§ (1) The presidencies of Fort William in Bengal, Fort St. George, and Bombay, and the provinces known as the United Provinces, the Punjab, Bihar and Orissa, the Central Provinces, and Assam, shall each be governed, in relation to reserved subjects, by a governor in council, and in relation to transferred subjects (save as otherwise provided by this Act) by the governor acting with Ministers appointed under this Act.
§ The said presidencies and provinces are in this Act referred to as "governor's provinces" and the two first-named presidencies are in this Act referred to as the presidencies of Bengal and Madras.
§ Mr. SPOOR
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "Provinces" ["the Central Provinces"], to insert the word "Burma."
Quite a considerable amount of surprise has been occasioned by the fact that Burma has not been included within the proposals of this Bill. The only reason that the Committee give for the exclusion of Burma from this scheme is that in the case of Burma the people are a different race, and have altogether different language. I am not quite sure that it would not be possible to discover a greater divergence in British India even on these two points. At all events, we do know that the Burmese people, whilst the conditions may vary somewhat between their Provinces and the other Provinces in India, are a people in a more than ordinarily advanced 493 stage of development. We also know that in all essential matters they are treated by the Government of India in precisely the same way as are the other Provinces. That being so, I would like to ask the Secretary of State for India if he will indicate what are the proposals of the Government; whether it is intended to include Burma in this Bill, or whether it is intended to introduce at the earliest possible moment a Bill analogous to this one which will treat Burma by itself? If we can have some such assurance, I have no desire to press the Amendment.
§ Mr. ACLAND
The question, of course, was raised in the Joint Committee as to whether it was possible to deal with Burma under Clause 15. It was generally felt that it was a doubtful question; and, secondly, very awkward, even if it were possible. I am one of those people who believe that Burma might make a great mistake in her own interest if she was definitely inserted formally, at this stage, in the Bill, because that would mean that, although Burma is not India, she would to harnessed to the Provinces of India and have to go their pace for ever. No one wants to suggest, by any action taken on this Bill, that Burma is to be denied a real advance towards responsible government. All that any of us knows about Burma tends to the opposite conclusion. I would ask the Secretary of State whether it is not possible to make it clear in the Bill, by means of a declaratory Amendment, that he shall have power, without further legislation, to cause a real stage in her progress to be reached in the case of Burma, not, perhaps, on exactly the same lines as the provinces of India, but without the necessity of further legislation?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I quite agree with both my hon. Friends; though I do not think that my right hon. Friend's last suggestion is what Burma itself would like. What Burma is anxious for is to come to Parliament itself, and not to be left to the tender mercies either of the Secretary of State, the Government of India, or the local Government. I quite agree with the Joint Committee. Burma is not India, but Burma must get an analogous grant of self-government, a similar grant of self-government, subject to differences in the local conditions of Burma. It is not true to say that Burma is analogous. Its literary attainments are greater than any other province. It is true to say that she has not enjoyed the same develop- 494 ment under the Morley-Minto scheme. It is true to say that Burma is in this discussion a stage behind. The investigations did not include Burma. A scheme was put forward later than the issue of the Joint Committee's Report. It has not been dealt with in this Bill, simply because that scheme has been much canvassed and criticised by the Burmese. Before one can decide at all for or against it, one wants more time. The real case, therefore, is that Burma will get without loss of time one of two things. It will either become a Governor's Province—if that turns out to be the best solution—and in that case it would be dealt with under Clause 15; if, however, it wishes to have a different Constitution, say, from the rest of India, then we shall have to have new legislation, which will be introduced without loss of time into Parliament. It would be quite possible to make a comparison with India such as my right hon. Friend suggests. I think, so far as I am acquainted with the wishes of the Burmese, it would suit them better, if any difference is to be made, that it should be by special Act of Parliament.
§ Mr. G. THORNE
How soon does the right hon. Gentleman think he will be able to produce the legislation he suggests, and what steps, may I ask, is he going to take in order to come to a decision as to the line lie proposes? May I ask whether suggestions have not been submitted to him as to a Committee on the spot, which will secure the confidence of the Burmese, consider the whole of these suggestions, and give a Report in sufficient time to enable practical suggestions to be made on the line he has indicated? Will the Government discover whether what he proposes is in accordance with the wishes of the Burmese? Am I right in understanding that this suggestion has been made, and is the right hon. Gentleman willing to state his own views in reference to this?
§ Earl WINTERTON
I rather hope the Secretary of State will not agree to the proposal made by the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, and for these reasons: I thought, if I may say so, the Secretary of State dealt with the matter in a most admirable way. Surely these are too big questions to be discussed now! It is not right to ask the Secretary of State to compromise himself or the Government in any way in this matter. Might I point out the 495 fact which, I think, has not been brought out, that of all our possessions Burma is totally different to India. Burma has only formed part of the British Empire for thirty or forty years, while the greater part of India dealt with in this Bill has formed part of the confederation for several hundreds of years? I think great harm might be done by hon. Members discussing the question of what is going to be done to Burma in the future. I am glad the right hon. Gentleman opposite agrees with me. We ought to leave the point at what the Secretary of State has said, and not to press the matter further.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I think the Noble Lord must know, and the Government, that the Burmese have long agitated for Home Rule, and that, therefore, it is almost incumbent upon us to see that Burma gets the advantages that India gets. More than that, we have heard so often that the difficulties in the way of responsible government in India rest very largely on matters of caste.
