§ Order for Committee read.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Montagu)
I beg to move—That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair" (for Committee on East India Accounts).Mr. Speaker, in to-day moving the Motion that you do now leave the Chair, I am more than ordinarily impressed by the difficulty of diverting the attention of this House from important domestic concerns to the affairs of India, but I hope to be able to announce to the House a departure in policy of such importance that it will, I trust, pardon the large demand which I fear I shall have to make upon its patience. I need not dilate for more than one minute on foreign affairs, because the House has kept itself well informed by question and answer on events on the North-East Frontier and in Tibet. The expedition to the Abor, Mishmi, and Miri countries have returned to India, having successfully accomplished what they set out to do. If the geographical and scientific results of these expeditions have been somewhat disappointing, the incalculably adverse climatic conditions must be borne in mind. All that it is necessary for me to say about them is that the thanks of this House are due to General Bower and the other gallant officers and men who have conducted the expedition, and our sympathy ought to be paid to those officers and men who lost their lives in the service of their country. Of course, the outstanding feature of the last year in India was the visit of His Majesty and the Queen-Empress to India. I do not propose to attempt what others have done adequately before me, to paint to this House the glowing success of their visit, and to try and describe the warmth of the welcome which awaited them from their Indian subjects. I ventured last year to prophesy the welcome which His Majesty would receive in these words. I said:—His visit would receive a real and heartfelt welcome from all his peoples, not only because news of his popularity and devotion to his Imperial duties will have reached their shores, but because they will see in his visit an earnest that the passage of time and growing knowledge had increased the desire which has always animated the British people to help and serve their Indian fellow subjects.I quote these words because they describe the welcome which His Majesty 1877 got, a welcome enhanced by his own personality and the personality of Her Majesty, a welcome which was echoed from end to end of the Indian Empire. At the risk of incurring the anger of my critics, I would express once again my belief that there is a growing spirit of nationality in India, the direct product and construction of British rule. The Brahmin from Bombay speaks Mahratta, the Brahmin from Bengal speaks Bengali, and despite their community of religious beliefs they are separated by the incapacity to understand one another's language, but they come together to discuss the affairs of the nation which is growing under British rule in the language of the British people.
There is growing up in India a caste of educated Indians, which includes among its numbers members of all castes from all parts of India, all speaking one language, the English language. It is small wonder that the educated people of India should welcome the British King, who is the representative of the unity which is Britian's gift to them. Above and beyond all these there are the nine-tenths of the people of India who are still illiterate and uneducated, who welcomed our King because of the peace and tranquility and, as I believe, the growing prosperity produced by those who govern India upon his behalf. There is an old doctrine that we govern India by the sword. I do not want now to dispute the fundamental truth, but I want to assert, if I may, that it is because we also govern India by the consent of those who know, and by the cheerful and willing acquiescence of those who do not realise all that it means, that His Majesty's welcome was so wide and so real as it was last year. I do not propose today to trespass upon the more debatable ground of the administrative results of that visit. The House of Lords has had its say, the House of Commons has had its say, and I do not want to renew, although I am in the hands of the House, a discussion of that matter now. I have stated my case, the case for that removal of the Government of India from a provincial centre, and the case for what we conceived to be a more statesmanlike partition of Bengal; and although I fully recognise the importance of the grave misgivings felt by those interested in commerce in Calcutta, I am bound to adhere to the opinion that I have expressed in this House that the changes are popular everywhere else, that they have produced satisfaction and tranquility, and that 1878 there is reason to hope and believe that the adverse and isolated, though important, misgivings of the commercial community at Calcutta will prove to be ill-founded.
I pass to that part of my speech which no representative of the India Office, however careless of precedent, could afford to omit, what is, indeed, the real basis for this Motion—a very short review, and I will make it as short as I can, of the financial position of the Empire. We have to consider two years—1911–12 in review, and, so far as we can, 1912–13 in prospect. The Estimates for 1911–12 were framed on the hypothesis of normal harvests, good steady progress in trade, and a satisfactory export season. The net revenue, Imperial and Provincial, was estimated at £52,141,700, and the net expenditure chargeable to the revenues of the year, after allowing for the amount estimated to be met from the balances of Provincial Governments, was estimated at £51,322,500, which would have left a balance of £819,200. I think the House will agree that it is highly satisfactory to be able to report that the general economic conditions were far more favourable than was anticipated.
Budget framers, tax-payers, politicians and journalists all cast their eyes towards the monsoon, which is the vital element in Indian prosperity. I should like to give the history of this particular monsoon, because it may be taken to show the extreme difficulty of Budget-making in India, and the caution with which deductions should be made from earlier rain. The monsoon began in June normally, but during July and August rain practically ceased over the whole of India. The young crops sowed during the first fallacious burst were destroyed by dry, westerly winds, fodder failed for the cattle, and the price of all grains rose rapidly to famine level. On the 25th August the Punjab Government reported to the Government of India that the failure of the rains had up to date been greater than had ever been experienced in the history of that province; everything portended as grave and as extensive a drought as any recorded in the history of India. We were, I am informed, within twenty-four hours of one of the greatest calamities we had ever known. Then in the last week of August the monsoon currents freshened, and copious rains fell in most parts of India, and continued in unusual strength throughout September. But the north of the Bombay Presidency, 1879 and parts of the native states of Baroda, Lathiawar and Central India were not reached by the later rains, and in those districts, except where irrigation—which I think is the most beneficial triumph of British rule in India—saved the situation, the autumn and winter crops failed and positively disappeared. Relief works were started in the famine districts, and in the latter part of May of this year 100,000 people were on the relief works.
The fact of these favourable conditions showed themselves in an expansion of the volume of trade. Imports and exports reached a record. I have some remarkable figures to read to the House. The imports of merchandise were of the value of £92,423,000, an increase of 7 per cent.; exports of merchandise were £151,763,000, an increase of 8 per cent.; and the net imports of treasure were £28,731,000, am increase of 32 per cent. To give a better idea of the general expansion of Indian trade, if you compare the figures of 1911–12 with those of 1901–2, you find an increase of imports of 70 per cent., an increase in exports of 83 per cent., and an increase in the imports of treasure of 285 per cent. The favourable trade conditions were responsible for the fact that the financial results of the year were considerably more favourable than had been expected in the Budget Estimate. Railways showed an increase in the gross receipts of £33,150,000, or an excess of £1,720,000 over the Estimate. This was partly due to the great expansion of trade, and partly due to the Durbar traffic in December. The net profit on the year's working was therefore the record sum of £3,204,500, an excess over the Budget Estimate of £1,272,800. The local Governments who are mainly responsible for excise administration have lately raised their fees and duties in order to discourage the use of stimulants and drugs, and therefore on this account the revenue of 1911–12 was expected to show only a very moderate increase, but good harvests and good trade led to an expansion, and the net revenue was £416,300 over the Estimate. The Customs revenue benefited in a similar way. There was an increase of £308,000 in the Customs revenue as a whole, the only items showing a decrease being sugar and tobacco. Under the heading "Irrigation," there was an increase of £320,000 in net receipts.
1880 The most important item which contributed to the surplus of the year was opium. The reduction of the exports has been proceeding at a very considerable pace since the Agreement with China, which came into force in 1908. In that year the total exports amounted to 61,900 chests, of which 48,000 went to China. In 1912 the exports to China are limited to 21,680 chests, and to the rest of the world 13,200 chests. This restriction of the exports affects the price, and makes it very difficult to forecast from year to year the exact price which it will fetch in the market. Last year the situation was complicated by a new factor, because the Government of India had adopted a system of certificated chests for export to China in response to the wishes of the Chinese Government. It was impossible, therefore, to foretell the price of certificated or uncertificated opium. It is not surprising to find that owing to the poor yield of the season's crops, the expenditure was £444,800 less than the Estimate, and the receipts £1,624,300 more than the Estimate, so that the net receipts were better than the Estimate by £2,069,100. The most important decrease in the year—the only one which I will mention—was in land revenue. Owing to the scarcity in the North of Bombay, and the lateness of the monsoon in the United Provinces and Punjab, remissions and suspensions of the land revenue were granted, and there was a net decrease of £696,000 in the land revenue as a whole. Thus the net revenue amounted to £56,209,400, a surplus over the Estimate of £4,067,700.
When I turn to the net expenditure, I find there was a decrease in the estimated expenditure of £780,000. There was, furthermore, a decrease in interest charges of £316,500. This was mainly accidental, and was owing to the fact that the large amounts received on loans granted from the Secretary of State's balances, helped to decrease the amount payable for interest. I would draw the attention of the House to a decrease in the expenditure on education of a little over £250,000. It is not a real decrease, because £100,000 of the Grant which was to have been spent on education was spent on educational buildings, and therefore appears under the head of "Civil Works" instead of that of "Education." There is also a certain decrease owing to the fact that the large Grants, which would have enabled the total outlay to exceed that of the previous year by £430,000, were not fully spent by 1881 the Department. It you add the excess revenue of £4,067,700 to the savings of £780,600 in Imperial and provincial expenditure, you will find that the Budget for the year showed a surplus of £4,848,300. Out of this sum the Provincial Governments receive automatically a certain proportion, £540,000; £782,000 went to provide suitable opening balances for the new Provinces of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa, and Assam; and £322,000 went to pay the two weeks' gratuity to the lower paid provincial employés which was promised as a Durbar Grant. This reduced the surplus to £3,960,000. In dealing with this surplus we have to remember the causes which contributed to the great excess over the Budget Estimate. The opium revenue, so far as it is derived from exports to China, will probably in greater part disappear during the next five years. The railway revenue has yielded a very exceptional return, but must always be regarded as a fluctuating source of income. I think, therefore, the House will agree that it is right to treat the surplus as the outcome of financial conditions which cannot be relied upon to recur, and to apply it to special non-recurring purposes. Eight hundred and sixty-seven thousand pounds was given to the provincial governments for sanitation, research in hygiene, improvements in communications, and improvements in agriculture. The remainder of the surplus of a little over £3,000,000 went to the reduction of debt. At the close of the year there was in existence £11,166,000 of temporary debt—India Bills, India bonds and Debenture bonds, for which general liability was assumed by the Secretary of State on purchasing the railways or terminating the contracts of companies. Provision has been made to pay off during 1912–13, out of the large balances in hand, including the surplus I have just mentioned, the £4,500,000 worth of Indian Bills outstanding, and £1,977,600 of bonds which mature in the year. So there will thus be left, out of this large temporary debt, only a little over £4,500,000. I do not think I need stop to labour the general theoretical advantages of reducing so large an amount of debt, but, of course, the more India can free herself in prosperous times from floating debt in London the better she is in a position to call on the London market in times of difficulty.
I turn to the future. The Indian revenue for 1912–13 is estimated at £53,442,400; the net expenditure is esti- 1882 mated at £51,964,100, and the surplus is estimated therefore at £1,478,300. The latest telegram we have received from India concerning the monsoon gives us a summary that the present conditions and prospects are almost universally good, but the House will not be surprised, after what I have said, to hear the warning that a continuance of such prospects depends very largely on favourable late rain. The receipts in the new Estimates under most of the chief heads of revenue, such as forests, salt, stamps, excise, and customs, railways and irrigation are taken at a somewhat higher figure than in the Budget of last year to allow for normal expansion. The estimate of the price of opium, having regard to the difficulty of forecasting the course of this exceptionally speculative trade, is the same as the Budget for last year with allowances made for a reduction in the quantity sold. Under the head of general administration there is a reduction compared with last year of £673,200, which was expended last year in the civil expenditure on the Loyal visit to India, and there is a similar reducton in the military services of £307,000. The largest increase in next year's Budget is that of £760,000 for education. For 1911–12 the amount provided was £2,094,000. In 1912–13 the amount is £2,855,200. There is also an increase of £400,300 on medical services, £333,000 is allocated to waterworks and drainage schemes, and £80,000 for medical research, including the equipment of research laboratories and the establishment of a tropical school of medicine. Of course, the House will see that the surplus for which we have budgetted is abnormally large. In a normal year the natural course would be to use at least a part of the surplus for the reduction of taxation, or, perhaps, for increasing administration expenses. But in this year neither of those courses was possible. The revenue derived from the sale of opium to China will shortly disappear, both because it is a source of revenue which, I think, neither India nor Great Britain desires to continue to have, and partly because of our international agreements. The surplus, therefore, is going to be retained, in order to reduce the amount to be borrowed on capital expenditure, on railways, irrigation works, and the building of the new Delhi.
I want now to make a short digression, and say something about the new city of Delhi. The site which has been recommended by the Expert Committee, which 1883 has returned to this country, lies to the south-west of the modern city of Delhi, between Kutab Road and the Aravelli Ridge. The area stands high, commands a wide prospect, which includes the existing city of Delhi, and the ground is virgin soil, because the man-worn sites of the early occupation lie, I understand, nearer the river and due south of Delhi. The drainage problem is simplified by the ample fall of the ground towards the river, and although no plan for the laying-out of the city has as yet been finally decided upon, I think it is safe to say that the present intention is that a belt of park no less than a thousand yards in width should intervene between the walls of old Delhi and the new capital, and that this park will probably be extended to envelop the entire site at the eastern boundary, where will lie, probably, the bazaar and the quarters of the English and Indian Government servants. The distance from the new Government House to the Jama Musjid will be about three miles to the south-west, and between the two will lie the Government offices for the administration of the old and the new city of Delhi. The military cantonments will be to the west of the Aravelli Ridge, where, I understand, there is much available and suitable land. I have only to add that at the earliest possible moment the Report of the Committee and the plans will be exhibited in the Tea Room. On this site that I have described it is hoped there will grow up in the heart of India, on the site of what I think may be described as its most ancient capital, at its most convenient railway centre, the enduring British seat of Government, firmly planted, I believe, in the affections of those for whom it labours. The estimated cost of the new capital is put at £4,000,000. The Government scheduled, under the Land Acquisition Act, a very large area round Delhi, so that they are able to acquire the land they want at the price it was worth before the Durbar announcement. The buildings which will be a public charge are the Viceroy's residence, the Government offices, and a place of meeting for the Imperial Legislative Council, and offices for the municipal administration and the cantonments. If residences for other individuals are constructed in the first instance at the cost of public revenue a rent will be charged to the occupants. The architects for the various Government enterprises have not yet been chosen, but efforts will be made by competition to obtain a wide field of 1884 selection. I am afraid I cannot give at present any revised estimate. Lord Hardinge, in his speech to the Council on 25th March, expressed considerable confidence that the estimate would be found to be sufficient. I can only say this provisional estimate has been framed after considering the cost of lighting, road-making and drainage, and comparing it with the similar cost for places like Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, and making allowance for the fact that there will be little or no clearing. We do not intend to build streets of private dwellings and shops, but we intend to allow other people to build private dwellings and shops in harmony with the general plan, and1 although, of course, nothing definite can be said, I really do not anticipate that this new Delhi will in the long run prove to be a very serious burden upon the finances of the country.
How are we going to find this money? When Government offices and buildings are required in India the usual practice is to find them out of current revenue, but in view of the magnitude of the Delhi scheme it is proposed to adopt a different method of providing the money, and in this case to treat the outlay as capital expenditure and meet it partly from loans and partly from revenue surpluses as they may arise. I think it is the same principle which is now adopted in this country as a rule whenever public buildings are to be built. If new taxation were going to be imposed for the purpose of providing a surplus for use in Delhi, or if a remission was going to be refused, because we want to provide a surplus, or if money was going to be withheld from administrative needs because of this plan, there would be very much weight in the objection which has been raised in India. But there is no idea of creating a surplus in any of these ways. New taxation is not introduced in India except to meet a deficit or a prospective deficit in current revenue, and the fact that the expenditure on Delhi is to be treated as capital expenditure will prevent it from contributing towards a deficit in current revenue. And there is no intention or prospect that the building of Delhi will prevent a remission of taxation, because the probability is that it will be built in the time when revenue from Chinese opium is disappearing, and when no prudent man in India and no Government of India would ever recommend the remission of taxation, which it will be certain to have to reimpose at the end of that time.
1885 Of course, the expenditure on Delhi, so far as it is met from surpluses, will lessen the amount available for objects which are paid for from revenue generally, but it is equally true that if we met it from loans entirely, having regard to the fact that the amount which can be borrowed in any given year, it would lessen the amount which would be spent on equally important work on capital expenditure on such subjects as railways and irrigation. To meet the whole expenditure from loans would involve the possibility of so restricting the expenditure on these latter objects as to diminish India's prosperity in time of plenty and her security against suffering in bad seasons. Therefore, I contend the task before the Government, when once it had come to the conclusion that the change of capital was a measure of such importance as to justify the expenditure involved, was to survey the field of administration as a whole, and adopt the financial scheme which seemed likely to be the least onerous to the interests concerned. We believe that the plan we have adopted of using a variety of resources instead of relying upon one, is the plan best calculated to achieve this object. The vindication of the decision will have to be looked for in the way in which it is carried into effect year by year while the expenditure on the new buildings is in progress. The Government of India will have to submit each year to the criticism of the Legislative Council and of Parliament as to the way in which it co-ordinates the claims of Delhi with the other claims on its resources. I do not think, having regard to its commitments and its pledges, that it is likely to allow the claims of Delhi to obscure its other responsibilities or to impede their fulfilment.
I want to ask the House to listen to a few more general statements. Two years ago when first I occupied my present position I discussed generally the political position of India, and what I conceived to be the lines on which it could best be governed; and last year I dealt at some length with the social conditions and development of the country, and tried to explain how political development must be contingent upon social development. The three contentions which I tried to establish last year and the year before were, firstly, that it is possible to distinguish and segregate legitimate aspirations for advancement from sedition; secondly, that political institutions cannot be advantageously imported from one 1886 country to another unless they are the resultant of similar social organisations, and that it is towards improved social conditions rather than change of political institutions to which our attention and the attention of Indians should be turned; and, thirdly, that there are striking analogies in the history of India under British rule and the history of a European country, although this chapter of the history of India has been shorter, because it is governed and created by men who have inherited the results of European and British development. I want to resist the temptation of going over that ground again. I cannot help thinking that with the passage of the Reform Act of 1909 a chapter of Indian history was closed and a new chapter was opened. I do not believe that India has yet discovered what possibilities there are, without alteration of Statute, without any new political demand, in the great reforms which will be for ever associated in the history of India with the name of Lord Morley.
I want this year to devote my attention to one problem, which, I believe, underlies all other problems in India, and about which I have certain announcements to make to the House, a problem which is, I think, the keystone of progress and the keystone of the development of social conditions, and, eventually, of the improvement of political conditions—namely, education. It has two branches—education in this country and education in India. Those interested in India must never lose sight of the increasing army of those who come over to England and benefit by our educational facilities, and who present a very serious problem. The facilities which we offer here are often purchased at an exorbitant price, and I think it is difficult, for Indians to estimate them at their real value. It may well be that the solution of some of the difficulties presented by them may be found by providing better facilities for education in India itself. If this were done—if the Indian doctor, the Indian barrister, the Indian aspirant to-an unprejudiced share in the government of his own country, were to obtain an adequate training in his own country, I venture to say that many a parent would be saved anxiety and worry, many an Indian would be saved bitterness and disappointment, and perhaps the financial disaster attendant upon a journey to England. But whilst they are over here, in search of what the heart of the Empire can give them, it is our duty and part of 1887 our responsibility for the good government of India to welcome and to help our Indian fellow subjects to the best of our ability.
Let me say, first of all, that, difficult as it is to interest men and women in this country in Indian problems, is it too much to hope that when the problems come to their very door they will respond to the invitation which, in all humility, I make to them to show some hospitality to our Indian fellow subjects? All men and women who show this hospitality to our Indian visitors are doing an Imperial work of the utmost value to the Empire. Nothing would be more valuable than for English men and women in particular to afford opportunities to Indians of learning something of English homes. I do not want to go into details, but I want to assure the House that I have had ample and lasting proof of the serious consequences of allowing Indian students to believe that the majority of the women with whom they come most easily in contact in the lonely lives they lead in lodging-houses are typical of English womanhood. May I say a word once again to undergraduates in our big universities? A responsibility of an exceptional kind falls upon them. Amongst those who come to our universities, both Indians and British, are found the future administrators of India, and if we allow our Indian visitors to be segregated, isolated, or rudely treated, we are sowing seed which will sprout and fruit long after we have repented of the carelessness which allowed it to germinate.
I desire to say something more now of the efforts we of the India Office are making to ensure that those who come to this country are looked after. It is not the first time the House has been asked to consider this question. My predecessor in the India Office, my right hon. Friend the Patronage Secretary (Master of Elibank), explained to the House in 1909 the measures which had been taken. The scheme has now been in existence for three and a half years. So great a measure of success has been achieved that the Secretary of State feels himself justified in making a considerable extension and development. I should like to give the House an idea of the work which Mr. Arnold, the head of the organisation, and his staff, have been called upon to perform. In the first place, a bureau of information has been created which pro- 1888 vides information upon educational matters to Indian parents and students, keeps for students a record of suitable lodging-houses and of families that are ready to receive them, furnishes them with references and certificates required by institutions which they wish to enter, serves as an intermediary between the universities and other academic bodies in cases where their regulations impose international hardship on students from India or do not harmonise with the system enforced in Indian universities and colleges, issues a handbook of information relating to academic and technical education, the conditions of life, the cost of living in different centres of the United Kingdom to which Indian parents may wish to send their sons, and, finally, assists Indian students in this country with advice on matters social, financial, and educational, and undertakes at the express wish of Indian parents the guardianship of their sons, sending to them from time to time periodical reports as to their progress and conduct.
It is now calculated that this bureau is in contact with 1,062 Indian students, or about 62 per cent. of the total number in this country. As regards those of whom Mr. Arnold has undertaken the guardianship, let me give these striking figures. In June, 1910, there were 27; in March, 1911, 91; and in February last, 137. Between April, 1909, and June, 1910, the amount of remittances received on behalf of these students was about £5,000; between 1st July, 1910, and 1st June, 1911, the amount was over £18,000. The educational adviser works in conjunction with the Board of Education in finding suitable courses of instruction for technical students, and in regard to engineering he is assisted by an expert adviser in Mr. Campion. I wish to say, in the first place, that the scheme inaugurated in 1909 has fully justified its institution, and, secondly, that it has grown far beyond the control of its original organisation. Mr. Arnold, to whose zeal, energy, and devotion I gladly take this opportunity of paying public tribute, has with his assistants worked nobly to grapple with an ever-increasing rush of work. That a reorganisation is necessary is, I think, a justification of their work, for it is only by tactful management and the taking of infinite pains that the natural repugnance of students to placing themselves under control could be overcome, and that the number to be dealt with has therefore increased. The first step we 1889 have taken is to increase substantially the very insufficient salaries upon which Mr. Arnold and his assistants work. Then a secretary for Indian students has been appointed at the India Office at a salary of £1,000 a year. As the House knows, we have been fortunate enough to secure the services of Mr. Mallet.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
There is a pension after ten years' service if he is invalided; and if he is not invalided when he retires at the age of sixty he gets a pension of one-eightieth of his salary for each year of service, together with a bonus of one-thirtieth of his salary for each year of service.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
No, there is no examination of any sort or kind. The position was not an easy one to fill. What is required is largely a knowledge of the conduct of a public office. I have not the slightest hesitation in saying, after the very short experience and opportunity we have had of judging of Mr. Mallet's work, he shows us to the full how glad we are to welcome him as a colleague in this new and difficult work he has undertaken.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
No. The situation is this: Mr. Mallet is to be a link between the Secretary of State and the various organisations in India, on the one hand, and in this country, on the other hand, which have been formed, and are being Formed, for this important work.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
No, for the very important reason that we desired to appoint a man with knowledge of the working of an office, it was considered that the best appointment that could be made was from Great Britain and not from India.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
So far as I am aware, not. Mr. Arnold will in future confine his attention to students in London. There are something like 800 of these at present, and the number will probably be increased. If he is to carry on the work with the same personal attention as he has done 1890 in the past, we want to limit his activities to the guardianship and care of Indian students in London. Mr. Mallet will organise and keep in touch with similar organisations to that in Cromwell Road, which are being founded with the same object and on the same lines as those which have been so successful in London. In no university town at present is there any real satisfactory organisation for looking after Indian students. We want at Oxford and Cambridge and the Scottish universities and the provincial centres, where Indians congregate for study, a similar machinery to combat the sense of homelessness and indifference. Our hope is that each university which enrolls Indian students may be willing to appoint an officer who will make it his duty to know and to help all the Indian students there, to give them information and assistance, and even to act as guardians. We believe that will be of great value to the university and of great value to the Empire. The Secretary of State is, of course, willing under the new scheme to assist financially such efforts. Mr. Mallet will be in close relation to those local advisers, will help them in every way to organise their work and to induce others to co-operate with them, and to assist them in communication with India. Communications are being conducted with the General Medical Council and the Benchers of the Inns of Court for a more satisfactory regularisation of the position of Indian students who wish to study for the medical and legal professions. Mr. Mallet will play an important part in this scheme. I wish to take this opportunity of expressing publicly the thanks of the Secretary of State for the courtesy and consideration with which those bodies have met his suggestions. I may add that there is no intention of abolishing the position of Indian assistant at Cromwell Road which was formerly held by Dr. Ray, and the selection of a successor to Dr. Ray is now under consideration.
