§ The provisions contained in Part VI of this Act with respect to interference with water supplies shall not apply in relation to any Federated State the Ruler whereof has declared in his Instrument of Accession that those provisions are not to apply in relation to his State.—[The Attorney-General.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 7.20 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
This Clause is to give the States on accession the right to contract out of the provisions contained in Clauses 129, 130 and 131 of the Bill. It is very improbable that any State will desire to contract out, as the alternative would be to bring into play the paramountcy control in so far as control might be necessary. This is one of the cases where the Federation will derive specific authority from a 1418 specific section of the Act. On the general scheme it would not be possible for a State to make conditions as to the application of the particular Clauses unless there is specific provision contained in such a Clause as I now propose.
§ 7.22 p.m.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I would be grateful if the learned Attorney-General would deal with the matter a little more explicitly. This Clause is quite clearly of a very far-reaching character, but the Attorney-General's remarks did not occupy more than two minutes, and 1 confess that I do not so far appreciate the full significance of the Clause. I very much doubt whether other Members of the Committee present do so either. The Attorney-General said that the Clause enabled the Ruler of any State on his accession to contract out of Clauses 129, 130 and 131 of the Bill. But is it not a fact that those Clauses were designed to prevent one State, and I think also one Province, from stealing the water on which another State or another Province is dependent Is not that the general effect of these Clauses? If so, may I ask how it would be legitimate for any Ruler on accession to contract himself out of obligations of that sort and put himself in a privileged position
§ Sir A. KNOX
There is a question I would ask. Take the case of Kashmir. I understand that Kashmir has rather commanding interests in the water supply of the Punjab. Suppose it contracts out as regards irrigation, would that not put the irrigation of the Punjab in rather a difficult position?
§ 7.24 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am sorry my Noble Friend thought my explanation was inadequate. Perhaps I gave my Noble Friend, who I thought knew the Bill from A to Z, credit for a little keener recollection of the particular provisions to which I referred. As he points out, Clauses 129, 130 and 131 deal with cases in connection with complaints as to interference with water supply. If it was not for those provisions, and if any State coming into tale Federation were not to come within the provision, the matters in question would he dealt with under paramountcy powers. I do not know whether that sufficiently answers my Noble Friend. The method proposed in the Bill of dealing with water rights is 1419 one of the smaller of the important matters of which they complained in the communications that are embodied in the White Paper. It was pointed out then that it was quite impossible to allow each State to make its own contracts. They must make such exceptions as they wanted for the purpose of coming into the Federation which were within the powers to be given by the Bill, but they could not be allowed to make an independent bargain except on cardinal points that were specifically provided for in special sections of the Bill. This Clause is to add to those one or two cases in which they may, as it were, make their own bargains. If they adopt the very unlikely course of contracting out of the water sections of the Bill they will, as I have said, come under the paramountcy powers, which are at present used to deal with questions of wrongful extraction of water.
§ 7.26 p.m.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I thank my right hon. Friend for that explanation. Do I correctly understand it to be this: The effect of the new Clause will be to enable any acceding State to go back as it were to the present position, where these methods are dealt with under paramountcy? It is a very important matter, because we know quite well that the Rulers of the States have raised the question of paramountcy as one of the outstanding matters that have to be settled in this general settlement. As I understand the Attorney-General now, this new Clause will in fact increase or maintain the undefined power of paramountcy where, if this Clause had not been moved, it would have been restricted by the Bill. This is really in that sense going against what the Princes have asked when they have raised the point that the whole question of the undefined powers of paramountcy should not be left unsettled. I would ask whether this is the specific form in which the Princes have asked that this matter should be dealt with.
§ 7.28 p.m.
§ Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN
I am very glad that this point has been raised. This Clause has apparently been put in to try to help the Princes over some of their hurdles and objections. After all, if you are making a Bill for India it is not the Princes you should think of so much as the people of India. 1420 Take the case of the Punjab, with its five large areas and its irrigation of 900 square miles, the biggest irrigation area in the world. On this water supply the people depend for their lives. The Attorney-General said that the Prince of Kashmir would be very unlikely to alter the course of those five great rivers on which the lives of the people depend. But it might happen if you give him the power. Any Prince who wants the Instrument of Instructions as full as possible will ask for all the powers that he can get. You give power here to interfere with these great irrigation schemes, and I do not think it is justified, unless you have some further control over the Princes than is apparent in the Bill. This is a far more important point than a great many others that have been brought up.