§ Earl WINTERTON
That is exactly what the Secretary of State said, and as to what eventually we should have to do.
§ 8.0 P. M.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
As to the difference between "eventually," and anything in this Bill, well, the Noble Lord knows quite well that the word "shortly" or the words "we must lose no time" mean nothing whatever. What we do want is to get an assurance from the Secretary of State which may be either the making of Burma a part of India or may make it an independent dominion. This measure, whatever it is, should be introduced within a definite period of years, and, secondly, this measure, when introduced, should give Burma in no wise fewer transferred subjects or less responsibility than is given to the minor Indian Provinces. The temptation naturally is when people do not make any complaint to give them much less than is given to those who complain. I do not want that to happen in this case, and we want the Burmese to understand, when they get their Constitution, that although they have not made any great demonstration on the subject, we realise that they are every bit as advanced as the rest of the people of India—in fact, they are even better educated in some respects, and we believe that their standard of treatment of women is better in Burma than in India. We want the Burmese 496 people to believe that they are being treated on an equality with the rest of the British Empire. This is all the more important because people are so apt to contrast our Government of Burma with the American Government of the Philippines, where they have been given self-government, and it is rather a slur upon the reputation of the British Empire that we have gone more slowly than the Americans in emancipating similar races. I hope we shall get a definite assurance that a Bill will be introduced for Burma in the next Session of Parliament giving powers no less advanced than we are giving to the Indian Provinces.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
This Amendment has been on the Paper for over a week, and I do not think we are unfair in asking the right hon. Gentleman to give us some assurance as to when the new Constitution for Burma will be introduced. It has been stated that the reason why the Burmese have not been given this new Constitution is that there has been no violent agitation in Burma. I want to emphasise the request which has been made that the right hon. Gentleman should indicate a definite period within which a Bill would be brought forward giving a Constitution to Burma.
§ Captain ORMSBY-GORE
I am quite sure, from what the Secretary of State for India has said, that he means that Burma shall not be left out. Everything the right hon. Gentleman has said on this point shows that he means to see that Burma gets what she has been promised. I am certain that is the view of everybody in this House in every part of it. The right hon. Gentleman is one of the most overworked Ministers in this House, and lie has had an enormous mass of business to get through. Consequently it was impossible for him to deal with a Bill for Burma at the same time as this measure. I do not think that we should have Burmese in the Council of State for India. I want Burma to be kept a separate entity. Burma is one of the leading Buddhist nations in the world, and they are a very attractive people. I think we are all at one in our determination to see that Burma gets its place in the sun. It is merely a question of giving the right hon. Gentleman a fair chance of working up a businesslike scheme suitable for Burma, arid I am quite sure that on this question he means business.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I think on this question I have said all that is necessary. I would invite my hon. Friends opposite to have as much confidence in the promise I have made as the Burmese people, for whom I am acting. It is obvious that I cannot give a definite promise to-night that I will introduce legislation next Session, because I am not the custodian of our Parliamentary time. I do not know who may be Secretary of State for India next year, and I have not a freehold of my position. I hope and desire not to leave this work undone, and I want to bring in a Bill next year. I am now in telegraphic communication with the Government of India upon the Burmese scheme, and I shall be very much surprised if at the end of next Session we have not passed the Bill dealing with Burma.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "governed," to insert the words "for a period of six years after the passing of this Act."
I submit that six years is a very suitable period after which to have a revision, because there will have been two Parliaments, and by that time it will be possible to form a good estimate of the work of the Ministers in the Departments over which they preside. Georgia has got a fuller Constitution even than our own, because they have adult suffrage for both sections. None of the would-be conquerors of Russia promise anything less than a Constituent Assembly elected on a universal suffrage basis. Under these circumstances, I think it is only reasonable that we should have this six-years' period when granting the Constitution to India. Might I draw attention to the analogous case of Egypt which has not a very wide consideration? Recently during the troubles there we have had the resignation of the Government, and yet we have managed to carry on. I do not think we need be afraid of giving a little more authority to the new Provinces after six years. We had a fine speech on this question by the Lord President of the Council when he was in Canada which gave great satisfaction in India, and in which he promised the widest measure of constitutional government to the people of India. In view of all these arguments I 498 think six years is a period long enough for these Provinces to experiment with the diarchical system of governing.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Fisher)
So far as I understand this proposal, the hon. Member wishes to introduce complete responsible government in all its branches automatically at the expiration of six years to these Provinces. That is a proposal which the Government cannot accept. In the first place, I think it ought to be generally recognised that the Government of an Indian Province is extremely complex and very difficult, and to ask the Indians to qualify themselves to carry on this complicated form of government, without an adequate trial or experience would be simply to invite the possibility of a breakdown. What is the idea underlying this Bill? It is that the progress of India in the art of government should be tested carefully step by step. It is not an exorbitant or an illiberal demand to make that there should be at least three elections before the result of this great new experiment comes up for revision. May I point out that there is nothing in the Bill which prevents revision taking place before ten years, but there must be a revision at the expiration of ten years? If it be true that great progress will be made, and if it becomes obvious that the transferred subjects are being handled wisely and effectively to the satisfaction of the Indian population by the Indian Ministers, then there is no obstacle to a revision at an earlier period than ten years. The hon. and gallant Member wishes all transferred subjects to be dealt with automatically at the end of six years, and I cannot agree to that proposal. For these reasons I ask the Committee not to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. SWAN
I desire to support this Amendment. Six years' experience ought to be sufficient in government to enable the Indian people to deal with these affairs themselves. The least that this country can do is to recognise the conditions under which these people are living at the present time, and I feel sure that they cannot possibly make a worse mess of things than the present rulers are doing to-day. For these reasons I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept this Amendment. We know the ruthless manner in which, in some cases, the Indian people have been exploited by their own employers, and all the speeches made in this House as to their 499 deplorable condition justify this Amendment and the arguments that have been put forward from these benches to extend self-government to the Indian people. I hope the Government will accept the Amendment and thus secure more time for dealing with the housing, wage, and many other problems which require better treatment than they have received in time past.