There is one other branch of the subject to which I may refer. Indian students have of recent years come to this country to study in industrial and technological schools. A few of them—about ten every year—come at the cost of the Indian Government. Others are sent by patriotic societies, and others come at their own expense. Some doubt was expressed as to the value of the training they got, and the 1891 Secretary of State appointed a Committee to inquire into it under the chairmanship of Sir Theodore Morison. That Committee has not yet reported, but I understand that all its members are agreed as to the importance of practical training. The university or technological school can teach science and its application to industry, but it cannot make a man an engineer, a tanner, or a manufacturer. He can only learn the industry by practical experience in a business concern which is run for profit, and I am afraid that Indian students find some difficulty in getting this practical experience. Our colleges and universities are open to them on the same terms as to Englishmen, but when they seek to acquire the complement to their theoretical training they find, in some industries at least, that there is great reluctance to admit them. This is a state of things which fills me with concern. India is going to develop great industries, and her young men are going to learn how to direct them. That is not a condition of affairs which we should want to prevent, or which we could prevent even if we wanted to. If they cannot learn from the manufacturers in this country they will go abroad to other countries and acquire their practical training there. Is it not to be expected that on their return to India they will send their orders for machinery, equipment, and the like to those countries in which they have received their training, and with whose processes of manufacture they are familiar? This appears to me a matter of such great importance that I invite the attention to it of those Members of this House who are interested in great industrial concerns.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
Has the Government considered the adoption of the practice of the Japanese Government when giving out contracts of stipulating for a certain number of apprentices being employed?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I do not think that I can say anything about that, beyond that I am sure that it is one of the things which the Committee will consider. They have not yet made their Report. Then the question intrudes itself: Why do so many Indian students come to this country? And the explanation is largely to be found in the fact that we have not provided comparable facilities in their own country, and therefore compel them to come over, at whatever cost, to obtain the fullest 1892 opportunities for useful careers. And so I come to another important aspect of the question, the question of improved education in India itself. This is not a very easy subject. In this country the bulk of the population live in large towns, where it is possible to equip schools which can always be supplied with a full contingent of pupils, whom we can train with economy of effort and efficiency. But in India over 90 per cent. of the population is in villages, and most of them are very small villages indeed. It is almost impossible to select a figure in connection with this subject in India which is not almost startling. There are in India 675,000 villages with less than a thousand inhabitants, and these villages between them include more than half the total population. This distribution makes it enormously costly to bring educational facilities within the reach of every child of school-going age. In addition to this there is the distrust of parents, some of whom wish merely to train their children as retail petty traders, and consider that the primary school curriculum is superfluous. Some parents among the present population are unable to see that schooling does any good, while it certainly withdraws the children from helping to look after the cattle. The school committees who manage the public schools have been described in one province as "varying between enthusiasm, toleration, and hostility."
Sometimes we have the Western idea that schooling will raise the village boy above his station or make him unwilling to accept the old rate of wages. Then, of course, much of the education which has been given up to the present has been of an unpractical nature. The boy was for a few hours every day taken mentally out of the world in which he passed his life and taught by rote what were to him utterly useless facts, such as the names of the British Possessions in Africa. If you do not know whether Africa is a hundred or a hundred thousand miles away from your village it is not of much interest to you to learn the exact political status of Sierra Leone. But, of course, it is much less troublesome to all parties concerned to teach a boy to learn by heart what a "cape" or a "bay" is than to go with him to the nearest stream or lake and show him in miniature exactly what the objects are. Then caste presents some difficulty. I do not want to overrate it, because I believe that among the castes and classes who can read freely class 1893 prejudices do not bulk so largely as they often, do in the West. The description of a school in a Hindu village often reminds me of the description of a Scottish village school in the eighteenth century where the sons of the laird and the ploughman sat side by fide and thought no harm of it. But when we reach the gulf which separates the higher castes from the depressed castes, whose touch is regarded as pollution, we are in very deep waters indeed, and the question of the depressed classes constitutes one of the very serious difficulties in the way of universal primary education.
There are very great difficulties also in connection with the supply of properly trained teachers. The market value of a primary schoolmaster, if he is technically qualified, but untrained—that is, if he has certificates but has not passed through a normal school—may be as low as eight rupees per month. The average wage of a primary schoolmaster in 1907 was £6 13s. 4d. a year. The supply of qualified teachers for vernacular schools even with increased pay is scanty at present, and any man who knows English is reluctant to become a purely vernacular teacher. An English-speaking Indian prefers the provincial Civil Service which he finds far more lucrative than the Education Department. And when one reflects upon the enormous share taken by women teachers in this country and America in education in primary schools one realises the difficulty of getting sufficient teachers in a country where women teachers cannot be employed except for female education. Then, again, there is the question of inadequate buildings. We do not want elaborate buildings and furniture in schools in India, but in the case of schools under private management, which are three-fourths of the total number, it is the custom for classes to be held in verandahs lent for the purpose, or in the master's own dwelling-house, or in any other place that can be obtained. I mention these difficulties only that the House may realise the magnitude of the task before us, but I do not think that the difficulties afford any excuse, for apathy or indifference. On the contrary, they should only serve as an incentive to greater activity. The only question we have got to decide now is the direction which this activity should take. The House will have heard of the proposals associated with the name of that eminent Indian educationist, Mr. Gokhale, who has introduced a Bill for what I may describe shortly as free com- 1894 pulsory primary education on a permissive basis. What I mean by that is that the education is to be free and compulsory where under certain conditions the local authority choose to apply it. He estimates that the cost of his proposal would ultimately be about £3,500,000. We are inclined to believe that this is a sanguine estimate.
I hope that Mr. Gokhale and those who sympathise with him will not misunderstand me when I urge a quality always irksome to self-sacrificing reformers like-himself—the quality of patience. He thinks that primary education as it exists at present in India is sufficiently valuable to force it on the whole school-going population of India as early as possible. We do not. Universal and free education in India must come, as it has come in all other countries, but the time is not yet, and I am confident that the Government of India has a policy dictated for the present by the same hopes and aims as the hopes and aims of Mr. Gokhale, whose Bill which will have a better result. We have no attitude of hostility towards the principles which inspire his Bill. We and he together are working for the same end, the breaking down of illiteracy in India. No one who knows anything about the matter can deny that his energy and his speeches have helped us to create the public opinion, without which our activity would be useless, but we believe that the greatest expansion of education can be secured not by making it, free or compulsory at the present moment, but by the improvement and the multiplication of the schools. In the Bombay Presidency it is roughly calculated that there are 100,000 children whose parents would willingly send them to school to-day if there were schools to send them to. And the same story is told about other provinces, where it has been demonstrated that the surest way of increasing the school attendance is to increase the number of schools. And with regard to compulsion, the case is even stronger. Compulsion really can only be worked where education is popular, and where, therefore, the need of putting compulsion into force would not show itself to the very large bulk of the population. There is not much use in applying it to resentful districts.
There is not much to be hoped from compulsion unless it is largely effective, and how much unrest and disturbance a really effective measure for making primary education compulsory would create it is not 1895 difficult to imagine. In the native State of Baroda, where education has been made compulsory, the fines for non-attendance amount to 60,000 rupees per year. This figure gives an incidence per head of the population which is double the incidence of the fees charged in elementary schools in India. Yet what is the result? The percentage of literacy among the males in Baroda after five years of free and compulsory education is 17.5. In the adjacent British district of Broach, where education is neither free nor compulsory, the percentage of literacy is 27.4. I should like to read to the House the language of a leading Indian chief, the Maharana of Rajpipla, a State in the Bombay Presidency. He is a progressive Chief, who takes a keen interest in his State, and has done much to advance education in it. He used only recently the following words:—Make primary education as free as you choose; add as many further inducements as you can; but do not make it compulsory. In the case of the most advanced classes it is absolutely unnecessary, and would serve only to create irritation. In the case of the poor 'backward classes,' it would inflict harm where good was meant, would subject them to great harassment, would be positively cruel and unjust, and would be deeply though silently resented as such.What is our alternative plan? We have already, I would point out, made a considerable step in the direction of free primary education. Primary schools for girls generally charge no fees. Primary education for boys is free in certain provinces. No fees are charged in the monastery schools of Burma. The sons of agriculturists in the Punjab and in certain districts of the United Provinces pay no fees. Primary education has been made free in the frontier provinces of Assam, Baluchistan, and the North-West Frontier. There are arrangements in other provinces giving primary education without charge to backward sections of the community, with the result that from one-fifth to a third of the boys already receive free education. Let me tell the House something of the progress made in the last ten years. In 1901 Lord Curzon dealt with the subject with characteristic candour. He declared that—he could not be satisfied with a state of things in which four villages out of five are without a school, and three boys out of four grow up without education, and one girl in forty only attended schoolDuring the last ten years there has been an increase of 22.8 per cent. in the number of schools and 44.4 per cent. in the number of scholars, and to-day there are 4,500,000 boys and 866,000 girls receiving 1896 primary education in 120,000 schools. During the last four years there has been an increase of about 240,000 boys per annum in those schools. But still of the total population, 15 per cent. of which may be taken to be of school-going age, only 4 per cent. of the boys and 7 per cent. of the girls are at school. The educational Grant of £330,000 a year announced at the Delhi Durbar is to be spent mainly on primary education, and that is but a prelude to a much more extensive programme. The programme which we hope to work up to in time is as follows: We desire to increase the total number of primary schools by 90,000, or 75 per cent., and to double the school-going population. The schools will cost £25 each per year, and they will be placed in villages and other centres of population which are at present without schools. We are going to improve the existing schools, which now only cost about £10 a year, and the cost of these will probably have to be doubled.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I cannot give the period. As I am going on to say, it must take some considerable time. But this is the programme which we propose at once to set ourselves to work on. We want to improve the teaching given in the schools, and make it practical, popular, and instructive, and for that purpose we have got to improve the teaching.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The additional expenditure this year is £750,000. I cannot give figures for a longer period.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
Is the balance of £1,000,000 of increased expenditure for education going to higher education?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
No; three-quarters of a million is the amount this year, both for higher education and primary education. As I said, we must make the education attractive, and therefore we want a larger supply of better-equipped teachers. We hope to lay down the rule that they shall have passed at least the upper primary school standard, that there shall be at least one teacher to every fifty scholars, 1897 that the pay shall begin at at least twelve rupees a month, and that there shall be better prospects for teachers by grading them and by instituting a provident fund or pension system. These two items of improvement and extension will involve a very large expenditure. The existing schools have got to be made more efficient, new and better schools have to be provided, and the recurring expense of these schools will be by no means the only charge on the Indian Treasury. There must be heavy initial expenditure upon buildings and equipment. More serious and more costly will be the training of the teachers whom the schools will absorb. I want to ask the House to remember that a considerable space of time must elapse before these hopes can be realised. The financial problems which these educational ideas involve are obvious to everyone. What is not so clearly obvious is that even if the money were now in hand it could not immediately be spent. The Government of India is satisfied that at the present moment an increased salary would not bring forth any considerable increase of competent teachers. Trained men do not exist in sufficient numbers for the existing schools, and therefore the only way in which the problem can be dealt with is to call them into existence.
Let us turn our attention for a moment to higher education, and I want, if I may, to draw the attention of the House to the importance of this subject. May I venture on an analogy between the conditions of India to-day and of Europe in the Middle Ages? I do not want to press the parallel beyond this point, that we have a series of large countries, each with its own vernacular speech (or, perhaps, more than one vernacular), brought into an intellectual commonwealth by the use for purposes of higher education of a language which is not a native vernacular.
Any Englishman, Frenchman, or German who proceeded to higher studies in the Middle Ages learnt to write and to speak Latin, the language of law, of science, and of politics. In India, to-day, the man who would serve the State in the higher Departments of law, or science, or politics must learn English. Of course the parallel breaks down at this point, because English is not to India, as Latin was to Europe, the language of religion. It is, as Latin was not, the language of business and international commerce. Further, English is a living tongue whereas Latin was not then a live one. Possibly my comparison may seem fanci- 1898 ful, but I make it for this reason: Very few of us, I think, stop to consider what it really means when we find Indian gentlemen taking high honours at their English university, passing competitive examinations in this country, or making admirable speeches in the legislative councils. I would like to ask how many Oxford or Cambridge graduates, capable of turning English literature into the most excellent Latin prose, how many cultured Englishmen who can read German with ease, would be prepared to learn higher mathematics and write mathematical or scientific theses in German, or to sit down in an examination room and answer questions on Indian history in Latin? How many of us would be prepared to conduct our Debates in this Chamber in any foreign language which we were supposed to have learned when we left school? That is precisely the achievement of many Indian gentlemen to-day. When we admit and deplore the manifest shortcomings of Indian secondary education, we forget that each of the pupils whom we so often hear of as being prepared by a process of cramming, has not only had to acquire the English language, which differs fundamentally from his own in structure, in spirit and in syntax, but has got to acquire all the other advanced knowledge through the medium of English. I think it is too often forgotten that this sort of thing is very typical in India, the sort of thing described by one Member in a recent speech in the Viceroy's Council, a speech which, in point of form, might well serve as a model to many of us here, and in which he said:—That he received the elements of education sitting on the floor of the primary school, confronting a wooden board, covered with red powder, and with a piece of stick with which to write vernacular letters.We propose in secondary education to extend our model schools where required, and not to replace private or aided schools, but to co-operate with them and set an example of standard. Only graduates will be employed as teachers. It is hoped to establish a graded service with salaries of from 40 to 400 rupees a month. We want to establish a school course complete in itself with a curriculum comparable to the school course on the modern side of an English public school, giving manual training and science teaching. There is to be an increase in Grants to privately managed schools, and we want to provide proper hostel accommodation. I come now to the universities. The right hon. Gentleman the senior Member for 1899 the City of London exposed the difficulty of the Indian university question with, if I may say so, admirable lucidity to the Congress of Universities. The words he used were these:—How are you going to diminish the shock which the sudden invasion of a wholly alien learning must have on the cultured society of the East? Any catastrophic change in the environment of an organism is sure to inflict great injury upon the organism, perhaps destroy it altogether. In the East we are compelled to be catastrophic. It is impossible to graft by a gradual process in the East what we have got by a gradual process in the West.And so we have the complaint that our Indian university teaching has undermined religions, has weakened the restraint of ancient customs, and has destroyed that reverence for authority which was one of the attributes of Indian character. How can we combat these things? We believe that the dangers of catastrophic change can be mitigated by adopting in India that part of the English system of education which has, so far as the universities are concerned, proved most successful in moulding character. Character is not trained by lectures or taught by text-books. It forms but a small part of the work in the class-rooms. But it has arisen, as it were, accidentally, as a by-product of our residential schools and old universities. Young men in their association together evolve certain rules of conduct which they impress on each other, and which we speak of as the tone or tradition of the school or college. There is evidence to show that in residential colleges in India traditions comparable to those in our own public schools spring into existence and stamp their indelible impression upon the young men who go there. The formative influences of the residential college can be stimulated by the presence of English masters and professors who have been trained in the same system in their own country, and who know how much can be done by example and how little by homily. It is this side of university education which we propose to develop in India. We have allotted large Grants for buildings, hostels, and boarding houses attached to colleges. We are finding money for libraries in connection with the colleges, and we desire to develop existing universities by the creation of Chairs in different branches of post-graduate research, and we propose to increase the aid to private colleges. The universities of India have hitherto been of the federal or affiliating type. At their first inception they were little more than boards constituted for the purpose 1900 of holding examinations, and for these examinations students were prepared at a great number of institutions scattered over a wide area. As the universities were only examining boards they could only recognise merit shown in the examinations. The training of character and other valuable by-products of collegiate life could not be recognised or encouraged. Universities of this type came into existence in England in the last century, but after a short experience the type has been generally condemned, and the recent tendency has been for the federal university I to be dissolved, and for the constituent colleges to become independent universities.
It is upon such lines that the Government of India is directing the construction of the Indian universities. The first step was taken in 1904, when the area within which each university could exercise the power of affiliation was demarcated. The next step will be to reduce the area over which each university exercises jurisdiction; but where a college is adequately staffed and equipped, and where it is shown it has shown a capacity to attract to itself students from a distance, that college will be elevated to the dignity of a university, and will be given the power of conferring degrees upon the students who have been trained within its walls. Such universities will be local and residential in the fullest sense of the term. They will, it is hoped develop traditions of their own and become centres of learning. The Government of India have expressed a wish to create a university of this type in Dacca, and correspondence is passing between the Government of India and the Secretary of State upon giving a similar status to the college at Aligarh. It is probable that universities of a similar type will shortly follow at Benares and Rangoon.
Then, of course, there must be side by side with this extension of liberal university education an increase of technical education, and we intend that technical education shall be developed. A technological institute at Cawnpore has been sanctioned in accordance with the recommendations of Sir John Hewett, who has done so much in the cause of technical education in India. I may say generally that technical education is to be advanced all over India.
This must serve as a summary of the educational efforts which the Government of India is making in all directions. I have attempted to show that we are 1901 extending our educational facilities in that country, and we are making a courageous and sustained effort to break down illiteracy in primary education, and we are leading the way towards the recognition of a higher standard of efficiency in secondary education by the establishment of model Government schools, and we are spending large sums upon the provision of well equipped hostels attached both to schools and to colleges, and promoting the growth of a healthy residential system. We are trying to mitigate the evils of wholesale examination by the contraction of the area over which each university enjoys jurisdiction, and to establish a new type of university which may develop into a genuine home of learning. At the same time we are developing industrial and technological education. I say confidently that that is a record of which any Government may be proud, and a programme to which the House can confidently look forward. If the educational ideal which we have in mind is realised, we will have laid the foundation of a national system of education by a network of really valuable schools, colleges, and universities, so that facilities will be opened to Indians to qualify themselves in their own country for the highest positions in every walk in life.
I am sorry to say I have one other subject with which I must weary the House, and a subject not unconnected with the last subject, because the problem before us when we have educated Indians is to give, them the fullest opportunity in the government of their own country to exercise the advantages which they have acquired by training and by education. How are we going to remove avoidable disabilities under which Indians labour while promoting the efficiency of the public services generally? Those who desire reform in the Indian Service will welcome the appointment by His Majesty of a Royal Commission, of which the House has heard. There are many questions, a solution of which is confidently asserted by some to be as confidently refuted by others, and which will never be properly solved until we have an authoritative pronouncement on them. I want to justify the appointment of this Royal Commission, but I want most carefully, in what follows, to avoid the expression of any opinion lest it might be considered to be the opinion of the Government, upon whose behalf I speak this afternoon. Sir Charles Aitcheson's Public Service Commission reported at the end of 1887, and 1902 final orders were published on its recommendation in 1891. Accepting, as I do, the supposition that those orders were the best possible orders that could have been passed at that time, it would be a bold man who would say, having regard to the development of India during the past twenty years, that after the expiry of twenty years there is no necessity for any development of the system which owes its results to Sir Charles Aitcheson's Commission. Many points remain, and some directly result from the orders which were based upon that Commission, which have given rise, I do not think it is an exaggeration to say, to grave discontent inside and outside the services concerned, and there are, at any rate, allegations of glaring anomaly and defect, which are supported by a sufficient amount of evidence to be worth considering.
First of all, there is the Indian Civil Service. A competitive examination at the moment lays the way open for a choice between the Home and the Indian Civil Service, and those who choose the Indian Civil Service have a year's probation at home before they go out to do that work: the varied administrative, executive, and judicial work, the success of which is, I think, the marvel of the whole world, and a source of continued pride to the people of Great Britain. I do not think that I shall be accused of optimism when I express the confident belief that the innate power of well-ordered administration and prompt decisive action, which seems to me to be the characteristic of the British race and perhaps of no other, will never fail. But more than that is wanted—humanity, capacity to deal with men, statesmanship, and, above all, that quality which is increasingly wanted as the keynote of British rule in India—sympathy. The Indians with whom the young Indian Civil servant comes into contact will be better educated, with a wider knowledge of other countries and of the world as the years go by. As we improve our system of education, and as we increase the capacity for the expression of popular opinion, and as Indians come over to this country, not only Government students, not only Indian princes, but zemindars and merchants, and travel in Europe, learning of England at its best and at its worst, it becomes all the more important that we should not risk any deterioration of our service, but that we should give to India, as we have undoubtedly done in the past, the very best material we can.
1903 It is obvious that to open both the Home and Indian Civil Services to one examination gives us a wider choice, because it gives to the candidate a choice of profession when he passes the examination, but it will be for the Commission to consider how far nowadays it results in our getting only the "leavings" of the Home Civil Service, and how far further an examination, which can admittedly be passed by unaided cramming, is the best possible way of securing our Indian Civil servants. I do not know, and it would be improper for me to express an opinion, but this is for the Commission to consider, and there are many other questions which suggest themselves. Is the year's probation long enough? Is it spent to the best possible advantage under our present system? Do we get our young men at an age when they are too old to adapt themselves to the life they have to lead, or, on the contrary, are they too young for the responsibilities which they have to bear? Ought not the training they receive to be supplemented by more intimate knowledge of our legal procedure in this country? Might not certain difficulties of our Indian judicial system be overcome by some such means as these?
§ Sir J. D. REES
Will this Commission deal with the manner in which Barrister Judges are appointed to the public service?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
After this attempt to justify the appointment of the Commission I intend to read to the House the terms of reference and the personnel of the Commission. Then again there is the position of Indians in the Civil Service. The door to the Indian Civil Service is at present only to be found in this country, and this is one of the reasons why Indians come over here. It has been suggested that the examination for the Indian Civil Service should be held here and simultaneously in India, or, that if another process is adopted for selecting Civil servants that the same process should be gone through in India as is gone through here. It has been answered that it would be impossible under such a system to ensure the same status and the same standard in India as we require here. And when the service has been recruited is the door to promotion open as widely as possible to men of all races in the best possible way. Are the rules of pay and of pensions suitable or incapable of improvement? Is it right that Indians should not subscribe to 1904 the Family Fund. There is then the Indian Medical Service which is only recruited in this country. Is the training which is possible for Indians in their own country of such value as to warrant us opening the door to Indians in their own country? Does the existence of an Indian Medical Service prevent the growth of an independent medical profession? Would it be right to open the doors of the Indian Civil Service and of the Indian Medical Service to subjects of feudatory States? All those problems present themselves again and again to those who have to do with administration in India.
