HL Deb 05 February 1852 vol 119 cc177-8

said, that as the noble Lord the late President of the Board of Control (Lord Broughton) had retired from office just at the moment when his extensive experience would be of most use to the country, he wished to know what Member of the Government was to undertake the duties of the post thus vacated, as he desired to put some; questions to the Government relative to the affairs of India?


said, the noble Earl ought to give notice of his questions, and then some Member of the Government would be prepared to answer them. The noble Earl, however, must be aware that it was very common for the President of the Board of Control to be a Member of the Other House.


was aware of that fact, but it was certainly extraordinary that the moment selected for the late President of the Board of Control's retirement, should be just when his long official experience would be of most service to the Government in revising the powers of the Court of Directors, which would expire in two years; and it was more extraordinary still that the noble Lord should be succeeded by a gentleman from the office of Secretary at War; in which situation also great knowledge and experience were necessary, especially when measures were about to be prepared for strengthening the national defences; and that Secretary at War, again, was succeeded by a civilian, who knew nothing at all about the particular department which he was appointed to conduct. He would now, however, give notice that on Tuesday next he should first ask two questions: what measures it was the intention of the Government to take during the Session—if they were to take any measures—for the purpose of putting Parliament in possession of such information as might enable it to legislate with respect to the termi- nation of the present interest of the Court of Directors in the revenues and territories of India, and which interest ceases in about two years; and, further, he wished for any information which the Government might be enabled to afford respecting the present state of our relations with the Court of Ava, with especial reference to the expedition and hostile operations which were commencing against the port of Ragoon.