§ Mr. INSKIP
The hon. Member seems to Show a singular misconception of the effect of inserting these words. It will prevent any progress being made. The proper course would have been to have amended Clause 21, and to have ensured the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry at an earlier date.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
I beg to move in Subsection (2), to leave out the words "after consultation with the Governor-General," and to insert instead thereof the wordsby the Governor-General with the approval of His Majesty, and provided also that the said Governors must have been at the time of their appointments at least ten years in the service of the Crown in India.This is an Amendment which really is of very considerable moment. The whole structure of Provincial Government is very largely changed by the proposals of this Bill. The arrangement by which Lieutenant Governorships have been hitherto appointed is that they have been selected by tile Governor-General from men with Fong acquaintance with India, and thoroughly conversant with the whole conditions of the Province—men who have acquired that complete facility in the language without which it is impossible for anyone to administer satisfactorily certain of the Provinces into which India is divided and especially the Punjab, the Lieutenant-Governors of which have always been men fully acquainted with the language of the country, and able to talk to the people in the vernacular, as well as being thoroughly acquainted with the condition of the country. The selection has hitherto been in the hands of the Governor-General. It is of very great importance that the Governor-General, responsible as he has been for the whole administration on the spot of India, should not have his office deprived of the dignity and status which have hitherto attached to it in regard to these appointments, which in the past have carried very great weight in the minds of the people. It is very much to 500 be regretted that, under this Clause, besides losing dignity and prestige, the Governor-General will also be deprived in these Provinces of the advantage of having them administered by people thoroughly acquainted with the country. The Act of 1915 protects, in Section 45, the office of Lieutenant-Governor. That official is under it to be appointed by the Governor-General with the approval of His Majesty, and he must have been at the time of appointment as least ten years in the service of the Crown in India.
Observe how this is changed. These Lieutenant-Governors are to be raised to the position of Governors of Bombay, Bengal, and Madras—officials who have hitherto been appointed by the Secretary of State from among men who have acquired some sort of position, or hope to acquire some sort of position, in politics at home. I have not the least word to say personally against politicians selected for these posts. I have known a great many of them within the last few years, and some of them have been intimate friends. But I think there are not enough among the leading politicians, and that the great advantage of confining the appointments to these Governorships to fledgling politicians is not so great as some think it to be. If you take a man who has served the minimum of ten years and has borne the burden and heat of the day, who has learnt to know the people and their language and their conditions, a man who is selected by the Governor-General on the advice of all the local experience which is open to him, surely that is a very different thing from picking out some untried officious young politician who happens to have obtained a seat in this House or, what is the alternative perhaps, some older politician whose achievements have not quite kept pace with his own ideas of advancement. Why such men should be selected for the administration of these great Provinces I fail to understand. I cannot understand the object with which this provision has been introduced. Who would be the real selectors of these young politicians? It would undoubtedly be the Whips, and other Gentlemen who have seats on the Front Bench. I do not think that they are the right people to select under political pressure the men who are to obtain the prizes which should be open to long service in India.
Moreover, you are undoubtedly diminishing the attractions and making more 501 arduous and difficult the conditions attaching to this, the greatest of all Civil Services ever produced—a service which has done such absolutely good work in administration. If you are to attract the same type of men who have gone into that service in the past it will not be by stripping the service of the prizes now open to it. Will it not be very trying to the man who has borne all the hardships for the last twenty or thirty years, who has done all the hard work on this service to at last find himself ousted from the object of his ambition by men who happen to be ambitious and who have not found either by their own failure of through ill-fortune the opportunities which they have desired for advance at home. You will get that most dangerous thing, the inexperienced adventurous politician, who ingratiates himself, on political grounds, with the Whips. These are the men who will be selected for these great and important positions. You will deprive the Civil Service of the prizes which have hitherto gone to it, and you will deprive India of what I consider to be the inestimable advantage of being governed by people who know their language, their life and their conditions. I know quite well there may be reasons on the other side. You may say that a new man brings fresh blood and fresh ideas who comes fresh from the benches of the House of Commons, and that although he is not necessarily a man of profound political inspiration, yet he is not liable to all the prejudices of the Service. He may be easily moved on a subject to which he is perfectly new, and of which he has no experience, but he is not able to test it and balance one thing against another. The administration in that case will not be in such safe hands as it would be in the hands of the tried members of the Indian Civil Service. I would ask the Committee to think of those who have occupied such position—Sir Alfred Lyall, the Lawrences, and the long catalogue of those men who have risen from the drudgery of the Civil Service, and who, by sacrificing the whole of their lives, made themselves a niche in the history of India, and were looked up to by those Provinces which they administered and whose memory is by those Provinces recalled with respect and even affection. You are going to hand India over to those men who have not gone through that drudgery and training, who come fresh from the benches of this House 502 to satisfy personal ambitions rather than to meet the necessary requirements of the administration.