§ 7.29 p.m.
Duchess of ATHOLL
I would like to endorse very strongly what has just been said by my hon. and gallant Friend as to the importance of this matter. The learned Attorney-General referred to it as a. small matter, but I do not regard it as that at, all.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The Noble Lady is wrong. I did not refer to the question of water as a small matter at all. I referred to this matter as one of the less important matters raised by the Princes in the White Paper.
Duchess of ATHOLL
With all respect, then, I say that the other matters they raised must be very big ones indeed. Any possibility of interference with the water supply of the people of India, where one acre in every eight would produce nothing without irrigation, is obviously something that greatly affects the welfare of large masses of the people, and particularly the poorest. There must have been some reason for putting the States originally into the Bill in Clauses 129 to 131, providing a machinery not only between Provinces but between federated States, for settling disputes in connection with water. Now the Princes,:or some of them, have objected to being subject to this machinery and have asked for power to contract out, and that seems to me to be a very serious matter. Presumably, the Government must have felt it necessary to have some machinery, or it would not have put 1421 those Clauses into the Bill, and if that machinery is desirable for settling disputes between Province and Province, it is obviously desirable to have machinery for settling disputes between Province and Federated State. Now, because the Princes, or some of them, have objected, it is proposed that they should be able to contract out, and that seems to me to leave the whole of the machinery for settling disputes hanging in the air.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wycombe (Sir A. Knox) mentioned the very dominating position in which the State of Kashmir stands in regard to water supplies. Already there has been a dispute between the two Provinces of the Punjab and Bombay in regard to water emanating largely from that State of Kashmir, and I understand that the Punjab, although anxious for more water for irrigation purposes, has been obliged to concede the point that it will not take any more until it sees how much water is required for the Sukkur barrage in Sind. Both those provinces are really dominated in this matter by Kashmir, and yet under this Clause Kashmir will be able to contract out. If it is supposed to be desirable to have machinery for settling disputes between Province and Province and between Province and State, why allow this power to contract out? A very serious position might arise. The welfare of India depends very largely on irrigation. That very figure that I have already given to the Committee of one acre in every eight acres depending on irrigation schemes speaks for itself, and it seems to me that the Government is failing in its duty of endeavouring to secure that there shall be a fair distribution of water between Province and Province and State and Province if it allows Federated States to contract out of this Bill in this respect.
Is the Noble Lady suggesting that the Princes will not develop the water supplies in the interests of the people of India?
Duchess of ATHOLL
No, but if it is difficult to settle the claims of the Punjab and Sind respectively and this machinery is felt to be necessary for them, is it not also possible that there may he disputes between Provinces and States, and do we not want to see fair play all round? If, because some Princes do not like this machinery and therefore the Government. is prepared to let them contract out of 1422 the Bill, I feel that the wishes of the Princes are being met to what may be the very serious detriment of the welfare of the inhabitants of British India.
§ 7.48 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The Noble Lady the Member for Kinross and Western (Duchess of Atholl) is very hard to please. It might 'be argued that water is so important that it would be unsafe to deal with it at all in this Bill and that powers ought to be maintained of the same character as those exercised by the Government of India in the matter. Nobody needs to be convinced about the importance of water, on which the Noble Lady thought it necessary to dwell just now. Clauses 129 to 131 were inserted in the Bill as it was thought they were very much in the interests of the States, while preserving the over-riding power of the Governor-General in certain circumstances and yet providing for the settlement of disputes where, as the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) pointed out, there might be an undesirable use of water rights, but the Princes—and this answers the last question put by the Noble Lord—in the Memorandum of the 27th February to the Viceroy, which is printed in the White Paper, rather objected to the machinery of Clause 130, because it allowed reference to an ad hoc tribunal of complaints made by a Ruler, as being somehow or other against their interests.
In order to meet that point, we allow them to put themselves in the same position as an unfederated State; that is to say, they would come under the same powers as those which I thought it was agreed on all hands have been used in the best way for safeguarding the water rights of the mass of the people. It is quite an unfounded suggestion that this Clause has been devised merely to please the Princes, to the great danger of the preservation of the water rights of the people of India. As I have already explained, this Clause will put the States in the same position as an unfederated State and in that case the whole of the existing powers, which everyone admits have been used to make the very best of the water rights of India, will be available.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I have not seen the right hon. Gentleman here before, and I think he has perhaps come into the Chamber in the middle of this discussion.
