HL Deb 05 August 1853 vol 129 cc1326-95

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


I never, my Lords, have had occasion to make any important statement to this House without feeling it necessary to appeal to the indulgence of your Lordships; and I must gratefully acknowledge that, whenever I have done so, the indulgence I claimed has been extended to me in a remarkable degree, and I do not despair of obtaining it during the observations which it is my duty to address to your Lordships in introducing the present measure. At the same time, I feel, my Lords, that the difficulty I labour under now is not that which might have been my lot if I had for the first time to explain the provisions of a Bill of this important nature, or if I felt, comparing my statement with the object of the measure and the weight of argument necessary in such a cause, any superior degree of responsibility resting upon myself. My difficulty is quite of another description. I feel I am speaking to a House which contains among its Members, with regard to the particular question we are about to discuss to-night, individuals as well acquainted with it, in all respects, as any persons in this kingdom. There are noble Lords in this House who have executed ably the duties of the high office of President of the Board of Control; there are others who have held the very high and important office of Governor of Presidencies in India; there are now in this House the two noble Lords who have been Governors General of India, besides some distinguished Members of your Lordships' House who have gained so much glory for themselves and so much renown for their country by their distinguished services in the battle-fields of India. In the presence of individuals so well acquainted with India, I may well feel my own imperfections; but, looking at what has already passed in your Lordships' House this year on this subject, I think I shall receive some indulgence for sparing your Lordships as much as possible. I find that on the average there has been a discussion on Indian affairs on one day out of every five in which your Lordships have sat since February last. The noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Ellenborough), who is so well acquainted with the interests of India and its administration, having been both President of the Board of Control and Governor General of India, has addressed your Lordships upon different points connected with India sixteen times. Those of your Lordships who have listened to the noble Earl's speeches must be conscious of the ability with which, in each of those speeches, he either brought new matter under the consideration of the House, or represented old matter in a new and different light. There is also a noble Earl, a Friend of mine, now sitting upon the cross benches (the Earl of Albermarle) who has addressed your Lordships on Indian subjects, and who, though he has not h spoken quite so often as the noble Earl opposite, has shown great information, and also great good humour in consulting the wishes of your Lordships. He has also spoken, I must say, with some authority; neither must I withhold from the noble Earl the praise due to his impartiality—for, on looking over his speeches, I find o that on two occasions when he addressed your Lordships he took precisely opposite views of the same question. I observe also, from the other discussions which have taken place, that your Lordships are generally aware of the provisions of this Bill:—I may state, indeed, that the great majority of your Lordships know, not only the main provisions of the Bill, but the arguments used both for and against them, quite as well as I know them myself:—because not only has the general subject been frequently discussed in your Lordships' House, and the principles of the measure been examined into, but clause after clause in details has been, with considerable advantage, debated, the Bill having been present to the imagination of the House; and, indeed, I myself was designated by a noble Lord on the cross benches as the noble Lord who had charge of it four or five weeks before my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Control asked me to take charge of the measure.

But, my Lords, while I anxiously wish on these accounts to avoid being tedious to your Lordships, I feel it would not be respectful to the House nor to those Members of it who have not chosen to anticipate what is taking place, if I did not as briefly and concisely as I can state the nature of the principal provisions of the Bill, and advert to some of the leading arguments which have induced Her Majesty's Government to propose the measure for your Lordships' adoption. But before proceeding to that task, I may be allowed perhaps to say a word or two with regard to one point, to which considerable importance was attached some time ago, but which has not now the interest that it then had. I mean the question of delay. This is a question upon which I have spoken already. I then attempted to show your Lordships that Her Majesty's Government, in not acceding to the arguments urged for delay, were not actuated by any feelings of personal or political convenience whatever; that they felt the course they were taking was most consistent with their official duty; and that delay could not be productive of benefit to India. In the course of the discussion on this subject, an allusion was made to the opinions of the present Governor General, my noble Friend Lord Dalhousie; and two noble Lords commented upon the use I then made of his opinions. I frankly admit that they were right in stating it was irregular upon my part, or upon the part of any Member of Her Majesty's Government, to advert to documents not before the House: but I apprehend that whatever reasons weighed with the Governor General in giving us his opinion in favour of immediate legislation—whether he had formed an exaggerated or a just estimate of the dangers of delay—your Lordships will feel that those dangers would be doubled and quadrupled if now, after Her Majesty's Ministers have brought in a Bill and brought it up to your Lordships' House after it has received the assent of large majorities of the other House, any proposition for further delay should be acceded to. I think, therefore, that no objection is likely again to be raised upon that point; but, in regard to the allusion to Lord Dalhousie's opinion, I think, in our own justification, I may be allowed to add that, however irregular that course may have been, and however open to objection on the part of those who oppose the Bill, we should have been wanting in candour both to your Lordships and the public, if, after having received a spontaneous and strong opinion from Lord Dalhousie upon this subject, mixed up unfortunately with other matters not proper to be laid before Parliament, we had entirely abstained from any reference to it.

My Lords, one of the principal provisions of this Bill, and one which has excited the greatest attention of the public, though I do not think the most important, is con- tained in the first three lines of the enacting part of the Bill. It is there provided that—"Until Parliament shall otherwise Provide, all the territories now in the possession and under the Government of the East India Company shall continue under such Government in trust for Her Majesty." It is here proposed to revest the Government of India in the East India Company. I will not go into the injurious arguments which have been used in reference to this part of the Bill. On the one hand it has been argued that the present Government could hardly be objected to as a double Government; and upon the other, that the plan proposed for the future Government of India might be fairly de-Fended as a double Government. Your Lordships know what the constitution of the East India Company, under the Act of 1833, is. You know how from a simple trading company the East India Company became sovereigns of enormous possessions And of vast powers in the East; how at different times they have been stripped of their commercial privileges, and their political power diminished, until now they have only that sort of power which a body of able and experienced men, assisted by able servants, must and will have in all matters of Government. You know that they are now subject to the superintending power of the Crown, exercised by the President of the Board of Control. It is proposed, my Lords, to retain that mode of government; and the objections that I have heard to it are chiefly these—first, that there has been maladministration in India by the Company; next, that the machinery is cumbrous; and, lastly, that the system leads to delay and obstruction in the discharge of public business.

