believe to be a fundamental right of every British subject—the right not to be deprived of liberty until convicted after a fair trial of a breach of the law. I cannot believe that the House of Commons, upon whom the Constitution has placed the ultimate responsibility for the Government of India, will by sanctioning these arbitrary measures teach the people of India that it is only within the limits of these islands that a British subject can count upon personal liberty and the protection of the law. If it did it would mean that the rules of freedom which we have inherited from our ancestors are to be abandoned in favour of the despotic methods of Oriental rule.
§ Mr. T. HART-DAVIES
I beg to second this Amendment, and I think it is certainly time that this ancient piece of legislation should be ended. When we recollect what India was in 1818 and what it is now it is an extraordinary thing to me, and one I never could understand, how such ancient legislation has existed with its monstrous and horrid provisions. The political life of a statesman who would propose such legislation at present would not be worth a moment's purchase. If it is absolutely impossible to introduce such now I think the sooner it is taken off the Statute Book the better, because it is incompatible with all one's ideas and with most of the existing Indian administration.
We have given freedom of the Press to India, and I cannot see how such a law is compatible with that. We practically 818 say to the Press you can publish anything you like, "and at the same time we reserve the power, if you say anything we do not like, to send you to gaol for unlimited time or deport you from the country without any procedure at all, and simply from our own free will." I admit that when the freedom of the Press was introduced there was a good deal to be said on the opposite side. It was altogether a new thing. Now that we have freedom of the Press I think it was quite right, and I am quite sure it would be absolutely impossible to take it away.
It seems to me that to keep on this piece of legislation is not only absurd, but dangerous to the common weal. I remember I was talking to a professor in Moscow who had been the victim of an "administrative order." He had to go and live in a small village in Siberia as long as the Government choose. We were talking about this monstrous abuse of power. He was a well-educated man, and said to me "I may observe you have law in India that we have in Russia." I could hardly say that was not the case. All I could say as a feeble rejoinder was that it was hardly ever acted upon. That is the case.
As far as I remember, it was only acted on once while I was in India, and that was in the case of a man who was one of the descendants of a former ruling family, who had come to India, where he was arrested and deported. The mistake was in alowing him to land. Every Government is fully justified in refusing admission to those who would be likely to create political disturbance. I remember the subject came up in the newspapers, and there was talk of repeal, and it was stated the law had practically become a dead letter.
Of recent years, however, it has been acted on very frequently, and I think the political dangers of acting upon it can hardly be exaggerated. After all, on these occasions, as the hon. Member for Newbury has truly said, the administration ultimately depends on the reports made by the police. I do not wish to make a sweeping accusation against the police in India; I have been a police officer there myself. All I can say is that they are underpaid, that they require a great deal of looking after, and that they do not get as much looking after as they ought to have. They have always been open to charges of corruption, and public opinion among the natives of India is that they-are a corrupt and blackmailing body. In the course of my experience they have been accused of blackmailing, very often undeservedly; but, on the whole, they are 819 a body of men I would not go out of my way to trust.
I remember when plague first arrived in India, I was on plague duty, and had to carry out sanitary measures. The people came to me and said they would carry out any orders I chose to give, but they said, "For Heaven's sake, do not let the police have any share in the carrying out of the orders." That is an illustration of the way in which the police are regarded in India. They are a very unsafe reed to rest upon. I should look with very great suspicion on evidence which rested entirely with them; it might be rendered in the form which they thought the Government would probably like. Lord Macaulay pointed out long ago how extremely easy it is to produce evidence—it grows out of the ground, as it were—if it is the popular idea that it falls in with the wishes of the Government. For these reasons, I think that it is an extremely doubtful and dangerous enactment.
I have no doubt that very often the Government have got hold of the wrong man. In the case of Lajput Rai, I believe they got hold of the wrong man altogether. Lajput Rai, who is a reformer, very enthusiastic, of a deeply religious character, high-minded, and high-principled, told me, and I believe him, that there was no reason whatever for the charges supposed to be brought against him—he never really knew what those charges were. I look upon the Secretary of State's reforms as extremely valuable; I believe Lord Morley will go down to history as a wise and courageous reformer. But it is an infinite pity that the effect of those reforms should be spoilt by these arbitrary arrests going on at the same time, and the putting in force of this ancient enactment under which a man is condemned without trial and without publicity.
It is customary in the East, when any great event occurs—such as the Jubilee or the taking over of India by the Crown—that prisoners should be released. It seems a curious way of celebrating one's joy, but that is what is done. But the way in which that is carried out seems to me an extreme instance of judicial foolishness. Apparently all the criminals have remitted one month for every year of their sentences; so that an enterprising burglar, sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, would get out of gaol eight months earlier than he would otherwise have done. That is not exactly a measure to kindle the enthusiasm of the people. What one wants to do on these occasions is to kindle 820 the enthusiastic feelings of loyalty which, I believe, are only dormant; and they should be aroused in a way which would not lay us open to the charge of absurdity, as I believe this proposal does.
These reforms are to be sanctioned, and a new era is to open for India. Would it not have been better to have said, "Now let us all—reformers and people who have distinguished themselves by aspirations for a higher future for India—let us all join hands. We will release everybody from gaol who is there for political offences—not those guilty of actual violence; we will at the same time repeal the obnoxious enactment which places the liberty of every man at the disposal of the Government. Let us work hand in hand for the regeneration of India." If only the Secretary of State had the imagination and sympathy to accompany these reforms by such a universal peace-making declaration as that there might be a very great future for his proposals in India.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Buchanan)
I am anxious at an early moment in the debate to say what I have to say upon this Amendment. My hon. Friend, as almost all here are, is a supporter of the reforms which have been brought forward by the Secretary of State. I should be the last person to deprecate the discussion of any political subject in the House of Commons; I spent too many years in Opposition to do that; but I do sincerely think that any detailed discussion, giving rise to acute diversity of opinion to-night, would at any rate not help forward the cause of those reforms in India. I regret very much—I hope he will not object to my saying so—that my hon. Friend should have felt it his duty tonight to bring forward this Motion, at the very moment when those reforms are under discussion in Parliament.
