HC Deb 19 March 1923 vol 161 cc2051-3
1. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he can yet state the terms of reference proposed for the Royal Commission on the Indian Civil Service; and will the terms of reference include the relations of the Civil Service to the Ministers now given responsibility and responsible to the Indian Legislature?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Earl Winterton)

As the terms are rather long, I will, with the hon. and gallant Member's permission, have them circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT. They have already been published in the Press. The terms, which include "the general conditions of service," of course, cover the subject referred to in the latter part of the questions.


Is the Noble Lord aware that the terms of reference have caused the Legislative Council at Delhi to reject the vote for this particular matter, because they do not include the question of the relations between the Civil Service and the Legislature, which is the point of this question?


I have seen the announcement of the action of the Legislature, but I do not think that it arises out of this question.


Are we to understand that the Government is going to persevere with this Royal Commission, in view of the fact that the Indians have refused a vote of credit for it?


I have already announced, in reply to a question by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, that it was the intention of the Government to move the appointment of the Commission.

Following are the terms of reference:

Having regard to the necessity for maintaining a standard of administration in conformity with the responsibilities of the Crown for the Government of India, and to the declared policy of Parliament in respect of the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration, and in view of the experience now gained of the operation of the system of government established by the Government of India Act in respect of the superior Civil Services in India, to inquire into:

  1. (1) the organisation and general conditions of service, financial and otherwise, of those Services;
  2. (2) the possibility of transferring immediately or gradually any of their present duties and functions to services constituted on a provincial basis;
  3. (3) the recruitment of Europeans and Indians respectively for which provision should be made under the constitution established by the said Act, and the best methods of ensuring and maintaining such recruitment; and to make recommendations.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India when the Royal Commission on the Indian Services will be nominated; whether, in order to avoid delay, it will be possible for the Commision to issue an interim Report dealing with the more urgent of the matters referred to it; and whether the Secretary of State will consider the advisability, in the interests both of economy and of speed, of having the inquiry in India conducted at some convenient central point?


I regret that I am not yet in a position to answer the first part of the question, but I hope that it will be possible to announce the personnel of the Commission at a very early date. As regards the second part, I cannot at present add anything to the reply given by me to the hon. and gallant Member for Melton (Sir C. Yate) on the 26th February. I will bring the suggestion made in the third part to the notice of my Noble Friend, who is fully alive to the urgency of the question, and to the necessity for conducting this inquiry as speedily and in as economical a manner as possible.

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