§ Mr. FISHER
Hon. Members who have listened to the eloquent speech of my right hon. Friend will have been invited to draw the inference that members of the Indian Civil Service are henceforward, under the terms of this Bill, to be excluded from the new Governorships. That, of course, is not the intention nor is it the effect of the Clause which my right hon. Friend desires to amend. The Clause specially provides for the possible appointments of members of the Indian Civil Service to these exalted posts. The Clause says:Provided that the Governors of the said provinces shall be appointed after consultation with the Governor-General.Those words are expressly inserted in order to give the Governor-General an opportunity of recommending for appointment to these great responsible posts members of the Indian Civil Service who, in his opinion, are found fit to discharge these responsibilities. With everything that fell from my right hon. Friend in praise of the Indian Civil Service I am in complete agreement. With everything that fell from him with respect to the great importance of linguistic knowledge and of long administrative experience in the trying conditions of India, again I am in full accord. But I submit to the Committee that we are starting a great new experiment, when we are putting upon the Governors of these Provinces new and difficult tasks, for which life spent in the remote districts of India or even in the Secretariat of India, does not provide the best qualification, you ought to allow yourselves as much liberty as possible in the choice of those who are to fill these posts. You must remember that under the Constitution it is proposed to set up by this Bill great new responsibilities and most delicate responsibilities will be devolved upon the Governor. He will be the political chief of the Province and not only the administrative chief. He will have in effect to manage on an assembly. He will have to deal with difficult Parliamentary situations every week of his life. He will have to study the eddies of political opinion in India in a way which in the ante-political days was impossible. Those are not duties for which the administrative work of the Civil Service is specially qualified to fit a man. I do not say that great service will not continue to supply admirable Governors to these 503 Provinces. I think it will and I hope it will, but at, the same time I suggest to the Committee that it would be unwise to fetter ourselves at the beginning of this new development. It may be that we shall find a, quite different set of parties will be required to be Governors of Provinces under the new Parliamentary conditions than is now provided by those who have been in that distinguished service.
Sir J. D. REES
An Indian Civil servant who has been private secretary to three Governors who were not Indian Civil servants might be supposed to be somewhat in a dilemma in dealing with this Amendment. I must agree with what my right hon. Friend says about the Indian Civil Service, and I am anxious to see the Governorships or Lieutenant-Governorships of the United Provinces, Punjab, Bihar and Orissa, the Central Provinces and Assam filled by Indian Civil servants. At the same time, if I had been, as I have, private secretary to three Governors who were not in the Civil Service in the Province of Madras, and am to vote against them, I must be somewhat disloyal to those Governors who came out of the House of Commons or House of Lords and had never enjoyed the advantage of being members of the Indian Civil Service. In this dilemma I am considering what would be the right course to take. Having had the advantage of being a member of the Joint Committee of the Lords and Commons which considered this Bill, I considered then, and, on the whole, I think now, that the course recommended in the Clause is better than that suggested by the Amendment. Take the Presidency of Bengal, which exactly illustrates the case before the Committee. In my time it was a Lieutenant-Governorship, and only an Indian Civil servant like myself could get it. Now it has become a Governorship, and it has gone to my Noble Friend Lord Ronald-shay, with whom I served here for many years. Am I to say that the Presidency of Bengal has suffered by being under my Noble Friend rather than one of my fellow officers? I cannot say so. This represents one of the difficulties with which the framers of the Bill and the Joint Committee had to deal. I am greatly impressed by the fact that in future the Governorships of great Provinces in India will call for gifts of a character which were not required until now. For in- 504 stance, it has always been conceded, and it becomes me to think it is right, that Indian Civil servants are good administrators. I am quite willing to accept that article of faith by which I should myself profit, but at the same time it must be admitted that now that Parliamentary government is introduced in these great Provinces it is quite probable that a suitable man from this House or from the House of Lords may be even as good as an Indian Civil servant. I am prepared to admit that, and the careers of Lord Ronaldshay in Bengal, Sir George Lloyd in Bombay, and Lord Willingdon in Madras compel me to admit that there is a great deal in the appointment of the class of man whose appointment is rendered possible by the Bill as it stands, but which would not be possible under the Amendment.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
My Amendment deals with those Provinces which are now changed from being Lieutenant-Governor's Provinces.
Sir J. D. REES
I rightly understood my right hon. Friend. Bengal, then the most populous Province in India, was a Lieutenant-Governor's Province, whereas Madras and Bombay were Governor's Provinces. Under the Bill as it is drawn it will be possible to send to the great and populous Provinces which have been under Lieutenant-Governors, who were always Indian Civil servants, men from this House or the House of Lords or elsewhere who have not been in the Indian Civil Service. The world is altered and the Indian Civil servant must alter with it, however conservative he may be in his heart. I am one of them, and I have all the prejudices of my class, but you must take into account the existing circumstances and not only the claims of a particular service. The Bill as drafted allows of the appointment of other than Indian Civil servants to these great Provinces which are equally populous, equally rich, and equally important with the old and historical Presidencies of men who were not members of the Indian Civil Service, though I hope members of the Indian Civil Service will always be appointed; but it is desirable that provision should be made for the appoint- 505 ment of others where necessary, and therefore I support the Bill and not the Amendment.