The last time I had the honour of addressing your Lordships upon this subject, I endeavoured to show that, with regard to the charge of maladministration, it would be easy for any person who so desired to bring forward a plausible case upon any or all of these heads against any Government whatever, even that very constitution of which we are so proud. I certainly do not mean to go over the same ground again; but I think your Lordships may be too apt to overlook, when criticising the acts of the Government of India, the great difficulties which from the beginning have had to be encountered since that country came into the possession of the Company. I must, on this subject, allude to the administration of justice. It is charged, with regard to the judicial service, that justice is not well administered in India. I will not go back to any historical reference to the alleged maladministration of justice or to the cruelties exercised under the Government of the Mogul, or under the rule of the Mahrattas; but your Lordships will perhaps allow me to read a few extracts on this point from a pamphlet I received two or three days ago, written by a person whom I do not know, but who I see is one of that distinguished corps, the corps of engineers in the service of the East India Company. After alluding to the punishments inflicted by the Peishwahs, by imprisonment in iron cages, he says that when in attendance upon Mountstuart Elphinstone and Mr. Dunlop, he was shown the point whence criminals or obnoxious persons were precipitated or commanded to throw themselves. The guide, he adds, had witnessed two such cases not many years before. Then he gives the experience of a brother officer, and says— The late Captain Waite, adjutant to the 9th regiment Native Infantry, was on his march in 1814 through the Northern Konkun, when, on the roadside near Vizrabhaee, he perceived a poor wretch writhing in agony, his two legs literally chopped off above the knce by some coarse weapon, and the reeking stumps immersed into hot dammer (melted pitch) to stop the hæmorrhage. He adds— Many such cases of amputated limbs and mutilated noses, especially of poor females, came under my own notice and commiseration. Further on he says— To describe another cruel punishment. When I was Baroda, in 1816, a Koolee or Bheel, armed with a sharp sword, had stealthily crept by night into Major Nixon's tent. On perceiving him, by the dim light which penetrated through the rent of the canvass, Major Nixon sprang forward to grapple with and seize him; but, in doing so, tripped over the ropes of his tent, when the Bheel turned sharp round and cut off his left arm, making his escape with all speed. It was some days before the offence was detected and convicted by the evident blood marks on his sword. The Guicowar (the sovereign ruler of Baroda) sentenced this criminal to be dragged to death at the foot of an elephant. No entreaty from Major Nixon, nor appeals from other British gentlemen and ladies, could avail to alter the mode of punishment. He was tied with one arm tightly to the elephant's foot, and about noon-day was dragged through the streets of the city in the presence of numberless Natives. For a short while the poor wretch extended the other hand forward, and, by dint of dexterous effort and fearful despair, maintained himself up; but the slow, measured, mighty tread of the elephant, who seemed, as they related to me, almost conscious of his dreadful office, and the sweltering heat of the sun, soon got the mastery over him; and his flesh was seen trailing along, torn absolutely from his body to the very spine, from the shoulders downward to the lower extremity of the trunk, and draggling for a brief while, besmeared with gore and dust, till the shock to the nervous system was too great, and death concluded this execrable judiciary punishment. The writer goes on to relate similar cases, including that of impaling men alive—but I will not trouble your Lordships with any further extracts of this sort. Whilst reading these passages, I trust your Lordships will not think that I claim any merit whatever for a Christian Government in abstaining from the frightful cruelties practised under the government of Native Princes. I refer to them to show that neither the Hindoo nor the Mahometan have any notion of the administration of justice as we understand it; that they have no idea of it but that communication by absolute authority and the maintenance of religious rites; and I ask your Lordships to consider the effects produced upon the mind of the population with which the East India Company had to deal, when they sought to introduce what appeared to them to be true notions of justice in India; and I also ask you to consider the difficulties they had to encounter, in the early periods of their rule, in India, when they desired to establish courts, and to extend the application of English laws—encumbered by numerous technicalities—from ignorance of the customs, languages, creeds, and relations of the people. When all this is considered, I think it will be admitted that as much has been clone to improve the administration of justice as it was possible to do. Such are some of the points to be taken into account when we are talking about the alleged maladministration of justice in India. That improvements may be made, I do not attempt for a moment to deny. There are some that will be mentioned in the course of the discussions on this Bill, when we come to the clauses which give power for effecting them; and there are others which do not require legislative enactment, as they can be put into force by regulations made by the Government in India. I think, then, in considering all these cases, the peculiar circumstances of the Company ought to be remembered. Your Lordships must remember that the Company having made certain arrangements with the Native Powers when the different provinces first came under their charge, naturally found great difficulty in afterwards reforming abuses; but the characteristic of their government cannot be considered as bad, for they have profited in all cases by experience; while in all the provinces which have recently come under their rule the judicial system has certainly been greatly simplified, and justice has been administered in a way that leaves little fault to be found. It is much the same with regard to the prosperity, the wants, and the condition of the people. Statements have been brought forward to show the misery of the Natives of India in certain circumstances; but I think all the evidence shows that even in those parts of India to which these statements in some degree apply, they are exaggerated, and that in parts of India there is great opulence among the Natives, and the condition of the peasants is not at all such as has been described. It was given in evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons, by some most respectable witnesses, that in some parts of the possessions of the East India Company—the North-Western Provinces, for instance—the state of the peasantry is equal to that of the most favoured peasantry in the world; hardly exceeded by any, except, perhaps, the peasantry of the United Kingdom or of the Australian colonies. I can hardly mention the colonies, without pointing out some of the great differences between our Australian and our Indian possessions. In the colonies the settlers have carried out with them capital, and they End a fertile country, rich with mineral and other produce. Their capital accumulates, and they invite their relations and friends in the mother country to join them. Those relations and friends probably add something to the stock of capital, which is generally laid out in the colony in forming establishments, building houses, and other ways. Capital thus rapidly accumulates, generally remains in the colony itself, and is spent in improvements, in buildings, in parks or gardens. But the exact reverse of all this takes place in India. I do not believe in the accusation that this is owing to the state of the laws. It is owing to well-ascertained facts. I do not say in the way of blame that the fault is that you have no colonisation in India; it is idle to contend that it can be otherwise, when the climate obviously prevents English people from residing permanently in that country, and deters them from bringing up their children there. The English people in India are there as merchants or as civil or military servants to the Company, and the fortunes they accumulate do not go to enrich the country where they are obtained, but are brought home to be expended and enjoyed in England. In respect to trade, too, there are important differences between the condition of India and that of our Australian colonies. The trade between England and those colonies is profitable to both. Advocate as I am to the fullest extent of the advantages of free trade, I must say that some of its best principles seem hardly applicable to the condition of India. You have injured the Native industry by most iniquitous legislation, passed by Parliament in this country, and you have completed that injury by subjecting the Native industry to open competition. I do not complain of competition in a country like our own, where, if a manufacture be established for which there are no natural advantages in the country, the misapplied labour and capital, though there may be in the first instance some disadvantage arising from competition, will in a short time be turned into a better and more profitable channel. In India this is not the case, and thong ultimately matters may be set right, yet in consequence of the absurd prejudices, springing from caste and the habits of the people, if you once deprive the people of one of their accustomed employments, whether it be of making salt or in manufacturing cotton goods, they are unable immediately to turn to other employments or manufactures. With regard to the taxation of India again, there are great difficulties, which can hardly be understood in a country like this. We found the land tax established by Native rulers. I might quote Sir James Stephen on this subject, who has, in his History, demonstrated the advantages of a land tax levied as it is there. You have had it applied to different districts by some of the most able servants of the Company, and the system has been highly approved by some of the greatest statesmen in this country; yet there is no doubt that the existing settlements have been productive of great hardship to the Natives, and it is only lately that the East India Company, profiting by the example set before them elsewhere, have made settlements in the North-Western Provinces, which have been received with general approbation. Then it may be said, "Why not apply this system to the other provinces? It is impossible; you must remember, that in other districts you have created vested rights, established customs, and encouraged interests which prevent it; and it would require a very long time indeed before changes could be made successfully. As to public works, I went the other day so fully into this question that I feel reluctant to trouble your Lordships by any details now on this subject; but I think it impossible for any one who has heard the evidence on this subject, or who has read the official papers laid before Parliament, to deny that there has been really great neglect in pushing forward public works which would be advantageous to India. We have gone on too much in the system of the ancient rulers and upon antiquated modes. But we are doing better now; and I will read you a brief abstract of what has been done. With regard to roads, there are districts in the South with 700 miles of excellent roads, traversed night and day by carts and carriages. The district of Cawnpore is intersected by 500 miles of good road, which are always kept in repair. The great trunk road from Calcutta to Kurnaul, which will be completed to Peshawur, which extends 1,430 miles, and upon which more than a million sterling has been expended. This road is smooth as a bowling-green, bridged throughout, with the exception of the Soane, and is protected by a police, so as to make life and property perfectly secure. The Ganges Canal traverses with its branches more than 800 miles; will irrigate five millions and a half of acres. The Canal of the Punjab is 450 miles in length. I do not bring these forward so much to prove that everything that could be done has been done, as a proof of the exaggeration of those who state that nothing has been done; to show that, to some extent at least, public works have been carried on in India, though, owing to the enormous extent of the country, they have been comparatively small. I think there appears in evidence some satisfactory account with respect to the cheapness with which public works are executed in India, which ought to act as a stimulus to their further development; but when it is stated that only a certain sum was expended in India last year upon public works, we must bear in mind not to estimate the improvement effected by the rule which would apply to this country; for it must not be forgotten that that sum in India represents five times the amount in this country. With respect to railways, I am happy to say that orders have been sent out which will promote the almost immediate construction of the great line from Calcutta to Delhi; and similar orders have been given with regard to the construction of the railway between Madras and the Western coast. With regard to the other line, from Bom- bay, difficulties have occurred which will render further information necessary before a final decision can be taken with regard to it. As to the judicial service, to which I have already referred, the case is almost disposed of by the fact that by far the largest number of suits are decided by Native Judges. Only seven per cent of the whole are decided by English Judges; not more than 1 per cent of original suits are decided by English Judges, all the rest being disposed of by Natives. With regard to other departments, I am free to confess that the intentions of the Legislature have not been carried out. Native services have not hitherto been employed to the extent I could wish. I, for one, speaking individually, have never felt the slightest alarm at Natives, well qualified and fitted for public employments, being employed in any branch of the public service in India; but I am also clearly of opinion that it would be undesirable, for the sake of the Government itself, and also for the sake of the Natives, that any man unfitted for such situations should be unfortunately appointed to high posts. By the provisions of this Bill, an opening is now made for the entry of Natives into the covenanted service. The most timid persons cannot be alarmed at this, when they consider that the Natives who wish to compete for this service, will have to come to this country for their education, and that in residing here they will contract sympathy which will bind them to their European fellow-subjects, and will render them more alive to our feelings and opinions than the most enlightened Natives in India can possibly be. At the same time, it will give them a great advantage. Having fitted themselves for high appointments, they will have fought their way up by their own merits without depending on favour. With regard to education, as that subject has been mentioned on former occasions, when it was said that enough had not been done by the Company, I should be sorry to pass it over. Still, I do not like to go into statistics on the present occasion to show that much has been done by the Government, by the Natives themselves, and by the Missionary Societies; and I am happy to acknowledge this, though it does not come strictly within the provisions of the Bill. I can only add, that there is a general concurrence, not only in England, but in India, that education must be extended, while there is every disposition to promote the best means of furthering it.