§ Dr. ADDISON
I have heard every word of the Debate, and I repeat: Why put this Clause in? What is the advantage of the Clause?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
When the right hon. Gentleman says, "Why have you put this Clause in?" the answer will be found in the comments of the Secretary of State to be found on page 39 of the White Paper, in the Memorandum, with which I assume the Noble Lady and my Noble Friend the Member for Aldershot, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite have all become acquainted, where it is pointed out that in order to meet criticism on the point in a way which would do no harm to any rights, it would be possibleto make provision in the Bill whereby a State could on accession agree or not to come within the scope of these Clauses.If we cannot be allowed to make provisions which will do no harm but which will facilitate the adhesion of the Princes or of anyone else to this scheme, I do not know what the Government may do. We require to preserve intact the water rights of India for the benefit of the people of India, and whether it is done under paramountcy or under the provisions in the Bill, which the Noble Lady now believes to be of first-rate value, the water rights will be preserved and looked after in precisely the same way.
§ 7.55 p.m.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
No one has a greater respect for my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General than I have, but on this occasion he has not impressed me. He says that certain people do not want to surrender their water rights, and that if they have to, they will not enter the Federation, and so you provide for them to contract out. It is almost like the famous Trade Union Bill of 1927, under which the unions could contract in or contract out. You have only to go on long enough with this Bill, and provide more and more contracting-out provisions, until you have an entirely sham Federation, under which all 1424 the Princes who come in can contract out of all that is essential, and when you have them all in this sham Federation, you will say that the right date has come, you will present addresses to His Majesty, and you will issue an Order in Council setting up what will be a sham Federation.
Surely the Attorney-General,, to use vulgar parlance, is giving the whole show away. It is quite obvious what is the reason for this. There are certain people who, if you want to persuade them to join this device, will only join if they know that they can contract out of any part of it which they regard as undesirable from their point of view. The Government, realising all the terrible shocks which the Bill has already suffered, puts in this Clause in the hope of saving something from the wreck. I hope we shall have a better explanation of this Clause than we have yet had. The right hon. Member for Swindon (Dr. Addison), who has not taken a very active part in the debates on this Bill, contributed a very valuable interruption when he said he wanted to know why the Government was putting in this Clause. I too should like to know why. The delightful speech of my right hon. and learned Friend did not answer that simple question. Why do you want the Clause in?
§ 7.59 p.m.
§ Dr. ADDISON
I suppose, from the introduction of this Clause, that it is put in to please someone, but one wants to know why they are going to be pleased, and I think the Committee is entitled to know that. If some people wish to be exempted from certain provisions of this Bill, it is not unreasonable to suppose that they have some reason for wishing that, and I think we should know what the reason is. It must be a reason connected with the supplies of water, a reason connected with their control or lack of control over the supplies of water. There is surely in the background a real reason, and all I suggest, with the greatest possible respect to the Attorney-General, is that we are entitled to know what it is. Before we vote for this Clause, we really must ask him to enlighten us as to the real reasons for inserting this Clause in the Bill.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I do not think that the learned Attorney-General appreciates the cause of the anxieties which 1425 I and my hon. Friends have expressed in regard to this Clause and the matter is not nearly as simple as he is trying to make out. He thinks that he has got use on the horns of a beautifully neat dilemma when he says, (1) we disapprove of the Bill, and (2) when he alters some part of the Bill we again disapprove, and, therefore, we are inconsistent. The matter is not so easy to solve. What we are concerned about is trying to prevent the erection of a constitution which cannot possibly work, or which cannot possibly work justly. I think that the point raised by the right hon. Member for Swindon (Dr. Addison) just now is a very pertinent one. He asked what is the cause of this Clause. The cause is obvious; it is diplomatic. It is characteristic of the smooth and easy way in which the Secretary of State brushes aside the difficulty of the moment by making some concession, some change of front, without in the least considering the sort of problem which he will bequeath to his successors and future Viceroys in administering this precious Act. This is the situation which is bound to arise under a Clause such as this. Here you are attempting to erect a great Federation, and to combine two principles of Provincial autonomy, and State autonomy and Central unity. We are told repeatedly from the Government Benches that their primary object is to make a tremendous contribution towards the unity of India.