§ Mr. INSKIP
The hon. Gentleman's last sentence rather gave the answer to a great deal of his arguments, because he said he hoped members of the Indian Civil Service would always be appointed to these great posts. He is paying homage to the great service of which he was so distinguished an ornament. In very much the same way the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Fisher) in answering my right hon. Friend's argument indicated that there was no intention of appointing others outside the Indian Civil Service on a large scale, but the whole of his argument was directed to show how desirable it was that these persons should be brought in from outside the Indian Civil Service in order to fill these posts, because he said the new, responsible and delicate duties which they would have to perform require the appointment of persons trained in another school than the Indian Civil Service, who had been concerned in administration during the whole of their career. I think in the interest of India, and considered from every point of view, it is desirable that the Amendment should be accepted. It is either the intention of the Government at present to appoint members of the Civil Service to these posts or to appoint others than members of the Civil Service. To take the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman, the House will assume that it is in contemplation to appoint, either at first or subsequently, men who are act members of the Indian Civil Service because of the delicate and difficult duties.
§ Mr. INSKIP
I assume that, but the whole of the right hon. Gentleman's arguments were directed to show how likely it is that new blood will be required for the difficult duties. It appears to me that one way of ensuring success for this measure will be to enlist the most hearty co-operation of the members of the Indian Civil Service and to see that nothing is done which will make the members of that great service think they are to perform the drudgery in connection with the Government of India and that none of the prizes of this service are to he open to them. The best way of drawing men into this service and keeping them in the service will be by saying that they are to be en- 506 titled, if they have the necessary gifts, according to their position, to occupy these great positions. No one will have a word to say against the qualifications of Lord Ronaldshay for the position which he occupies. By travel, experience and industry, no doubt he has well qualified himself for the position. But he acquired those qualifications by virtue of temporary acquaintance with the very problems with which members of the Indian Civil Service are acquainted by lifelong training and experience. You will not assist the Indian Civil Service to do their part under this new Bill if you say, we are going to bring in outside men because you are not trained in a school which is likely to make you. qualified for these great positions.
I think the proposal of the Amendment is desirable for another reason. I have always thought it is one of the defects of our political system to imagine that everyone is qualified at twenty-four hours notice to take up new duties for which he has no training. The constant shuffle of posts in this country, where one Minister goes from one office to another to take up a new position for which he has no particular qualifications, and for which it is supposed he may be qualified merely because he is a good Minister, is a misapprehension of the qualifications which are required for a Minister. Similarly, I think, the men who have been in India and are acquainted with its traditions, its feeling, its prejudices and its language, not because they have acquired the knowledge for the occasion, but have learnt it by lifelong identification with the interests of the people, are the men who are most likely, on the whole, to fill these posts to advantage, and once you admit that they are the men most likely to be qualified to fill these posts, then the argument that you will assist the Civil Service and draw the right men into the Civil Service by making these posts open to them is of overwhelming importance, and the preponderance of argument is in favour of the proposal of my right hon. Friend (Sir H. Craik), which I still, in spite of the right hon. Gentleman's answer, hope will be adopted by the House.
§ Mr. F. C. THOMSON
I have very considerable sympathy with this proposal, but I do not think that we can quite safely accept it. With regard to the remarks of the last speaker about people taking up work in this country at twenty-four hours' notice, there is a good deal 507 in that, but let us remember, with regard to the supreme position of Viceroy in India, that it has never been confined to Civil servants, and that most of the great men amongst the Viceroys have been those of people who went out from this country to India at more or less twenty-four hours' notice. Take people like Wellesley, Dalhousie, and other great names in Indian history, who went out without any previous knowledge of India. Lord Lorne, I think, is the only Viceroy since Warren Hastings who has been selected from the Civil Service. Therefore, in the supreme office we have taken people from outside, and that is the point to remember. With regard to Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of Provinces, both systems have been at work. We have seen in the position of Governors of Provinces distinguished people brought from home, and in other Provinces great men from the Indian Civil Service, men like Sir Alfred Lyall. Those who know Indian affairs best think that both systems have worked well. I should be sorry that anything should be done to give the Indian Civil servants the idea that they are to be shut out in any great number from the posts of Governors of the different Provinces, because the Indian Civil Service is one of the glories of the British Crown, and the fact that we are able to-day to come forward with this measure as a responsible Government is due to the very fine work done in the last half-century by the Indian Civil Service, and before that by officers of the East India Company. Therefore, I press upon the Government as strongly as I can that it would be most unfortunate if the idea went abroad in India from any remarks of the right hon. Gentleman that it would be the rule rather than the exception that people would be brought from home to fill these Governorships, and that they should not go to the Indian Civil Service. That would be a misfortune. As the hon. Baronet (Sir J. D. Rees) pointed out, members of that service are uneasy about the changes, and we do not wish it to be thought that the plums of the service are to be withdrawn from them. On the other hand, there is great force in what the right hon. Gentleman said, that in starting this government by diarchy there are difficulties which are complex, and there will be cases in which people experienced in directing representative institutions at home will be of 508 great advantage and assistance, and it would be a pity to keep them out. Although I cannot bring myself to support the Amendment, I would impress upon the Government very strongly that in administering this particular Bill it should be rather an exception than a rule that Governors should be brought from home. It is very valuable to have people of home experience, and in many cases it may be essential in starting this new system, but in the main you must rely upon the Indian Civil Service to fill these posts. We know how splendid their work has been. Let us do nothing to make the Indian Civil Service think that more of these great posts are being closed to them.