In another place, as he is aware, last night and to-night an interesting debate has been in progress. The House of Lords has the opportunity of considering the brighter side of the situation in India—the brighter side, which I hope will eventually develop into a still brighter day. We are to-night called upon by my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury to contemplate the dark side of the picture. I would at the beginning of my remarks lay stress on the fact that the unrest, as it is called, in India, and all the political troubles which undoubtedly exist there, are local, and that we beleive them to be temporary. We also believe that important and permanent remedies will be carried into effect at the earliest moment. 821 In regard to the Amendment proposed by my hon. Friend, I do not propose to go into details on the subject. I am sorry that he delivered a detailed attack on the police. I am perfectly well aware of the Report of the Commission of three or four years ago that the state of affairs in the police force was one of serious evil, and deeply to be regretted. The hon. Member is perfectly well aware that it has been stated by myself and my predecessor that considerable steps have been taken to remedy the defects which were pointed out. I am informed that the money expended on the force, amounting to more than a million sterling per annum, has had considerable effect in making the force more efficient and trustworthy.
We have got a better class of men there, and there is ample evidence to show that an improvement has been brought about. I took the opportunity of speaking to-day to a man high in the police force in Bengal, where the police force numbers, I think, 30,000 men, and he assured me that there had been an enormous change in the state of things which existed a few years ago. I think it would be only fair and right that my hon. Friend should recognise the efforts which have been made.
§ Mr. MACKARNESS
Does my right hon. Friend deny the miscarriage of justice which I have called attention to?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am not prepared to affirm or deny the state of affairs the hon. Member alluded to; but I would call attention to the fact that he had only seen it in the newspapers which arrived by last mail. I think he was a little premature in immediately citing as an actual fact a statement which he had just seen, and in founding upon that a general charge.
§ Mr. MACKARNESS
I cited the judgment of two judges, given verbatim in the Court of Appeal. I could not do more than that.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I do not think my hon. Friend was justified in making a personal attack on the police in India and suggesting that it was upon the information of the corrupt members of the force that we had founded our action. If that was not implied in the statement of my hon. Friend, I do not know what was implied. I told him yesterday that that is not the fact. With regard to the deportations, the reports handed in to the Government of India, and upon which they have depended solely, has been made by the higher officials of the police force—the Deputy Inspector of the Criminal Investigation Department and the officials imme- 822 diately around him—men who are as implicitly to be depended upon as the best officials in Scotland Yard, men who are as careful in their judgment and in their inquiries, and on the veracity of whose reports the utmost credit may be placed.
After all the objections which my hon. Friend takes to our action have reference to principle, and not to detail. He objects to what we have done under the Regulation of 1818. What does that Regulation enable us to do? It enables us to put persons in prison without formulating a charge against them, and without putting them on their trial; and it gives us the power of detaining them in prison for an indefinite time. I think I have fairly summarised the powers conferred by the Regulation under which we are acting. It is to the powers thereby given that both of my hon. Friends are resolutely opposed. My hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, who seconded the Amendment, alluded only for a moment to one point of detail. He objected to us acting under the Regulation of 1818 because it was such an old law. What would have been the alternative? Surely on the representations which were made by the Government of India to us the probability is that there would have been the expression of a desire that the Legislative Council should pass an Act giving powers analagous to those in the Regulation of 1818. The Viceroy would have been willing to give similar powers under an Act passed by the Legislative Council. I should be the last person to deny for a moment that that Act might be abused. Its abuse is quite possible in the hands of a weak or panic-stricken Government, but I think during these troubled times the Government have not shown any sign of panic whatever.
I think that of all the good services Lord Minto has rendered to this country and to India during the past two years there is none greater than the steady, calm, and silent coolness with which he has faced a difficult situation. By his coolness and courage he has prevented others in times of great emergency from being panic-stricken. No one can say that the Government of India has been hasty in dealing with the troubles with which they have been faced. The comments passed on their action, both here and in India, have been quite in the other direction. I daresay that in the opinion of my hon. Friend the member for the Montgomery Boroughs they have been too slow, but Lord Minto and his Council affirmed all through that it was their duty as long as possible to use the ordinary law, and it was only when 823 the ordinary law had conspicuously failed, when criminal justice was no longer obtainable, and when crime became master of the law and not law of crime, that it was considered necessary to have recourse to special legislation or to special administrative action. Its abuse is possible in the hands of a weak and vacillating Executive, and with regard to its use it will be only resorted to in times of real emergency. On such occasions of real emergency and danger it is absolutely essential that the Government of India should retain such power in its hands. On this point His Majesty's Government are perfectly clear and decided. I need hardly say that I am not going into detail with regard to particular cases, as I have been invited to do so by my right hon. Friend.
We were asked to formulate charges against individuals who have been arrested under this regulation. I cannot here formulate charges against them on the floor of the House of Commons. All I can say is that when the Secretary of State gave his consent to the action of the Government of India he did so on the assurance that each case had been investigated. Under this order the authorities can lay their hands upon individuals who are the real instigators—behind the scenes—of many of the outrages that have taken place; and of the nine men who have been arrested under this regulation they believe and we believe that we have got amongst them some leading agitators. It is not always the actual perpetrator of the crime who is the great criminal. It is impossible not to feel some human pity for the miserable boys and young men who at the bidding of others have been induced to take part in these deeds of murder, and sacrifice their own lives. That they were bidden to do so by men behind the scenes, and in the safety of being behind the scenes, we know by their own confessions. The young man now under sentence of death has said so. The two young men who murdered the Kennedys said so, and we have evidence in other cases to the same effect. Let us really recognise the facts—the evidence is overwhelming from the Alipur case and from other sources.
There is in Bengal and Eastern Bengal an organised conspiracy, the definite object of which is to subvert British rule. It will not attempt to attain that object by an armed rising.
Several of the decoities that have recently occurred in East Bengal have been committed by bands of young men acting 824 under orders for the declared purpose of obtaining money for this revolutionary propaganda. Then there is an active and militant section, the object of whom is to obtain explosives and arms. They are the men who make the bombs and who use them. The general plan of campaign has been terrorism—to paralyse the administration of the law and to paralyse the action of the Executive Government. For this object they have boasted that they have murdered and intend to murder. We ought to recognise the fact that they have not been unsuccessful in carrying out their plan of campaign. The fate of a public prosecutor—Ashulosh Biswas—is one that surely should not pass unnoticed in the House of Commons. He was a man of the highest intelligence, integrity, and ability. His political opinions were what we all call advanced, and he was quite outspoken in declaring them, and he was equally outspoken in opposition to all resort to violence or murder. It was not part of his duty to undertake the prosecution, but he was asked to do so because of his known capacity. He was complete master of the case, and when he was asked to prosecute he said: "If I do so I shall be shot." The superior officer said, "I receive many more threatening letters than you do. After all, it is our job, and we have got to do it," and he said, "If you put it to me in that way I will do it." The House of Commons may surely pay a tribute to a man who has perished in the discharge of his duty.