§ Viscount WOLMER
I do not propose to deliver a Second Reading speech. I have no desire to, and I know that you would not let me. But that short preface, which had terminated, was merely designed to show that the subject of water is absolutely typical. Water is typical of the needs of unity in India. The object of Clauses 129, 130 and 131 was to devise some machinery by which the conflicting interests of States and Provinces in regard to water could be adjusted within the limits of the Constitution. The Government now, in order to get over the difficulty raised by certain States—I notice that the Attorney-General did not tell us which States they were, but I think that we are entitled to know, because it is a very pertinent 1426 point—propose to allow certain States to contract out of this great machinery, which, I submit, is an integral and necessary part of their whole scheme for the unification of India, because water is fundamental to the whole problem of the unification of India.
What is the situation which will arise then? You will have the ruler of a State, a State that is a member of the Federation which has its representation in the Central Assembly of India, which takes part in all legislation which concerns India as a whole, but when you get to water problems that State stands aside when any Province or any other State alleges that that particular State is behaving unfairly in regard to water. The Attorney-General says that there will be no deadlock; the Viceroy will deal with the matter under his power of paramountcy. But that means that you are substituting diplomatic action—that is what it conies to—for Constitutional action. The only rulers who will make this a condition of their accession are those who are not prepared to submit these questions of water rights to an independent and impartial tribunal. They are States which apparently desire to have recourse to diplomatic machinery as opposed to constitutional machinery, which means a, desire to drive a bargain every time in regard to their water rights. That is absolutely inconsistent with a federation which is attempting to deal with India as one unit. It means that you are departing from constitutional machinery. You get back on to the back stairs, and the State which has this particular and unique power of being able to drive its own bargain every time in what is to be done with regard to water, irrespective of the merits of the case, is in a very privileged position.
It is not at all fair to the Provinces or to the States which have come in. What will be the position vis a vis other States which 'have already acceded? Supposing one State has acceded and has not made this reservation? That State will be subject to the machinery erected by Clauses 129–133. Its next door neighbour comes in at a later date and makes this reservation, so that the one State will have to submit all allegations against it to arbitration, whereas the newly acceded State will be free to drive its own bargain. I cannot conceive that machinery of that kind can work 1427 smoothly. It will lead to all sorts of intrigues. The agreed parties will also have recourse to diplomatic action. Pressure will be brought to bear on the Viceroy, who will be in the position of having to act as the honest broker between the two contending parties. That position seems to be a very unfortunate one, and it will be a difficult one to maintain with dignity. It is certainly incompatible with the dignity of the Viceroy's position. Either have a, Federation or do not have a Federation. If you are going to have a Federation, make it universal and make your machinery applicable to everyone. But directly you start making these exceptions on a vital matter of this sort, you are undermining the whole basis on which your constitutional machinery is going to be erected.
§ 8.10 p.m.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I had not the advantage of hearing the whole of the Attorney-General's speech at the commencement of this Debate, although I did hear most of it, and I confess that I am astonished that the Government should have put forward a proposal such as this, because in order to justify a departure from what is contained in Clauses 129–132 there must be an adequate case presented. Is it a fact or is it not that any State that has federated can possibly be prejudiced as to its water rights under Clause 129–132? What have we done in these Clauses? The first of them, 129, says that if the Government of any Governor's Province or the Ruler of any Federated State feels that his rights are in any way prejudicially affected over a very wide field, either by executive action or by legislation taken or passed —that is a very wide field—he is entitled to appeal to a Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal in this case is the Commission. The Commission is to be set up and then if the appeal has been made successfully to the Commission and the Commission report to the Governor-General, the Governor-General is amply armed, I submit, under Subsection (7) to protect thoroughly any State that has federated, because Subsection (7) says:The functions of the Governor-General under this Section shall be exercised by him in his discretion.So that he is absolute arbiter if the case has been proven that a Federated State 1428 is prejudicially affected. So to justify any claim that any State should be able to contract out requires very ample argument indeed—much more ample than anything I have heard to-night.