§ Mr. WATERSON
I would not have risen to take part in this Debate had it not been for some of the remarks made by the Mover of the Amendment. The Indian Civil Service ought to feel proud that they have in this House such a staunch supporter as the right hon. Baronet. He has put forward his plea for this protection with his usual ability. He is evidently trying to make out by the terms of his Amendment that no individual under ten years' experience is fit to be a Governor. I do not understand the logic of his position. If this House had been discussing some industrial problem. It would not have found that the ten years' limit would be brought forward as one argument for the qualification for a Governor. I wonder if, in reality, his great objection is to the young men who may be installed into these positions, and who, possessing different ideals and greater aspirations, will bring that larger freedom to India that India is seeking for! In reality, he is afraid lest these men getting into these posts will bring about something contrary to the convictions which he holds. You have to remember that this is an age of young men. No one will attempt to minimise or disparage the efforts of many hon. and right hon. Members from time to time, but this is an age when young men are making great strides, and to endeavour to check these young men who are working in the interests of this great British Empire would be disastrous as far as the Empire is concerned. I am very much afraid that this Amendment has been brought forward with the object of endeavouring to check the young ideas instead of checking the position outlined in the right hon. Baronet's speech. If this had been a commercial 509 proposition affecting the financial interests of hon. Members, would the same argument have been brought forward with reference to the ten years' qualification? How many commercial men have we found putting their own sons with very little experience into positions of managing directors or managers of their own commercial concerns? Surely if that line of argument is to be taken on a commercial basis, then young men could be trusted in the position of Governor of a Province. The hon. Member for Bristol (Mr. Inskip) suggested a Commission of Inquiry into this matter.
§ Mr. WATERSON
I thank the hon. Member for the correction. If the suggestion of a Commision of Inquiry had been put forward I was going to say that we have had sufficient inquiry, and that what is required to-day is practical results. The hon. Baronet spoke exceedingly well about the injustice that would be created towards the Indian Civil Service in the event of this Amendment not being passed. If it was on a commercial basis dealing with the business interests of Members they would not look upon the ten years' qualification as the necessary guarantee that they would get something like fruition in their business affairs. I hope that the Committee will reject this Amendment. We want men with experience, who can infuse new life and new blood into India. India is asking to-day for truth and justice, and if we carry out the antiquated ideas to which she has been subjected so long, we shall have a continuation of the chaotic condition which has prevailed in our Indian Empire.
§ Colonel YATE
I hope sincerely that the Committee will not reject this Amendment. The sentence is a most unfortunate addition to the Bill. What does "after consultation with the Governor-General" mean? Ever since we have been in India the Governor-General has had the appointment of Lieutenant-Governors of Provinces. This is a distinct attempt on the part of the Secretary of State to rob Indian Civil servants of the fruits of their years of service in India. It will take from them all prospects of promotion. The one thing to which the Indian Civil servant looks forward is the possibility of becoming the Governor of a Province. He works for the people all his life, he works for them honestly and truly, and the 510 people of the Province owe everything to him. And exactly as we had in the Colonial Service tremendous complaints about Colonial Governorships going outside, so we shall have in this case. If once this system is introduced the Indian Civil Service will be destroyed for ever and a day. What man will go into the Indian Civil Service if a law is passed that he will not be allowed to rise to the top of the tree? There may be a small chance of his rising to that position, but to rob him of that chance is a great injustice. "After consultation with the Governor-General" means that the appointments will be made from England and be of a political character. I hope that the Committee will accept the Amendment.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that the Government did not put this Clause in with the desire of doing anything unjust to the Civil Service of India, which has no greater admirer than I am myself, who have been proud to be entrusted with the charge of representing it in this House. Nor does the Clause as it stands rob the Indian Civil servants of anything. It gives them even the chance of getting to the position of Governor of a Province. What it does do—and the Clause is fully agreed between the Government and the Government of India—is to throw those positions open to the best man who can be found for the job. Many times has it been urged by Indian politicians that the Civil Service, like the Home Service here, should be excluded from political appointments. I would never consent myself. It seems to me that you ought to have the widest choice possible in every appointment you make in India to appoint the best man. My hon. Friend talks about political appointments. Does he regard Sir George Lloyd as a failure in India?
§ Colonel YATE
No, but I regard his as a political appointment. He would never have been appointed if he had not been a Member of this House, and therefore his was a political appointment.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I agree that he has only been there a short time, but, looking back over the long list of Presidency Governors and others like his colleagues who have been in charge of Provinces, they have acquitted themselves in a way of which this House may well be proud. There is nothing in the law which pre- 511 vents a Civil servant being appointed to a Presidency Governorship. It is quite wrong to say that they are excluded.