I have thus, my Lords, gone over some points to show what, in the opinion of the Government, are the difficulties which the East India Company have had to deal with. I have shown the admirable way in which they have administered the provinces which have lately come under their rule; and how, upon the whole, the Duke of Wellington was justified when he asserted that the Government of the East India Company was a wise and good one, and adapted to benefit the subjects under their rule. Her Majesty's Ministers, under such circumstances, have thought it right to continue the government which they found established, and not run the risk of giving a shock to so extensive a machine as the administration of India. Mr. Marshman has pointed out the derangement which would be involved by an immediate change from the double to a single government, and objected to it on the ground of the shock it would produce in India. For this reason we have determined to continue the government in the hands of east India Company

Probably I may be met here, by some noble Lord, speaking the language of the petition presented last night, inquiring, "If the Company has behaved so well, why interfere to change its constitution?" I do not pretend, on the part of the Government, to consider the East India Company perfection—I know of no human institution that is; and certainly I do not consider the East India Company perfect in every respect, for two or three defects have been clearly proved in its constitution. In the first place, you do not, by the present mode of election, obtain the services of the ablest members of the civil service, who, coming home from India with unimpaired powers, and anxious for the public service, have declared they will not subject them selves to all the disagreeable incidents of a canvass for six or seven years before they can obtain a seat in the Direction. The Government, therefore, propose to nominate six Directors, and the whole number of the Directors will be eighteen. The noble Earl the other clay, partly in jest, and partly, I suppose, in earnest, referred to the cruel process of mutilation which we obliged the Directors to go through in reducing the present number of their Board. But it is quite clear that if their duty is honestly performed, as I hope and trust it will be, there are no persons so well acquainted with those whose services it would be desirable to retain for the Government of India as the Directors themselves. It is proposed by this Bill to reduce the number of Directors to fifteen, and to give to Her Majesty's Government the power of nominating three Directors who should have served for a period of not less than ten years in India, either in the service of the Crown or of the East India Company. These Directors would be appointed for periods of two, four, and six years respectively, in order that hereafter the whole of the Directors so appointed should not go out together. Any casual vacancies which may occur will be filled up by the Crown appointing Directors, until ultimately the Crown shall have the appointment of six members of the Court of Directors. It has been found necessary to introduce several clauses in order to carry out this part of the measure, upon which, however, it is unnecessary for me now to dwell, as their provisions may be better discussed in Committee on the Bill.

The next point of importance in the Bill is the change proposed to be made in the government of India. This part of the Bill I believe to be of the greatest importance, and I may state that the provisions which it embodies have been passed almost without opposition by the House of Commons. They have been brought forward partly on the opinion of the Governor General of India, and partly upon the unanimous concurrence of nearly all those best able by their knowledge and experience to give an opinion upon the subject. I believe the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Ellenborough) thinks that they carry out great improvements in the Government of India. There cannot be a doubt but that to the Government in India we must look for the good and efficient administration of our Indian empire. The duty of the Home Government is rather to supervise what is done there, and to lay down the principles on which the government of India is to be carried on, and it is to the fact of this supervision being mainly the duty of the Home Government, that many of those objections to the cumbrous nature of the machinery of double government have been removed; and, in the opinion of Mr. Mill, by the existing system of having two separate bodies at two different points, you are likely to have that supervision of a more perfect kind than by almost any other arrangement.

One of the first changes proposed to be made is to give power to increase the number of Presidencies in India, and also to appoint provisionally a Lieutenant Governor, and ultimately a separate Governor, of the Presidency of Bengal. The mere fact that, during the last thirteen years not less than eleven persons have been appointed Deputy Governors of this Presidency, being an average of one Governor in nineteen months, shows the necessity of a change. The people of the Bengal Presidency are naturally of peaceable habits, yet such is the weakness of the Government from this source, that in no Presidency of our Indian Empire is there so little security for life and property as in Bengal. There is one argument which has been used, and which may probably be again employed, against this arrangement, which is, that by taking away the local government of the Presidency from the Governor General, you take away from him the opportunity of obtaining information of the practical working of the Indian Government. I do not, however, think that much weight can be attached to such an argument, nor do I believe that the Governor General, who finds himself overworked every moment from his first arrival in India to his return, will be the less able to conduct the affairs of that vast Empire by having a person permanently devoted to the ordinary business of the Presidency of Bengal.