We come then to the other services. The House is familiar with the division into Provincial and Imperial Services. Roughly and generally the Imperial Service is recruited in England, and the Provincial Service is recruited in India. The Imperial Service has preserved for it the higher superior appointments, and the Provincial Service fills the higher subordinate appointments, while the lower appointments are filled partly from the Provincial Service and partly from the Imperial Service. The pay, leave, and pension rules in each service have been fixed by a consideration of what is necessary to secure Europeans to serve away from their own country and by what is necessary to secure Indians to serve in their own country. The result is that the branch which is essentially European has better pay, better prospects, and more responsibility than the branch which is essentially Indian. It does not necessarily by any means follow that these principles are wrong—that is for the Commission to decide. It is necessary to have a European element in most of the services. European officers must be given pay and prospects sufficient to induce them to join these services, and when good men have been trained and have been induced to join they must be placed in positions of responsibility adequate to their merits. It has been said, and again I express no opinion, that this has been achieved in a wey which causes just discontent among Indians; that it is not achieved in the most appropriate way, and that our present system excludes desirable men, and involves avoidable race distinction. In those services where the Imperial branch is recruited by nomination, although Indians are not in all of them declared to be ineligible, although in one, the Public Works Department, provision has been made for giving a certain proportion of the appointments every year to India, the result of the system is in almost 1905 all the services Indians are shut out from the more important and highly-paid posts. In the Education Service, by recruiting the Imperial Service only in this country, only two Indians have been appointed in the last fifteen years. In the Public Works Department, Lord Morley decided that 10 per cent. of the appointments should, if possible, be given to Indians each year. The result was that certain Indians were appointed to the Imperial Service who had failed to get into the Provincial Service.
So the system results in either keeping Indians out of the higher branches of the service, or appointing them with qualifications inferior to those required for the lower branch. And, if the principle of maintaining appointments in this country only for Europeans is abandoned, it imposes a course of education in England on Indians who wish to attain high office in their own country. In all these services there is the question of pay, pension, leave, the present conditions of which will be familiar to students of the subject, but which I dare not ask the House to listen to in detail now. Every service has its grievance. There is the Police, Forests, the Telegraphs, the Survey, and the Educational Service, the examination of which is all the more necessary having regard to the development of education which is going on. I do not want to give an enumeration which might be held to be exhaustive, and I do not want to suggest to the House that the services can be dealt with piecemeal. It is a question of principle that we have to decide first. The principles must be adjusted before the details can be settled. The terms of reference to the Commission are as follows:—To examine and report upon the following matters in connection with the Indian Civil Service and other Civil Services, Imperial and Provincial:—
And generally to consider the requirements of the Public Service, and to recommend such changes as may seem expedient.
- (1) The methods of recruitment and the systems of training and probation;
- (2) The conditions of service, salary, leave, and pension;
- (3) Such limitations as still exist in the employment of non-Europeans and the working of the existing system of division of Services into Imperial and Provincial;
§ The members of the Commission are as follows:—
§ Lord Islington, the present Governor of New Zealand;
§ The hon. Member for Hornsey (Earl of Ronaldshay);
§ Sir Murray Hammick, of the Indian Civil Service, at present Acting-Governor of Madras, pending the arrival of Lord Pentland;
§ Sir Theodore Morison, Member of the Council of India;
§ Sir Valentine Chirol;
§ Mr. Frank George Sly, of the Indian1 Civil Service; Commissioner of Berar;
§ Mr. Chaubal, Member of the Governor of Bombay's Executive Council;
§ Mr. Gokhale, Member of the Viceroy's Legislative Council;
§ Mr. Madge, also a Member of the Viceroy's Legislative Council;
§ Mr. Rahim, a judge of the Madras High Court;
§ The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. James Ramsay Macdonald); and
§ Mr. Herbert Albert Fisher, Fellow and Tutor of New College, Oxford.
§ It only remains for me in this connection-to ask the House to wish these gentlemen, who have so patriotically devoted themselves to a very difficult, arduous, and lengthy investigation for the benefit of India, all good fortune in their labours. I am confident that the results of their deliberations must be of enormous importance to India, and that they will lead to an improvement in its government. Perhaps the House will permit me to conclude with a few general words, in which I will attempt to explain what I think is to be drawn from what is happening in India. I have often said before, and I say now, that I can see nothing alarming in the condition of India. Its revenue and its trade are expanding; it is being better equipped year by year to withstand the calamities of weather and of disease; its people are being better trained to play the part of citizens. We have given public opinion expression adequate to the present development of the nation. But, as I said last year, and I repeat now, in that India must be regarded more than ever as a progressive country, two warnings are necessary. The first is that you cannot now, even if you would, embark on a policy of reaction. The mighty mass in India is moving in response to our own stimulus, and to try and force it back into a condition of sleep, 1907 which would now be an unwilling sleep, and could only be achieved, if it could be achieved, by repression, would be a calamity-producing blunder. The second warning which, in all humility, I would give is that, seeing that India is never the same to-day as it was yesterday, and will never be the same to-morrow as it is to-day, the man who relies on out-of-date knowledge, the man who expresses a confident opinion about India, based on knowledge however intimate, or on work however admirable, but a few years out of date, who prefaces his every remark with the words indicus olim is a man whose advice must not be accepted without question.
§ If we are to do our duty by the enormous responsibilities which we have undertaken we must move forward, however cautiously, accepting the consequences of our own acts and inspirations, and keeping ourselves informed as intimately as we possibly can of the modern and changing aspects of the problem with which we have to deal. Nobody can possibly foretell what will be the eventual characteristic of the population we shall form in India; the India which must be a heritage, not only of its Asiatic population alone, but also of that small handful of Europeans who have unified it, giving it its trend, brought to it its traditions and its ideals, and which must be reckoned in its destinies. There is a trite quotation so often made that I hardly like to quote it now, that "East is East and West is West." Nobody wants to deny it; no living man would have it otherwise. But, as a great Bengali writer has laid it down, the East and West must meet "at the altar of humanity." And then they are meeting, not with clash or discord, but in harmony and amity. There need be no enmity and competition; the forces are not mutually destructive, they are mutually complementary. Each has learnt much and has much to learn from the religion, the art, and the philosophy of the other. The quietism of the East qualifies and is in its turn qualified by the restless spirit of the West. The asceticism of the Oriental, the simplicity of his code of life, and the modesty of his bodily needs, are meeting the restless spirit of progress in material things, the love of realism, the craving for the concrete, and the striving towards advancement which come from the West. The golden thread of Oriental idealism is being woven into and embellishing the drab web 1908 of our scheme of life, and our science of government, which we have so laboriously inherited and are handing down, is being offered to the Oriental to help him in material progress, and the East and the West together, united and assisting one another, are constructing in India, let us hope successfully, the lasting temple of their joined ideals.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
When the Indian Budget comes up for discussion in this House, the Opposition labour under a marked disadvantage. There are behind me many Members, very well qualified by residence in India and by service in that country—many of them are far more qualified than I am—to inform the opinion of this House upon Indian affairs. But it remains true that we have no one on this bench with that knowledge at once intimate and comprehensive, not only of Indian affairs, but of the relation of Indian affairs to the Home Government, which can, I suppose, be obtained only by those who enjoy the advantages possessed by the hon. Member who has just concluded an eloquent speech, and derived from official connection with the India Office. In spite of that, it has been felt that when the Minister responsible resumes his seat on these occasions it is proper that someone should rise from this Front Bench, if only formally to associate the Opposition with the Government in the solemn ratification by this House of the vast work performed year in, year out, by the Government of India for the welfare of 315,000,000 of our fellow subjects, and for the safety of the Empire as a whole. On this occasion the propriety of such a course is emphasised beyond cavil by the fact that we desire to associate ourselves with the whole Empire in the congratulations which the Under-Secretary has so felicitously phrased to Their Majesties the King Emperor and the Queen on the glorious conclusion of an unexampled service rendered by them to the Indian Empire, and therefore to all the Dominions over which our Sovereign reigns. Previous to these Debates we are supplied with a good deal of literature by the India Office, which we read with not a little instruction; but nothing has given greater pleasure than those passages in the deliberations of the Governor-General's Council in which we read the eloquent tributes tendered by all members of the Council, and with glowing fervour by the Indian members, in which they recognised that august act of Imperial devotion to duty.
1909 But we have read a good deal else in the Blue Book, and we have listened to much of interest this afternoon. Not being an expert on Indian affairs, I shall not attempt to traverse anything like the area covered so exhaustively, and in such an interesting manner by the Under-Secretary of State. Let me first touch on two points of relatively minor importance. The first I approach with reluctance, and I shall handle it, I hope, without offence. I refer to the appointment of Mr. Mallet. The Under-Secretary had promised to give us to-day what we had not previously obtained—namely, an explanation of why this appointment has been made. We knew that Mr. Mallet had been appointed secretary for Indian students, and in another place Lord Beauchamp said that the duties would be such as the Secretary of State might determine. But we still felt curiosity as to the object which the Government had in view when they made this appointment. Having listened to the very dexterous way in which the Under-Secretary has imbedded this matter in what he had to say on the important question of education, I am bound to tell him that we did not discover any close or vital link between Mr. Mallet's appointment and what he has told us about the programme of educational reform. It seems to us hard to believe that a gentleman who has no knowledge of the Indian language, and, so far as I know, no special knowledge of India, should be appointed to this post because of his knowledge of how a public office should be conducted. We all remember Mr. Mallet with respect, but I think more on account of the somewhat confident and complacent way in which he used to defend Cobdenite doctrines in any speech he might make. After all, through no fault of his own, his occupancy of that bench was a limited one. I think he was Financial Secretary to the War Office. I am unaware that the establishment of the Government in India is such as to require an ex-Financial Secretary of the War Office, in order that this programme of education should have the fair chance of success, which we should all wish it to have. I am sure it will be a fatal day if India is to be made, not an adjunct to the Empire, but an adjunct to the party machine, no matter which party may be in power.
Another matter of relatively minor importance, but not without importance, is the new Imperial city which is to be built 1910 at Delhi. We were glad to hear that it is to be built on virgin soil. I trust from what has been said that we may dismiss from our minds the doubt which has been put abroad to the effect that considerable difficulty had arisen in discovering a good site for the new city. We have been told that the architect has not yet been selected. May I infer from that that the style of architecture has not been decided upon? That is really a very important question. In the debate of the Governor-General in Council of 25th March last, the Governor-General himself expressed a strong personal desire that an Oriental style of architecture should be adopted. It has been said since—I do not know with what authority—that the style of architecture is to be what is known as the Renaissance. That fills me with the gravest alarm. There is a good deal to be said for the Oriental style. We should build in India upon Oriental lines, just as the Greeks in Egypt built upon Egyptian lines. There might be something to be said for following the example of the Romans and building on English lines if we had something like a British architecture. As we have not, I think we should confine ourselves to the suggestion made by the Viceroy to build in harmony with the environment of this new capital city.
I pass from that to matters of greater moment, but I shall not attempt to deal with some of them. Take, for example, the reforms of 1909 associated with the name of Lord Minto and referred to by the Under-Secretary to-day. It is too soon to review those reforms. Take, in the second place, the changes announced by the King-Emperor at Delhi. When the Under-Secretary first came to that branch of his speech he said that he did not propose to say anything upon those changes. I would willingly have followed his example, but I think that the concluding portion of his speech, just before the peroration, in which he dealt with the public service in India, and with the Commission which is about to be appointed, is closely related, if not to the announcement made by His Majesty the King-Emperor at Delhi, at any rate to the gloss which the right hon. Gentleman placed upon the dispatch of 25th August last, which anticipated the visit of the King. That matter was discussed in another place yesterday. I think I shall not be contradicted when I say that probably the remarks of the Marquess of Crewe that the Government 1911 intended to increase certain processes referred to what the Under-Secretary was telling us just now about—their desire to employ a number of Indian subjects in the Indian public service. Let there be no mistake about this. There was yesterday in another place no difference of principle—I do not know that I need quote the words—for Lord Lansdowne accepted in principle all that had been said by Lord Crewe. He said, briefly, that the duties of government might devolve upon local government in so far as that would be safe; that Indians might be employed in the public service in so far as that was reasonable; thirdly, there was agreement in principle between Lord Crewe and Lord Lansdowne that the British Government must be maintained. There is no difference in principle on those three articles. No doubt one Viceroy may err by excess and another by defect in the application of these principles, and even time itself cannot show who is right and who is wrong. But there is one mistake which I trust the Government will refrain in future from making. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman altogether refrained this afternoon in this respect. That is in announcing a policy in terms which are capable of misinterpretation in India, and which may be felt to mean more there, let us say, than the Government means looking into the far future, and more than it is within their power or their intention to perform in the near future. That is a fatal mistake. The value of the British word is the greatest asset we have in India, and in making these Imperial pronouncements—for such they are—we should understate rather than overstate any boon which we think it is in our power to give to that country. Of political unrest nothing need be said. Very little was said about it in the Governor-General's Council, and I shall be glad to follow that example of silence, for I trust it may never again be necessary to have such discussions there and here as we were obliged to have last year and the year before.
I will come to the only five topics on which I shall say anything. They are topics which were very fully discussed in the Governor-General's Council. They are reflected in the Amendments on the Paper. Two of these took up a considerable, but not a too considerable, portion of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. They are opium and education. I should like to add a few words on railway development; a few words on trade; above all, a 1912 few words on trade and Customs Duties, and a few words upon military expenditure. These latter are three subjects which the right hon. Gentleman altogether omitted from his speech. Yet I think it must be seen, when we are dealing with the finances of India as a means of discussing the whole of our policy towards India, that some relation must exist between a great source of revenue such as opium, and great sources of expenditure such as education, railway development and transit facilities; and the revenues which are to be raised under trade and Customs, together with that other great source of expenditure, the Army. I think we must keep all these five points before us, and observe some relative proportion between them. Indeed, I should say that these five subjects ought to be considered by this House from three points of view. In the first place, from the point of view of what we think India needs; in the second place, from the point of view of what we know India wants—and these are not always the same thing—and in the third place, from the point of view of harmonising the wants and needs of India, which, although an Empire, is part of a greater Empire, with the wants and needs of the whole Empire over which our Sovereign reigns.
Take the question of opium. The right hon. Gentleman said that opium was the most important, item that contributed to the increase of revenue last year. He said that next year less money would be obtained from that source—we know, reading the figures in the Budget—owing to the reduction in the quantity of opium exported from India to China. By the way, he said that the cost of building the Imperial city of Delhi would be borne by this large, but disappearing, source of revenue. That by the way; but I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that the cost of building some of the public offices in Delhi, being a temporary charge, would come out of what I certainly understood him to say he considered to be a temporary source of revenue.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but what I said was that Delhi was going to be built partly by surplus and partly by loan. There was no harm in meeting the expenditure on Delhi by surplus—although a surplus could not be used for the remission of taxation—having regard to the fact that Delhi was going to be built during the 1913 time that the opium revenue was disappearing.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I do not think my statement differs from what the right hon. Gentleman said. I gave it shortly perhaps, but does the right hon. Gentleman contemplate that opium will cease in the near future to be a source of revenue? I think we ought to have heard rather more on that subject. We are thinking of what India should need. A great many of us desire, as shortly as possible, to abolish opium there. I do not think there can be discovered any corresponding want on the part of India. What we think she needs would not, I think, coincide altogether with what she wants. When the Undersecretary spoke as he did without any qualification of the mere prospect of this sort of revenue coming to an end, I think that I may be permitted to remind the House of what was said by the Financial Member of the Governor-General's Council on this subject. Let us take two facts, and then his opinion upon them. The first fact is that the national agreements, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, between the United Kingdom and the Government of China culminated in the agreement of May of last year, the purport of which was that the export of opium from India to China was to decrease proportionately with the decrease in the production of opium in China, and that it was to cease if that production ceased either over the whole of China or in any province or part of China. I think that is an accurate statement. There is another fact. If hon. Members will turn to page 4 of the Blue Book and read the introductory statement of the Financial Member they will see that—The cultivation of the poppy has revived in parts of the far interior where it has been officially extinguished.Owing to the revolution in China, and to the Empire having been replaced by a Republic, or partly owing to that, the cultivation of the poppy, which was "officially" extinguished—a word which has a very Chinese sound—is, as a matter of fact, revived. Where the poppy is officially extinguished it is now being grown in luxuriant crops. That is the second fact.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
The Official Member expresses the hope that this may be temporary. The comment which the 1914 Official Member made will be found on page 3. It is:—The attitude of the Government of India throughout has been absolutely straightforward. We are in full sympathy with the enforcement of China. We are prepared to make, and have made much sacrifice, to help that object. But we cannot consent that in the guise of reform, which may be no reform, a revenue should be transferred from India to China without in any way benefiting the latter.I would ask the House to bear that in mind. I think it is necessary that in our desire to carry out this reform we should not outstrip the wants of India, or go beyond equity as between the finances of India—which is part of our own Empire—and the finances of China—which is not. I pass to the question of education. Just as opium last year was the greatest source of revenue, so education next year is to be the greatest item of expenditure. In fact, I think the Under-Secretary made it almost his principal theme. One listened with interest and sympathy to the programme of education which he outlined.
The hon. Gentleman last year used these words with regard to primary education. He said there is no general demand at present for education amongst the people. There we have no want on the part of the people. When we come to what they do want and to perform what we believe to be needful for the people of India, I assure the right hon. Gentleman the Government will have the support of the Opposition in carrying out the kind of reform he outlined to-day. Had the Government said they were prepared to accept the policy of Mr. Gokhale, for whom we have the very greatest respect, we should have urged the Government not to adopt that course. But so far as I can discover from the statement of the Under-Secretary the Government intend giving such Grants and facilities where the people are prepared to take advantage of them. That is a policy with which I do not think any of us have any fault to find, and I trust it may be successful. When we come to the question of higher education, I understand the Government's view to be this: They desire greater hospitality for the young Indian student coming to this country, even that the amenities of our homes should be extended to him. But, on the other hand, the right hon. Gentleman thinks that the happiness and the usefulness of the Indian student will be better safeguarded if a larger proportion of them elected to have their university education in India. There again, I think, we are in agreement with the sentiments which the right hon. Gentleman has expressed.
1915 I could not quite follow the scope of the reform that he contemplated—that is to say, how much will take effect in the near future. There is some doubt about the £750,000 for higher education in India and for primary education also. Without going into the figures, I say that, knowing the state of opinion in India upon that subject, that sum, in our opinion, is enough for the time being, and until there is a change in the opinions of India it would not be wise, particularly when the opium revenue is drying up, to lavish money upon services, the value of which are not yet appreciated by the people of India, especially when there are services appreciated by the people in India upon which the money could be more usefully spent. I pass from these two subjects—opium and expenditure on education—and I would say a word about the development of railways and the means of transit in India. Now, here we have a happy and complete coincidence between what we think India needs and what we know India wants. The population of India delights in using the railways. The population of India being more than 315,000,000, more than 400,000,000 travelled on the railway last year. That shows the railways are very popular with the whole mass of the population. Now, transit is one of the greatest functions of Empire building and making. Every penny we spend upon development, means of transit in India, where there were not even metal roads fifty years ago, and not a railway twelve years ago, every penny so spent is most certainly, in my opinion, to bring the prosperity of India nearer than money spent in any other way.
Here I ask when we are comparing all these topics, hon. Members to compare what the Government is doing now and what it was doing. On 31st March, 1911, there were 32,398 miles of railway opened up in India. Last year 701 miles were added, and this year the Indian Government is budgeting for further extension of 790 miles. That increase is not very great, and I doubt whether it is great enough in proportion to the enormous task which we are only beginning in India—that is, to make it a great civilised community. They like railways, but they do not care much for education, and as the modern view seems to be that we should govern India with the consent of the governed, and as the rule of Rome was that roads were the foundation of 1916 Empire, we should attack this problem and so build roads in India, and thereby please everybody, not only the population that requires them, but the reformer and the reactionary in England as well. One word about trade. In the Report we have stated that this question of the trade of India and of our Customs policy has to be dealt with year after year. Two years ago, I think, an Indian member of the Council went so far as to say there was a general feeling in favour of protection and that judicious protective tariffs were demanded by enlightened public opinion in the interests of undeveloped industries. He is a member of the Viceroy's Council, and he went so far as to say that if benefits were to accrue through Customs Duties on silver, petroleum and tobacco that a corresponding Excise Duty should not be very serious. Last year my Noble Friend the Member for the Hornsey Division reminded the House that in all the Debates in that year every Indian member of the council denounced in most emphatic terms the fact that there should be an Excise Duty upon cotton alone and not upon other articles subject to a Customs Duty. No wonder the Indian members share our views upon this question, and are opposed to the views entertained by His Majesty's present advisers.
The Indian native member, when he rises to positions such as those in the Viceroy's Council, is always the most intellectual man, and as we have the habit of indicating and repeating all along, he cannot understand why the pretext is kept up that this Excise Duty on cotton is in the sacred name of Free Trade. He knows it is nothing of the kind. If you increase the Customs Duty upon petroleum by 50 per cent. without putting on an Excise Duty, you only insult the intelligent Indian when you tell him that your cotton Excise Duty is dictated by the canons of Free Trade. He knows it is not the fact, and he knows that the Excise Duty on cotton is dictated by your regard and your very proper regard for the interests of Lancashire. But you could save the interests of Lancashire if you would conform with more modern views and if you would so arrange your Customs tariff throughout the whole of the Empire as to be a benefit to each part of the Empire and to the Empire as a whole. What we want is that the wants and interest of India should be brought into harmony with the wants and needs of other great self-governing Dominions of the Empire, 1917 and with what we believe to be the wants and needs of the Mother-country.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
Does the right hon. Gentleman advocate an Excise Duty on petroleum or the removal of the Excise Duty on cotton, or neither? Because it is important to India to know what is felt upon that subject.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
It is not for me to indicate at a moment's notice what should be the form of a scientific tariff. If the hon. Gentleman wants to know the lines upon what I think such a tariff should be constructed, I shall be very happy to oblige him, but let me remind him, passing from that subject to this Report, he will find that Mr. Gohkale, at page 265, says:—For instance, I hold we should raise much larger revenue than we do at present from Customs without imposing any burdens upon any section of the community.And later on he advocates the appointment of a Commission in India to look into this whole question. What we desire is an interchange of views between this country and all the Dominions of the Empire, so that their views might be brought into harmony with ours, and as in Canada so in India a tariff could be struck to meet the wants and the needs of India, and then there would be a general Imperial exchange of ideas and modifications, in order that the greatest harmony should be produced in the interests of each part of the Empire and in the interests of the Empire as a whole. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would forgive me for not attempting to elaborate that view, which I am stating in simple terms. I leave to my hon. Friends, who will be perfectly ready to do so, to fit in the details after. I now come to another subject, and this is the fifth—namely, defence. In view of falling revenue from opium, and the prospect of spending upon education, and also as we are disposed to think you may spend more money upon railways, even with a changed fiscal policy I cannot say I like what you are doing in respect to military defences. The hon. Gentleman did not refer to that. I think his main source of economy—he is budgeting for £500,000 less this year in circumstances which seem to me to be somewhat extraordinary—is from special services. There has been an inquiry into the possibility of retrenchment which was promised a year ago. Last year when the right hon. Gentleman was speaking he made some of those promises, and he said that retrenchment in 1918 the military services must come about with retrenchment in other Departments of the public service. I cannot agree with him in that. Experience shows that if you make retrenchment in military expenditure it is always followed by greater expenditure. All experience of the world must convince anyone that the possibility of retrenchment in military expenditure to-day is very remote indeed. But in the East such a course has more to be said against it than it would have here, where we recognise that it is impossible. In the East the fact that you do retrench your military expenditure and announce it with a flourish of trumpets may create an impression of weakness which would be most deplorable. In the third place, we put it to the right hon. Gentleman that the Indian Army, although an army by itself, is closely integrated with our own Army here, and we should have liked to have known what those retrenchments are in order to judge whether they react unfavourably upon our Army here, which is the Army of the whole Empire. The hon. Gentleman said nothing on the subject, and what appears in the Blue Book is of a somewhat disconcerting character. I do say upon this head that the policy of the Indian Government stands open to criticism until it has been more fully defended. Not only is this retrenchment based on a promise made a year ago, before the Government had any knowledge on this question, but it is made in anticipation of a Report which they have not yet got. Last year they promised retrenchment. There was to be a Commission presided over by Sir William Nicholson, but he has not yet reported and has not even begun his inquiry. Upon the strength of that and the hope held out a year ago you carry out a retrenchment of half a million.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I did point out that over £300,000 is due to the fact that we spent that amount on the Durbar. There is another £300,000, and that is comparable to £600,000 which I mentioned. I think the right hon. Gentleman will find that is correct, and I will get the figures of the other things, which are very small amounts indeed.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
I made out that the £500,000 reduction was separate from the actual reduction owing to the non-recurrence of the expenditure on the Durbar. If the hon. Gentleman will look into it, I think he will find that there is a clear reduction of half a million over the revised 1919 accounts, not of last year, but of the year before. At any rate, we know how this matter is regarded by persons who speak with authority in India, and this is what Mr. Gokhale says:—I earnestly hope that our military expenditure, the burden of which we have borne patiently, and which is beyond our capacity to bear, will be materially lightened as a result of the labours on which Sir William Nicholson's Committee will soon enter.To raise those expectations that they will lighten the burdens of India with regard to military expenditure seems to me to be open to criticism, and may be even open to censure. We join with the Government and with the able Financial Member of the Governor-General's Council, in hoping that the money can be spent in greater measure upon the moral and material welfare of India. We trust that may be so; but we feel convinced that it will not be wisely spent if at the same time the defence of India is neglected, and if in other respects we ignore what India wants in order to impose upon India what we think she wants.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
The House, I am sure, has listened with great interest to the statement made by the Under-Secretary for India, most of which was a record of progress. Before dealing with the main points upon which I want to say a few words, I will refer to two points made by the right hon. Gentleman who preceded me. First of all, with reference to the architecture of the new capital. I should like to join with the right hon. Gentleman in pressing the Government as strongly as one possibly can to be exceedingly careful as to the selection of the architect. Those who have gone through India and have seen the horrible specimens of Western architecture placed alongside some of the most chaste specimens of Oriental architecture must have felt ashamed rather than proud of what we have done in that direction. The other point I should like to refer to is what the right hon. Gentleman said with reference to trade. I am not quite sure that the right hon. Gentleman is aware of what he was committing himself to when he associated himself with Mr. Gokhale and his economic and industrial theories. The right hon. Gentleman's expression was that he shared our views, but surely the right hon. Gentleman knows that the view of this economist is to cut Lancashire altogether out of the Indian market. It would be interesting to know if those are the views of the Protectionist party. 1920 There is not the least doubt that if the right hon. Gentleman were to go and try to strike a bargain with the Indian members of the Imperial Council, one of whom he has been quoting, he would discover that nothing will satisfy them except that.