§ Colonel YATE
How many instances can you give? I can only recall one, many years ago, of an Indian Civil servant being appointed Governor of a Presidency.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I am not talking of the practice; I am talking of the law, and under the law the Indian Civil servant is eligible for the Governorship at present, and it would be a very unfortunate thing to regard the rare occasions on which that sort of appointment has been made as precluding the possibility of its being made again. I want the same arrangement to be made for the Governorships of Provinces. What you have to find is a man who would combine a knowledge of India with the capacity for government which does require a very great political sense. If you can find them in one and the same person he ought not to be excluded by the fact that he belongs to a particular category of persons. For myself, I should have said that the capacity for government, as apart from administration, is a much rarer thing than knowledge, which can always be supplied by expert advice. It would be a good thing if Indian Civil servants could occasionally be given Governorships outside of India, and it would be a good thing if Colonial Governors could occasionally get a Governorship in India. What we want to do is to shut nobody out and to try to find the best man. That is what this Clause does at present. I do not believe that in practice, at any rate for some years to come, it will make any very great difference. It is interesting to note that whenever I have seen this matter discussed in a particular Province in India, the man whom they always recommended for the Governorship of the Province is a Civil servant who happens at the moment to be the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, and it is not too much to rule out the bad system of closing particular appointments to particular categories of people.
I want nothing so much as to ensure for India in future the best Civil servants that can be got. I am sanguine enough to hope that when this great controversy is settled, and this Bill is law the relationship between the Indian politicians and the Civil servants who undertake to carry it out will have none of the bitterness 512 which has been the horrible lot of the unfortunate Civil servant who has done his duty with unswerving application. The very worst service that you can render to the Civil servants is to try to mark out for them a particular career merely because of what you regard as being in the interests of the Civil Service. It will not pay the Civil Service. Can there be any logical argument against appointing to the Governorship of Provinces the best men you can get? The hon. and gallant Member does not happen to trust the present Secretary of State. One day there will be a Secretary of State whom he will trust more. Do not let him legislate because of his peculiar attributations to the present incumbent of that office. Let him have more faith in Parliament. Let him remember that Parliament is the controller, and, when it is controlling, do let us hope that the Secretary of State can be trusted, after consultation with the Governor-General, to appoint the best man he can find for the job, and that he will not exclude the Civil Service on the one hand and appoint a bad man to the Governorship, or a less good man when a better man can be found elsewhere.
§ Colonel YATE
Is the Lieutenant-Governorship one of the reserved appointments for the Civil Service under the present covenant under which the Civil Service are serving
§ Mr. R. McLAREN
I support the Amendment very heartily. Some references have been made to young men. The whole object of this Amendment is to ensure that men of experience are appointed, and it is men of experience who are required. It is utterly impossible for a young man to have the necessary experience to take such an important position. A good deal has been said about bringing outsiders from this House to take charge as Governors. It must be understood that when any politician from this House goes to India, or anywhere else, he has entirely to be advised, at least for a time, by the Civil servant on the spot. So that, after all, the Indian Civil servant has to do all the work for a long time. Very often the bringing in of outsiders has been much abused. In one department I know in the country an outsider was brought in simply because of his relationship to a certain politician who used to be respected in this House. He was placed over the heads of men who knew the business. He has turned out a failure, and must be a 513 failure, because he does not know his business. It must not be forgotten that the Indian Civil servant requires very high qualifications; the examination is of a very high standard indeed. If in this Bill you do anything that deprives the Indian Civil servant of the incentive to reach the top of the tree, then you are doing him a very serious injustice.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
This Amendment, of course, raises the entire question of whether the Indian Civil Service exists for the benefit of India or whether India exists for the benefit of the Indian Civil Service. I have the greatest admiration for the Indian Civil Service, as I have for all Civil Services, but they do get it into their heads that the country exists for them instead of they for the country. The only question we have to consider is how we are to get the best Governors for these new and responsible Legislative Assemblies. We want a different type from the administrator who is trained and bred in the Indian Civil Service and whose whole career gives him a bureaucratic colour. He administers and his subordinates obey, and he obeys his superior. It is a form of machinery which is admirable for the particular work that the Indian Civil Service carries out. These new Governors are going to carry out entirely different duties. They are going to be, partly at present and wholly in future, not Governors in the old sense of the term, but constitutional Sovereigns who will take the advice of their Ministers and who will be in effect the constitutional means of carrying out the wishes of the Ministers and of the Legislative Assembly. Excellent as Civil servants are in their positions, I do not believe it is natural that they should make as great a success of the new job. I think that is obvious from an inspection of Indian history during the last few years. We have seen on the one hand Sir George Lloyd and Lord Willingdon and Lord Ronaldshay, all formerly Members of this House, who have gone to India and have made a success of Governors because they have had training in this House in constitutional methods. On the other hand, you see Sir Michael O'Dwyer, who has not been a Member of this House, and has turned the Punjab from a peaceful Province into the most difficult Province in, India. Those are the two different types. When this Bill is passed and you are to have constitutional Governors, we should be well advised to leave it to the Secretary of State and the 514 Governor-General to select even members of this despised House who might have very little experience of India but have great experience in constitutional practice. I would infinitely rather have my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Mossley (Mr. Hopkinson) as a Governor in one of these Provinces, although it may be he has never been to India. A man trained in Parliament is better qualified to take up such work than a Civil servant whose training has been along other lines.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The Member who is bathed in politics in this House is better fitted to take up politics in a new country than a man who has no knowledge of politics whatever. I hope we shall leave it open to India to get the best Governor, whatever his qualification, rather than be tied to an administrator trained in the old school.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State knows quite well how anxious I am to meet him with regard to this Bill. I most amply recognise his conciliatory manner and method during the whole of the Joint Committee proceedings, and I am very sorry to find myself on this point in such a sharp measure of disagreement. It is necessary that I should refer to some of the speeches, and I would begin with that just delivered. As usual, that hon. Member manages to insinuate a larger amount of venom into his speeches than almost any other Member in the House. What business has he to say that it is the usual idea of the Indian Civil Service that India is made for them, and not they for India? I challenge him to prove that statement. If he is perverted enough to believe that it is true, I think no other Member of the House will agree with him.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
My hon. Friend must allow me to interrupt him. I never suggested it was the view of the Indian Civil Service that India was made for them. I said it was a question which Members in this House had got to put to themselves—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!")—after the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Melton (Colonel Yate).