Another important change proposed is one which has reference to the improvement of the Legislative Council in India. It is proposed to add to the present body the Chief Justice and one of the other Judges of the Supreme Court of Bengal, and also the Chief Justice and any other Judge of a new combined court proposed to be created, but the arrangements for establishing which it was found impracticable to introduce in the present Bill. In addition to this, it is proposed to include in the Council one member for each Presidency, or Lieutenant Governorship, to be appointed by the Governor or Lieutenant Governor; and it is also proposed to give power to the Court of Directors through the Governor General of India to nominate two other members of the Council, who may have been ten years in the civil service of the East India Company, from any part of India. We anticipate that this arrangement will enable the Indian Government to combine in the Legislative Council the legal knowledge of English lawyers, and the benefit of the local knowledge possessed by those persons who might be chosen to represent different parts of India; and I cannot but think that it will be of advantage to the Governor General, to whom it will provide the means of obtaining immediate advice upon points which he may have to decide respecting the distant portions of our possessions in the East, and it will also tend to the framing of laws more adapted to the wants and condition of the whole population.

Another not less important point is one which proposes the appointment of a Law Commission in England, to consider the recommendations of the Indian Law Commissioners, and to report on the reforms which it may be necessary to effect in the law in India. A period of three years is proposed to be allowed for the completion of this report, which will be confined, not to one particular code, but will combine the digests of Macaulay, Bethune, and others who have laboured on this important subject.

Another of the considerable improvements made by this Bill, and too clearly necessary to meet with opposition, is to make the appointment of the Advocate General subject to the approval of the Board of Control. The Commander in Chief of Her Majesty's forces in India will also be the Commander in Chief of the combined forces of Her Majesty and the East India Company.

The last provisions of this Bill, and they are clearly most important, are those which provide for the supply of duly-qualified persons to the covenanted service of India. It is clear to demonstration that it is absolutely necessary to provide, by all means, for such supply. If once you were to allow adventurers, immediately upon arriving in India, to flock round the Governor General, and solicit appointments to office, it would introduce a system of jobbing utterly unknown to the Government of India at present. Upon the other hand, when you consider the enormous importance of the functions of these civil servants—as judges and collectors—it is evident that the responsibility of supplying these 800 places in India is a very great and heavy one. For these "collectors" of the East India Company must not be, as they have lately been talked of, as tax-gatherers, compared to the "publicans and sinners," who received the tribute under the old system once enforced in Judea; they, on the contrary, have been more correctly described by the great historian of the present day as possessing power for good or for evil not unlike that wielded by the proconsuls of ancient Rome. It is, therefore, impossible to overrate the importance of obtaining the best men to discharge these duties; and, in taking the necessary measures for the selection of these 800 men, the greatest responsibility is felt by the Government, and must be shared by your Lordships. Under the present Bill it is proposed that the candidate for admission to Haileybury shall be subjected to examination, the admissions being restricted to no particular class, but being open, not only to the whole of this country, but to any of Her Majesty's subjects in India who may desire to enter. Objections have been raised to this proposed system on the ground that it will produce a vast amount of what is termed "cramming." Now there is no doubt that "cramming" may be applicable to cases where it is necessary to acquire a certain standard of efficiency. But "cramming" will not enable one man to surpass another in active competition, each seeking for a great prize. But another check against this "cramming" on the examination for admission is provided by the two years' subsequent instruction, followed by an examination on quitting Haileybury, and again by another examination after a certain number of years' residence in India. With respect to these examinations the only doubt is whether their extreme severity may not prevent a sufficient number of persons from successfully passing the ordeal. It is urged by some that you will not have a sufficient number of candidates for the East Indian service, and by others that the number of candidates will be so great that it will be impossible to make a selection. The first I cannot believe; with regard to the second, I think some practical means can be devised for sifting the qualifications of the candidates until you get to the number required. I remember, my Lords, having referred a short time since, somewhat irrelevantly, to the system of examination which I understand takes place in China, and which enables persons of the lowest origin to obtain the highest appointments in the Empire. Since I made that statement I have had the opportunity of conversing with a gentleman who has lately returned from China—I mean Dr. Bowring—and who during his residence in that country has made himself intimately acquainted with the habits and customs of the Chinese. He entirely concurred with me in what I had stated on the subject, and informed me that respect for the literary character in China is carried to the greatest possible extent; and he attributed the maintenance of the small dynasty like that of the Tartars on the throne of China for so many years entirely to the manner in which by this means it had secured to itself so many adherents. So strongly has this feeling in favour of the literary character taken root and incorporated itself among the institutions of the people, that Dr. Bowring informs me that in some of the proclamations lately put forward by the rebels, it is one of the grievances charged against the Government, that they have tampered with the degrees which had been obtained, and the insurgents promise, if victorious, to restore the ancient system in its pristine purity. It is probable we may not be required to carry out our examinations in the same strict manner as in some instances is adopted in China—Dr. Bowring having informed me of a case in which the examiner was sent down to one of the provinces locked up iii a box.

I have now, my Lords, in a somewhat meagre manner, gone through the details and provisions of the Bill, and I have stated the arguments which have induced Her Majesty's Government, after the most serious consideration, to propose it for the adoption of your Lordships. So far, my Lords, from this measure having been hastily concocted and drawn up, I doubt if ever any measure was more carefully considered or more anxiously discussed. The more Her Majesty's Government have considered this question, the more deeply they nave felt the responsibility of a measure which, like the present, deals with the welfare and happiness of 150,000,000 of subjects of the British empire, living upon the other side of the globe. There are many circumstances, my Lords, which leads us confidently to hope, that our rule in Luna is likely in future years to prove even more beneficial than it has hitherto been. Science has opened up to us many advantages which we have not previously possessed. Our means of communicating with that country have been greatly advanced and accelerated. Whatever may be its condition externally, so far as human foresight can discern, I think peace is secured within the great Indian peninsula. I have already spoken of the cheering prospect which exists of connecting together all the portions of that great empire by railroads, and I trust that the system already commenced will be rapidly carried to its completion. In a short time several thousands of miles of telegraphic communication will be established throughout our Indian empire. We have lately discovered products—besides those with which we are already acquainted, such as cotton and tea, the ancient products of the country—which may become useful to the trade and commerce of the country. The great Exhibition of 1851 produced more important effects with respect to India than as to any foreign country which sent its produce on that occasion. If any person will take the trouble to refer to the evidence of Dr. Royle, given before the Committee of the House of Commons, he will see the large number of articles hitherto unknown in this country, which are capable of being extensively used in the arts and manufactures of the country. Numerous vegetable oils and fats, materials for the manufacture of porcelain and paper, China grass, and shellac, have now been brought to the knowledge of persons of this country for the first time; and there can be no doubt that, as soon as the means of communication become more developed, these articles, these articles, and many others, will enter largely into consumption in this country, and greatly increase our import and export trade with India. I have alluded to the progress which education was likely to make in our territories in India. I believe that consequent upon that education the spread of Christianity will take place, provided that with its diffusion it does not possess the appearance of being mixed up in any way with proselytising tendencies. My firm belief is that if Christianity takes root in that country, it will prove a powerful engine in promoting the material and spiritual welfare of time people, and spreading among them the best and most humanising principles of civilisation. I cannot, however, but feel that it would prove alike hurtful to our rule and to the extension of Christianity itself if the Government in India were to mix itself up with any proceedings which should have the appearance of a desire to proselytise, or an intention to depart from that wise rule which has hitherto been adopted of perfect impartiality and toleration. With all these favourable auspices, we may well trust that, without in any degree lessening those ties which now connect India to us, we shall find that under this Bill those benefits which India has already received from our rule, may be yet more widely extended over that vast empire which, by so signal a dispensation of Providence, has been committed to our charge.