I do not want for many reasons to dwell in detail on this subject or to draw up a catalogue of crimes. In the speech delivered by Sir Harvey Adamson on December 11th will be found a list of the grave and more recent crimes—the successive four attempts in the year on the life of Sir Henry Fraser, attacks on trains by which European officials were known to be travelling, the murders of policemen and witnesses and others. That is a serious catalogue of crime. To my mind, anyhow, it is of such a serious character, and in the mind of the Government of India such a catalogue fully justifies the demand for exceptional treatment. The British race is the ruling race in India; our fellow-countrymen are few in number and are scattered over large areas. Can anyone wonder at their impatience at the continued evidence of insecurity and danger around them. And it is not from our fellow-countrymen alone that representations have been made as to the dangers of the situation. Week by week and day by day for the last six months and more con- 825 tinuous complaints have been addressed to the Governments of India and Bengal by natives in all stations of life as to the state of terror in which they live and the intimidation practised upon them, and they appeal for protection. No one suffers in Bengal more than the ordinary Indian citizen who wants to go about his daily business unimpeded and to be allowed to earn his livelihood and to enjoy the fruits of his labour and to depend upon the even administration of justice. We believe that the disease is local and temporary.
If ever an occasion called for exceptional remedies, surely this is such an occasion. May I bring one point before my hon. Friends and the House? In the action they are taking to-night in the strong attack that they are making here and in the Press against the Government of India and His Majesty's Government they are more Indian than the Indians. They read the native Press, and so do I. The selections that I read always contain, and are intended to contain, all the strongest and most hostile comments that are made on the Government's action in India, and we all know how unfair are their denunciations, how implacable their anger, how bitter their language. And yet with regard to both the Deportation and the Criminal Law Amendment Act their language has been not only studiously moderate, but remarkably so. No one would deny this, no one would expect anything else with regard to the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am only expressing my opinion, and I say no one will deny that the constitution of a special tribunal with summary powers of trying these offences was the particular form of remedy that was generally demanded as much by Indian as by European opinion. The Tribunal we have set up—the three judges—is a tribunal that was suggested by Public opinion and it is the tribunal that commands general confidence. The details of the procedure. The details of the procedure of commitment on which my hon. Friends have laid so much stress, received comparatively little criticism in India. An hon. Member called attention to the nature of what he called the secret nature of the Criminal Inquiry. In Scotland we have Secret Inquiries for many generations, and the proceedings under 826 the Criminal Law Amendment Act is exactly the procedure that has existed in Scotland for generations.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Always used. I was not a witness, nor was I ever brought up on a criminal charge in my own country or elsewhere, but I took the liberty of asking my right hon. Friend the new Lord Advocate, and I went through with him a couple of nights ago the clauses of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, and I asked him: "Am I justified in stating to the House that it is exactly the same procedure as in Scotland?" and he told me I was perfectly justified in doing so, and that there was only one variation, and that this variation in procedure was more in favour of India, and that is where the witnesses are put on oath.
§ Mr. MACKARNESS
The great difference is that the evidence of the accused would not be used against him in his absence. In his absence the evidence should not be used against him.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am dealing at present with regard to the Second Preliminary Inquiry. If a witness is dead, he cannot be produced. Witnesses have been murdered or put out of the way, after the evidence was recorded, and we intend, no doubt, in exceptional cases to avoid any such difficulty in future, due to murder or the making away with witnesses already examined.
They in India regret as we do that we should have to resort to these expedients, but they, at least those who are not in sympathy with the extremist party, recognise the grave nature of the emergency, and the absolute necessity of taking steps to deal with it. I am occasionally appealed to in regard to the administration of the native states, and I admit that the administration of the native states is sometimes most admirable, but I took the trouble to inquire as to the power of the rulers of those native states, and there is not a single native state of any magnitude which does not possess this power, and does not use it more or less frequently. Then I think the people of India recognise another thing, and that is that in using the regulation and in passing the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the Government are in no sense endeavouring to inaugurate a reactionary policy, or in any form revert to a system of coercion.
Looking at the facts as they are, what do they find? They find that in the 827 second week in December, on Friday, the 11th of December, the Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed, on the 13th of December the nine men were deported under the Regulation of 1818, but before that week was out, on the 17th of December, the announcement was made in Parliament—in this House and the other House—of a wide and great scheme [...]f administrative and legal reform. They saw that with their own eyes, and they knew that in passing the Criminal Law Amendment Act, and having recourse to the Regulation of 1818, we were dealing with an exceptional emergency, and that our permanent policy for the amelioration of India was contained in the reforms proposed.
The House will remember that in the autumn of last year, or those who follow these things will remember, that considerable pressure was put upon the Government of India and upon us here to postpone these reforms until measures had been taken to repress outrage and restore order in Bengal. The Government of India and the Secretary of State here declined to take any such action. They said the reforms had been long promised, carefully elaborated, and it was intended that they should be, and it was firmly believed they would be a permanent step forward in the better government of India and in securing the contentment of the people of India. From another quarter pressure was brought to bear upon the Government of India to postpone the Criminal Law Amendment Act, and the Deportations until after the Reforms had been introduced and passed, the Government here and the Government of India refused, and said that the maintenance and security of the country and of the unquestioned supremacy of the law over crime is the first and elemental duty of a Government, and that that duty should be discharged at the earliest possible moment, irrespective of other considerations.
The extremists, as they are called, have done their best to prevent the introduction of the reforms to depreciate their value, and will do their best to prevent and frustrate their operation. But there are extremists and extremists, both here and in India. In India there are those who have held and preached extreme views, but who have scorned to preach or practice or connive at violent methods, and we are confident, and I think we have grounds for that confidence, that the extremists of this character will be in- 828 fluenced, shall I say softened, by what we propose to do in the Councils Bill and the other measures which we have introduced. We cannot, of course, give them all they want, it is impossible to do that, but we offer them a great deal, and as practical men looking to the practical benefit of their country, I believe that they will see that we are sincere in endeavouring to make a success of these measures.