He suggests an Imperial Conference to settle this matter, but would it not be far better if an Imperial Conference first settled the status of citizenship in our self-governing Dominions. Before any Imperial Conference can settle trade matters and put them on a common foundation, first of all they must settle the status of citizenship. Before these points can be dealt with in the way the right hon. Gentleman proposes I suggest to the House that the whole question of the relations of Indian citizens in Canada, Australia, and South Africa, will have to be settled, and settled in a way that is satisfactory to the Indians themselves. With reference to the question of education the Government of India is faced with very serious difficulties. I think they are quite right, from what I know, and what I have seen of India, in trying to keep the Indian student at home. The migration of Indians seeking knowledge in Oxford and Cambridge and other universities of this country on the whole, I think, is a profound mistake. The East has got to develop upon its own lines, and for us to go and put a sort of Western veneer upon the Eastern mind is to create something which is neither Oriental nor occidental. This system creates upon a racial basis the sort of man described by Mr. Gissing in his work, "Born in Exile," who is neither at home in India nor in England. It is perfectly true that if we opened our homes a little more to these men while they are here we might make their lives a little happier, a little more moral and more successful in every way; but the moment they go back and begin to pursue their occupations in India this influence disappears to a very large extent. That is the great problem. The problem is not the educated Indian in England, but the Indian who has been educated in England, who has been received in our homes, when he has gone back to India. That is the most harassing and worrying problem we have to face in our Government of India.
Whether the residential section of universities is going to solve the problem which my hon. Friend thinks they are going to solve, I doubt very much. I doubt very much if you can educate either an Indian or an Englishman in modern knowledge, and then make him subject to 1921 paternal influence after the process of education, and that really is what is known as the religious problem in India. The attempts to inculcate religion and keep the educated Indian in the same religious position as his father or grandfather occupied, is a hopeless thing, and it is better not to try and do it, but face the situation created by that kind of education and give other kinds of moral training to the citizen and not try and follow the old-fashioned devices of the old generation, which requires the young person to be as obedient and to follow in precisely the same lines as the old generation. That will never be done whatever scheme you adopt. It is true that in India, as here, if we are going to establish a good secondary, higher, and university system of education we have got to base it upon elementary education. I think we are going to make the same mistake if we are not very careful in elementary education in India as we have made in university education in India. When we started our policy of public education here, Western like, we began to measure it in terms of pounds, shillings, and pence; and we said, if we make education non-expensive, we are sure to make it successful. I do not think we are getting value for the money we spend in education. I am rather afraid that, with all the good intentions of the Government, the statement we have heard from the Under-Secretary this afternoon indicates that we are going to make the same blunder in the East.
The cost of a school averaging forty pupils is £10. I am informed that the schools cost about £10 per annum, and I understand it is now proposed to increase that amount to £25. These new schools are going to cost £25, and you are going to gradually raise the status of the £10 schools to £25. I doubt very much if that is going to do so much good as if you proposed to spend the money in making more £10 schools instead of raising them to £25. I do not want to dogmatise, and I have not got the information that would justify me in dogmatising, and I have not got the experience; but, at any rate, I think I have felt enough of the mind of the East to see that that is a very rational alternative to the Western idea of spending more money in order to try to get a better stamp of education. I doubt it very much. I believe, first of all, if you are going to have education in India modelled in any sense upon Western ideas, it must remain cheap on account of 1922 the limited finances of the country. If you go and take certain places, and say, "In those districts there are now £10 schools, and in the majority of the other districts there are no schools at all; we are going to increase the efficiency of Indian education by raising those £10 schools in those particular districts to a £25 status," then, I say, you are not doing nearly so much good as though you established all over India £10 status schools. In that respect I quite agree with Mr. Gokhale's Bill in preference to the proposal which the Government now gives us. The right hon. Gentleman who preceded me told us there was no demand for education, but there was a demand for railways, and consequently he thought it far better to give the people railways than education. There is a great demand for cigarette smoking in India. Would the right, hon. Gentleman provide facilities for cigarette smoking simply because it is an undoubted fact there is a demand for it? As a matter of fact, in all these cases, and more particularly in India, where public opinion is very imperfectly expressed and can only be expressed by a very small class in the community, you have to take the opinion of the thinking and educated class and follow it. There is a very important and pressing and growing demand for education in India. The debates in the Imperial Council have had a most excellent effect in creating that demand. As Mr. Gokhale said in March this year, speaking to the President and referring to this very point:My Lord, it ban been made abundantly clear in the course of the discussions that have taken place during the year that most men of light and leading in the country, men distinguished in every walk of life, in learning, in profession, in business, in public affairs, in patriotic or public endeavour, are on the side of the Bill. The Indian National Congress, the most representative body of educated opinion in India, have strongly supported the measure, and provincial conferences held in the different provinces have also done the same. The Moslem League, whose claims to speak in the name of the great community it represents is not disputed even by officials, accorded only a fortnight ago its cordial support to the Bill, and most of its branches throughout the country have also expressed their approval of it.Then he goes on to name universities, the Press, and so on. That shows the demand for education in India is growing in the most encouraging way. I believe we have come to the time when there should be some form of compulsion in getting people to attend school. The Baroda experiment has been conducted under conditions which are not available for us. Baroda is a native State, with an independent ruler who says what he wants done, and it has got to be done. Obviously the British 1923 Government in India is not in that position, and it would be a very great mistake if it tried to put itself in that position; but we have the example of Ceylon. A few years ago there were gentlemen who, because they had been there and because they had lived there and had operated plantations there, believed they knew something about Ceylon, and they stated compulsion in education was absolutely impossible under the circumstances of the Island; but a Commission was appointed, and the Commission reported in favour of compulsion. Compulsion was imposed upon half the Island—it only refers to districts where there are public State schools—and at the end of the first year the Report says:—There has been no difficulty so far, and there seems every reason to hope that none of the difficulties which were anticipated will arise.Moreover, we have tried it outside Baroda. There has been a small but very interesting experiment in the native State of Sangli, where compulsion has been imposed under certain circumstances in which I think the British Government could very well impose it. It was compulsion up to a certain point. When the boys and girls were attending school up to a certain percentage, then the compulsion was taken off. It was a very interesting experiment of compulsion as applied to Oriental countries, and there again it has been a very great success. I think the Indian Government will have to make up its mind to an experiment. I am not going to say they ought right away to issue an edict of compulsory education, and Mr. Gokhale's Bill does not suggest anything of the kind; but I think it will have to experiment in compulsion to ascertain how far it is possible to bring education to the doors of the people, and, having brought it there, to see the people take, at any rate, a reasonable amount of advantage of it. There is, of course, under such a scheme, the difficulty of teaching. That is an enormous difficulty, and once again I doubt very much if our own Western experience is going to guide us very much in the selection of teachers. Teachers who have been produced merely by examinations and by writing papers, and so on, are not always the very best for the work they have got to do, and I am not quite sure we have not a great deal to learn from India in that respect. At any rate, all I would press—and upon this I may be dogmatic—upon 1924 the Government is this: Do not imagine a system of passing examinations like our system is the only way by which you should select teachers in India. It is a matter for your own Education Department, and, with a sympathetic man like Mr. Butler at it, I feel perfectly certain you can adapt Western preconceived notions to Oriental realities and select your teachers in a far more efficient way for the work they have got to do in India than if you start your university examinations and your other tests, purely mechanical and memory tests, through which you put so many of your people in this country. That is all I desire to say about education. My view, in a word, is: Do not let the British Government of India blindly and mechanically apply Western methods either to the schools or in the selection of teachers or in the general idea they have got of advancing the interests of education in India and imagine they are contributing to the educational advancement of the people of India.
Another question I wanted to deal with was with reference to an independent auditor. We have heard a good deal about figures this afternoon, and from time to time those of us who are in touch with Indian correspondents hear about extravagances and improper expenditure and so on. That information comes from quarters very often so important, so well-informed, and so impartial that one is bound to admit there must be something in the complaint. I cannot understand why the Indian Government has set its face against the appointment of an independent auditor. He must not be the servant of the Indian Government. He must hold to the Indian Government precisely the same position as our own Auditor-General holds to the Government here. He ought not to be in a position from which he can be transferred to a higher appointment. When he becomes the Auditor-General, then that should be the end of his service in India. He ought to have a good salary, and the independence of his position ought to be maintained in a most thorough and most uncompromising way. A suggestion has been made to-day, and it may eventuate into something important as to the utility of our own Auditor-General, but in India money is voted and not always spent in accordance with the Vote. Accounts are not kept, and there is no independent authority imposed upon Indian Departments to keep those Departments 1925 in proper control so far as finance is concerned. This defect in Indian Government was the subject of a dispatch as far back as 1882, when the Government of India itself asked the Secretary of State here to agree to the appointment of this official. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State did not see his way to agree to the appointment. After five or six years the Secretary of State here suggested to the Government of India that the official should be appointed, and then, oddly and unfortunately enough, the Government of India did not see its way to accept the suggestion. Then the third stage of the proceeding was the report of Lord Welby's Committee. Exactly half of that body was in favour of the appointment of this independent auditor, and the other half did not see its way to recommend it. But as Lord Welby was one of those in favour of the appointment, I think this House would be very well advised in laying special emphasis and holding in special value the opinion of the half to which Lord Welby belonged, because no public servant in this country is more capable of forming an opinion as to the value to this or any other country of an independent auditor.
I understand Sir Guy Wilson has accepted the idea in the Imperial Council. I have in front of me the Debate which took place on 11th February, 1911, and I understand the Finance Member accepted in a general way the idea and approved of it. Questions were afterwards addressed to him in the Imperial Council as to when steps were to be taken to make the appointment effective. I do not know whether my hon. Friend can tell me what the position is now. One hears of dispatches that are hung up and of recommendations which cannot get through certain doors, and it would be very interesting if some statement could be made as to what the intentions of the Government are in this particular matter. My third and last point is very important. Hon. Members who have visited India know how exceedingly important it is, from the point of view of Indian life, that Indian women should receive proper medical attention, and we know that that cannot be done unless the staff of women doctors is very largely increased. I hope that the Government, in dealing with the Medical Service, will remember that the Indian women can only be properly treated by women doctors, and that it will do its very best to enormously increase the staff, so 1926 that proper aid and care may be given to these women. I see it announced in the papers that the hon. Gentleman is going to India. There are some foolish people who will tell him that this is "week-end business." We have all undergone, that friendly castigation, but the important thing is that we should have in this House men who, although they may not know everything about the details of Indian Government; who may not know the trees of the forest, but may have a general mental conception of what the forest itself is—men who go with a fresh mind and a fresh eye into a new country, among new people, with an ordinary fund of sympathy, desirous to get a grip of the problems of that country, those are the men we want here, for they see these problems in the objective way. That is an enormous advantage. On the other side, when a person goes to India, and, in Anglo-Indian language, gets "sun-baked" he is not good for anything, although he thinks he knows everything, and, while he ceases to be a Westerner, he never has the sympathetic or mental capacity to become an Oriental, and we find him in the end reproducing, in his own personal characteristics, all the vices of both worlds, and showing very few indeed of the virtues of either. That is the melancholy end of so many; but we hope that my hon. Friend, who is going to pay a short visit to India, will not suffer that calamitous end of a very promising career; that when he conies back he will have his mind enriched by experience, and will be able to carry on for a long time those great and hopeful changes for which, along with the Noble Lord his chief, he has been responsible during the two or three years he has held this office.
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
I beg to move, as an Amendment, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, "this House, while recognising with satisfaction the reforms already accomplished in Excise administration by the Government of India (1) expresses the hope that the connection of the Government of India with the manufacture and sale of opium for other than medical uses will be terminated at the earliest possible date; and (2) in view of the continuous growth in the drink revenue of India, is of opinion that further reforms are required in the existing system of licensing, particularly in the direction of giving to the inhabitants through the advisory committees a more effective 1927 voice both in determining the number and location of liquor shops and in the safeguarding of areas where liquor shops do not already exist from the introduction of the drink trade."
The Under-Secretary for India dealt in a most interesting fashion with the wide province of Indian administration, but I propose to ask the indulgence of the House for using this opportunity to concentrate its attention for a short while on two problems which are, I believe, of much importance to the social well-being of India. The Motion I have on the Paper is a double-barrelled one, dealing with the question of opium and the drink evil. My hon. Friend treated the opium question as a declining trouble, as one of which we might soon hope to be relieved. I trust that this is the case, and I think it would be most unjust and unfair if those who have fought against opium in the past, did not recognise at the outset the great signal and decisive steps which were initiated by Lord Morley, and which are great mile stones on the road to suppression. A good deal still remains to be done. The hon. Gentleman was telling us that only 21,000 chests are being produced for export to China this year. But even that quantity is worth at the present crisis something well over three millions, and the Government of India has sanctioned to-day the planting of some 200,000 acres of poppy for export to China; so that the problem still remains. We would ask that the remaining stages shall be got through at the earliest possible day.
I cannot but regret that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) in speaking for the Opposition seemed to declare against the idea of the total extinction of the opium trade, and tried to suggest that any further reduction on our part should be conditional on the carrying through in China of the anti-opium treaty. There is nothing more than a temporary set-back in China owing to the revolution which took place last year. I could refer to a succession of documents wherein the sincerity of the Chinese Government in regard to the Treaty of 1911 is fully recognised, and tribute is paid to their pronounced success in diminishing the production of opium in China during the past two years. Only two months ago the present Secretary for Foreign Affairs stated, in answer to a question in this House, that he understood the present Chinese Government was as much in 1928 earnest as the late Chinese Government with respect to the suppression of opium. What I am anxious to press on the attention of the Government is this: If this gradual reduction is to take place, if it is to be done at all, it were best done quickly. There are still four or five years to run before the date for total extinction which we fixed for 1916 or 1917.
There are at least three circumstances which might justify us in accelerating the date of total extinction and anticipating the time limit which we have fixed. We may start I think with the Clause of the Treaty of 1911 under which we contemplated that, in certain circumstances, we would anticipate that occurrence. I do not say that the contingencies contemplated in that treaty have occurred. I think they might have occurred had it not been for the revolution, which has interfered with the anti-opium campaign in China. But we have contemplated that there might be certain circumstances under which we should not wait for the completion of the date, and I think circumstances do exist which would justify us in not waiting for this longer period of five years before we bring about the end of the trade. What I would ask the Government to recognise is this, that we ought now to accept the principle that we should no longer force upon China any opium. We should fully recognise her right to refuse it, and we should accept the principle also that opium should no longer be produced or consumed except for its beneficent medical qualities. Then in regard to the financial side of the question. The Finance Minister in 1907 said that if we could get a revenue from opium diminishing during the next ten years, we should be in a position to dispense with any further trade. Owing to the high prices of opium during the earlier years, I believe that, in a period of four years, as much revenue has been received as was contemplated being secured in ten years on the prices obtained in 1907. One of my hon. Friends near me says there has been more than that, but at all events we have satisfied our financial conscience, and should now be in a position to attend to some other considerations. I believe there was an ancient thinker who said that a man should first secure a modest competence and then practice virtue. We have safely secured our surplus, and the time has come when we can afford to recognise that righteousness comes before revenue.
1929 There are heavy stocks at Canton and Shanghai. There are still 26,000 chests awaiting sale, worth probably from £6,000,000 to £10,000,000, according to the prices we choose to fix. The merchants owning these stocks made an appeal a short time ago to the Government of India, and suggested that the Chinese Government might take over their stock. To my mind, that was a wholly inadmissible idea. Another suggestion was that the Government of India should cease planting poppy any further for export to China. That request does not seem to be unreasonable. But I suppose the sanction just given for the cultivation of 200,000 acres of poppy is a decision which cannot be altered, although I do hope that in the future no more poppy will be planted. There is one other fact to which I should like to refer. There was an appeal made a few months ago by the first Provisional President of the Chinese Republic to this country, in which he represented the difficulties which had accrued from this gradual pari passu reduction. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover spoke of the set-back that had taken place in China. I believe that is true. But is it not natural that when order in China is relaxed through a revolution, the planters in opium-ridden provinces, like Yunnan, seize the chance to indulge in a lucrative trade like this? On the Indian figures, with the high prices forced up to an unprecedented extent, it looks as if there was a profit of some 500 per cent. The Chinese Government, under our Treaty of May, 1911, cannot refuse the right to sell opium or to trade in it. It surely is difficult for them when there is a treaty obligation to allow the sale of the article to suppress production. We have to admit their right to suppress the sale of the article before we can logically call upon them to suppress cultivation. The appeal, coming from this Chinese statesman, is one which I think the Government might grant. There is a non-medical consumption of opium in India which, I believe, brings in a revenue of at least £1,000,000. The need for stricter suppression in Burma and Assam, the abuses of the hemp drugs, which we promised to inquire into under the Hague Convention, and the vital need of a Poisons Act for India; these points, I trust, will be dealt with by other speakers.
I wish to pass to the other branch of my Amendment, the existence of the trade in alcoholic liquors in India. This has not been very much discussed in this House, and some attention ought to be called to 1930 it in view of the Report of the Excise Committee of 1905–6, and he changes which have been made by the India Government in consequence of that Report. Although my hon. Friend was optimistic in his statement as to the progress of India, and although we hope and trust his sanguine estimate is right, there are figures in reference to the trade in drink which I think justify considerable disquietude. The total Excise revenue from liquor and drugs has increased by a very high percentage. There has been an increase of no less than 411 per cent. in forty years. In 1874–5 the figures were only £1,500,000; in 1904–5 they had risen to £5,000,000; in 1910 to £7,000,000 and for 1912–13 they are estimated at £7,900,000. I know the official explanation is that that cither represents a higher taxation or the stricter control of illegitimate sources of supply. I discount the figures on those two grounds. But behind those figures there is a really serious increase of consumption, which has got to be taken into account. The Excise Committee in 1905–6 admitted this real increase in consumption in certain districts. I imagine that when you are dealing with a territory so vast, with so many races and so many different populations as in India, it is almost impossible to make one generalisation which is true without, local qualifications and exceptions. I propose therefore to examine the single case of the Province of Punjab, or, at all events, to refer to that as justifying my statement that the figures have behind them a real and serious increase in consumption. If you follow that province through the Report of the Excise Committee you will find that in twenty years the increase of spirit consumption was 144 per cent. The last volume of "Moral and Material Progress" speaks of—the serious increase in the consumption of country spirits.The Report of the Excise Administration in the Punjab speaks of—the spread of drunkenness leading in many cases to violent crime in the rural tracts of the central Punjab calls for urgent attention.The Deputy-Commissioner, speaking of the connection between drink and crime in that province, says:—The whole subject is one of the greatest importance, and unless strong and wise measures are soon adopted, the drink habit will have such a hold over the people that legal and executive measures for reform may very well fail.The Report goes on to say:—The chief causes for increased consumption are reported to be the growing prosperity of the people, especially the rise in wages paid to the artisan and labouring classes and the prevalence of plague. Apart 1931 from purely local causes, there can be no doubt that this is the correct explanation of a phenomenon which in some districts, notably the Sikh district of the Central Punjab, has assumed alarming proportions.The Lieutenant-Governor's preface to the Report says:—It can only be concluded that apart from the very serious increase of drunkenness in districts such as Ferozepore, the number of persons who have acquired the habit of indulgence in alcohol is steadily increasing throughout the province.Sir Lewis Dane, the Lieutenant-Governor, speaking at Lahore in March, 1911, referred in strong terms to—the intemperance prevalent in the central districts,and said—the practice was becoming widespread and was confined to no class in particular.In a subsequent; speech he said that—prince and peasant, educated and uneducated, were being involved in a common ruin.These are not statements made by temperance societies. They are all of them official statements, and having documents setting out such language, I think I am justified in bringing the matter to the attention of the House, and asking that further measures should be taken in reference to it. Ought we not to be on our guard in reference to what is happening in India? We have there a nascent industrialism and a gradual rise of wages. Under the circumstances we, from our Western experience, know that is a very seed-bed of alcoholism. It is in these labouring artisan classes, which may be only a mere fraction of the total population of India, that you find evidences of intemperance. The documents speak of the growth of intemperance among the mill hands in Bombay, the coal miners in Bengal, and the coolies in the tea gardens of Assam. We ought to be on our guard to resist this in its early stages. I know it is not fair to charge British rule with the introduction of drinking habits into India, but if we allow our greater laxity towards alcohol to break down the good habits of populations which have been kept from drink either by religion, caste, or mere abject poverty, we may find when it is too late that we have brought upon India, in the words of Lord Morley, a new dire and additional plague. It would be very unjust not to recognise that the Government of India has carried through some very valuable reforms as the result of the Excise Committee of 1905–6, but a stronger restrictive policy is needed, and I hope that the Government of India will walk with firmer steps on the path it is already travelling. A short time ago some of us 1932 went on a deputation to Lord Crewe. He spoke of the difficulties of carrying through licensing reforms in India, and he contrasted it with the greater ease of progress in England. He said that in England progress was like—sauntering down a glade as compared with fighting through a jungle.I cannot say I have ever regarded our work in England as sauntering down a glade. If the difficulties in India are so much greater I can only offer my respectful sympathy to the Government of India. But they have this trade under their own control, and I doubt not that they are disinterested in their management. They are not face to face with a gigantic monopoly such as we have to face in England, and there are vast numbers of the non-drinking population there who would support a policy of greater restriction and even of suppression. I only wish to touch upon some main lines of reform which commend themselves to Indian temperance reformers. The system of putting licences up to auction is often criticised. I am too much alive to the danger of creating vested interests to wish to see that system abolished entirely, but I wish to see it modified. I think our own practice of charging a monopoly value in the case of a new licence is a system which might well be adapted for all licenses in India. Otherwise we ask for a more restrictive policy, the shortening of the hours of sale, the reduction in the numbers of drink shops, and stricter provisions as to the sale to young persons and others. The number of drink shops is 25,000 for country spirits and 51,000 for country fermented liquors, besides the licences which deal with imported liquors, hotels, restaurants, and so on. These numbers do not accord very well with what I understand is the settled policy of the Government of India, namely, to minimise temptation to those who do not drink and to discourage excess among those who do. We have often urged that there should be a separation of the licensing function from the Excise and Revenue duties. I admit that the setting up of local advisory committees has been of use in the larger towns. We wish to see their powers extended and the system strengthened. The statement that in a material degree through their meetings a large and continuous reduction in the number of the country spirit shops in the chief provinces has been secured, seems to me to be something of an overstatement. I think there has been a reduction in Madras, but elsewhere it does not seem to 1933 come to very much. Still, the committees are a good channel for the expression of local opinion, and we ask that they should have some power, both to reduce drink shops in the areas where they do exist, and to safeguard localities where they do not exist from the introduction of the trade. I am quite sure that my hon. Friend will appreciate the great importance of that point. We do not ask for the adoption of any impossible policy or abstract tee-totalism; we only ask for the introduction of practical administrative licensing reform which we think is necessary for the building up of the Empire. If I have ventured to criticise some points in Excise administration, I hope I shall not be thought lacking in appreciation of the great and beneficent public service which is being done by Indian administrators. It is only admiration for that work which prompts us to ask that the Government of India, so far as the Chinese opium trade is concerned, should set itself right with public opinion, and that, so far as the trade in alcoholic liquors is concerned, it should be vigilant and prompt in adopting remedial measures, lest the spread of new and insidious dangers tarnish in any degree the reputation of British rule.