My, Lords, I now move that this Bill be now read a Second Time.

Moved—"That the Bill be now read 2a."


said, he would not detain their Lordships many moments, as it was not his intention either to oppose the Bill, or even to make any remarks upon its details. Further, if his noble Friend (the Earl of Derby), who was not then present in consequence of illness, had been there that night, he (the Earl of Malmesbury) believed that he would have made no observation either of praise or blame upon the measure now before their Lordships. On a former occasion, during one of those incidental debates which had arisen in their Lordships' House upon this question, his noble Friend expressed his opinion that sufficient attention had not been given to the whole subject of the renewal of the Indian Charter, and that it would be far preferable that Her Majesty's Government should bring in a measure continuing the existing Charter for two or three years, and to postpone until a sufficient period any important alteration in the Government of India. But it did not please the Government to follow that recommendation; and, if his noble Friend had now been there, he would have abstained from making any remark whatever on the Bill upon the table. Their Lordships might easily imagine that it was not because his noble Friend and himself did not appreciate the enormous importance of the alterations proposed, and upon which the happiness of 100,000,000 of persons might depend—that it was not on such ground they were silent, but because they found fault, and justly found fault, with Her Majesty's Ministers for having introduced this important question at a period of the year when it was physically impossible for any party except the Government to collect a sufficient number of Members in that House to discuss it as it ought to be discussed. He felt that it was not only disrespectful to their Lordships, but baneful to the best interests of the country, if they valued the constitution as it was now established—that it placed the House in a humiliating position, to be asked at the end of the Session, when not one-fifth of its Members could or would attend, to consider one of the most important questions that could possibly be brought before it. Let their Lordships consider what was the state of business in that House and in the other House of Parliament. It was now the 5th of August. Parliament had been sitting ever since November, a period of eight months; and they were at that moment probably within a fortnight of the close of the Session. As far as he was able to discover, their Lordships had forty-two Bills then before them, some of which had only passed their earliest stages, whilst others were in Committee, and hardly any Lad gone beyond that point. There were also thirty-one more Bills yet to come up from the House of Commons:—so that altogether there were seventy-three Bills which would have to be considered within a fortnight. A noble Earl (the Earl of Ellenborough), whose authority upon Indian affairs stood very high, made a remark the other night upon a Bill of great importance which had come up to them from the House of Commons. That Bill was to secure a sufficient number of able seamen fur the Fleet; but though it was brought into the House of Commons on the 10th April, he observed that it was not to come before their Lordships until the 9th August. Then there was a Bill respecting time relations of Landlord and Tenant in Ireland; that, too, was not to come on until the 9th August, a period of the Session when it would be impossible for noble Lords who happened to reside in Ireland to attend in their places in this House. Every month which prolonged their absence from Ireland was most injurious to the best interests of that country; it was of course most desirable, therefore, that such Bills should be introduced at an earlier period. As regarded the House of Commons he was not disposed to take offence at the course it had been pleased to adopt in reference to these important measures; but the House of Commons would not endure such conduct at their Lordships' hands; and it was only three nights ago that that House threw out the Colonial Bishops Bill, for no other reason than that it was sent down to them so late in the Session. They would not take it into consideration. They said, "You have no business to send it down at this period of the year." Yet time House of Commons did not scruple to send up to their Lordships measures of immense importance at a period equally late in the Session. Now, he asked, was this the fault of the Government, or the fault of the House of Commons? So far as the present Government were concerned they had an advantage which no other Government before them had possessed in haying an extra officer who took charge of that department of the Government. In the House of Commons they had a man with a greater experience of that house than any other man alive—he meant Lord John Russell—to take charge of the Government business there. That noble Lord had been Prime Minister of England for five years; and yet he was now allowed—he (the Earl of Malmesbury) believed it was almost the first ease of the kind that had occurred—to hold a seat in the Cabinet not as a Secretary of State, not as Chancellor of the Exchequer, but as an amateur and unpaid Member of the Government, solely to conduct the business in the House of Commons, and to give his advice and assistance to the Government upon all matters brought under his consideration. Their Lordships had, therefore, a right to expect that the public business would be sent up to them in good time by a Government which possessed the inestimable services of such a man as Lord John Russell. But what had happened? Why, their Lordships would agree with him that in no Session within their remembrance had the public business been so much in arrear. And what should he say of that Minister to whose peculiar care this great measure for the Government of India was entrusted? The President of the Board of Control came into office on the 28th of December last, and to-day was the 5th of August. What had he been doing during those five months? He (the Earl of Malmesbury) had certainly heard of a speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman at Halifax—a speech so unfortunate, not only in its conception, but in its consequences, that he did not hesitate to say, to it might be owing many of the unfortunate events which had taken place on the Continent since that time. He believed this, because he knew the effect which that speech had produced in every Court of Europe; and, without going further into this question, which he might perhaps return to on some future occasion, he would again express his opinion that to that speech might be attributed many of the unfortunate events which had afterwards taken place in Europe. But what was the right hon. Gentleman doing in the five months during which he was engaged in concocting this Bill? The measure did not surely require that time for its consideration; the question was no new one; every one knew that the Charter of the East India Company was to be renewed in this year; it was only a year be- fore this that the right hon. Gentlemen had been a distinguished Member of her Majesty's Government, and be was therefore not a tyro in legislation, like the Members of the late Government, whose inexperience had so often been thrown in their teeth. Yet for five months from his taking office at the Board of Control, the right hon. Gentleman was in a state of incubation, and it was not until the 3rd of June that he hatched this celebrated Bill. Many persons who were not in the habit of coming into the neighbourhood of the House of Commons, and had not therefore an opportunity of seeing the right hon Gentleman there, hearing no more of him during the period in question, had believed he had gone to India to get a personal knowledge of the country, and to ascertain by personal inspection the wants of that great empire. The right hon. Gentleman had indeed had time to go to India, to stay there two months, and then to come back; yet it was the 3rd of June before he could introduce this measure to effect the reforms desired. Now, as the Government had not accepted the advice of his noble Friend (the Earl of Derby)—as they had determined on bringing forward immediately a proposal for reforming the East India Company's Charter, at least they ought to have given this House every opportunity of fully considering the measure. He could see no excuse for the delay which had taken place; and he felt that if the management of Parliamentary business was to be carried on in this way, their Lordships' House must sink very materially in the opinion of the country, and they would be reduced to this—that a Minister, within a fortnight of the end of the Session, might come to their Lordships and say, "The House of Commons has passed this Bill, and I wish you to do so too," expecting the assent of their Lordships very much as a matter of course. If it came to that, noble Lords could have no chance of bringing up the party who agreed with them in opinion, and the Government of the Queen might force through Parliament any measure they pleased. Feeling this, in the name of those who formed Her Majesty's late Government, and in the name of his noble Friend not now present, he would say that they entirely washed their hands of the consequences of this Bill. Whether it proved to be a benefit or otherwise to the people of India—that unfortunate part of Her Majesty's dominions—his noble friends and he wished to be completely irresponsible for whatever its consequences might be, leaving it entirely on the shoulders of Her Majesty's Government. In conclusion, he would repeat that the Government, in his opinion, had neither done justice to the question itself nor to their Lordships by the manner in which this measure had been brought forward, and therefore he was Unwilling to share in any respect the responsibility which attached to its introduction.