Of course, there are other extremists—those who desire to advance their views by violent deeds and methods, by bombs, assassinations, intimidation or revolution. With them we can make no terms. It is for them these measures are specially intended. We owe it to India as a whole and to humanity that these outrages and crimes shall be made to cease, and their perpetrators and abettors be sternly punished.
One word to my hon. Friends before sitting down. Do not let them imagine that I in any way misunderstand the motives that actuate them in this matter and the speeches they have made. They would like and they think that it is possible to apply rigidly and in all circumstances the exact process of Law and Constitutional Government that we enjoy here to the British Government of India. They talk about Magna Charta and other doctrines of that kind.
That is an aspiration, an ideal. But. after all, in the practical work of government, especially a Government such as our Government of India, emergencies will arise, difficult emergencies, in which theories and ideals have to be put on one side, and rough work begins, and when facts have to be dealt with by the best means at command. But we shall not allow this temporary emergency—for it is temporary—to divert us from advancing along the road of administrative progress. The sincerity of our intentions is admitted in India. The scheme is welcomed, and warmly welcomed, by all classes. Do not let us here to-night say or do anything that can in any way frustrate the permanent march of India along these safe and peaceful lines of Constitutional development.
§ Earl PERCY
I am not quite sure what the right hon. Gentleman who just sat down referred to when he said that during the last few years, and during last year, the Government has been strongly pressed in some quarters to delay the introduction of reform until agitation had been put a stop to. I do not think that suggestion was made by anybody on this 829 side, but certainly not by me, and I took great care on the last occasion that I spoke on the subject expressly to repudiate any idea of it. Having entered that caveat, I merely rise now to express in a few words my entire support of his Majesty's Government and my entire agreement with everything that has fallen from the right hon. Gentleman.
And perhaps at the same time he will allow me to offer him my heart-felt sympathy. He said very truly that what we were engaged in discussing was an abstract principle. We have been engaged in discussing an abstract principle for the last two days, and I agree it is extremely unfortunate for his Majesty's Government that, on the very day on which they should have been put on their trial for refusing to prosecute offenders before two resident magistrates with power of calling evidence and with the right, in the event of conviction, of an appeal to superior courts; they should have to defend themselves for deporting Indians not only without trial and without appeal, but without any charge being made against them at all. That, I confess, seems to me an awkward position, but at the same time I intend to support his Majesty's Government, and I shall support them with all the more readiness because it affords me an opportunity of expressing my pleasure that at last at the India Office we have that rara avis, a Liberal statesman who does not care a pin about charges of personal inconsistency and is determined to do his duty, no matter whether it squares with an abstract political shibboleth or not.
The Amendment asks the House to assent to two propositions. It asks us in the first place to express our satisfaction with the scheme of Reforms which has been presented to us. I think there is a very general consensus of opinion in favour of the general outline of these Reforms, whatever differences of opinion there may be upon matters of detail. But I think everybody will agree that to express a judgment of that kind after a Debate confined to a few hours, and dealing not with details of the Reforms themselves, but with what I contend is a wholly irrelevant issue, would be a somewhat absurd course for the House to take.
The second proposition which the Amendment invites us to register is that the success of the reforms will be prejudiced by the executive measures which the Government have taken. That proposition really conveys no meaning to my mind at all. I should have thought the 830 object of the Reform scheme admittedly is to broaden the basis of representation, and to give larger opportunities and powers of criticism to the Legislative Assembly. Therefore I should have thought if there were any connection at all between the alleged basis of executive power and these reforms, the connection with that these reforms would give to the minority of the Viceroy's Council a more effective check upon the Executive than they have exercised hitherto.
The Amendment before the House really invites us to pronounce censure not only on the Government at home, but on the Executive in India, and I entirely agree with what the hon. Gentleman said when he pointed out that it was not a sufficient basis on which to ground a vote of censure of that kind, merely to establish what indeed is incontrovertible, and no one would think of disputing that every exceptional power which you use is capable of abuse. That is the great objection, such as it is, to the employment of exceptional powers at all, but before you can make out a case for censure you must establish that there has been acknowledged perpetration of at all events some abuses, in some cases of injustice. The hon. Gentleman who moved this Amendment failed to establish any such contention, and I think he admits that fact. But even if he did establish it, I do not think even that would be a sufficient warrant for passing a vote of censure, because after all there are crises in every civilised community in which the Government must be guided practically by the motto, Salus populi suprema lex. where the consideration of the safety of the whole nation must necessarily override considerations of the rights of the individual. I do not think any one desires that a situation of that kind had arisen last year.
Certainly in the debates which took place the other day on the new machinery proposed in the Legislative Council, no Member got up to deny that a case had arisen for resort to exceptional measures. I do think that if any point is to be made against His Majesty's Government it is the opposite of that; it is that possibly it might have been unnecessary ever to resort to this policy of deportation under the Act of 1818 if they had adopted sterner measures before. I am not referring so much to the use of exceptional legislation; I am rather referring to the action of the Government of India itself and the action of the Indian Council. The acceptance of the resignation of Sir Bampton Fuller, followed by the introduction of the very 831 reforms which they had refused to carry out and which he had recommended, and the decision not to reverse the partition of Bengal, accompanied as it was at the same time by an expression of opinion that the original policy of partition was mistaken—the action taken in these two matters was calculated to produce—I dare-say quite unjustly—an impression of weakness, of indecision, and of vacillation which of course encouraged the agitators to continue their agitation. I do not want to dwell on that. I do not rake it up for the purpose of making any charge against His Majesty's Government. If we were to found any argument as to the necessity for the use of these exceptional powers on what has happened in the past, I think that that would be a fair criticism. But what we have to decide this evening is not what has happened in the past, but what ought to be done in the future.
The question is whether anything has occurred during the past three or four months since Lord Morley announced his proposals for reform in the House of Lords which rendered resort to this exceptional form of procedure necessary. The hon. Gentleman who moved this Motion and the hon. Member who seconded it contend, as I understand, that the mere introduction of this scheme of reform ought to enable the Government of India to dispense with these exceptional powers. I dissent from them altogether, and for this reason among others, that that reform was never framed so as to meet the grievances of the extreme section who are really so irresponsible, nor could the reform by any possibility meet their aspirations. There is another reason. I think the mere fact of the introduction of these reforms renders it the more inadvisable to part with any power which the Executive already possesses. In times of political transition you have a certain unsettling of men's minds. You have an apprehension on the part of the minority that they will suffer injustice. You have a general disturbance of conditions that is very likely to have a deterrent effect on the free introduction of capital, which is of such vital importance to Indian industries and to the economic future of the country.