§ Sir J. H. ROBERTS
The outstanding fact in the situation in regard to India is the continuous growth in the drink revenue. There has been during the last thirty-five or more years a continuous growth which has moved between the figure of £1,500,000 in 1875 and a figure approaching £8,000,000 at present. We have never denied that this enormous growth in the drink revenue of India indicates an equivalent increase in consumption. We are all aware that there are other factors which enter into the case, but a close study of this question has made clear that this enormous rise in the drink revenue of India means a substantial growth in the consumption of liquor, and that the circumstances which prevail with regard to the drinking habits of the people certainly call for the immediate attention of the Government. May I lay before the House some of the evidence which convinces us that this is the case. First of all there is the evidence of statistical data. I wish to emphasise the request which we who take an interest in the matter have for many years made, that there should be provided in the annual Excise Reports fuller information as to the consumption of liquor throughout India. 1934 The figures are not given with reference to imported liquor, so it is not possible to arrive at an accurate opinion as to the actual consumption, but we have sufficient evidence with regard to the consumption to prove that there is an actual increase from year to year in the amount consumed. Take the case of Calcutta. In the year 1909 the amount of spirits consumed in Calcutta was £290,000 gallons, and in 1910 it was 321,000 gallons—an increase approaching 10 per cent.—an increase in consumption in one year of very nearly the same proportion as the increase in population in ten years. Take another branch of evidence—convictions for drunkenness. I do not press this too far, because it is not under all conditions a reliable test, but the number of convictions for drunkenness is on the increase, and I think that is evidence that ought to be taken into consideration. Thirdly, take the opinions of men on the spot, men who know and live in India, and who move about amongst the people. I will give the opinions of two men whose judgment on this point will be recognised as weighty by all those who may happen to know them. Take the opinion of the Rev. C. F. Andrews, a man of the highest character who has devoted his life practically to the advancement of life in India. Two years ago he said:—The evil of drink is growing, chiefly among the poorer classes. The thought of what in happening in India today as the drink habit steadily grows from year to year, raises the gravest misgivings.Take the opinion given last December by the late judge of the Calcutta High Court. He said:—This evil was making rapid strides. Not only was it unnecessary but mischievous to take liquor in India. The crime and wrong caused by intemperance was enormous, and the cost to the State far outweighed the amount received as excise revenue.I think I have said enough to show that there are facts in regard to the drink traffic in India which call for the attention of the House and the immediate consideration of the Government. There is in India a very strong, well-defined, and distinct temperance sentiment, and it is interesting to know that Indian opinion is for all practical purposes unanimously in favour of greater restrictions being imposed upon the traffic. I will refer to the three principal reforms which we desire to press upon the attention of the Government. The first is the abolition of the auction system. Those of us who have studied the question regard this reform as essential in order to make any real advance on the path of sobriety. I wish, in the second place, to emphasise the importance of the 1935 separation of the licensing and revenue functions. There is one misapprehension with regard to this point which I should like to clear away. Whenever those of us who press this reform bring it forward it is always objected that by doing so we are imputing motives to the officers affected which are dishonourable and unworthy of their high position. That is not so. There is no fault to be found with the officials in this matter. The fault lies with the system. Speaking for myself, I am inclined to think it is the duty of a revenue officer charged with these matters to do the best he can to raise revenue in accordance with the instructions of his superior officer. Let me quote one or two sentences from Excise reports from various provinces in India which bear on the point. Here is a report of the Excise Commissioner in the United Provinces in the year 1901:—I am not satisfied that the attitude of excise officers towards applicants for licences to sell Rosa rum is always an entirely just one, and that it is not partly responsible for the slow progress this spirit makes in popular favour.That is the view of the officer charged with the administration of excise in that province. Here is another quotation from the Government of Madras again for the year 1901:—The Government notes with satisfaction the increase of thirty-six in the number of depots opened for the distribution of country spirits to retail vendors.Lastly, here is a quotation from the report of the Central Provinces for 1905–6:—No branch of revenue responds better to attention than excise, and a substantial portion of the increase now being obtained is due to the greater attention paid to excise following on the visit of Mr. Todhunter's Committee.These officials reports by the men in charge of this business are sufficient proof of the fact that the present system stimulates a growth in the sale and consumption of liquor. What we want is to separate these two functions, and to do away with any inducement of that kind from the revenue standpoint for an increase in the consumption of liquor. The last point is one in which I have taken considerable interest—the establishment of an Advisory Committee for the purpose of advising as to the allocation and number of liquor shops. These Committees were set up in accordance with a recommendation of the Excise Committee just four years ago. Let me express my obligation to the Government for instituting this reform. A return was issued last November giving the present condition with regard to these Committees from which it transpired that 1936 186 of these Advisory Committees had been set up on 103 of which there was an official majority, the chairman in all cases being either an Excise Commissioner or some other official of the Department. The total number of liquor shops closed by recommendation of these Committees was 495. I agree that is not perhaps a very great result, but it is an important result, and the importance of it ought to be recognised by all who are interested in the matter. There are four things that we wish to urge upon the Government with a view to strengthening these Committees. First that the Advisory Committee should be extended so far as practicable to all India. Now they cover only the large towns; secondly, that they should be made more representative of local opinion; thirdly, that they should not have of necessity an official majority, and lastly, that they should be empowered to deal with all licences. We believe there is in these Committees at all events, a machinery by which it can be truly said that the people are adequately consulted with regard to the number of licensed shops.
In conclusion, there are two matters to which I wish to call the attention of the House. The first is the new situation created in India by the changes brought about by the Indian Councils Act. The Undersecretary has already pointed out that there is in the extended Legislative Councils opportunity afforded for the expression of Indian opinion upon this and all other questions. If the regulations which are now being considered relating to the procedure and the election of those bodies are carried into effect, I believe that we shall have in the new Legislative Councils the beginning of a new state of things for India. The second point is the new position as regards the Government of India. I am one of those who see in the new position to-day in relation to the Government of India two striking facts. First of all, there is a new sense of stability and confidence, and there is new consciousness of the strength of the loyalty of India to the British Crown and people. I mention these things in order to point out that these new elements in the Indian situation are so full of hope for the future that they must have their bearing upon the development of the system which is to supervise and bring greater happiness and prosperity to the people. I venture to hope that the Government will travel along the path on 1937 which it has set out with a firmer and more rapid step. I believe that this question we are considering to-day in regard to the moral welfare of the people of India is one which not only relates to the present generation, but is of vital importance to our future rule in India. I beg to second the Amendment.
§ Mr. THEODORE TAYLOR
I want to say a few words on the rather well-worn topic of opium. This subject for the first time in many years has a place this year in the King's Speech, and I claim that shows, at all events, that it is a subject of national importance. We have had two international conventions representing in one case thirteen nations, and in the other case twelve nations. Three years ago the first was held at Shanghai, and last winter the second one at The Hague. They sealed at least the international condemnation of this traffic as injurious and immoral. The Hague Convention passed regulations which will in future, when they are ratified, control and largely minimise the traffic in this article which has figured so largely in Indian Budgets. In future opium and kindred drugs are to be placed under control. These articles are now matters of international policy. They affect the revenue of India, not only as regards the opium sent to China, but the opium that goes to other countries as well. I was rather sorry to see in the Report with respect to the material and moral development of India, or in the Budget, that the Indian Government think that they have now reduced the planting of the poppy to small enough dimensions for the next few years. Unless they further reduce the opium produced in India the area of production will be 200,000 acres. I want to impress upon the House that really our interest and duty accord in dictating that they should go on reducing it still more. It is said that it is too late to stop poppy planting for next winter. It is not too late. There is no reason why the planting of the poppy in India for the Government of India should go on. The finance members of the Indian Council have been very cautious men all along. I am sure the surpluses they have been having by the overrating of expenditure and the under-estimating of revenue are evidence enough that the Finance Ministers of India have been very cautious.
When this subject came up five or six years ago, Sir Edward Baker saw his way 1938 to do without this revenue. The calculation was made at the beginning of the arrangements with China, which were to come into force at a later date, under which we undertook to send yearly one-tenth less opium to China, or rather to sell one-tenth less in Calcutta until it was extinguished by the end of the year 1916, and not, as has been stated, 1917. Sir Edward Baker then saw his way quite comfortably, basing his calculation on what was being produced by the Indian Government, to do without that revenue. Sir Guy Fleetwood Wilson said the same thing. We have now what he has called a "No Change Budget." I am glad that our own Chancellor of the Exchequer is present to hear this statement. There are to be no new duties imposed, and no old ones repealed. The fact that there is no change shows that India is prosperous and that the weather is set fair. Sir Guy Fleetwood Wilson, on the 25th March last, said:—We have placed the finances of India in a sounder position than they have perhaps before occupied.Mr. Gokhale, who is, in my opinion, the foremost Indian statesman, in the discussion of the Budget on the same day, said:—There is no question whatever that the financial position of that country, taken as a whole, is both sound and strong.The revenue has been already obtained, and when we ask that this revenue from opium should cease earlier than is now proposed by the Indian Government, we see a most favourable opportunity for pressing that upon the Government. Sir Guy Fleetwood Wilson, at page 18 of the Indian Financial Statement, says that three years ago the gross revenue, excluding opium, was £69,100,000, as against an estimated revenue of £75,700,000 for 1912–13. The expenditure for 1909–10 was £73,100,000, as against an estimated expenditure of £79,300,000 for 1912–13. The normal revenue has grown to £6,600,000, and the normal expenditure to £6,200,000. The finances of India, therefore, are in a very prosperous condition. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) said this afternoon that India did not want to part with this revenue. On that point I am able to quote what Mr. Gokhale said in the discussion of this subject:—I, for one, shall be glad when our opium revenue disappears, not only because I feel it to be a stain upon us, but also because its presence in an uncertain state is very inconvenient from the standpoint of economy. The uncertainty that invests it is a disturbing factor in 1939 our Budget, and the large surpluses which it brings to the Government, however convenient they may be for certain purposes, cannot but be demoralising in their effect on economy.The price of this article has from many causes varied in an extraordinary manner. The average price per chest of opium sold by the Indian Government for the ten years before we made the agreement of 1907 was 1,400 rupees. In the first two months of this year the Indian Government has sold opium from the native States at a profit to itself without any cost whatever at 1,800 rupees per chest. We are told that so lately as last October the price, which used to be 1,400 rupees, was actually as high as 6,000 rupees. Two months ago it was 5,500 rupees. When the article varies so much there must be very great difficulty for a Chancellor of the Exchequer in dealing with it, and from that point of view, variable as it has been, the tendency is to stimulate extravagance on the part of any Government, and that must be a reason why, after all, financiers would be glad to get rid of it.
I wish to draw the attention of the House to a fact which I think important in connection with the present Budget, and that is the extraordinary extent to which the Finance Ministers of India underestimate their income. Take the article of opium. In 1905–6 the Budget Estimate was exceeded by 23 per cent.; in 1906–7, 10 per cent.; 1907–8, 29 per cent.; 1908–9, 24 per cent.; 1909–10, 25 per cent.; 1910–11, 75 per cent.; and 1911–12, 79 per cent. Just think what would be said of our own Chancellor of the Exchequer if he underestimated the yield of the duty of any article to the extent of 79 per cent. Would not he have his jacket warmed for him? Our Indian financiers are models of caution. This caution, however, can be carried to excess. I believe there is an idea that we are making great sacrifices in connection with this question of opium, and that some one is being punished by the policy of altruism which has been adopted. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the ten years previous to the adoption of this agreement, our annual income from opium averaged £3,270,000 net revenue, excluding excise, which is about £1,000,000 in itself. Nearly £2,500,000 was from what was exported to China, and £750,000 from what was exported to other countries. Two million four hundred and eighty-nine thousand pounds was the annual revenue derived 1940 from China in the previous ten years, and taking off one-tenth every year until the close of the nine or ten years, we should have a total revenue of £11,200,000. What have we received since the Agreement was begun? By March 31st we shall have actually received £24,331,000, or, deducting the extra-China revenue, that is the revenue from opium that has gone to countries other than China, at the former price of opium, which would be £4,000,000 odd, we have actually received already £20,250,000, as against £11,200,000 that was expected. The estimated figures, as I have shown, in every one of the last five years, have been largely exceeded. We have a knowledge of what opium is selling for, which, of course, the framers of the Budget did not possess at the time, and I have no doubt whatever that the figures for this year are an underestimate. Again, if you add to the figures I have given, as you have a perfect right to do, the fact that the opium that will go to other countries has also gone up greatly, we should get two or three millions more, and, indeed, very moderate calculations show that we shall have, at the end of the nine or ten years' period, drawn in actual cash at least twice as much as the Indian Government could have calculated upon from the very first, if we do not send an ounce of opium to China this year.
If these figures be right—and I challenge examination of them, because I have gone into them very carefully—the money argument is gone long ago. If it be the case that these able finance Ministers of India knew what they were doing, as evidently they did, when they said most frequently years ago that they could do without this income, there is no argument for maintaining the traffic other than an altruistic argument that it is not in our interests, but in the interests of China. It is often said that the Chinese do not mean what they say, that they are only waiting for an opportunity to grow their own opium, and that then we shall not have the revenue, but they will have it, and that we shall have sacrificed our revenue without any good result. The hon. Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) said something this evening about the equities of the ease, that is the equities between our selves and China, and that we should not allow our revenue to be given away. That sounds very well, but surely there is such a thing as an equity 1941 between ourselves and the Chinese Government and between us and the people who are trying to get rid of this terrible vice, and who are being helped by their own Government to get rid of it. As I have shown, we have drawn a great deal more money than there was any expectation whatever of getting during the whole period, and equitable considerations demand from us that we should not go on compelling China to take this opium, even though we have an agreement for five years, and another agreement confirming it a year ago that she should take opium until the end of 1916, unless she can rid herself of the production of it before that time. I do not see myself how any moral consideration can come in. Is it pretended for a moment that we are going to help China to get rid of this vice by forcing opium on her? Surely not. A year ago there was a revolution there. Since then her Government has been weak. The Government is short of money with which to pay the soldiers. The great difficulty at present with her Government is to pay the troops and to disband them. Everybody knows that important negotiations are going on to get money from European financiers, and they are not settled yet. The great lack, meanwhile, is money. Under those circumstances there is no doubt a great temptation to grow opium and make money. But everyone also knows that every progressive man and every reformer in China, whether official or unofficial, every intelligent man, is opposed to this opium traffic. There is no man in any official position that would set up for a single moment the theory that this opium was a good thing for his country. I defy even the hon. Member for Nottingham (Sir J. D. Rees), who knows a great deal about China, as about everywhere else, to say that there is any statesman in any position whatever in China, or any reformer of any type who is in favour of this opium traffic.
§ Sir J. D. REES
As the hon. Member has been good enough to mention me might I ask is he not aware that it is widely believed, at any rate, that the greatest cultivators of opium in the provinces where it is most widely cultivated are the Mandarins?
§ Mr. T. TAYLOR
There is not a single man of authority—though I know that Li Hung Chang cultivated opium—who would say in the Chinese Assembly to-day a word in favour of the traffic. There are over 1942 two hundred newspapers in China, and there is not a single one in favour of it. There is not a public opinion of any kind which is voiced in China in favour of this traffic. It is one of the greatest curses that ever afflicted any nation. The Chinese people want to get rid of it because it makes them weak, and they want to be strong. I claim that if we had not traded in opium with China, if we had not been deriving a revenue in India from it, we should never dream of saying, "we want to help you to get rid of this curse, and therefore we will inflict some opium on you." No one outside a lunatic asylum would ever say that. In two or three places these Indian Blue Books say, "we sympathise with China." Of course we do, but it recalls the story of the Quaker who asked for subscriptions. Some one said, "I sympathise with you," and the answer was, "how much do you sympathise?" Do we sympathise to the extent of sacrificing any further revenue? I claim that we do, and I claim that the Indian Government should give up every penny of the revenue which they get from that source. Of course, it will be said tint if we do not take advantage of our treaties China will grow the opium within its own bounds. Perhaps she may, but it is my profound conviction that as soon as the present Government becomes stronger this will be changed. Yuan-shi-Kai was the great framer of the anti-opium legislation. He was the strong man in China under the the old regime, to whom we owe this anti-opium legislation, and as soon as the Government get a hold on their own people they will stop absolutely the growth of opium in their country.
I do not want for my own country to have any longer the shame of forcing this article upon them, because we have no moral right behind it; we have nothing but a technical right. I have defended in season and out of season the policy which our Government adopted of pari passu reduction of sending into China, along with their reducing their production of it, as long as I could, because I tried to make myself believe that somehow or other it would help them to reduce the production of this article in China. But, as I now see quite plainly, with a weak Government, as they have there, they cannot say to their own people, "You must not grow this article, but foreigners may send it in if it conies from India." I now see it as they see it. How can they say to their own people, "You must not pro- 1943 duce this article," when at the same time they are compelled to take it. Suppose that some great Power were to come to us, and say, "We are going to make you take our goods at 6 per cent. or 8 per cent. ad valorem, duty," although we might be a weak nation, we would resist. If we were defeated we might have to take this article at the low rate of duty, but as soon as ever we could throw off that yoke we should do so. There is no modern nation that would ever think for a single moment of compelling a weaker nation to take an article useful in itself at a low rate of duty, and compel the weaker nation to take this article against its will. You say that you are not going to begin now, and that this thing happened sixty or seventy years ago. But that does not make it right that we should take an unfair and an immoral advantage of what we did sixty or seventy years ago.
I beg the Government to order no more planting of poppy at the end of this year. The revenues do not need it. A former statesman in India who has been quoted did not wish it to go on. I know that something has been said about our paying compensation to the Indian Government. Of course they want to get revenue in every way they can, but the revenues are flourishing. There never was a better opportunity in the history of England for doing away with this source of revenue, and I am quite sure that if we do forego our treaty rights in India we should be not only wiping out what has been a great stain upon our national honour for the past seventy years, but we should be establishing to our great interest, I believe, with the Chinese Government and people, a claim to their gratitude and consideration in future. One thing more we could do. As I have said in this House before, there is a thing that we sadly want in Lancashire, and that is cotton. I want to thank the Under-Secretary of State for India for the efforts which have been made during the last two or three years since he has been in office. I want to give him and the Government credit for the new efforts which they are making to find out the proper qualities of cotton to be grown in India, These 200,000 acres which it has been said are going to be planted with this poison again, ought to be planted with cotton which Lancashire so much needs. I am sorry that only a year or two ago the Under-Secretary used the Indian cultivators as a reason why we 1944 should not give up poppy cultivation all at once. But the Indian cultivators have never had anything but a very bare reward for their work. They have only had bare wages. It is well known that poppy planting in India has been induced by advances being given by the Government beforehand. The only crop upon which the Indian Government, so far as I know, has advanced the grower money before the crop has been matured is the poppy crop. The poppy takes up some of the best soil, and it is a very expensive crop to grow, requiring a great deal of water; it is very exhausting to the soil; it is not only precarious as a matter of revenue, but it is precarious to the individual grower, and this year's results show that there has been a poor out-turn. I know from the highest authority that the cultivators in India would be only too glad to be cultivating something else. India requires cotton for her own spinning and weaving. It is a country with a civilised population and with some areas of very fertile soil, and actually we are using for poppy planting soil which might be employed for the production of cotton to be used by the Bombay cotton mills. Instead of sending opium to China. I should send to that country increasing quantities of cotton goods, spun and woven at the Lancashire and Bombay mills.
I have extracted certain figures from the statistical record which show that, apart from opium exports to China, the Indian exports to that country, consisting largely of cotton goods, have sprung from under £1,000,000 in the year 1901 up to nearly £4,500,000 in 1911. That is a thing which ought to be encouraged. It is undoubted that the population of China has been demoralised by opium, and it is in the interests of the traders of the world and of Indian spinners and traders that they should take cotton and other goods instead of opium. It may seem an extreme request that the Government should cease at once planting the poppy, but my proposal is that we should at once cease doing so in the Government's own territories, and confine the opium grown to the native States, which would be more than enough to meet the legitimate uses of the world, and we could make our income up by levying a duty. I am glad to see that the Government have increased the duty from 600 rupees to 1,200 rupees a chest. There is no reason why we should not lessen the consumption of the article by raising more revenue by taxing it again. What I want 1945 to point out to the Government is that if they largely reduce the 200,000 acres or cease entirely to grow the poppy in their own territories of India, they will at once relieve those dealers who have a stock in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The moment it is known that there is to be a great reduction in the quantity grown the price will go up. I shall not be sorry to see the price go up to a certain extent, because it would help in future to reduce the use of the article, and incidentally it might also answer the purpose of the dealers as well. I propose to His Majesty's Government that they should either grant no more licences to plant the poppy in our own territories in India or reduce the 200,000 acres to about 50,000 acres. That would have the inevitable effect of relieving the financial tension on those gentlemen who have been speculating in the article, and who have been asking us to relieve them from their obligations and their commitments. I think we might kill two birds with one stone, and I very respectfully again urge His Majesty's Government to make the sheet anchor of their policy the substitution of cotton for opium in India.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The House will not be surprised to hear that it is impossible for the Government to accept the Amendment which has been Moved, because its acceptance would destroy the original Motion which I made, "That the Speaker do now leave the chair." It will be seen that the Amendment cannot possibly be accepted. My object in rising now is to try and persuade my hon. Friend and the other hon. Members who have spoken to withdraw the Amendment and to let us get back to the general discussion on Indian affairs. This Amendment has been Moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. C Roberts), whose association with this question, not only in India, but in Great Britain, is so well known and recognised in all quarters of the House. The hon. Member for Radcliffe (Mr. Theodore Taylor) has been for years identified with this subject, and he has devoted his untiring efforts to assist the Chinese in attempting to get rid of the great curse of opium smoking and eating. I repeat that I cannot accept the Amendment, but I hope my hon. Friends will understand that it is from no spirit of hostility to the efforts they are making. Certainly two of the hon. Members who have spoken, were members of the deputation which waited on the Noble Lord the Secretary of State for India, and I had the good fortune to 1946 be present, when their case was fully stated. I do not think I can add anything to what was then said. We are familiar with the state of affairs in India, and the Government is doing what it can by reducing the liquor shops, by raising the price, and adopting other preventive measures. Hon. Members who have brought this Amendment forward may rest assured that every effort will be made by the Government of India to combat the evil which exists, and the Secretary of State will submit to the Government of India the very valuable suggestions made by the deputation which waited upon him, many of which suggestions have been repeated this afternoon. In regard to the question of opium the matter is on a slightly different footing. Let me say, first of all, that the Government of India does not intend for the moment to reduce the area of 200,000 acres which is still under cultivation. I put this first, because it is wholly independent of the Chinese question. In 1906 the area was 555,000 acres; by 1910 it had been brought down to 360,000 acres; and in 1911 it was reduced to 200,000 acres. The present area will yield, in favourable circumstances, 23,500 chests; 12,500 chests are required for Indian consumption, and this leaves 12,000 chests for exportation, which is unsufficient to satisfy the legitimate demands of non-Chinese markets. Therefore, the area of cultivation is calculated independent of the requirements of the China trade which the Government of India at present meet from the Malwa production and by depleting their reserves. So that that disposes of the area under cultivation. With reference to the Chinese question, I do hope the hon. Member who spoke last will forgive me for asking him not to use such language as that we ought to force the Chinese Government, or to ask them, to say to their people, "You must not grow opium." The situation is this: that the Government, when Lord Morley was Secretary of State, determined to show in the most practical possible manner their sympathy with the Chinese in their desire to get rid of opium. The Chinese Government showed their good faith by reducing opium in a way that all critics will acknowledge surpassed their expectations. At the present moment what is the situation? There has been, as everybody knows, a great upheaval in China. The new Government is powerless to control the provinces, and the consequence is that planting has taken 1947 place on a very large scale indeed in those areas where our own inspectors had reported that cultivation of the poppies had ceased. On the 16th May the Chinese Government sent a Circular to the Provincial Government, and this is how the Circular runs:—Now whereas last year the cultivation of the poppy plant in Manchuria, Shansi, Szechuan and other provinces had, as a result of the prohibition, been entirely given up, it has now come to our ears that in the two provinces of Shansi and Szechuan, the illicit cultivation is extending, while the drug finds an outlet and market on every hand. Should His Britannic Majesty's Government, as Clause 4 of the Convention fully entitles them to do, delegate officials to conduct local investigation, they will indubitably find good ground for dissatisfaction.I think I may say it is admitted that at present, owing to the weakness of the new Chinese Government, that there has been a recrudescence of poppy growing. We believe, as at present advised, that it is only temporary, and we have assurances from the central Chinese Government that they will observve the agreement. Therefore we do not propose to vary the agreement, which, unless it is accelerated, will lead to the total extinction of our Indo-Chinese poppy opium trade during the next five years. I think this is a bad moment to choose to ask us to extinguish the Indian trade at once with China, when the sole result of doing that would be to encourage the breaking of the law in those provinces, because it would give to the people who are breaking those laws greater prices and a monopoly of supply to the markets, and at a time when the Chinese central Government is endeavouring to fulfil the Treaty obligations of its predecessor. For that reason, though I cannot give hon. Members behind me complete satisfaction, I can give what I trust will content them, even though it may disappoint some of their most militant supporters, and that is an assurance that we have not the slightest intention of departing from the letter and the spirit of the Treaty which we formed with China to assist them in getting rid of opium and the evil results which flow from it. I trust having said that, that my hon. Friends will now withdraw the Amendment.