My Lords, I feel called upon to make a few observations on the course taken by the noble Earl. The noble Earl has commented upon the manner in which this Bill has been brought before your Lordships, and has taken a course which. I confess, to me is really inexplicable. He complains of the manner in which the House has been treated by the course we have taken. Does the noble Earl think it a constitutional course—does he think it respectful to this House—to get up and say that he will give no opinion of this measure, or whether he approves or disapproves of this Bill? Is that the course which a man in the condition of the noble Earl might be expected to adopt in the presence of your Lordships? It may be very convenient to the noble Earl to do so; that I don't deny; but when the noble Earl declines to give an opinion upon such a subject, he must permit me to think that it is not quite respectful to the House, and I must say not such a course as I ever before knew followed before your Lordships. Now, my Lords, as to the period of the Session at which this Bill comes before you, I must confess that, long as I have been a Member of this House—and I have been a Member longer than any of your Lordships now present—this is a complaint which I have never ceased to hear at the close of every Session. I admit that, on many occasions, that complaint has beer made with great truth and justice; but on this occasion I must reject the accusation of the noble Earl in respect to this measure. He says, that the right hon. Gentleman who proposed this measure to the other House of Parliament has taken more time to prepare it than he ought to have taken. The noble Earl wished the right hon. Gentleman to have proceeded with more haste, and said he had been too long in the process of incubation. Now, my Lords, the noble Earl will recollect that the right hon. Gentleman, with reference to this subject, was nearly, although not altogether, in a similar position to his predecessor in office. But he had to prepare a measure perfectly new, and one which I think could hardly have been prepared in less time than was occupied in the preparation of it. The noble Earl will recollect, too, that in addition to the time necessary for the preparation of a measure of this vast importance and complicated nature, there were other most important matters before the House of Commons, which could not possibly be delayed, and which to a certain degree affected the period of the production of this measure. He will recollect the financial measures which were indispensable to be considered, and which were required indispensably to precede the consideration of this Bill. My Lords, when the noble Earl says that he is obliged to condemn the slothful manner in which the business of this Session has been conducted, I must assert in reply, that I believe the public business never has been more forward than it has been during this Session. It is not for me, certainly, to describe time qualities, the knowledge, and activity of my noble Friend who has the management of the business in the House of Commons, and Who) the noble Earl really seems to think has been remiss and slothful in that conduct;—but I believe your Lordships will admit that, although this Bill may have come up to this House at a late period of the Session, it has not been for want of time for consideration while in the House of Commons, and that the noble Earl and those who act with him have no excuse or valid reason on that ground for not condescending to pronounce an opinion upon it as to whether they approve of the measure or not. The noble Earl asserted all along that there is not time to discuss this Bill; but still, when he comes to explain what he means by discussion, it seems to be that he has not had time to summon together persons to vote. Now, noble Lords who were anxious to discuss the Bill would readily find means to be present. I admit that it would not be so convenient or so practicable to summon persons from a; distance blindly to vote for and against a measure at this period of the Session; but this is not a proceeding which can affect the merits of time Bill. My Lords, my noble Friend near me has gone so fully into the objects and character of the Bill that it is quite unnecessary for me again to travel over the same ground. I am anxious to hear what will, I have no doubt, instruct and enlighten your Lordships—the opinion and the views taken by other noble Lords in this House, and especially those of my noble Friend opposite (the Earl of Ellen-borough), who has paid so much attention to the subject, and to whom your Lordships always listen with the greatest attention and respect. I trust that he, at least, will give us his opinion on all the points connected with the Bill, and will not follow the example which has been set by the noble Earl (the Earl of Malmesbury), and which, I think, is one much more honoured in the breach than in the observance.