Therefore I say that the period of political transition through which India is about to pass is the very last period at which the Indian Government should be asked to dispense with any powers which may strengthen the Executive. There is one other point which I wish to make 832 against the Amendment. The process of deportation under this particular Act of 1818 is not a very desirable power to use if it can be avoided, and if for no other reason than this, that when you release the deported man after a time you invariably create an impression, which I daresay is unfounded, that there may have been a miscarriage of justice.
Therefore I do not like that procedure if it can possibly be helped. Perhaps it may be thought that the Government of India, having now armed itself with special powers of summary jurisdiction, may be able to dispense, at all events, to a larger extent, with the exercise of this particular power under the Act of 1818. The main reason for that is that Sir Edward Baker in the Legislative Council, when discussing the Public Meetings Bill, the Seditious Press Bill, and the Summary Jurisdiction Bill, expressed very grave doubt whether even those powers would be sufficient to cope with sedition.
At all events, I think the House will feel that, particularly at the present, when you are contemplating giving to the Indian people larger powers of criticising the Executive, it is absurd for us to anticipate that criticism, and I strongly suspect myself that when the Legislative Councils are formed, if they prove to be more truly representative of every class of people in India than Legislative Councils have hitherto been, I shall be very much surprised if it is found that a con-census of opinon on those Councils is in favour of withdrawing from the Executive authority any powers they now possess for dealing with anarchy or crime.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
This is the second discusson we have had upon coercion in connection with the Address. On both occasions the hon. Members who occupy the Conservative Benches have been consistent in advocating coercive legislation in connection with the alleged lawlessness both in Ireland and in India. The Government is occupying to-night a position the direct opposite of what it has occupied during the past two nights in connection with the debate concerning crime in Ireland. It is quite true no one denies that there have been outrages in India; but. considered in proportion to the population, how many are they? That was the test by which the Government justified their refusal to resort to exceptional powers for the repression of crime in Ireland. Surely, an argument which holds good in connection with Ireland, might well apply to India, and if that test 833 be applied in the matter of crime in India, then that country occupies even a better position compared with England than does Ireland itself.
But there is one point I want to press—I hope the House on both sides will agree that it should be pressed—upon the attention of the Under-Secretary of State for India. He has drawn a very grim picture of India, and especially in the Presidency of Bengal, and is not content with blaming the deported persons with carrying on ordinary political agitation, but has also charged them with being responsible for the outrages which have taken place during recent months. In that connection he gave the impression—to me at least—that the reason for the deportations which have taken place was because the Government had satisfied themselves that the men deported were the prime originators of these outrages. Hitherto the charges against these men have not been formulated, neither to them nor the country. The natural inference now is that the reason why the Government has taken this extreme action in regard to these men, whom the right hon. Gentleman must admit, are men of high social position, is because the Government have satisfied themselves that they have been instigating, and supplying the funds, for the commission of these outrages.
I put it to the right hon. Gentleman, the Under-Secretary, that either he has gone too far in his statement of the fact, or not far enough. Either the ground upon which these men have been deported should be made public, or otherwise his inuendo that they are responsible for crimes that have been committed should be publicly withdrawn. It is most unfair to men who have no chance to defend themselves. These men are not common agitators. Mr. Oswini Kumar Dutt is the head of one of the largest educational establishments in Eastern Bengal, at Barisal. It was founded by his father. The second man who has been deported is a professor in his college. The third is Mr. Kumar Mittir, a religious teacher and journalist and a man who throughout has always been opposed, both in his writings and speeches, to crime or outrage in any or every form.
Now, these are the gentlemen who have been deported without trial, and whom we are now asked to believe are held by the Government to be the prime movers, originators, and instigators of outrages which everyone condemns. It is most unfair, and I hope the matter will not be allowed to rest there. 834 Then with regard to special legislation. The parallel drawn by the right hon. Gentleman between the Procurator-Fiscal in Scotland and these cases in India is far-fetched. The Procurator-Fiscal in Scotland makes private inquiries to ascertain what grounds there are upon which to found a charge to be subsequently tried in the court. The person accused is not condemned on the strength of these private inquiries—
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
The investigations are used to ascertain whether there is a prima facie case to justify criminal proceedings. That is all—
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
And when the proceedings are before the court every one of the witnesses upon whose statement the charge has been brought is entitled to be cross-examined. But that procedure that enables a court to proceed and condemn a man upon the evidence of witnesses who cannot be produced is not only a serious innovation, but in the existing state of affairs in India is a positive danger to every person.
Let me illustrate the point. The main facts are not disputed. There was the case at Midnapur in which 36 men, all of good social position, including one landlord and a number of lawyers, were arrested and cast into gaol on the strength of a statement made by an informer. The men were kept in prison for weeks or months. ["Months."] It was then discovered that the statement of the informer was not his statement at all, but had been prepared for him by some minor police officer. He had been compelled to sign it under threat, but in signing it he took the precaution to pencil on the back of the statement that it was not his, but that of the police, and which he had been forced to sign. Supposing these men had been tried under the new Act, the same police officer who committed the crime of getting this man to sign a forged statement would not have been above keeping him out of the way during the trial, and the only evidence, therefore, upon which these men would have been convicted would have been that of a perjurer acting under the compulsion of the police official, and who would not have been subjected to cross-examination.
This method of trying an accused person without being able to submit the witness to the test of cross-examination is one of the gravest danger under the conditions which obtain in that country. The right 835 hon. Gentleman admitted that the powers for deportation are only to be resorted to in times of real emergency and real danger. Does that emergency exist at the present time in Eastern Bengal? Is it not a fact that the agitation there has considerably abated? Oswini Kumar Dutt, head of a great educational institution in Barisal, East Bengal, was two years ago charged by a higher grade official with having confessed to being a seditious person. The charge was publicly made. Oswini Kumar Dutt brought an action against the official, and obtained damages against him in the Law Courts in justification of his character. Let me ask whether it is on the strength of the statements horn the same police officials that Mr. Dutt has now been deported?