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
I quite understand that technical objections of Parliamentary procedure make it impossible for this Amendment to be accepted even if it were pressed to a Division. My hon. Friend has made a sympathetic reply, at all events, so far as one part of my Motion is concerned. The other is not so satisfactory, but if I withdraw my Motion now I hope 1948 he will not think that it means any withdrawal of the demand which we shall still continue to press on the Government.
§ Mr. T. E. HARVEY
May I ask whether the hon. Gentleman can give us any assurance as to a further reduction in the area in which opium is grown in India?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
Gradual reduction in our Indo-Chinese trade or with any other country which desires a concrete reduction, not reduction in the abstract.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
EARL of RONALDSHAY
The Motion that is now before the House is one upon which we are entitled to raise various matters in connection with British administration and policy in India. It is, of course, upon that Moton that the Undersecretary has given us a very interesting and very comprehensive survey of the policy which the Government are at present pursuing, and which they propose in the immediate future to pursue in that Dominion. It would be impossible, in the short time which I propose to occupy the attention of the House, to deal at any length with the questions of the very highest importance which the hon. Member has laid before us this afternoon, but I should just like to associate myself, before I pass on to one or two special matters largely in connection with frontier policy, on which I should like to ask for a little information, with what was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) as to the necessity of the Government, when they are about to make all these declarations of policy, to couch those declarations in language which is clear and simple and easily understanded of the people. There has been a great deal of discussion as to what exactly was meant by paragraph 3 of the dispatch of the Government of India with regard to the policy announced at the Delhi Durbar. I am not going to deal at length with that because the question was discussed only last night in another place, but as far as I can understand, the defence which Lord Crewe made on behalf of the Government amounted to this: that he and the Undersecretary and the Government of India 1949 all meant the same thing, but they used different language in expressing what they meant. It is very unfortunate that language of an ambiguous kind should be used by spokesmen of the Government when they are making declarations of policy which excite hopes in India which clearly cannot be fulfilled. I have observed that many of the organs of native opinion in India have expressed the very greatest dissatisfaction with what they described as the denial by the Secretary of State of the policy announced in the dispatch which was drawn up by the Government of India. The "Bengalee," an important native newspaper, declared not very long ago that—It was a pitiful spectacle, that of the great Leader of the Liberal party repudiating the high traditions of Liberalism and the plain and solemn words of the great dispatch sanctified by the authority of the King-Emperor.It went on to say that it refuses to accept the repudiation given by Lord Crewe, and says that the Bengali leaders will stick to the text of the dispatch. I am extremely conscious of the danger of language which is open to misinterpretation being used by anybody who speaks for the Government when making a declaration of the policy they propose to pursue in the Indian Empire. Lord Crewe made another assertion of great interest, namely, that the policy which he has pursued and intended to pursue might be summed up under three heads: first, that as many duties as possible would, as time went on, be delegated to the Provincial Governments in India; secondly, that the Government proposed to employ in the public service as many natives of India as they reasonably could; and, thirdly, that the supremacy of the British Government would be maintained. I wish to say a word about the second of those heads. Those who criticise British administration on the ground that sufficient employment is not given to natives of India sometimes forget the very large proportion of Government billets that are held by Indians at the present time. I have not seen any recent figures with regard to the proportion of Indians employed in the public service, but I remember seeing some remarkable figures nine or ten years ago, showing that out of a total of 28,000 posts in the Government service no less than 21,500 were held by natives of India and only 6,500 by non-Indians. The process of employing Indians in the Government has steadily gone on since those figures were got out, and I should be very much surprised if the proportion of Indians serving in the Government service at the 1950 present time was not considerably larger than it was ten years ago. In addition to that, it must never be forgotten that the Government have now given employment to Indians in the very highest executive posts under the Crown. An Indian has been appointed a member of the Viceroy's Executive Council, which is one of the highest positions possible in the Government of India.
There are two schools of thought as to the principle on which Indians should be appointed to these high executive offices. One school is based on the principle that an Indian should be given the appointment if he is the man best qualified by ability and character to fill the post; the other is based on the principle that a post of that kind should be given to an Indian, not necessarily on the ground of his ability and character, but simply because he is an Indian. Conflicting views have been held by the authorities as to which of these two principles they should follow. Lord Minto was an upholder of the first principle, namely, that if an Indian was the man best qualified to fill the post, he should be given the post, and that there should be no racial bar. Lord Morley, on the other hand, took the opposite view, that it was not absolutely necessary that an Indian should be the man best qualified for the post, but that if he was in any sense qualified he should be appointed simply because he was an Indian. The House will see that there is a fundamental difference between those two schools of thought, and I should like the Under-Secretary if he can to tell us what are the views of the present Government on the point. In his speech this afternoon the hon. Gentleman did not touch at any length upon the new policy announced at Delhi. We had hoped that he would be in a position to give us something approaching an approximate estimate of the cost for which the building of the new capital is likely to be responsible. He has told us that he is not in a position to do so; that no revised estimate had yet been made, and that the original rough suggestion made by the Government of India, that £4,000,000 was the probable outside cost of the undertaking, still held the field. I think that that is a very sanguine estimate. I have heard very different estimates from very different people, many of them qualified to form an opinion. I have heard estimates ranging from £10,000,000 up to the prodigious sum of £50,000,000 as the total cost, not of the construction of the new capital alone, but 1951 of the whole of the policy announced at the Delhi Durbar. As the hon. Gentleman is not in a position to give further information on the point, we shall have to wait until a more accurate estimate can be made.
I am not going to discuss the question of the removal of the capital or the repartition of Bengal. I made my criticisms on that policy and the methods by which the policy was carried out when the Bill was under discussion in this House, and I concluded my observations on that occasion by expressing the hope that any honest doubts that I felt as to the complete wisdom of the course which had been pursued might prove to be ill-founded, and by saying that it was my earnest wish that the policy might prove to be productive of nothing but good. But unfortunately, while the benediction with which I concluded my speech was not reported in India, a passing reference to a story in connection with the laying of the foundation stone of the new city by the King-Emperor was reported there, and, if my information is correct, a certain amount of comment has been provoked. I should like to read the exact words of which I made use, because I wish to contradict the story to which I referred on that occasion. I said it was a pity that the Government of India should have preserved so strict a secrecy, and that they had not seen fit to consult high Executive officials in India before they undertook the announcement of their new policy; and I gave the following as an example:—The President of the Durbar Committee—a committee that was appointed for the special purpose of carrying out the arrangements in connection with the Durbar—was not even informed that His Majesty the King was going to lay the foundation stone of the new city in the course of the Durbar ceremonies. I am afraid the result of this has been that His Majesty has been made to lay the foundation stone where it is hardly possible to build the new city. … I am also told, although I do not vouch for the accuracy of the statement, that in the hurry of the moment an old tombstone was made use of for the purpose of His Majesty in laying the foundation stone of the Imperial city."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 10th June, 1912, col. 554.]I need hardly say that that portion of my speech which was reported in the Indian papers conveniently left out the words, "for the accuracy of which I do not vouch," and some comment has arisen from the fact that I referred to the story that the King had made use of an old tombstone for the foundation stone of the laying of the new Capital. I have now been put in possession of the actual facts of the case, and I think it is only right 1952 therefore that I should communicate them to the House. As a matter of fact the stone came from a stonemason's yard in Delhi. It was inspected by an official of the Public Works Department. It was a large block in the rough in exactly the same state as it came from the quarry, and was cut and shaped into the two stones which were used for the ceremony performed by His Majesty. The House will see from that description, which is officially accurate, that there was no foundation whatsoever for the story that an old tombstone was made use of. I really feel that I must apologise to the House for taking up its time on what appears to me to be a very trivial matter. I only do so because I am told that some comment has been provoked in the Indian Press by my reference to this story on the occasion referred to. I do therefore venture to hope that this explicit and emphatic contradiction of the story which I am now able to give—I hope, though I do not altogether expect it—will receive the same measure of publicity as my remarks on the original story appear to have done.
I pass on to touch upon one or two of the matters connected with our frontier policy. Our attention during the last few years has been so much concentrated upon the internal affairs of India that frontier problems have necessarily fallen into the background. Certain events have recently occurred which have served to remind us that these frontier problems undoubtedly exist. The progress, for instance, which has been made with the scheme known as the Trans-Persian Railway, makes it desirable that the Government of India should define their attitude towards that scheme, so far, at least, as India is affected directly by it. The whole of the scheme was discussed in the course of the Foreign Office Debate not very long ago, and I therefore shall not be in order in going over that ground now. But there are several aspects of the scheme which are peculiarly Indian, and it is upon those aspects that I would like to ask the hon. Gentleman if he can give us a little information. The scheme is talked of as an international railway scheme. I assume—and I should like to know whether my assumption is shared by the India Office—that the international character of the scheme will cease on the westernmost confines of British India. In other words, I assume that if the Trans Persian Railway is built, if it is carried from the Persian-Baluchistan frontier to Karachi, that that portion of the line 1953 which lies between the Persian-Baluchistan frontier—that is to say, which runs north and south from Koh-i-Malek Siah, where Persia, Baluchistan, and Afghanistan meet to Guetta on the Persian Gulf—that the portion of the railway line east of that—would not be under the control of the International Board, but would be purely an Indian undertaking?
It seems to me that that raises a question of fundamental importance, namely, the question as to whether the Government of India would, or would not, consent to the control of the International Railway Board being exercised over a portion of a Great Trunk Line which lies strictly within the limits of British India itself. Might I say in passing that it seems to me that in existing circumstances the obstacles in the way of the Government of India constructing such a railway themselves appear to be formidable. The chief supporters of the scheme in India are the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, but that chamber differs absolutely from the military authorities as to the route which such a line should follow. The Karachi Chamber of Commerce desires that the line should run along the coast for as short a distance as possible, whereas the Indian military authorities desire that such a line should run along the coast for as long a distance as possible. Quite apart from this difference of opinion on the part of those concerned—
Would the Noble Lord give us his authority for the statement that the Indian military authorities desire the line to run along the coast?
EARL of RONALDSHAY
I do not know that strictly speaking it is a public document. At any rate, the matter is so generally understood. Perhaps if my statement is not correct, the hon. Member will deny it? I will put it in this way: I have been 1954 given to understand that the Indian military authorities desire that the line should run along the coast for as great a distance as can conveniently be done. Quite apart from this difference of opinion between those mainly concerned, there is really another obstacle in the way of the Government of India spending large sums of money upon an unproductive railway. That is the fact that they already find the greatest difficulty in raising as much money as they require to meet the construction of productive railways in the interior of India itself, to meet the demands which are created by the rapidly growing amount of trade and industry in the country. It is now some years since a Committee which was presided over by Lord Inchcape recommended that the Government of India should indulge in a capital outlay of at least £12,500,000 annually upon the development of railways in India. It is notorious to those who have been in India, or who correspond with India at the present time, that stations in all parts of the country are congested with goods, and that the amount of transport which is available is nothing like adequate for the present requirements of the country. That seems to me to be a very great objection of the Government of India themselves in indulging upon any outlay upon the construction of an unproductive railway.
I do not know whether they intend indulging in such an outlay, but this at least we know, they have sent one of their railway engineers, Mr. Johns, to make a preliminary study. We have not been told very much as to the reasons or results of Mr. Johns' mission, and it would be interesting if the hon. Gentleman could give us a little information upon that point this evening. I would be the last to deny that there may be occasions on which it may be desirable on strategical and political grounds to spend money in building railways, even though such railways might not, strictly speaking, be a business proposition. But I do not think these arguments can be adduced in respect of the railway to which I have referred. It is possible that there may be railways in another part of the North-West Frontier which might be of the very greatest value on strategical and political grounds if they were built. For instance, in the whole of the North-West Frontier province, so far as my memory serves me, there is no railway running North and South-West of the Indus. A railway West of the Indus River from Peshawar to Dera Ismail Khan 1955 via the Kohat Pass and Bannee would be of very considerable value from a strategical point of view. But, of course, that is a matter what must be left to the military authorities to decide. I would like to say in that connection if the view of the military authorities is that, as a result of the Anglo-Russian Agreement, strategical railways are not so pressing now as a few years ago, we have still got to remember that our position in relation to the independent tribes on the frontier is very different to what it was ten years ago. It is only in the last few years that these tribes have been armed with modern rifles. The fighting power of these independent tribes is very considerable. They have 350,000 fighting men, and it is estimated that they possess to-day between them about 150,000 modern rifles. Therefore I suggest that although the menace of invasion from outside is not so great as it was, as a result of the Anglo-Russian Agreement, yet we have to remember that any great rising on the North-West Frontier of the independent tribes would be a very much more serious matter to-day than a few years ago.
I want now to refer to the situation in Tibet. I am bound to say the situation there seems to me to be highly unsatisfactory. What is the situation? The situation in Tibet, as I understand it, is this. We have a country which has a frontier running hundreds of miles coterminous with our own in the North-East of India. We have imposed upon ourselves the obligation of refraining from dealing with Tibet except through the agency of the Chinese. At the present time the Chinese are wiped out of Tibet, and we have this absurd result of a country running for hundreds of miles coterminous with our own frontier but with which diplomatic intercourse is absolutely impossible. That seems to me to be an anomalous and intolerable position. Let me remind the House of how our difficulties in Tibet have always arisen in the past. They have arisen out of the fact that we acknowledge the suzerainty of China, and have contracted treaties dealing with Tibet, not with the Tibetans but with the Chinese. And we have looked at the Chinese to carry out their obligations under these treaties, and either the Chinese have been unwilling or unable to do so. You have only to take the first case—the Convention of 1890—by which the Chinese guaranteed against aggression 1956 on the part of the Tibetans towards our Indian frontier. Of course they never carried out the guarantee. They were either unwilling or unable, and the Tibetans did what they liked. Then under the Treaty Regulations of 1893 we contracted with China and it was agreed that there was to be free trade between Tibet and India for a period of five years. The Chinese were quite unable to enforce it, and we very soon found that the Tibetan officials who were acting as wardens levied heavy duties upon English goods. These are only two particular examples of the way in which the Chinese have been neglecting to carry out their treaty obligations; but they are typical of the way in which China has violated the whole letter as well as the spirit of her treaties in regard to that country. The question I ask is this: Has not the time come in which we should review our position, and is it not time that we should decide to send a representative of our own to Lhassa?
I know I may be told that under the terms of the Anglo-Russian Convention we have denied ourselves the right to do that, and it will probably be said that if we approach the Russian Government and express the desire to send a representative to Lhassa they would hold themselves free to do the same. I do not think there is any great objection to that. As a matter of fact, the Russians have, to all intents and purposes, an unofficial Agent at Lhassa. They have a man named Dorjieff, who undoubtedly was a Russian Agent at the time prior to the Younghusband Mission, and he is travelling between St. Petersburg and Lhassa, and although he is only supposed to have relation with the Tibetan authorities upon purely religious matters, it is absurd to suppose that a man with his record and position is likely to restrict his relations with the Tibetan authorities to religious affairs. Therefore I say, that the time has come to regularise the position. Let us realise that China is not able to carry out her obligations towards us. Let us go to Russia and say, "We are prepared, if necessary, if you desire it, to allow you to have your Agent at Lhassa, but the time has come when it is in the interests of our own Indian people to have an Agent there and to prevent the regrettable events that so long has characterised the whole of our enterprise there." I hope the hon. Gentleman will say something as to the views of the India Office upon this matter. I have occupied as much time as I care to in this rather short Debate. The 1957 time at the disposal of private Members for discussing matters of the greatest interest and moment to our Empire is so short, that it would be very ungrateful for me to take up any more of the Committee's time.
§ Mr. BARTON
I have listened, as I always do, with more than ordinary pleasure to the Noble Lord. If he will permit me to say so I feel he speaks, not only with knowledge but with charm, and I hope therefore he will not regard it as in any way disrespectful on my part if I do not attempt to follow him, but to proceed with another branch of the subject. This is the third time I have listened to this Debate under the present Undersecretary, and on each occasion I have listened with increased interest. He managed in a comparatively short space of time to compress an enormous amount of information into his speech, and he gave the Committee that information in the most lucid way and with that sympathy so necessary in anyone who has to take part in the government of a great country like India. I was specially interested in that portion of his speech in which he dealt with the visit of our King and Queen to India. My first connection with India was through commerce, and to-day it exists through commerce, and all my information and all the advice I have received from India since that visit tells me and confirms me in thinking that it has been a visit of enormous benefit to the King's Indian subjects. We had troubles looming in front of us which has been assuaged, if not altogether removed. There has been left behind an enormous new birth of life, and the outlook has greatly improved as the result of that visit.
I felt very much interested in what the Under-Secretary said on the subject of education. Anyone with a long experience of India knows that whatever else you bring in your decision about education in India, you must have boldness. The Under-Secretary spoke about the Indian students coming to England to study and the preparations made to befriend them and lead them during their period of residence here. I felt when I heard that statement that there was another side to the picture. I remember some years ago meeting a number of young Indians in the south of France. They had been sent over to Europe by some Indian college to study agriculture with a view to returning to their own country to teach it. They were 1958 men of the most interesting type, and I thought it was a most wonderful thing that in our language they should be able to carry on studies of a scientific kind and discuss our English literature to an extent almost exceptional even amongst Englishmen themselves. Shortly afterwards I met those same young men in the East, and I was brought up with rather a sudden jerk when I was reminded by my Anglo-Indian friend that relationships which were justifiable in Europe must not for one moment be entertained in India. I recognise that it is a subject surrounded with many difficulties, but in this country we usually recognise that education removes social barriers and barriers of wealth. I hope there will be some official attempt made to deal with this matter to try and bring it about that educated Indians in their own country shall be at least on a different social plane and a more equal social plane than the Indian who is not educated.
Another point has emerged from this Debate which I did not expect and with which I did not intend to deal, but I feel I must make some reply to it. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover introduced in his speech the subject of trade relations between this country and India. The right hon. Gentleman no doubt has in speeches in the country made reference to this subject, but usually he has rather skirted round it. To-day, however, he was more specific. He told us that the Indian members shared his views and the views of his friends and not those of the Government, and so I may take it that his views and the views of his friends are as we know in favour of a protective system in India. He did not elaborate his points very much, but he did tell us that later on in this Debate there were those behind him who would deal with the subject more in detail. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am glad to hear that the subject will be dealt with in detail, but for the moment I want to draw attention to the explanatory Paper issued by the Secretary of State and received to-day. On page 30 of that Paper you will find an analysis of imports showing separately the country of origin. The first of these is the United Kingdom, then comes Belgium, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, and several other countries, and the proportion of the total trade which the United Kingdom has is 75 per cent. as against 25 per cent. shared by all the others. Further, you will notice as between the first column 1959 and the third column there is an improvement on the trade of the United Kingdom of £9,000,000, as against £3,000,000 of all the other countries put together. You will also find, if you make a simple calculation, that the percentage of improvement on the trade of the United Kingdom is 20 per cent., while the percentage of improvement on the other countries is 12 per cent.
Then, if you glance to the bottom of the same page you will find that on the export side, which of course is the import side in Europe, the United Kingdom is again at the top and next to that is Germany. Now, I assume that what the right hon. Gentleman had in mind was a scheme of preference between India and this country. I shall be glad if those who follow me will to some extent elaborate that scheme of preference. Here we find Germany next to the United Kingdom as an importer of Indian commodities. I know, as a trader, that one of the largest items of German import from India is raw cotton, and I know as a cotton trader that in Lancashire we do not want that cotton because it is not suitable to our manufactures. Supposing for a moment you put a preferential tariff on cotton so that Indian cotton shall have a better chance in this country. You at once discriminate against American cotton, which we need, as against the Indian cotton, which we do not want. Take another export from India to this country, that of tea. At the present time India has almost the complete monopoly of our tea trade, and it is a monopoly except for the tea we import from China. If you put a preference duty on tea coming from India you at once discriminate against China for a very small consideration, and you strike us in Lancashire in what is one of our very largest and most important markets, namely, the Chinese market. I did not intend raising this subject, but it is one of vital importance to the cotton trade. I had almost been hoping that hon. Gentlemen had dropped this Tariff Reform. [Laughter.] Hon. Members laugh, but at any rate you have been dropping it in the country. I invite you now, as you have raised this question, to let us know what is your scheme of preference of tariffs or protection in our Anglo-Indian relations bearing on our cotton trade.