My Lords, I cannot help expressing some regret that your Lordships should have been diverted, even for a moment, from the discussion of an important measure to points connected with the business of the House of Commons, and the conduct of Members of Her Majesty's Government in that House. As to the charge of delay which has been brought against the Government, I confess that under ordinary circumstances I should have considered that it was not respectful to this House, or conducive to the public advantage, that a Bill of this very great importance should be proposed for a second reading at so late a period as the 5th of August. But, undoubtedly, the circumstances under which this Bill comes before us, must be looked upon as being of a peculiar character. I have been reminded by the noble Earl (Earl Granville) that I have occupied the attention of your Lordships no fewer than sixteen times on subjects connected with India in the course of this Session. Certainly I was not aware that I had done so so frequently, although I know that I have had often to trespass upon the indulgence of the House. In point of fact, however, I would remind the noble Earl that we have taken a leaf not out of the new, but out of the old book of the House of Commons, and that we have discussed the slate of India in all its relations, and the conduct of the Court of Directors on almost every subject of interest, upon the presentation of petitions to this House. In proposing that certain papers be laid before your Lordships, I remember that I took occasion to go over the whole Bill, clause by clause, and that I have therefore—to my own satisfaction, and to the much greater satisfaction of your Lordships—already made my speech upon the subject. I shall not, then, detain the House by giving over again a speech which it would be as irksome for me to repeat as it would be for your Lordships to listen to, and I have now very few points to press upon the attention of the House. I must say that, looking at all the circumstances under which this Bill comes before us, I do not think that my noble Friend near me (the Earl of Malmesbury), or any Member of this House, is justified in throwing off from himself all the responsibility which attaches to the passing of this measure. There have been many opportunities upon which my noble Friend and others might, if they wished, have expressed their opinions on the subject; the question, as I have already said, has been brought often before the House; and I think we really come upon this discussion to-night with more information upon the subject in the minds of a large portion of this House, than has been acquired with respect to any great Bill which can remember to have come before your Lordships. I am not going to oppose the second reading of this Bill, though it is not the Bill Which I myself should have desired. I think that the system it establishes and partly renews contains some thing bad and something good. But, at the same time, I think that the greatest part of what is bad is not new, and that what is new is not bad. The Bill does not, in my opinion, go far enough, but, so far is it does go, I look upon it generally as in improvement upon the present system. I am not going to say one word against that sentence of mutilation which has been, is I think, most justly pronounced by the Government and by the House of Commons against the Court of Directors; neither would I say a word to delay the execution of that sentence. At the same time I must venture to observe that I do thick that sentence might have been executed in a manner somewhat more merciful towards the persons who are to be the objects of it, and, at the same time, in s manner somewhat more advantageous to the country; because, while securities are taken that there shall be an excision of one-half of that body, no security whatever is taken that the right limbs shall be cut off; and nothing can be more probable than that there will be found at the end of this operation that a mere trunk has been left, without head, without arms, without limbs to support it, but with which the President of the Board of Control must work on as he can. We know that, under any circumstances, it is highly inconvenient, and conducive to a great deal of mal- practice, to have a long-expected election; and I cannot help thinking that the protraction of this election of the fifteen Directors by the thirty, is likely to have very disadvantageous results. In a Parliamentary election there is one, there may be two, persons to elect; each candidate has his party; those who succeed have the pleasure of victory; those who fail have the annoyance of defeat, and there is an end of it. There is no very great stake involved; the parties on each side have very little to lose, and very little to gain. But that is not the case here. The sort of man who will go through the seven years' canvass to become a Director, and who at last succeeds in accomplishing that object, attaining thereby a certain position which he never had before, with the advantage of a large amount of patronage incident to his office—will be readily give up that position which he has attained? Will he not rather make more desperate attempts to retain his post than he ever did to acquire it? Consider his position, if excluded from the Court by the decision of his brother Directors, after having been for a considerable time in possession of these advantages! Your Lordships know very well that men will make more violent efforts to retain power than to acquire it; these Directors will have tasted of the sweets and the advantages of the office; and although I will not suppose—for it would not be proper to do so—that bank notes will pass for the purposes of this election, cadetships will be the currency, I have no doubt; and I have, therefore, framed an oath which, as far as oaths can prevent it, will prevent that abuse of patronage. There is something to be learnt from some of the old customs of the Church of Rome. One of their customs at the election of a Pope was to shut up the Cardinals, to exclude them from all communication with the world, to make them enter the conclave, and until a Pope was chosen, they were not allowed to mix with the world. We have certainly had strange revelations of what sometimes takes place in conclave, and, though the Holy Spirit is very properly invoked every morning, there is some reason to suppose it has not always been present at discussions of that kind. At the same time the design is good, and I am not at all sure that it would not be well to adopt it with regard to this election of the fifteen by the thirty. I won't propose that these thirty gentlemen shall be subjected to all the inconvenience to which the Cardinals are exposed in Italy on such an occasion as that to which I have referred. On the contrary, I would suggest that the place of their confinement should be the London Tavern. I would have them in the large room which has been the scene of their glories on so many occasions, and not let them out until they had elected the fifteen. There is, however, one practical inconvenience which would really result from this arrangement. It is, that one intelligent and celebrated gentleman, who has obtained a very just reputation, and really has been carried to a certain degree of greatness by the extraordinary ability which he has on all occasions shown in the knowledge of election business, would, most undoubtedly, after the passing of any such clause as that proposed, find thirty retainers upon his table, inasmuch as his assistance would inevitably secure the success of the persons whose cause he might espouse. If your Lordships or the Court should select the London Tavern as the scene of this election, I would mention for the benefit and example of the respectable person who presides over that establishment—I don't mean the Chairman of the Board of Directors—a circumstance which was mentioned to me by the late Eugene Beauharnois, Viceroy of Italy. He told me he had found that assassinations, which were frequent in the kingdom of Italy, were very commonly perpetrated by persons during the excitement of the dinner-table. Their knives were all pointed knives, and he explained to me that, when under this excitement, a man would dash his knife into the person sitting opposite to him; and that thus it was that assassinations were so frequent. To prevent their recurrence, Eugene Beauharnois adopted this simple mode, which I would suggest fur adoption in the case of the Directors at the London Tavern, and which greatly diminished assassinations in Italy. He made it penal to have a knife with a point; so all the points were ground off, and the knives made rounded knives; and so people were prevented taking the lives of others during the excitement of the table. So much for the election of the fifteen by the thirty; and I must seriously suggest that it would be highly desirable that these thirty gentlemen should be required, at a very early period, to complete their election. There may not be reason to expect misconduct at once arising out of this election; but the shorter the period during which the discussion, as to the choice of the fifteen, is carried on, the greater the chance that that election will be conducted with purity. There is another portion of the Bill to which I entertain great and serious objection. It is that portion which postpones, until after the decease of three out of the fifteen, the final completion of the plan of Her Majesty's Government, by which six Directors are to be named by the Crown. I think it is altogether contrary to good policy that the completion of a great public measure, having for its object the government of 150,000,000 of people, should be deferred until the expiration of a lease of three lives, given in favour, not of the most aged, not of the most distinguished, not of the most respectable of the fifteen, but dependent on the lives of three of that number, who may prove to be the most ailing, the most sick, the most moribund. So that until death has carried away these three men, all the benefits to be derived to India from the introduction of six able, intelligent, and enlightened minds, into the Court of Directors, are to be postponed for a piece of sentiment which has been here introduced into an Act of Parliament, and which has been brought forward by the noble Earl at the head of Her Majesty's Government, from whom, of all men, I should least have expected any sentiment at all. This is a very serious matter. Great objects are postponed for objects of infinitesimal smallness—for what can be so infinitesimally small as the consideration of the feelings of the three men—in an accidental position, who may happen to die first out of the fifteen Directors? I have heard, however, that when the human eye is couched it is considered expedient to admit the light very gradually, lest some injury should be sustained by the organ upon which the operation has been performed; and it may be that that sudden influx of the light which would be caused by the immediate introduction of knowledge, ability, and experience into the dark regions of the Court, would rather produce injury than benefit. There is, I think, one other point upon which I must likewise express my opinion that the Government have not decided wisely in respect to this measure, and which the noble Earl has not attempted to defend, and that is the retention of the Court of Proprietors as the constituency. The noble Lord says he retains it because it exists. Why, my Lords, that was the reason urged for retaining Old Sarum. But Old Sarum had infinitely more in its favour than the Court of Proprietors, for it returned to the House of Commons some of the most distinguished and ablest men ever sent to Parliament—it had introduced to public life some of the great luminaries of the State—it had as its representatives generally men of respectable attainments and public reputation. Now, the peculiar gift of the Court of Proprietors was to elect ordinary men, instead of the good, the able, and the experienced. If they selected able men, there would not have been this infusion of new blood. But it is because they have this propensity to select indifferent instead of good men, that we are to be exposed to all the inconvenience which has characterised the past, and this old constituency is to be retained. Now, I think this a very serious error. If there is not wisdom in the Cabinet, or in the House of Commons, to guide us in such circumstances, let us go elsewhere. You talk sometimes of the bucolic mind; but let us go to the farmyard and ask the farmer what he would do in this case. Would he, if he were in his senses, continue to breed from a stock which always gave a bad produce? Would he, if he decided on buying instead of breeding, retain in his farmyard the three oldest, most diseased, and incapable beasts of the lot, and that from a mere sentiment which has no place in a farmer's establishment, and which certainly should have none in a Government? What was the principle I proposed instead of this? My proposition was simply to name the Court of Directors in the Bill itself—to subject their names to public observation—and that would have compelled you in the first instance to select the best men that could be found. I proposed, with respect to the revenue and judicial services, that those departments in each Presidency should be represented; that the Madras and Bombay army should have one representative each; and that the Bengal army, as being equal to the other two armies, should have two representatives. Thus we should have had four representatives for the Indian army; and I assure your Lordships, if we deal with anything in connexion with the Indian Government, that is a subject which should be considered. I then proposed that there should be two gentlemen selected from the political department, acquainted with the habits, practices, and prejudices of the Native Courts in the different parts of India; and I thought it would have been very desirable to have two gentlemen unconnected with the Government of India to represent the agricultural and commercial interests of the two great cities, Calcutta and Bombay. There would have been thus, according to my plan, sixteen gentlemen composing the Court; and I apprehend that, with any larger number, it would have been found difficult to transact public business. I believe that no Minister could go on with a Cabinet of more than sixteen Members; I know he certainly could not carry on business with a Cabinet of twenty-four. The persons selected on this plan would, in the first instance, have been good and able men; and whenever vacancies in any department occurred, they would have been filled up by persons with the same qualification; so that jobbing would have been, of necessity, almost excluded. What I desired was to give the Indian Minister a Council in which he could confide, to which he could refer in cases of difficulty, and to enable him, on any question of that kind, to consult respectable and responsible advisers. Instead of this you have framed a Court of Directors so much worse than before that the President of the Board of Control will certainly be obliged to go elsewhere. I should care little about that, for my custom is to get the best advice I can procure, irrespective of the quarter from which it may come; but I prefer responsibility to irresponsibility in all cases where it can be secured; and it is surely the duty of Government to give the person filling that high office the best Council they can devise. Again, the Government and the House of Commons have decided not to alter materially the power which is possessed by the Court of Directors of recalling the Governor General. Now, I suppose it is absolutely necessary that we should, on all occasions, defer with respect to what is termed the wisdom of Parliament, even where it happens to conflict, as it does in this case, with the wisdom of Scripture. The wisdom of Scripture says, "No man can serve two masters;" the wisdom of Parliament says, the Governor General of India shall; nay, more, that he shall do so without the condition which the wisdom of Scripture has attached to the endeavour, the condition of despising one of them; that is the position in which it is deemed fit to retain the Governor General of India.