Surely, in cases like that, where there is evidence of police persecution, the greatest possible care should be taken. The point of the Amendment is obvious and plain. The reforms suggested by the Government, and the Jubilee proclamation by His Majesty the King are intended to inaugurate a new era, and to enable the people of India, as it were, to make a fresh start.
Let us try to put ourselves in the place of these people. For half a century they have been agitating for reforms, and the reply of the Government has been coercive legislation and repression. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the moderation of the Press in regard to recent repressive legislation. Surely it is a case of cause and effect. If the comments be anything else but moderate the paper would be suppressed. Here is the fact: the educated classes in India have for half a century been agitating for reform. The men who have been deported have been the most honoured and trusted leaders of those people. Now that reforms are about to be inaugurated and that these men are deported without trial, will that produce content or satisfaction or peace? Will not loyalty to their colleagues compel those who have not been deported to agitate for the release of their friends? Why not make a fresh start?
See that when the change is to be made it will be under conditions which will make for its success, and that the spirit of the Amendment of my right hon. Friend opposite be adopted and put into practice by the Government. There can be no doubt whatever of the beneficial effects on 836 the people of India of such a course. I was sorry beyond measure to hear the reactionary spirit which animated the speech of the Under-Secretary. He held out no glimmer of hope whatever. Even the Noble Lord showed more breadth of view in connection with this matter. Since a new beginning is to be made, let something approaching justice be done in order to restore good feeling, which the people of India desire to entertain towards this country.
§ Mr. REES
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman, and with the Noble Lord, and with all the views that have been expressed by the Noble Lord, and his hope that we may be able to administer affairs in India without recourse as far as may be to this exceptional legislation. I did not gather from the right hon. Gentleman, despite what the hon. Member for Merthyr has said, that he desired that recourse to that legislation should be anything but exceptional and as rare as possible. I do take the strongest exception to this Amendment. I cannot see that its two portions are connected one with the other, or how it could be desirable to introduce in this passing manner the question of the reforms now before the House of Lords, which it is perfectly obvious cannot be dealt with to-night in a satisfactory manner.
My hon. Friend who seconded the Amendment was in a great hurry to introduce the new era, and he went so far as to decide what remissions of sentences should be given when it dawned. But you must first catch your chicken. Surely it is early times to say that we have got a new era. I do not remember in the history of any country proof that any legislation ever introduced a new era straight away. That the proposed reforms will have some effect in that direction I for one believe, and in the main I am a strong supporter of them, but to say that the moment they are passed there is to be a new era in India, and that repressive legislation or the power to have recourse to it should no longer exist would be, it seems to me, most fatuous folly, and quite unworthy of any sane, deliberative assembly. The hon. Member for Merthyr shared the same hope as the hon. Member for Hackney, but as he thinks the Government of India is altogether bad from top to bottom, he is naturally in a hurry to dispose of any of the props on which it leans.
As to the hon. Member who introduced the Amendment, I am not at all surprised 837 that he should have brought it forward, because on all occasions he shows himself filled with profound distrust of his fellow-countrymen. It is true that that is not altogether incompatible with a condemnation of coloured people—for instance, in the case of Chinese—but that is only where such condemnation of coloured people connotes a greater condemnation of his fellow-countrymen. The hon. Member can see no good thing in any of his fellow-countrymen abroad. Why he thinks that men who have been brought up in the same way as himself, educated in the same school, brought up with the same ideals, should the moment they leave this country become everything that is black and bad surpasses my comprehension.
I am convinced that, in their sober moments, the extremist Members of this House, who are always prepared to condemn the Civil Service of India, Egypt, and every other British possession, must be surprised that the House takes seriously such reckless condemnation as they breathe right and left against their fellow-countrymen. Even to-day it was King Bomba, Louis Napoleon, and other heroes of that description who were quoted by the hon. Member as being prototypes of the Civil Service of India. He was also very ready with quotations from Mr. Gladstone. But those quotations were all with reference to Ireland. I could give quotations with reference to India. Speaking upon the India Reform Bill of 1892, Mr. Gladstone said:—I warn the House against those persons who come and put themselves forward as if they represented the people of India.[Ironical cheers.] I felt sure that a quotation from Mr. Gladstone would meet with the approbation of hon. Members, and I am glad to think that they recognise that that great man, at any rate, was on his guard against the class of reformer of whom the mover of this Amendment is a conspicuous example. He can see, neither in the Civil Service of India, nor in the Government of Natal, nor in any of his fellow-countrymen abroad the most elementary principles of truth, justice, or rectitude. I ask the House whether there can be any ground for such wholesale condemnation.
The seconder of the Amendment, in a far more temperate and moderate speech, said that this Regulation III. of 1818 had never been enforced during his service in India. My hon. Friend was mistaken. I think he was in India when the brothers Nutu were dealt with under this Regulation in 838 Bombay, and there were other cases in Agency tracts.
I could give more instances in other parts of India where these powers were enforced. As the Under-Secretary of State has said, in the native States of India, the administration of which the hon. Member for Merthyr is always putting forward as so much better than that of British India, similar powers not only exist, but are often acted upon. The native Princes have never acquired the notion that a type of administration which is suitable for a county or a parish in England is suitable for a Principality in India. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment seemed to think that it was easy to get evidence. I thoroughly agree with the hon. Member that you should never act without evidence if you can get it, but it is notorious that the Government have taken this action because there has been a widespread conspiracy, and they have not been able to get evidence. It is for that reason that they have had recourse to exceptional measures, though their action has been quite legal.
The hon .
Member for Newbury, not content with the desire to follow British Law, went back to the time of the Roman Empire and pointed out that nobody was ever put away therein without a fair trial, but he overlooked the fact that the Roman Emperors themselves were murdered wholesale, without any trial whatever. The hon. Member gave as an instance in proof of his case that Lajpat Rai, with whom he was acquainted, was deported. I suppose the fact that he was acquainted with him is a sufficient reason for discharging him on any charge whatsoever. I would ask the House to remember the debate which took place yesterday in the House of Lords when Lord Morley on the one side and Lord Curzon on the other both joined in urging all their hearers to trust the man on the spot, and believe in his honesty, integrity and desire to do justice.