That was not specially the subject on which I desired to speak. What I desire to say on this subject I have been asked to say by the International Association 1960 of Master Cotton Spinners of the world. That association includes all the countries in Europe interested in the cotton trade. It includes Japan, and it includes India as well. Indeed, in point of fact, the representatives from India are amongst the most influential and the most vigorous representatives on the Committee. It may be thought that being a representative of a great cotton manufacturing district I am approaching this from a somewhat local point of view, but certainly the international association does not approach it from any such point of view. Their idea in connection with cotton growing is to obtain for the world and for the manufacturers of the world the necessary supply of raw cotton. They do not concern themselves in any degree as to which country that cotton, when it is produced, shall go. India, we contend, is probably more specially interested in this work than any other country in the world. In the first place, India is the second largest cotton-growing country in the world. That is not very generally known, but next to America itself it is the second largest. Then, in the second place, though India is mainly, indeed almost overwhelmingly, an agricultural country, it has its second string, giving the next largest measure of employment, the cotton trade. Then, and perhaps most important of all, India, with all its population, is a cotton-wearing country. In all those three ways India is especially interested in obtaining a constant supply of raw cotton. India itself fully recognises this, and the representative of India on the International Association, who was last year's president of the Bombay Mill Owners' Association, spoke quite recently, and he said:—We agree that it is of the utmost importance that cotton cultivation in India should be materially increased, and longer and better staple cotton in a larger quantity produced in that country. It is of as much importance to the manufacturers in India as to the manufacturers throughout the world that sufficient cotton of longer staple should be grown, and that it can be grown in India has been proved beyond doubt—in fact, India is the easiest and largest field for cotton growing.As we contend that cotton growing is a remunerative crop, it may naturally be asked why cannot it be left to ordinary economic influences to produce all the cotton that India can produce. Amongst other things, there has been up till recently a fear that to the extent you increase your cotton you would decrease the acreage of your food supply. In July, 1910, a deputation waited on Lord Morley on this subject, and he then used this argument to which I refer. He said he feared that if 1961 we increased the acreage of cotton there might be a tendency to decrease the acreage of food, and thereby we should add to the difficulties of Indian government. In answer to that, the most careful inquiry has been made by the International Association. During the last twelve months a second visit has been made by the secretary of the association to India and to this subject his attention was specially directed. He reports as follows:—The farmer, before deciding on the area he will sow with cotton, first allots sufficient land for the production of his and his family's food supply. The surplus of foodstuffs grown by cultivators serves to feed people in the nearest cities, and in some cases is for exportation. Even during famine years India exports foodstuffs. Consequently, an ample supply could be transported to famine-stricken districts if the cultivator had sufficient money.Then he goes on to say:—There is not the least doubt that the cotton crop of India can be doubled without interfering with the growing of food supplies. This is the opinion of many experts I interviewed, notably that of the Imperial Cotton Specialist of India, who, perhaps, is the highest technical expert.So with that difficulty removed, we feel justified in strongly urging upon the Government of India that special and great attention should be paid to this subject. What we want indeed is that more money should be spent in developing cotton growing, and I think a strong argument in favour of that is found in the fact that in America they spend in this direction £3,500,000 as against £200,000 spent by the Indian Government. In view of the fact that India is a less advanced country in agriculture than the United States of America and that it produces only half of the American crop, it seems to me clear that the proportion spent by India is totally inadequate. One of the directions in which we desire money to be spent is in the appointment of a greater number of deputy directors to take charge of these particular interests. Here, I understand, a difficulty arises. There is the desire on all hands that such appointments for work to be done in India should be filled by Indians, but the recommendation in this regard is that they should be filled by Europeans, and for this reason. It is necessary to obtain men not only with university training but with practical experience as farmers. We contend that this so far from diminishing in the long run the amount of employment for Indians, would increase the cotton supply and thus greatly increase the employment for Indian people. We are most anxious that an increased number of deputy directors should be employed. We also want to draw attention—[An 1962 HON. MEMBER: "Who do you mean by 'we'"?] The International Federation of Master Cotton Spinners. We want to draw attention to the Rohri Canal in Sind. For the last, fifty years there have been proposals for greatly increasing the irrigation area in that part of India, and at the present time I am informed there is a proposal of a large and rather complicated kind to make a canal from Rohri to Hyderabad, the effect of which would be to find a water supply for 2,700,000 acres. There is abundant water in the district in the River Indus. There you will have an enormous increase. The proposal has been before the Indian Government for many years, and, even if they do not carry out this particular scheme, they should adopt some proposal in this direction.
In Madras there has been a remarkable experience of late in the development of a new cotton Cambodia. This cotton is one-inch staple as against the ordinary Indian cotton of half to five-eighths of an inch, and it is equal to the American cotton. There has been a remarkable increase in the growth of this cotton. It has this advantage, that it is suitable for making the better class of cotton goods, a trade which Indian manufacturers are naturally very anxious to enter into. By increasing the supply of this cotton you could do practically without the supply of American cotton, and it is hoped that, in the course of the next ten years, it will be possible to produce no less than 1,000,000 bales of it. With that accomplished, a great deal will have been done to relieve the general situation and the feelings of fear and apprehension by which the cotton trade of the world and of this country is at all times surrounded, consequent on the narrow basis of supply for our raw material. We need altogether something like 20,000,000 bales a year. We get about 13,000,000 bales from America, 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 from India, 1,500,000 from Egypt, and the small remainder from the rest of the world. We are, consequently, mainly dependent upon America, and if the Indian Government will take this subject up, it will not only relieve the condition of the cotton industry throughout the world, but it will be an extremely good thing for India itself, because one knows that when the world wants a thing that is the time to supply it. Let India take the occasion by the hand. Let it rise to this great opportunity, as by so doing a good thing will be done not only for the manufacturers of 1963 India and for the people there, but for the whole cotton trade. I therefore desire to impress strongly upon the Under-Secretary this great opportunity for improving the entire economic condition of India.
§ Sir HENRY CRAIK
I wish to call attention to certain questions which at this moment greatly interest the Indian Civil Service. I recognise the tone in which the Under-Secretary spoke of the Civil Service of India. I am sure he does not desire that the conditions under which it does its work should be unhappy or cramped, and I gratefully acknowledge the words of the hon. Gentleman, when he spoke of "the work of that service of which the nation was justly proud." But I cannot in this connection refrain from recalling the words which the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) thought himself entitled to use with regard to that service—words which, I am convinced, aroused much more than indignation in the minds of the vast majority of those who heard them. The hon. Member spoke of those who had given their work and their lives for India as men who had lost all the virtues of the West and had acquired all the vices of the East, and on the strength of his week-end knowledge of the country he sets aside the authority of those with life-long knowledge. And this is the man who is to be a member of a Commission appointed to criticise the administration, whose work he prejudges by indulging in the worst sort of virulent partisanship. I cordially endorse the words of the Under-Secretary. I hope that all good results may attend the work of that Commission, but from that good wish I except one who enters on the work by uttering in this House such words of virulent prejudice. I recognise that the Under-Secretary has it at heart to do all he can for the service, and I am sure he will listen patiently to me while I touch upon some of the difficulties which beset it.
There is such a thing as hope deferred that maketh the heart sick. The Secretary of State is ready, I think, to listen to grievances urged in moderate and calm terms by various sections of the Indian Civil Service. But there has been culpable delay in submitting their memorials. The delay may occur in the provincial governments; it may occur perhaps through some overworked official. I do not place the blame upon the overworked official in India. I lay the blame for not 1964 submitting these memorials which have been pressed on the attention of the various Provincial Governments in India, upon the heads of those Provincial Governments whose business it is to see that just complaints, and a reasonable assertion of grievances should be forwarded to headquarters where I am sure they would receive sympathetic treatment. I speak for many of those in the Civil Service with whom I have been in correspondence when I say that they have no desire to act in any way in a spirit of irritation or to countenance anything like insubordination. But like other classes, like other sets of officials, they desire, and reasonably so, that their grievances should be attended to.
How does the case stand? In consequence of rearrangements and changes on the frontiers and over-recruitment in past years, there is now a serious block of promotion in many parts of the Indian service and chiefly in the Punjab. At this moment men who have served twelve or fourteen years are getting salaries which would hardly be considered reasonable, even after five or seven years' work, in an English office in London. Is it fair, is it reasonable, is it in accordance with the wishes of this House that that should be so? India is a land of regrets. It is a land where hardship forms a chief feature of men's existence, and are they, I would ask, under conditions to be further weighed down by financial trouble? Should they be made to feel that they cannot spend that money on their families which is absolutely necessary in the interests of health, and are they to be denied leave because their financial position makes it impossible to take it? Ought they to be expected to spend their lives, not only in a land of regrets, but in a land which involves banishment and the breaking of all family ties? To my certain knowledge there are men of twelve and fourteen years' standing who are getting far less than they might legitimately expect. In Article 754 of the Civil Service Regulations, the average expectation of salaries of officers of the Civil Service is laid down.
I know that the Under-Secretary may say that it is laid down as a general and not as an absolute rule. But he knows the purpose for which it is laid down—it is laid down as a means of ascertaining what the contribution of each Civil servant ought to be towards his pension and towards the provision for 1965 his family. That increases as years go on, and the justification for the increase in paragraph 754 of the Regulations is that a certain expectation of salary may be relied upon after a certain period of service. I can assure the House that there are many of these Civil servants who instead of getting the salary which is laid down in that paragraph as their reasonable expectation, are getting something like £25 or £30 a month less, amounting to a loss of £200 or £300 a year, which makes all the difference between living in constant anxiety and living with a small margin to meet the expenses which their families necessarily impose upon them. This hardship is made all the more serious by the constant increase in the cost of living in India. Everyone knows that prices have increased during the last ten or fifteen years at a rate which would startle the House, and what was formerly a salary which would relieve its holder from any pecuniary anxiety, is now a salary with which it is practically impossible to make both ends meet. In England we can restrict our expenditure, and many of us know what it is to have to do so. In India that is impossible; your expenses are fixed for you, and you cannot possibly curtail them so long as you carry on your work in an efficient way. Families must be sent during the hot weather to the hills. The separation and the breaking up of families and the lonely lives which have to be spent by Indian Civil servants in the plains during the hot weather is hardship enough; without its being almost impossible to claim this relief from unhealthy conditions for their wives and families, except by running into financial difficulty and becoming encumbered in various ways.
The contribution to the pension increases as years go on, and the contribution the Civil servant has to make towards the provision for his family increases as years go on, although his salary does not increase. I could point to many instances in which men of many years' service are now paying a very large increase to the pension fund out of a salary which has not increased for five or six years. It is hardly necessary to enumerate to the House the dangers that this financial strain may cause to health or to efficiency. But quite apart from this, the danger really goes to the very centre of our English administration. Does the House think it is safe to must the vast responsibilities that we im- 1966 pose on our Indian Civil servants to men whose minds must be given to the encumbrances of debt and financial difficulty? That will be the certain result if no relief is given. I am sure the Under-Secretary will weigh these words with care and sympathy. I read the other day a speech by Lord Selborne—I think it was at Oxford—in which he spoke words of rebuke to the young undergraduates there on the fact that while the number of candidates for the Home Civil Service had enormously increased, the energy and enterprise which previously prompted men to seek to enter the Indian Civil Service rather than the Home Service was disappearing. I am sorry to say that Lord Selborne laid the blame for that on the lack of enterprise among young undergraduates. Does any hon. Member think that that is true? I have over and over again urged young students with whom I have come in contact to enter the Indian Civil Service. I feel that a great responsibility now rests upon me. These are the men who are now writing to me saying that the expectations with which they went out are no longer fulfilled. I am perfectly certain that the young men at our universities are as full of enterprise and courage, and as ready for self sacrifice in the interests of their country as they ever were, but they cannot, in face of the prospects now held out to them, run the risk of a life of banishment with the addition of financial embarrassment. I am sorry that Lord Selborne, instead of putting the blame where it properly lay, put it, very wrongly, on the young men of our universities. I am certain that their courage and enterprise is not less than that of their fathers and grandfathers.
I am glad the hon. Gentleman has announced the appointment of this Commission; but I do ask him not to allow this Commission, with its delay of probably two or three years, to put off the urgent need of coming to the assistance of these hard-pressed servants of the Crown in India at this moment. The claim they make is that of a time scale—a claim that has been conceded in every other service. The claim is that men who have served for a certain number of years should be able to count upon a certain amount of salary. I do not wish to dogmatise upon this matter. The hon. Gentleman and his advisers can best judge whether it is feasible. But I trust that he will not fall back upon the device of saying that this will be put right after the Commission has re- 1967 ported. That will be too late. The claim and the necessity are urgent. The dangers which its neglect will involve are more urgent still, not only for the service, but for this country and India. I trust the hon. Gentleman will take every step to deal with the matter. I make this request not in a spirit of complaint of the Home Government, or even of the Provincial Governments. I trust that the Under-Secretary will do all he can to get these Provincial Governments promptly and without further delay to forward the memorials which have now been in their hands for some eight or ten months, but which I understand have not yet reached the India Office. That delay is blamable to the last degree. I do not know who is responsible for it, but I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree with me that the delay to forward for proper consideration these urgent memorials, which have only too substantial grounds, is a thing which ought to be animadverted upon from the headquarters of the India Office as quickly as possible.
§ Sir GEORGE SCOTT ROBERTSON
I think the hon. Gentleman has not fully appreciated the position taken up by the hon. Member (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald). What struck me was that the particular Member opposite to whom his words were addressed thoroughly appreciated the humour of them. Anyone who knows anything about India knows thoroughly well the high position and the splendid industry of the Indian Civil Service and the absolute devotion shown by every member of it. Their persistent industry is one of the most remarkable things I ever met with. Whether, after a great many years, they may get tired I do not know, but it is a marvel to me that they remain as long as they do. I do not think the Indian Army officers know what work is compared with the officers of the Indian Civil Service. With nearly all that my hon. Friend said in reference to the Civil Service I cordially agree, but they are the best paid of all the services. What he says about them is true, but how about the other services which only receive half or quarter as much pay as they do?
§ Sir H. CRAIK
I assure the hon. Gentleman that the Public Works Department and other Departments are receiving more than the great bulk of the Indian Civil Service.
§ Sir G. SCOTT ROBERTSON
I assure the hon. Member that he is mistaken. 1968 Everyone who knows India will admit at once without question that the Civil Service is naturally and properly far the best paid service in India. I should like to add my tribute of admiration to the speech of the Under-Secretary. As usual, it was extremely interesting, and it was satisfactory. Two things struck one as very remarkable indeed. The first is, the extraordinary jeopardy in which India was placed last year. A terrible catastrophe seemed imminent, and then, in the middle of August, the rains came, and the position was saved. It has been mentioned how very desirable it is to increase the railway system in India. I cordially agree. The hon. Gentleman mentioned Sir James Mackay's Commission in 1908, which recommended that a sum of £12,500,000 a year should always be devoted to this particular object. It was suggested that £9,000,000 should be raised in this country and £5,000,000 in India and that £12,500,000 should go to railways and £1,500,000 to irrigation. As a matter of fact, that sum has not nearly been reached, and a large proportion of the money which is available now necessarily has to be expended to a very great extent upon improving rolling stock and bridges to cope with the increased traffic. It is a most pitiable fact that at present—I suppose there will be a change now—but a few months back we had this extraordinary position, that the railways were happily unable to cope with the business which they ought to have been able to undertake. Feeder lines were blocked entirely, simply because the trunk lines could not take the traffic, and even if all that had been done away with we have this extraordinary position, that the ports themselves were not able to cope with the traffic which was supplied to them by the main line. I do not know that there is any remedy for this. I do not know if there is any possibility of more funds being raised. I had in my mind once the possibility that funds might be raised without a guarantee and in other ways than those suggested in the Report; but, then again, we came to that very awkward moment of last year when apparently a catastrophe was about to fall upon India, and there was the possibility of a drought. Could we possibly in any other way than those methods which are adopted at present obtain capital in this country to build railways? I am afraid not.
I pass from that topic, interesting as it is, to deal with what the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Wyndham) mentioned, which I could not understand, and at this moment 1969 do not understand. He took the Excise Duty on cotton and proved to his own satisfaction that it was utterly wrong and unjust, because there was no Excise Duty on petroleum. It is a very hard saying for Lancashire to swallow, and I should really like to know what the position actually is. He also regretted very much that there had been some slight diminution in military expenditure, but there has been very little diminution indeed. It simply means that the money which was budgeted for last year to be expended for the purpose of the Durbar will not, of course, be required to be budgeted for this year. The Durbar is over and gone and the money spent, and it will not be required again. That is really the basis of the saving. The other savings are small and unimportant. The hon. Member (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) was interested in the question of education. We shall all look forward to examining carefully the scheme of the Undersecretary, which he foreshadowed and briefly sketched, with the greatest interest. I was very much struck by the hon. Member's remarks on this subject, and I think he is wrong. He suggested that schools might be instituted on a very much cheaper and lower scale than the Government of India propose. I think he said schools might be instituted at an annual cost of £10 a piece.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
The point I made was that at present the average school is supposed to contain forty pupils, and the average school with forty pupils costs £10 a year, and the Government propose, as I undertsand it, to establish schools of the same average number of pupils but costing £25 a year.
§ Sir G. SCOTT ROBERTSON
I want to know this. Suppose the school only costs £10 a year, what are the teachers to get? That certainly is not sufficient. We cannot compare teachers in Indian schools with those in home schools, but one of the greatest difficulties in India is properly to remunerate the teachers. The Government scheme is that they shall not receive less than twelve rupees a month. We have heard a great deal about Baroda and the great success of the schools there. I understand that the pay of a teacher there is five to six rupees a month. That is to say, the teacher of a school who is supposed to have not only arrived at a certain range of attainment himself, but is an expert in the art of teaching, has to carry out his profession for 7s. a month. 1970 I think it is impossible to suppose that schools run on lines of that sort can succeed, if you are to get the education you want. The whole system is just now in a most interesting position, but I do not think such suggestions as have been made will help in the least. Mr. Gokhale has made suggestions which are very moderate. I agree with the hon. Member for Leicester in one respect. I should like to see the experiment tried in a small circumscribed position, but I consider that the hon. Member's plan at the present moment is beyond the dreams of practicability. I do not see where the money is to come from to start it, and then there would be a steady, continuous cost. It is not a matter of one or two millions. It is a matter of ten or fifteen millions annually, and an initial expenditure of eighteen millions. It is a peculiarly delicate position which we occupy in India. We must not seem to force upon an unwilling peasantry something they do not wish, and which they might resist either actively or passively. That is my point. If you have compulsory schools you must have attendance officers to enforce compulsion. Anybody who has been in India knows that one of the very great troubles there is with the lower class of underpaid officials who go about the country asserting the authority of the Government. They are terribly corrupt. It is almost impossible for them to be otherwise, and they oppress the poor. Nevertheless, in spite of all this, every body must sympathise with the ideas of Mr. Gokhale. I should like very much to see the experiment tried on a small scale. I listened with a great deal of surprise to what the Noble Lord (Earl of Ronalds-hay) said about sending an agent to Tibet. I understood him to say that he desired we should appoint and retain a political resident at Tibet. How would he guard him? With a brigade, division, or with an army?
EARL Of RONALDSHAY
I do not think any guard would be necessary in view of the fact that they have asked us to send an agent to Tibet.
§ Sir G. SCOTT ROBERTSON
No Government would ever dream of sending an agent to Tibet—it is beyond any possibility—unless you had a guard ready, and you would have to have at least a brigade with him and a division ready to relieve him when another tumult broke out.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Sir G. SCOTT ROBERTSON
Because as a soldier the hon. and gallant Member himself knows that he would not send a man with a small escort right away to Lhassa. He knows the position Lhassa is in at the present moment, where they are continually fighting, and where everything is in a state of turmoil. Even if there is a question of temporary peace, very soon at least you may expect another uprising.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
I think that the troubles at Lhassa and in Tibet are chiefly owing to our own vacillation.
§ Sir G. SCOTT ROBERTSON
It does not matter what they are due to. That is not my point. The question is whether a resident could safely be sent there. I am sure the hon. and gallant Gentleman would never undertake the responsibility of leaving a man there with a small, or even a big, escort, unless there was a large force ready to go and relieve him at the first outbreak. The hon. and gallant Member would not send his own brother.
§ Sir G. SCOTT ROBERTSON
That is a very different thing. That is the reason why the hon. and gallant Member is so careless of life. The Noble Lord talked about a question in a despatch of the Indian Government concerning provincial autonomy. I heard the debate in the House of Lords yesterday, and I have gone carefully over this question. I have thoughtfully read those lines, and it seems to me that as written they are absolutely true. It is the policy we have been pursuing in India since 1870. We have been giving greater independence to the provinces, and if we turn to authorities we find that Sir Henry Mayne took that view. We find also that Sir John Strachey said that in his view as regards many questions of ordinary administration the provinces would shortly be in the position of separate States. The thing is not new at all. We all know it is coming. It may be 100 years, but we are moving steadily in that direction. A devolution of that kind may be made in one or two ways. You may allow the Government of the province itself to have greater freedom from the central government, or you may allow subordinate officers to have greater freedom in respect of the governor of the province, or you may have 1972 an extension of the elective principle, so that men who are trained will find their seats on the provincial councils. Hon. Gentlemen opposite know that they are in a majority over the official representatives. That is, it seems to me, what the despatch contains, and that is a vital part of it. It is perfectly true that it must go on in that way, although it may be two or three generations, or more before the ideals of many Indian politicians are realised. I will only end as I began by saying how satisfactory the Budget statement is, how it shows that last year was almost a record year, and if we take the three principal crops, although none of them was a record, the three together were a record. I congratulate my hon. Friend on having such a very satisfactory statement to offer to the House of Commons.
§ Colonel YATE
I should like to join with the last speaker in saying how glad I was to hear from the Under-Secretary a record of so much progress and prosperity in India during the past year. I think one of the most hopeful things the Under-Secretary told us was that the time had not yet come in India for the introduction of compulsory education. I trust that that time will never come. I look forward with dread to the very idea of what would happen in India if the British Government ever attempted to force compulsory education on the natives of that country. The hon. Member for Leicester appealed to the Government of India to experiment in compulsion, and I only trust that the Undersecretary, when he goes to India this year, as I hear to-day he is going, will not get hold of that idea himself and that he will do his best to prevent any experiment in that direction ever being undertaken. He told us that there was to be a large increase of something like £720,000 in the Grants for education. I was sorry not to hear him say that he was making increased provision for the education of domiciled Europeans and Eurasians in India. They are a class who have special claims. They are not able to send their children to England for education or to provide schools in the Hills or other places for the proper education of their children, and I believe that a Grant of three lakhs of rupees is all that is given for their education this year.
§ Colonel YATE
The increase for education this year is £720,000, and at least one-tenth of any amount granted should be given in India for the education of the domiciled Europeans and Eurasians, so that £72,000, and not £20,000, should be given to this class. Coming to the financial statement, I would like to hear explained the cause of the enormous increase in the cash balances held of late years by the Secretary of State in London on behalf of the Government of India. This seems to me to be an entirely new departure made by the present Government. I have here a book called "Britain's Dilemma," written by Mr. Webb, of Karachi, in which he gives an account of the cash balances held of late years. The cash balance in 1907, the year after the present Government came into power, was only £4,600,000. This has increased gradually to £7,000,000, £12,000,000 and £16,000,000, and up to the present year it has increased to close on £18,000,000. On 10th May this year the Under-Secretary told us in this House that £7,000,000 of this money was deposited with seven banks without security, and that £10,000,000 had been lent on security to approved borrowers; but that the Secretary of State did not consider it desirable to publish the names of those approved borrowers. It struck me as very peculiar that the Secretary of State did not think it desirable to publish their names. The money is public money, the property of the Government of India, not the private property of the Secretary of State. Another point is that with from £17,000,000 to £18,000,000 at the disposal of the Secretary of State, which he lent out at 2½ per cent., he borrowed £3,000,000 more in London at 3½ per cent. Why should the Secretary of State lend out money at 2½ per cent. and borrow it back again at 3½ per cent.? According to the annual Budget statement of the Secretary of State, the amount required for expenditure in England amounts to about £16,000,000 or £17,000,000 a year, as a rule, but this book says that the Secretary of State has been drawing for the last few years from £26,000,000 to £27,000,000 annually from India, and has apparently started banking on his own account with the balance in London. I do not see that this was ever done before. I do not think it was ever done under the late Government. I trust that the Under-Secretary will kindly explain it. I feel sure he 1974 would like to have an opportunity of explaining the statements which are given in this book.