§ Sir H. CRAIK
I am not going to bandy words with the hon. Gentleman. I am in the recollection of the House as to the impression made by the remarks of the hon. Member. Was it necessary, in dealing 515 with this subject, to refer to Sir Michael O'Dwyer in words which I am quite certain would not be supported by the Secretary of State? The question of Sir Michael O'Dwyer's administration in the Punjab, during a very dangerous time, is now the subject of an inquiry, and is it a becoming thing that an hon. Member here should take the opportunity of his place here to pass sentence of condemnation on him, and to say that he reduced the Punjab from a happy and peaceful State to one of disorder? With those remarks I pass with some contempt from the hon. Gentleman to refer to another and very reasonable speech, made. by an hon. Member opposite (Mr. Waterson). Why does the hon. Member think that those who are to be selected henceforth will be young men? I have known some rather decrepit and old failures in politics who have been sent out and they are not necessarily men filled with new ideals. The speech of my hon. Friend for Aberdeen (Mr. F. C. Thomson). displayed a simple and confiding faith in the selections made. If it is quite certain that the Indian Civil Service will still have these posts, why is this new Clause introduced for the first time? The hon. Member said that we had Viceroys, with great names in history. Many men would have given up the highest hopes of Cabinet office and advancement in English politics to have a position so vastly important and so great to the imagination and so filled with possibilities of great work as that of Viceroy of our great Eastern Empire. The hon. Baronet who spoke, told as, with a candour which somewhat surprised me, that he had difficulty in speaking because he had been private secretary to three English Governors who had gone out and had also belonged to the Indian Civil Service. The hon. Baronet used an argument which I have heard very frequently from him, and of which I am getting a little tired. That was that whatever his opinion was, something has happened now by the War which has changed everything. We have changed a great many things by the War, but we have not changed certain fundamental points, and one of those is that experience and knowledge of the work that you have to do, is a very great help, in doing that work. Impassioned sentences about great changes in a new world will not change some of those old-fashioned and fundamental truths which are just as true to-day as they were in the 516 year 1914. I must refer also to the speech of the President of the Board of Education, and I must say great as is my respect for the right hon. Gentleman, that speech left me absolutely unmoved. He said it was necessary to learn something of the great political world. But where have we any guarantee that there will be experience of the political world among those young and ambitious politicians or old and rather failing politicians who will be selected by the Whips? There is no guarantee whatever.
I come last, and with the greatest respect, to the very powerful speech, because I admit it was so, made by the Secretary of State. He knows, as I have found over and over again, how to make the best of a bad case. It is all very well to say that the Indian Civil Service will be exactly now as they were before; they will not. Many of those men went out with the distinct expectation and guarantee that certain positions were open to them, and those guarantees are done away with. [HON MEMBERS: "No, no!"] After all, it is not for them that, I am chiefly concerned; it is because I am convinced that for India itself this laxity that you are introducing, this possibility of bringing in an untried man, may make it extremely difficult, owing to political pressure brought to bear upon the Whips, for a Secretary of State to resist what I consider to be a bad sort of appointment. I can honestly disclaim any suspicion with regard to the right hon. Gentleman's policy, and I do not think that he will accuse me of having any such suspicion. India in the past has looked to these men who have made their lives among the people and have learned their language. Go into India and live, as I have lived during long tours, with some of the Indian Civil servants, and see how they are received by the natives and how those natives, when they are in trouble, come to them as their best helpers, knowing that they will be able to explain their difficulties to them in their own language which they have learned by long experience. If any man can, he knows how to find out whether there is any trickery or chicanery, and not the young politician who goes out from these benches absolutely new to the work and selected just because there happens to be some need of giving him some political reward. I know that against the right hon. Gentleman it is hardly possible for me to hope to make any considerable impression. I 517 have given my honest and sincere conviction on the point, and, though I would rather my Amendment were negatived than that I should withdraw it, I will not put the House to the trouble of a Division. I hope, however, that the right hon. Gentleman will feel that in urging this I am doing what I consider to be for the advantage of India, and that in actual fact he will try to carry out the pledge that he has given not lightly to set aside in future the claims of these old, well tried, and hardly worked, Indian Civil servants.
§ Colonel YATE
May I ask if it is possible to divide the Committee on my Amendment on the same subject in Subsection (2), to leave out the words "after consultation with" and insert the word "by".
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.