May I put this point further to amplify the point made by the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer)? If we are going to federate the States and British India, let us be sure we federate them in the essential things. Here in these Clauses 129–132 we federate them as to an essential commodity, namely, water. Let me visualise how this thing will work if this new Clause is passed. Let us suppose that a Federated State is contiguous to the area of British India. In the British India district there may be some great manufacturing concern which may require an ample supply of water. The State next door is a Federated State, but as a condition of its federation it has been allowed to reserve control over its water rights, and it might mean that in the exercise of its undisputed control of its water rights, it having contracted out, it would ruin the success of this manufacturing concern which happened to depend for its water supplies on water from the area of the State.
It is a most dangerous proceeding, and I submit to the learned Attorney-General that we really must get a much more ample defence than we have had hitherto. It is a very risky thing to begin to allow States, having federated, to contract out for this, that or the other thing. because if you once begin on that very dangerous road you have started on the dangerous road of destroying the very thing which is vital to this scheme of federation. I may have my own views as to the effectiveness of the Federation proposed, but if you are going to allow States, having federated, to remain on condition that they reserve to themselves complete control over water rights, which are so fundamental in many places, you are taking a very dangerous step in regard to the success or failure of federation.
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Let me try to deal with some of the points that have been raised. The hon. Gentleman opposite has proceeded on a misapprehension of the position of the States which will come into the Federation with regard to their water rights. He has 1429 more than once referred to the necessity of the States to surrender their water rights. Let me remind him that there is no question of the States surrendering their water rights, because water rights are a provincial subject. If the hon. Member will turn to item 18 of the provincial list he will find that that is so.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
They are not Federal subjects, and the States coming into the Federation would not surrender their water rights. If the hon. Gentleman has any criticism or denial to make of the statement which I am making I will give way, but I think he must agree that I am right. Clauses 129 to 132 were put into the Bill in those circumstances. The Noble Lord has painted with his vivid imagination a picture of disaster if a State were allowed to do something with its water which would prejudice a large manufacturer or a neighbouring community. Nobody pretends that, up to the present time, the power being exercised under paramountcy has not been directed not only to preserve and maintain but to improve and conserve the water rights which exist in India for the benefit of everybody. Clauses 129 to 132 were put into the Bill for the purpose, I think I may truly say, of helping the States which would come into the Federation, and providing an ad hoc tribunal, subject to very many reservations as to the power of the Governor-General as laid down in Clause 130.
It has been rather suggested or supposed that if a dispute arose, or a complaint of this sort were made, it would of necessity have to come to this ad hoc tribunal. That is not quite right, because it will be seen that under Clause 130 the Governor-General may be of opinion that no action could be taken by him in the matter. As the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) rightly pointed out, by Sub-section (7) and other Sub-sections of Clause 130, the Governor-General retains very great powers, even after the ad hoc committee have reported upon a particular complaint or abuse which somebody may have desired to refer to the tribunal. The right hon. 1430 Gentleman the Member for Swindon (Dr. Addison) asked how this matter arose, and I think somebody else asked who made the complaints and why did the Princes object to the powers or provisions contained in Clause 129 which was inserted in the Bill, as I have said, for the purpose of helping the States and not for the purpose of carrying out Federation, because water rights are not a federal subject, but for the purpose of helping the States possibly to get this matter out of the field of Paramountcy and to enable any disputes or complaints to be decided by a specially appointed tribunal.
So far as the persons who may be making the complaint about these provisions are concerned, I can only refer the Noble Lord who asked the question to the communication on page 14 of the White Paper where it appears that a letter was sent to the Governor-General by the Maharaja of Patiala, the Nawab of Bhopal and the Maharaja of Bikaner. They made representations —which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Swindon will not desire me to read in detail—in paragraph 14, where they express great fear lest the reference to the ad hoc tribunal, coupled as it was with these overriding powers in certain circumstances of the Governor-General, would be used to their prejudice. If I read the paragraph in question aright, I rather gathered that they thought there was a sort of mixture both of the powers of Paramountcy and of the powers of reference in the ad hoc tribunal, which would be more to their prejudice than if the existing position of Paramountcy were maintained. The Secretary of State was expressing a perfectly reasonable opinion when, in the paragraph in which he dealt with these affairs he said:His Majesty's Government believe that these provisions"—that is, the provisions in the Clause with which I am dealing—would be as much to the advantage of the States as of British India, but they agree that their application in relation to a Federated State is a matter for discussion. They see no objection to proposing to make provision in the Bill whereby a State could on accession agree or not to come within the scope of these Clauses.Let me say again, it is not a question of the States keeping out in respect of a federal subject. It is not a question of getting them into a federation and letting 1431 them out on a particular federal subject. This matter is, as it were, an extra. The paragraph ends:A Federated State which did not accept these provisions would, of course, be in the same position as an unfederated State in the case of dispute arising.Then the position will be that the powers being used by universal consent with such great advantage for the people of India, will be used with regard to the State which prefers to remain in the position in which the State is to-day, and to be dealt with, in the case of abuse of powers, under paramountcy.