I appeal to the House in the same sense, and I beg them to believe that their fellow countrymen abroad are just as anxious that their fellow subjects should have a fair trial as anyone in this House can be. The hon. Member for Newbury, who brought forward the Amendment, and those who support him, instead of being the friends of the people of India—there are many peoples in India—are really the tools of the classes who wish to rule over India. I again refer hon. Members to the high authority of one whom they are in the habit of 839 accepting whenever it suits them. I mean Mr. Gladstone. If hon. Members will look at the Debates of 1892 they will find that Mr. Gladstone warned his hearers of reformers of the class who have brought forward this Amendment.
Nor do these Indians believe in the principles put forward to-day. It happened quite lately that one of the reformers in India got into trouble and was sent to gaol. He was the owner of ships which he hoped would be employed in taking all Europeans away from India. No sooner had he got into prison than he sent a petition stating that owing to the want of European supervision he was exposed to the tyranny of his own fellow-countrymen. I ask the Under-Secretary of State what steps he meant to take to protect this patriot from his fellow-countrymen.
It has been urged to-night that the state of anarchy has been somewhat exaggerated, and that we may not look forward to a constant supply of those young assassins who are prepared to sacrifice their own lives in this cause.
I myself have had a holy man coming to me with a request to be buried alive. There are any number of religious people in India who are willing to sacrifice their lives. If the hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway opposite think that their fellow-countrymen should be exposed to assassination, I cannot envy their feelings, but I think that that is a disgrace to them. The hon. Member of Newbury seemed to minimise the list of crimes, and the Under-Secretary said that it was not wise to go into the list. But I should like to say that during the last few months four attempts have been made on the life of a governor, an English woman and her daughter have been blown into pieces, a public prosecutor was the object of other attempts on his life, a detective has been assassinated, and there is another pathetic case—that of Asutosh Biswas. I de not know why this pathetic case is a good subject for the mirth of the hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway opposite. I do not know whether I should be in order if I dwelt on the very serious fact that these anarchical enterprises in India are subsidised and helped by journals published in this country, which are imported into India and translated there into the vernacular. The translations are spread broadcast. They promote assassination and 840 murder, which the hon. Gentlemen opposite regards as a subject of mirth.
§ Mr. MACNEILL
That charge, Mr. Speaker, should not be made. The hon. Member has accused hon. Members of indulging in mirth on the subject of assassination. I rise to order.
§ Mr. REES
The hon. Member for Merthyr tried to establish a parallel between India and Ireland. I should have never tried to establish such a parallel, or to urge that because the outrages that have taken place are comparatively few in number, compared with 300,000,000 inhabitants, no exceptional legislation was in any case called for. Nor can I follow his argument that these gentlemen should not have been deported because they belonged to the highest social scale. I say if they belonged to the highest social scale so much the greater is their crime.
It is impossible to get evidence under the circumstances in India, and, therefore, the Government have been driven to take exceptional measures, which I hope, quite as well as any other hon. Member, may be but of a temporary character. When the hon. Member takes the line he does I cannot help referring to a speech he made outside the House, in which he talked of the tears and blood of an oppressed people, and said that in his opinion we would probably find that the men who had taken to bomb throwing have been instigated by a venal and corrupt police.
are not the Indian police Indian, and whether the hon. Members do not give away their case that the Indians are so fit for self-government if the police, who must be representative Indians, are so thoroughly unfit for their functions. No one would argue that the police in this country are other than fairly representative of the people in this country or would say that the Members of this House possess the virtues usually found in Englishmen and that the police do not. The police of India must be taken as fair representatives of the people of India. I am not saying that the people of India are bad.
On the contrary, I say the people are good, and on the whole the police are 841 good, and the cases of corruption are probably not much more numerous in India than elsewhere. As one who was associated with India all my life, I ask hon. Members not to run away with the idea that every policeman is a villain and that every magistrate is prepared to believe everything and to take away the honour of British Indian subjects on the mere word of an untrustworthy policeman. There is no ground for such a contention.
As to the suggestion of the hon. Member for Merthyr-Tydvil that these gentlemen have been deported solely because they were concerned in these outrages I do not know that any of us are in a position to say whether that is so or not. It is in the nature of such things that they are, for exceptional reasons, private, and I am not concerned to give any opinion as to whether they were concerned in those particular outrages or not, though I think it is most probable they were. Hon. Gentlemen seem to have more sympathy with those who have broken the law than with those who have to carry it out. But I would ask them to read the speeches of the members of the Viceroy's Council, Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotch-men, all of them unprejudiced, and say whether there is not a good case for the action that has been taken and the use of the exceptional powers that have been exercised. I do say that it will be a most painful and serious matter that when this Debate, which I think is a most unnecessary one—I abstained myself from putting down an Amendment of an entirely different tenour—I say it will be a very serious and painful matter when this Debate is read in India if it is said that the loss of life of our fellow-countrymen and the assassination of our countrywomen has been lightly regarded. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."]
Let me withdraw that then, and substitute another expression, and say that they have not excited so much pity in this House as the temporary deprivation of liberty on the part of those whom the Government believe are at the bottom of those outrages.
§ Mr. REES
I repeat it would be a painful thing if that impression went out to India, and I am glad to have been able to lift up my voice against it. I hope that in another Parliament there will be more Members to express sympathy with our own people and with the law-abiding 842 native population, and not with assassination and outrage and those who practise it.
§ Sir HENRY COTTON
I cannot congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on the support he has received in the tedious and provocative speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. I do not think I am unduly arrogating anything to myself when I say that I have more knowledge and experience of the working of this unfortunate Regulation of 1818 than any other member of the House. In the first place, I have known personally, and have been on terms of more or less intimacy with several gentlemen who have been arrested and imprisoned under these provisions. My acquaintance with Lalla Raj Patrai is not of yesterday. I knew him long before his arrest, and I was always convinced that there was no foundation for the charges made against him. Those charges have now been tacitly abandoned. The newspapers which have accused him have withdrawn their accusations, and I should be very much surprised to hear that the Government or any Member of the Government can now justify the action they took in his case last year.
We have had from the Under Secretary a most important speech. We have been told that the nine men who have lately been imprisoned without charge or trial have been imprisoned because the Government of India were convinced that they were concerned in the Anarchical and murderous plot in Bengal. At least two of the men so imprisoned are men whom I have known for years—men of the highest character and reputation, and of respect amongst their countrymen, and I shall never be persuaded that they are capable of such atrocious action as has been imputed to them by the right hon. Gentleman. If ever it is believed they are capable of such action, these men of integrity, position, and character have a right and demand a fair trial. That is the gravamen which we have against the Government.