On page 93 there is a statement in reference to the Gold Standard Reserve. The Under-Secretary it is said in his memorandum stated that this reserve should be held mainly in sterling securities, whereas here it is stated in large letters that no such recommendation as this was ever made by the Indian Currency Committee. On the contrary, that Committee recommended that the profit on the coinage of rupees should be kept in gold as a special reserve. The Under-Secretary I hope will explain this. On the question of railways I trust that the Secretary of State will consider favourably the request of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce for increased railway facilities to Delhi and for a direct mail service from Aden to Karachi. Now that Delhi is the capital such a mail service appears to be an absolute necessity. I cannot help thinking that by this route the mail service can be quickened up so that there will be very little difference between it and the service by the proposed railway through Persia. I do not believe myself in the seven day's service by the proposed railway. I should think that ten days would be more likely, and I see no reason why the present fourteen days to Bombay by sea should not be shortened into something like ten days to Karachi. If this can only be brought about, and a direct mail service—a twenty-four hours' service—established between Karachi and Delhi, then we shall have India brought within comparatively easy distance of London. Another question requiring consideration is the extension of the metre gauge railway into Karachi. It is only a distance of about 100 miles. In fact, I do not know whether more than a second rail on the present line is required, but it is of great importance that this greatport of Karachi should be linked up with the metre gauge railway system of India. Another point I wish to raise, and that is the question of the Royal Indian Marine. I ought, perhaps, to explain to the House that the Royal Indian Marine is a regularly commissioned service, officered by British officers, and warrant officers, and manned mostly by Indian crews, all serving under martial laws. When the Government of India was taken over by the Crown, after the Indian Mutiny, the Indian Army was retained, but the Indian Navy was abolished. That abolition, it is 1975 now clear was a mistake. Ever since that abolition of the Indian Navy the Government of India has been obliged to maintain a Marine Service of its own, and that service has been gradually raised to the status now enjoyed by the Royal Indian Marine. Its officers have been granted commissions, uniform, and relative rank with the Army and Navy, with regular rules for pay, pension and leave, etc. Some years ago, when I was Consul at Muscat, in Arabia, I was on board the Royal Indian Marine ship "Lawrence," a sister ship to His Majesty's "Sphinx," still employed as one of the men-of-war on duty in the Persian Gulf. The "Lawrence" was armed exactly in the same manner as the "Sphinx," and was just as useful for ordinary police duties in the Persian Gulf, yet the next time I saw her all her guns had been taken out, and when I asked the reason why. I was told that the Admiralty were jealous of an Indian Service ship being armed, and so they had insisted on her disarmament.
Well, those days of jealousy are now past. Nowadays, not only is the Admiralty glad to get help from any quarter, but we have the First Lord of the Admiralty himself suggesting that the Overseas Dominions should take over some of our naval duties in the outlying parts of the Empire. The principle of Dominion navies has been conceded and recognised, and the First Lord has told us that the co-operation of the Dominions is of inestimable benefit to the strength of the Empire. The sooner this principle is extended to India as well as to the Dominions, the better, for the strength of the Empire. I now ask the Secretary of State to make a start with this by obtaining the removal of the present prohibition on the arming of the ships of the Royal Indian Marine. These ships, like the "Lawrence" and others, as soon as the guns have been put back in them, and the crews have been trained to work the guns, will be capable of taking over the duty of policing the Persian Gulf and the Indian coasts, and would set free the Royal Navy men and ships now employed there for their proper work on the High Seas wherever they may be required. Considering the vital importance of strengthening our commerce protection throughout the world, I ask the Secretary of State to arrange for the immediate armament of the ships of the Royal Indian Marine, so as to set free a large portion of 1976 the naval ratings now employed in policing the Persian Gulf, for service elsewhere. I wish to enable India to take her proper place with the other portions of the Empire in contributing more fully to the defence of the Empire. As regards the Indian Army, the point I wish to raise is the claim of officers of the Indian Army to equal treatment in the case of staff appointments. In India officers of the Indian Army and of the British service share equally in all commands and staff appointments, but at home and in the Colonies, these appointments are practically barred to the Indian Army officer. There are only one or two instances in which Indian officers are given any share in staff appointments in England. In the Colonies and abroad, so far as I can see, no share of staff appointments are given to officers of the Indian Army. Take China for instance, I have looked through the Army list, and though the majority of the troops stationed there are Indian, except in one case of a Provost Marshall, I do not see that a single officer of the Indian Army is employed on the staff. In India officers of British regiments are given appointments such as adjutancies of Volunteer Regiments, whereas no adjutancies of Territorial corps are given to Indian officers in England or the Colonies. This is unfair to the Indian officer, and I trust the matter will be taken into consideration by the Secretary of State, and that the same treatment may in this respect be accorded in England and the Colonies to the Indian officer as is accorded to his brother in the British Service in India. I will not go into all the different questions I have asked the Under-Secretary from time to time. There is the question of the Indian police pensions. The Government was asked to accelerate the Report. I would ask if the Report has been received, and if there is any chance of the demands being granted. There is also the question of the Bombay political service. That has been a long time under consideration, and if the report has not been received what is the cause of the delay?
There are two matters of what I would call Imperial administration to which I would like to direct the attention of the Secretary of State. The first is that of the retention of the title of "Honourable." In 1893 the privilege of the retention of that title under certain conditions was granted to various Colonial officials and members of councils, but the privilege was not extended to India, and I believe 1977 it was not so extended because Indians did not ask for it at the time. India is one of the great component parts of the Empire, and I claim that it should be treated on an equality with all the other parts of the Empire; and that the privileges extended to other parts should be extended to India. I fully realise that the privileges granted to other parts of the Empire might not be applicable in their entirety to a country like India, but I would ask that the principle should be the same, and that the Secretary of State should take into consideration whether equality of treatment cannot be given to India in this respect, in some modified form, suited to the special conditions of India. The second point is what I may call the levelling up of the Lieutenant-Governorships and thief Commissionerships in India to the status of Governorships. That was recommended years ago by that great Indian authority and former Member of this House, Sir George Chesney; and I would refer the Under-Secretary to pages 126 and 130 of his book, entitled "Indian Policy" on that subject. In dealing with India, we must not forget that we are in the East and surrounded by Eastern countries, which do not understand Lieutenant-Governorships or Chief Commissionerships, but do understand Governors. We ought to do everything we can to maintain the dignity of our people. In Ceylon we have a Governor and the Lieutenant-Governor there is simply the Colonial Secretary of Ceylon; and to put the ruler of a vast province like the United Provinces or the Punjab on an equality with a Lieutenant-Governor is a misnomer. Ceylon has an area of 25,000 square miles and four millions of population, while the United Provinces has an area of 107,000 square miles and a population of forty-seven millions. You have a Governor of the Straits Settlements at Singapore with a population of two millions, and the Lieutenant-Governor of Burma with twelve millions of population and an area of 236,000 square miles. Is it fair that the person who has that vast charge should be called Lieutenant-Governor and that the Colonial official at Singapore should be called a Governor. I claim that India ought to be treated with equality in this respect. I do not propose that they should be put on an equality with the Governors of Bengal, Madras and Bombay—that would require an Act of Parliament—but I ask that the names should be raised from "Lieutenant-Governor" and "Chief 1978 Commissioner," and that the man who is Governor in India should be called "Governor."
I will not go into the question of Tibet. I cannot agree with what was said by my hon. Friend opposite. The question of Tibet requires very earnest consideration. The special interests of India, by reason of her geographical position and her commercial interests, were fully recognised by Russia in the Convention of 1907, and the preservation of the status quo and the maintenance of order in Tibet are essential to the peace of our frontiers and to the safety and welfare of our Frontier States, of Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepaul. The status of Tibet as it existed at the time of the signature of the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 has been entirely altered. The Chinese Government has forcibly occupied the country by troops, and, instead of exercising suzerain rights, it has, in defiance of treaties, endeavoured to reduce Tibet to the position of a province of China. That endeavour has now been prevented by the Tibetans themselves. The Chinese Government is no longer in a position to exercise effective authority in Tibet, and the Under-Secretary told us yesterday that, though the remainder of the Chinese garrison at Lhassa is believed to be still holding out, it is clear that the Chinese occupation is practically at an end. The Dalai Lama has left India to return to Lhassa, and the Under-Secretary told us that he arrived at Railing on the 16th instant. But we also have news of the departure from St. Petersburg for Lhassa of the Russian, Buriat Georgieff, to join the Dalai Lama at Lhassa. This was the Russian Envoy who was the cause of the original trouble, and, though the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs told me the other day that Buriat Georgieff was not returning to Lhassa as agent for the Russian Government, we know that he was formerly the Russian agent, and I do not think anybody can believe that he is very far removed from being the Russian agent at the present moment. Considering, therefore, the special interest of India in the maintenance of the status quo in Tibet, it seems to me that special measures are now necessary.
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs told us the other day that His Majesty's Minister at Pekin had been instructed to protest against any change in the political status of Tibet. What is the use of protests with a Government like the Chinese, unless the protests are backed 1979 up by something more than words? Are we to permit China to go on breaking her Treaties with us indefinitely in this way? The independence of Tibet is vital for the peace and safety of our Indian Frontier, and, just as Russia is taking steps to maintain the independence of Mongolia between her territories in Asia and those of China, so it is necessary for us to maintain the independence of Tibet between our Indian Empire and that of China. The question is a most vital and urgent one for India, and I appeal to the Government to settle it now in a way that India has a right to expect.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I have no claim except by the courtesy of the House to speak again, but I hope the House will bear with me while I endeavour to answer some of the questions which have been asked. I can promise that nothing that I shall say will be polemical in character. What I do feel very strongly is the extreme kindliness with which every section of the House has treated me. It is always difficult for the most earnestly-desirous Minister to be in a position to answer at a moment's notice all questions that may be asked. Therefore, I shall not deal with them all, particularly those from the hon. and gallant Member for Melton (Colonel Yate) Perhaps he will accept my assurance that I will inform myself about them and bring them to the notice of my Noble Friend. With regard to the point put by the hon. Member for Aberdeen University on the grievances of the Civil servants, I listened to what he said carefully, and I can assure him that in the point in which he is particularly interested, the grievances of the Madras Civil servants, that dispatch has been authorised by the Secretary of State in Council to the Government of India to the effect that a special inquiry is desired. With regard to the question put to me by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham), I should like once more to give him the assurance that the £502,500 decrease in the Army Estimates for India this year is not due to any policy of retrenchment that is likely to jeopardise the defences of that Empire. The main feature of the decrease is in the absence of the Durbar expenditure, which amounted to £373,000—a very large sum. Then the House must also remember there were the Abor and the Mishi expeditions, though a great deal of the expense of these does not appear 1980 on this year's Estimates, but appeared last year. The economies which have been achieved are due to the very rigorous attention paid to the very minor details of expenditure.
I did forget to tell the House when I was talking about the Commission that we appointed of a matter of considerable importance which I ought to have mentioned. The House will notice that that Commission has got to inquire into very many services, and those services are not represented upon the Commission. It was obviously impossible when we were appointing a businesslike Commission of such a size that it would represent all the services into which this inquiry is to take place. Therefore, the system that it is hoped this Commission will adopt for this inquiry is to co-opt to sit with the body one or two representaives to represent the Imperial and provincial branches, of the service that is to be inquired into. They will represent the cause of the servants, marshal the evidence, and present the case, but of course, will have no word in the signing or the drawing up of the final report. Criticism has been made about the extension of the railways and comment has been made upon the fact that the standard laid down by the Committee has never been reached. Since the Committee reported there have been such a depreciation, from circumstances which have often been debated in this House in the price of gilt-edged and other securities that it is not always easy to raise large loans for expenditure even on the desirable projects of Indian railways. We have had to considerably modify our demands upon the money market in this respect. As regards the expenditure upon the improvement of the existing railways, or upon new lines that is always a difficult matter to decide. There are advocates of the policy of increasing the rolling stock and improving the lines and the stations of the existing lines, suggesting that that is far more urgent than extension. Others who say that every available penny ought to be spent upon extension, and the policy adopted by the Government is a compromise between the two.
My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) raised three points. I am not going to argue them again, or to enter into the relative merits of a lot of a bad thing, or a little of a good thing. The determination I wish to communicate to the Committee is our deter- 1981 initiation to make a bad thing better and the determination on the other hand not to allow the fact that a thing is bad to stand in the way. Then my hon. Friend raised the question of an independent audit. Everyone must admit theoretically that is an excellent thing. Strangely enough by the last mail that reached the Secretary of State from the Government of India there came a proposal for an independent audit. I have not yet read the dispatch, but it contains proposals for the alteration of the conditions of the Audit Office and the Comptroller-General's Department. The whole subject is now about to come under consideration and the remarks the hon. Gentleman has made will be considered. The Noble Lord (Earl of Ronaldshay) asked one question about Tibet and one about the Persian Railway. The answer I should like to give is this: Our activities in Tibet are governed by the Anglo-Russian Convention, and the very strong prayer which the Noble Lord and another hon. Member opposite put forward for the reconsideration of that Convention are matters which come more within the sphere of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and I am sure he will read the statements of the hon. Members with great interest to-morrow morning. With regard to the Persian Railway I do not want to say anything further than this. It is perfectly true, as the Noble Lord said, a certain part of the railway runs through India, and therefore it would not be surprising if the Government of India were to show objection to that part of the railway being built by any international group, and considered it ought to be built by India. With regard to the point raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Yate), the Grant for domiciling Indians is increased not by £20,000, but £35,000 this year. The subject is one which has awakened great interest in India. One sentence with regard to the new orders which have just been issued with regard to the reserves. The whole £17,000,000 reserve is in securities except £1,000,000 which is in cash on short notice. We are going first of all to allow this sum to increase until the amount reaches £25,000,000, as against £17,000,000, and it has now been arranged to hold in gold until £5,000,000 sterling has been accumulated in that form of interest and profits that come from India. So that the ultimate reserve will be £25,000,000, of which £5,000,000 will be in gold. With regard to the very large balances from 1982 India, I quite appreciate the fact that it is a matter of comment that we have at the end of the year so large a sum as £18,320,649. The balance of the Secretary of State over here is only part of the whole balance to the credit of the Government of India. Last year the Indian Government's balance was exceptionally large owing to the large surpluses on the Estimates and the under-spending of certain departments, and consequently the balance of the Government was much larger than had been anticipated. It is far larger than the estimate made in framing the Budget. The second cause was the great volume of trade done between this country and India. That is what distributes the Government balance between, the Secretary of State and the Government of India. The size of the balance there depends upon the sale by the Secretary of State of bills of exchange instead of granting transfers. He sells the bills in England to obtain the money in England required to meet disbursements there by the banks and merchants. I do not think it is necessary to justify this in India, because no satisfactory alternative method has ever been suggested.
§ Colonel YATE
Do you let the Government keep the balance in hand, and is it a fact that it exceeded more than £4,000,000 when the present Government came into power?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The balances were large because of under-spending in certain Departments, and underestimating of revenues. Consequently the total surpluses and balances in the hands of the Government of India were larger than was anticipated, and larger amounts came because, although we estimated the sale of them would be something like £15,000,000 sterling worth of bills, we actually did sell £9,275,000 more bills than we estimated. That was due to the demand and the briskness of trade between England and India. The only object which the Secretary of State has is the facilitating of trade, which would be brought practically to a standstill if these bills were not issued. That is the explanation of a well-known economic and financial practice, and I hope the hon. Member opposite will disabuse himself of the idea that these balances are kept in England simply to oblige the money market. This is an indispensable factor of British Indian trade, and it would be difficult to imagine how British-Indian trade could be carried on without it. I 1983 think I have answered all the points, and I thank hon. Members for acceding to the very considerable demand I have made on their patience.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I should like to add my congratulations to the Under-Secretary for the impartiality and the capacity with which he has treated all the subjects brought before us. I congratulate him particularly on the masterly manner in which he dealt with his hon. Friends who preceded him, who asked him to abolish the use of alcohol, destroy that drowsy syrup of the East, opium, and to devote himself entirely to cotton, prayers which lie turned by pouring butter upon the heads of his friends, so that they retired into private life and left him in possession of the House. I often wonder why hon. Gentlemen who year by year bring forward these questions do not temper their zeal with a little sense of humour. It is a very extraordinary thing that it should be suggested this country should teach India to abstain from the use of alcohol and drugs. I find, taking figures supplied by the United Kingdom Alliance, an association of the same colour as the hon. Gentleman who brought this forward, that the annual consumption is £3 11s. 10½d., or 862 pence per head of the population, or, if you confine it to the drinking classes, 1,680 pence per head. The corresponding figure for India is 10d. or, if you confine it to the drinking classes, something like 2d. Yet, so wanting are hon. Gentlemen in any elementary sense of humour that year by year they suggest this country, which is not the most temperate country in the world, should actually teach the most temperate population that ever existed to abstain from the use of liquor and drugs. That is a fairly extraordinary circumstance, and I wish I had time to dwell upon it and also to point out how zeal absolutely drives out of hon. Gentlemen the most elementary sense of justice. They must know that China is aflame with the poppy at the present time and that merchants engaged in a legal and lawful occupation are being deprived of their rights, because under agreement China was to do certain things and we were to do certain things to the detriment of our subjects, and we are carrying out our part of the agreement, and they are not carrying out their part. The hon. Members would also deprive heir fellow countrymen who have some 1984 £8,000,000 to £10,000,000 worth of opium in China of the opportunity of selling it.
I should like also to congratulate the hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary and his Chief on the Commission they have appointed to inquire into the public service in India, and particularly on their having appointed my Noble Friend, whose appointments gives such great satisfaction to all his colleagues on this side, and, I believe, to everybody in all quarters. There are other gentlemen upon this Commission who will be most useful, but there is one hon. Member who sits upon this Commission who has already come under the criticism of my hon. Friend the Member for St. Andrew's University. I am bound to say I think my hon. Friend was rather hard upon the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald), because the hon. Gentleman was so good as to point out in his speech that the foundations upon which a character for fitness for an appointment like this should be based was an unacquaintance with the subject. He was careful to point out there was nothing which made one so fit to sit in judgment upon those who had spent their lives in the public service of India as a week-end visit to them, and he dilated upon the impartiality of mind of that sort enjoyed by such week-enders in respect of delicate and difficult problems. His theory was not that ordinary unacquaintance but dark and abysmal ignorance best fitted a man to serve upon a Commission or to criticise his experienced fellow subjects. I do not dispute for one moment the hon. Gentleman's fitness for this job—on his own theory, he is admirably fitted for the post. The hon. Member then proceeded to speak I thought rather with reference to myself. If so, the matter is not worth pursuing. I should be more concerned at his approval rather than at his criticism. But in criticising me he proceeded to describe the Civil Service which he is going out to judge as a compound of the vices of the East and West. I can only congratulate the hon. Gentleman, not only on possessing that invincible ignorance which he regards as the proper thing, but also on possessing peculiar qualifications for exasperating those with whom he is to be brought into contact, and showing his complete disagreement with the Government which appointed him, and the representative of which in this House to - day went out of his way to compliment the Civil Service in terms which it would ill become me to 1985 say were deserved, but which, nevertheless, his predecessors have all agreed to be their view. I think it is clearly shown that the hon. Member spoke in scorn of people who were sun-baked in India. It is better to be sun-baked in India than to be hide-bound with arrogance in England. I do say in all seriousness it is a deplorable thing that the hon. Gentleman should have been at such pains to-night to exhibit himself in such contrast to his colleagues on this Committee, and that he is quite unfit to sit on this Commission.
I wish to say a few words on the educational question. The hon. Gentleman has outlined an exceedingly costly and comprehensive programme, but he did not mention up to what figure they were working, and he rather reminded me of a colleague nearer home who outlines great schemes without giving the cost into which he means to land the country. He gave us no figures also regarding the cost of the changes announced at the Durbar, although he has told me in answer to various questions of extra expenses, amounting to £35,000 a year—a small sum perhaps, but one exactly equal to the salaries of all the Secretaries of State and other Ministers of equal rank in the Government. He gave us no indication of the cost of making new Delhi or the expense of the temporary occupation of Delhi this winter; of the High Court at Bihar, and of the University at Dacca, and he did not tell us if the Post and Telegraphs and Hail-way Departments were to remain at Calcutta. Perhaps he will make a note of these points, so that he may be in a position to give the information before the House rises.
As regards railways, I understand it is a fact that, owing to the manner in which the new Coronation concessions have been financed, only thirty-four miles are being added this year to the railway communications in India, which I think is a deplorable circumstance. I should also like the hon. Gentleman to look into the question of the compulsory deductions from the pay of British soldiers serving in India. He claimed that that could be done under the National Insurance Act, which is not national and is not insurance. The records of the India Office, if he will look into them, will convince him of the danger there is in making compulsory deductions from the pay of soldiers serving in India. If he will look at what happened in the European regiments of the East India Company at the time their pay was similarly dealt with, he will have some 1986 cause to pause and think twice before he deducts from money which is provided by the Indian taxpayers as pay for the Indian soldiers, sums which are to be placed at the disposal of the Insurance Commissioners. The feelings of the private soldiers in the European regiments are a matter of the very utmost importance. In India there is a solidarity among them. I do not think it is right that the Secretary of State over here and the Viceroy in Council over there should decide to make compulsory deductions from the soldier's pay without his permission or approval. There is another matter on which I have several times interrogated the hon. Gentleman—a matter of the utmost gravity—the result of the correspondence with India about compensation for Mr. Clark. I should be loth to be drawn into any remarks about that judgment, or any criticisms of the Court that passed it. No criticism could surpass the condemnation of the Judicial Committee in severity. Is it the case that this new Public Service Commission will make any recommendations regarding the method of selection and the method of appointment of judges who are sent out to India? I admit this is a difficult and delicate subject to mention. It is not only I who speak on the subject. The "Times" is a journal of gravity and sobriety, which even those who do not follow its views, as I do, will admit. The "Times" has suggested that some inquiry into this matter is necessary. I protest, as an Indian Civil servant, and I believe the only Indian Civil servant present of the only two in the House, that the whole Civil Service is in a state of alarm and apprehension on account of the manner in which certain branches of the Judiciary have shown jealously of the Executive, and, wherever opportunity offered, have interpreted the law—I do not say not in good faith—invariably to the prejudice of the Executive. I see the hon. Gentleman looks at the clock. I submit that when a subject like this comes before the House there are many Gentleman who, out of the fulness of their unacquaintance with the subject, have the fullest opportunity of discussing questions with which they have no acquaintance. May I submit to the House, with great respect—
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."1988
§ The House divided: Ayes, 236; Noes, 67.1989
|Division No. 176.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||O'Dowd, John|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Ogden, Fred|
|Adamson, William||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Alden, Percy||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||O'Malley, William|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Armitage, R.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shee, James John|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Hayward, Evan||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Higham, John Sharp||Pease, Robert Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Hinds, John||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Bonn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Phillips, John (Longford S.)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Hodge, John||Pointer, Joseph|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hogge, James Myles||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Boland, John Plus||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Holt, Richard Durning||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Brady, P. J.||Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Radford, G. H.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hudson, Walter||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Reddy, Michael|
|Burke, E. Haviland||John, Edward Thomas||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney A. (Poplar)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Robert, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lanes., Heywood)||Jowett, Frederick William||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Keating, Matthew||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kelly, Edward||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Clough, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Kilbride, Denis||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||King, J. (Somerset, North)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rowlands, James|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Cotton, William Francis||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Crooks, William||Levy, Sir Maurice||Samuel, J. (Stockton)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lewis, John Herbert||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Cullinan, J.||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Lundon, T.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Elfion)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Sheehy, David|
|Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Dawes, J. A.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Delany, William||McGhee, Richard||Sutherland, John E.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Maclean, Donald||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Dillon, John||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Doris, William||Macpherson, James Ian||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Duffy, William J.||MacVeagh,, Jeremiah||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||McCallum, Sir John M.||Trevelyan, Charles Phillips|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Manfield, Harry||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Wadsworth, John|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Falconer, James||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Meagher, Michael||Webb, H.|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Middlebrook, William||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Molloy, Michael||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Field, William||Molteno, Percy Alport||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morgan, George Hay||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Furness, Stephen||Morrell, Philip||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Morison, Hector||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Glanville, H. J.||Muldoon, John||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Munro, R.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., H.)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Neilson, Francis||Winfrey, Richard|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Nolan, Joseph||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Norman, Sir Henry||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|Hackett, J.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Nuttall, Harry||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton Beds)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Denniss, E. R. B.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Duke, Henry Edward||Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fell, Arthur||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fleming, Valentine||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, S.)||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Barnston, Harry||Gilmour, Captain John||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Goldsmith, Frank||Stewart, Gershom|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gretton, John||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Butcher, John George||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (M'tgom'y B'ghs.)||J. D. Rees and Mr. Lloyd.|
|Craik, Sir Henry|
Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House for tomorrow (Wednesday).—[Mr. Pease.]