I do not know whether I am unduly optimistic when think that these observations ought to satisfy the suspicions that have been raised by my Noble Friend the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) and the Noble Lady the Member for Perth and Kinross (Duchess of Atholl) who feared that this was giving way to the Princes. The Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot, I am sorry to say, thought it necessary to suggest that this was going to open the door to the backstairs. He spoke about the Governor-General being put into the position of the honest broker. That is the position in which he has been ever since the Government of India looked after water rights so as to evoke the admiration of the whole world. The Noble Lord actually suggested that the Governor-General has been in the position in the past of an honest broker, because the position he will be in the future if the States contract out is precisely the same as that in which he has been in the past.
I understand the position of hon. Members opposite. They distrust and suspect everything that is done to allay any fears, suspicions or doubts of the Princes. That, generally, is their attitude, and I am not complaining of it. It is a very good thing that there should be somebody to check any possibility of excessive attention to a matter of that kind. On this occasion they are carrying their objections a little too far. My Noble Friend has said that this scheme is bad from start to finish. When he has an opportunity of picking a hole in it nobody can complain if he does it with all his eloquence and great knowledge. I think the Government have had the best part of this argument. The new Clause will do no prejudice to anybody.
§ 8.25 p.m.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
Would the Attorney-General agree that a Ruler who has reserved his water rights by a declaration in the Instrument of Accession is thereby enabled to extract from a manufacturing concern his own terms in respect of the delivery of water that may have its source in his State?
§ 8.26 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL
The machinery contained in the whole of these four Clauses is machinery for settling disputes. Everybody realises that this is solely a plan for settling disputes; and, if the ad hoc tribunal under Clauses 129 and 130 is not able to settle a dispute between a. federated State and a Province, that would be dealt with under the paramountcy in precisely the same way in which an unfederated State would be dealt with.
§ 8.27 p.m.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I do not think it is quite fair to say that under the paramountcy the relationship between the paramount Power and the Princes who contract out of this particular business will be the same in the future as it has been in the past. After all, the Prince who has not acceded, and who has control over the water supply, will still be sitting in Delhi, and his vote will be 10 times more important than was the case in previous times. The relationship between the paramount Power and the Princes is radically and fundamentally changed by the fact that the Princes are sitting at Delhi and the Government depend upon their votes. If a man is in a position to say, "I have not put this into the pool, and I can still bargain with this counter—I can still use it against the Government," the Government will be 10 times more anxious to meet him than they will to meet his neighbours who have gone in. It is really putting a premium on staying out. I am afraid that the Secretary of State and the Attorney-General will find that the position of the paramount Power in India, once Federation is approved, will be very different from what it has been in the past.
§ 8.29 p.m.
Duchess of ATHOLL
I am sorry to trouble the Attorney-General further, but I do not think he has made clear how paramountcy is going to work in the 1433 future. One knows that it has worked exceedingly well in the past, but surely the position then was that the Viceroy, as the representative of the paramount Power, could deal with a dispute as between a Province and a State. He could exercise the powers of paramountcy in negotiating with the State and as Governor-General he had power to influence the Province in this matter of irrigation. In the future, all the power that the Governor-General had in regard to this matter of irrigation is going to be taken away from him except in so far as Clauses 129 and 130 have been put into the Bill, and the Bill will not give to the Federal Legislature the power that the present Indian Assembly has to legislate on irrigation matters concerning more than one Province. To-day the Indian Assembly has that power, but it will not reside in the Federal Assembly, as the, Attorney-General has been at great pains to explain. Irrigation is to be entirely a Provincial subject. Nor will the Governor-General, except in so far as these Clauses give him power to set up a special ad hoc tribunal, be able to intervene in the event of a dispute between Provinces or a Province and a State.