Either there is evidence against them or there is not. I gathered from parts of the right hon. Gentleman's speech that there was evidence. From other portions I gather that there was none. But for the fact of their having been arrested under the Regulation which is deliberately framed for operation in cases where there is no evidence, I presume there is really no evidence in their case. That Regulation has been recently worked in India on many more occasions than it was in former times. I have worked it myself when I was head of the police. I arrested an 843 Indian who was deported and interned in gaol, and for aught I know he is there still. That was 22 years ago, and I bring it to the notice of the House with special reference to the secrecy with which action was taken. In those days the same publicity was not given to these matters as is given now. There was not a whisper in the public Press, and not a murmur in the Bazaars. No one knew that this man had been spirited away. There were many similar cases, and I protest as strongly as I can against the resort to a Regulation of that nature under which such secret and grave injustice may be perpetrated against individuals.
The case against the Government—especially in regard to the influential gentlemen I have mentioned—is that they should have been charged formally and openly in the ordinary courts of justice and should never have been sent to prison without any evidence or any charge or any trial. On this matter we shall be obliged to proceed to a Division. We are aware of the grave strain that it imposes upon supporters of the Government to vote against them on an Amendment to the Address, but I could not in justice to my own conscience refrain from voting on this occasion to express my indignation at the un-English and illiberal action which is taken under this new and effete procedure.
§ Mr. JOHN O'CONNOR
As one of a little nation that has taken some part by the bravery of its soldiers and the skill of its generals in extending abroad the name of the British Empire, I desire to associate myself with the mover of this Amendment. I carry my mind back to a period when the Secretaries of State for India and the late Mr. Bradlaugh ad-
844 dressed empty benches when the question of India was on the tapis. As a Member of that same small nation to which the Empire is under some small obligations, I was pleased to find a new interest created in that part of the British Empire. I desire to express my indebtedness to the hon. Member for Newbury for having brought the attentions of this House to the hardships under which our fellow-subjects in India labour. I am grateful to him for having brought to the acquaintance of the House a state of things not at all unlike that which sometimes prevails in Ireland.
Division No. 8.] AYES. [11.2 p.m. Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Hazleton, Richard Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.) Alden. Percy Healy. Timothy Michael Money, L. G. Chiozza Banner, John S. Harmood- Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Muldoon. John Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Higham, John Sharp Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Bennett. E. N. Hogan. Michael Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.) Clancy, John Joseph Hope. John Deans (Fife. West) Nannetti, Joseph P. Clynes, J. R. Hudson, Walter O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.) Cobbold. Felix Thornley Jenkins, J. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.) Jowett, F. W. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Cooper, G. J. Kettle, Thomas Michael O'Doherty, Philip Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Lardner, James Carrige Rushe O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Crean, Eugene Law, Hugh A. (Donegal. W.) O'Kelly, Coner (Mayo. N.) Crooks, William Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.) Parker, James (Halifax) Cullinan, J. Lupton, Arnold Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Devlin, Joseph Lynch, H. B. Power, Patrick Joseph Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Macdonald. J. R. (Leicester) Radford. G. H. Flavin, Michael Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Redmond, William (Clare) Flynn, James Christopher Macpherson, J. T. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Gill, A. H. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Glover, Thomas MacVeigh. Charles (Donegal. E.) Roche, John (Galway, East) Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) M'Hugh, Patrick A. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
I desire to associate myself with the hon. Member in protesting against a continuance that state of things in India. I know what it is to live in a country where trial by jury has been suppressed. I know what it is myself to appear before a Star Chamber inquiry, though I have not been subjected to the treatment described by my hon. and learned Friend; but I know well that my appearance before the Star Chamber inquiry was followed by two terms of imprisonment. I follow my hon. and learned Friend in failing to see more than one circumstance, or one condition, under which evidence obtained before a Star Chamber can be used in a Court of Law, and that is where a man under the fear of death and in peril of death makes a statement, which may be used in evidence and which has not been subjected to cross-examination. With these observations I desire to associate myself with the protest that has been moved.
Question put—"That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 76; Noes, 195.845
|Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Taylor. John W. (Durham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Seddon, J.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Shackleton, David James||Wedgwood, Josiah C||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Weir, James Galloway||Mackarness and Mr, Hart-Davies.|
|Summerbell, T.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barry, E. (Cork, S.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F.||Hall, Frederick||Percy. Earl|
|Agnew, George William||Hamilton, Marquess of||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Rees, J. D.|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Balcarres, Lord||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Renton, Leslie|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Renwick, George|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Barker, Sir John||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Haworth, Arthur A.||Robinson, S.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hedges, A. Paget||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Beale, W. P.||Helmsley, Viscount||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hemmerde, Edward George||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Rose, Charles Day|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Rowlands, J.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hill. Sir Clement||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Hobart, Sir Robert||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Brace, William||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Scarisbrick, T. T. L|
|Brooke, Stopford||Holt, Richard Durning||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Hooper, A. G.||Seely, Colonel|
|Buchanan, Rt. Hon. Thomas R.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Shaw, Charles Edward (Stafford)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Houston, Robert Paterson||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hyde, Clarendon G.||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Iilingworth, Percy H.||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Jardine, Sir J.||Stanier, Beville|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Clough, William||Kekewich, Sir George||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Kincaid-Smith, Captain M.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Compton-Rickett. Sir J.||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Lambert, George||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Cornwall. Sir Edwin A.||Lamont, Norman||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lehmann, R. C.||Tomkinson, James|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Toulmin, George|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Ure, Alexander|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Valentia, Viscount|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Verney, F. W.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Wadsworth. J.|
|Du Cros, Arthur||Lye11, Charles Henry||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Walters, John Tudor|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Walton, Joseph|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||M'Crae, Sir George||Waring, Walter|
|Erskine. David C.||Marnham, F. J.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Esslemont, George-Birnie||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Masterman, C. F. G.||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Menzies, Walter||White, Sir Luke (York, H.R.)|
|Fell, Arthur||Micklem, Nathaniel||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Morrison-Bell, Captain||Williams. A. Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Featherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Williamson, A.|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Myer, Horatio||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Napier, T. B.||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesborough)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Gordon, J.||Nicholls, George|
|Gretton, John||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Joseph Pease and the Master of|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Hussey, Thomas Willans||Elibank.|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|