Therefore, it is essential to have some new machinery, because no one has any power to settle a dispute except the Viceroy. He, no doubt, in the exercise of his paramountcy, could settle a dispute between one State and another, but no one has any power to settle a dispute concerning a Province except in so far as these Clauses have been put into the Bill. If a State is allowed to contract out of Clauses 129 and 130, then, in the event of a. dispute arising between a Province and a State, the Viceroy will be able to negotiate by virtue of his connection with the State, but who is going to do anything in regard to the Province? The Governor-General cannot set up an ad hoc committee to adjudicate. Such an ad hoc committee cannot be set up merely on behalf of a Province alone, and the Governor-General, therefore, has only a lop-sided machinery with which to act. Therefore I submit that it is no criterion
§ whatever of what is going to take place in the future to be told that the paramountcy has worked very well hitherto. I do not doubt that it has, because there was the power to deal with both Provinces and States; but there will no longer be that power—it will be distributed in a different way—and it seems to me that, as regards a dispute to which a State is a party, the machine will be one that will only work on one side. Will the Attorney-General tell us exactly how he thinks this machinery is going to work out—how the paramountcy is going to be reconciled with the machinery of an ad hoc committee? I do not quite see how it is going to work.
§ The Attorney-General says that these Clauses were put in originally to benefit the States, but I do not think the Government have been very successful in finding out what the States think would benefit them. I submit, however, that machinery is essential for the Provinces. This important matter of irrigation, in which disputes may arise between Provinces, cannot be left without any machinery. Some machinery of this kind is absolutely indispensable for adjudicating between Provinces, and it seems to me that a very difficult situation will arise if the machinery cannot also operate for the States. The Attorney-General twitted me with having found some merit in Clauses 129 and 130, but I am not aware that I have ever expressed any opinion about them. I certainly should wish to see much more powers reserved to the centre in regard to irrigation. It is much too important a subject to be made so exclusively provincial as it is. But, if that is not to be, and the Bill does not provide for any central control of irrigation, at least this is a step in the right direction. It is obvious that between the various Provinces, and between Provinces and States, disputes may arise, and, therefore, it is essential to have some machinery which will be effective, which will be just, and which it will be possible to put into practice between all parties.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The Committee divided; Ayes, 135; Noes, 34.1435
|Division No. 153.]||AYES.||[8.35 p.m.|
|Albery, Irving James||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bernays, Robert|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Blindell, James|
|Apsley, Lord||Balniel, Lord||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Barclay Harvey, C. M.||Broadbent, Colonel John|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes)||Palmar, Francis Noel|
|Burghley, Lord||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Pearson, William G.|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Peat, Charles U.|
|Butler, Richard Austen||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Penny, Sir George|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Percy, Lord Eustace|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Hornby, Frank||Petherick, M.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. B. (Prtsmth., S.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Jamieson, Douglas||Rickards, George William|
|Clayton, Sir Christopher||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Ker, J. Campbell||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Kirkpatrick, William M.||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Leckle, J. A.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Selley, Harry R.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Lees-Jones, John||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Crossley, A. C.||Lewis, Oswald||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Liddall, Walter S.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Dunglass, Lord||Llewellin, Major John J.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Smithers, Sir Waldron|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||McKie, John Hamilton||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Spens, William Patrick|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stones, James|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Fraser, Captain Sir Ian||Martin, Thomas B.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Molson. A. Hugh Elsdale||White, Henry Graham|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro',W.)||Moreing, Adrian C-||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Grimston, R. V.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Mulrhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Munro, Patrick|
|Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)||North, Edward T.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Harbord, Arthur||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh.||Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward|
|and Major George Davies.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Gardner, Benjamin Walter||Maxton, James|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Milner, Major James|
|Banfield, John William||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Batey, Joseph||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Thorne, William James|
|Buchanan, George||Jenkins, Sir William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cleary, J. J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joseph|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Daggar, George||Lawson, John James||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Davies, Stephen Owen||Logan, David Gilbert||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Dobble, William||Lunn, William|
|Edwards, Charles||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. Paling.|
Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time," put, and agreed to.
§ Clause added to the Bill.