My Lords, I have never complained of my recall; that of which I did and do complain, is the conduct of the Court of Directors, in weakening by all the means in their power my authority as Governor General, while they left me in possession of the office, and weakening it under circumstances of the greatest difficulty and danger; and I think it right, in order to set this perfectly clear, to read one or two paragraphs of letters of mine written in India at the time, in order to show what my impressions were then, in order that your Lordships may not imagine that those I now express at all vary from those I formerly entertained on this question. I arrived in India on the 28th of February, 1842; and on the 7th of August following I wrote to the Court of Directors in these terms—which I read to show your Lordships how essential I thought, as I still think, it was to the good government of India to have the support of all the authorities there:— I have encountered difficulties which, when I left England, no one could have anticipated, in war and in finance; but these will not dishearten me. I shall persevere in my endeavour to equalise revenue and expenditure; but I can now only hope to lay the foundation of the system which will promise that result. I cannot remain long enough to witness the completion of my object; but if I should receive the full and unqualified support of your hon. Court, I do hope that I may succeed in doing that which will survive me, and produce in future time abundant fruits of public economy and public improvement. Without that full and unqualified support, I must utterly fail in whatever endeavours I may make for the benefit of India, and I will not remain to witness a misgovernment I cannot prevent. These were the terms in which I addressed the Court of Directors only five months after I landed in India. I had, at a later period, occasion to address them in terms equally strong; and; I hope your Lordships will equally understand the necessity of this proceeding. On the 26th of June, 1843, within a few days of a twelvemonth before the time I received my recall, I wrote in the following terms to the Secret Committee:— I should deceive you were I to allow you to imagine that these, or indeed any great objects, can be effected by a Government which has not the cordial and decided support of all the authorities in England. If, from whatever circumstances it may arise, the opinion can be created and prevail in India that a change of policy may be expected from an anticipated change in the person to whom the chief administration of affairs is confided, from that moment all strength must depart from the Government, and it would be best for the public interests that the anticipated change should at once take place. For myself, I can assure you that it will not be ungrateful to me to be relieved from a government which I have conducted amid uninterrupted misrepresentations and calumny, although hitherto, by the good favour of Providence, through unexampled difficulties, with uninterrupted success. My Lords, that was the language I thought it necessary to address to the Secret Committee. I did not fear recall. The only thing I feared was the weakness of my government. I feared I might be, by their opposition, placed in such a position that I should not be enabled to perform my duty to the State. I felt that this was interfering with all the great objects I had in view, and more especially with those in relation to the Native States of India. Well, my Lords, there is one other point with respect to which I have always felt very great anxiety, and as to which I expressed in India the same opinions as I express now—and that is, that it is essential to the government of India, which requires all the strength the wisdom of Parliament can impart to it, that it should be conducted in the name of the Crown. I feel perfectly satisfied, my Lords—nay, more, I feel intuitive conviction, and I feel more confidence in that intuitive conviction on a subject of this kind, which has long pressed on my mind, than I should perhaps if I arrived at the result by any process of reasoning—that, we could do nothing which would more extend our influence in the government of India, or stregthen our administration, than conducting it in the name of the Crown. It would make the Native Princes feel that the sovereign rule was absolute—they are accustomed to Royal power, and they would I then feel themselves a part of the State of which the Sovereign was the head. But, more than that, it would tend to improve greatly the tone of both the civil and the military services; they would look only to the Crown—there would be then no divided allegiance—no feeling that could ever induce them to look more to what they considered the interests of the Company, and not to regard so much the interests of the Crown. It would be especially grateful to the Indian army—and, I must say, I know of no body of men in any country who deserve such a favour more; and to grant to the whole body of the Indian army the name and character and dignity of a Royal army, would, I am satisfied, be, above all things, that which would be most grateful to those on whose fidelity and devotion will depend the preservation of your Indian empire. I have now, my Lords, gone through all the points to which I think it necessary to refer. I confess it is to me a subject of very great regret that Her Majesty's Government, in proposing this measure, have not shown themselves more equal to this emergency. They had an opportunity of obtaining for themselves an immortal name, and to lay broad and deep the foundations of an endur- ing reputation. They have been satisfied with doing little things in a little way. They have sought to make a bit-by-bit reform. How the noble Lord the late President of the Council could have endured a bit-by-bit reform of this kind, recollecting what his former opinions were, I can hardly fancy. They have looked at little rather than at great things. They have not understood the comparative magnitude of objects, or, if they understood it, they have not acted on the judgment which that comparison should have created in their minds; and the result is, that you have a system with which no one is satisfied; which may, indeed, be better—I think it is better—than that which has hitherto existed, but which does not come up to the expectations of any one—a system which in India will give great dissatisfaction, and will not work well, I fear, for the general interests of the people of this country. I repeat that I greatly regret this result. My Lords, it so happens that, having entered the House of Commons in 1813, when the India Charter was under discussion, I have done that which has hardly ever occurred to any one to have done before. I have been present on three occasions when the government of India has undergone the revision of the Legislature. It is humanly impossible that I should live to see another. Nor indeed is it likely that the Government will undertake the task again. If, indeed, there should be any great calamity or misfortune in India, it will be forced on the consideration of Parliament; but if this change should only gradually sap the constitution of our Indian Empire, anti introduce an inferior government, the evil will not come before us in so striking a manner as to lead to any interposition on the part of Parliament. The destruction we have to apprehend will be effected not by violence—not in a manner which can excite the indignation and disgust of the world—but rather, as it were, after the manner of that slow poison by which formerly the sons and nephews of the Emperors of India were gradually destroyed, which gradually wastes away the body, but never betrays its presence by anything but the gradual decay of the energies and faculties. My Lords, in conclusion, I have only to say this, that it is a subject to me of great regret that I have not lived, and that I can entertain no hope of living, to see the entire reconstruction of the Government of India, and to behold it founded on principles which shall afford a prospect of happiness to the people of India, and of grandeur and honour to this country.


said, he must observe that it seemed to him a most extraordinary thing that the noble Earl should call upon them to adopt a Bill of such an important character, at a time when it was impossible for them to give it fair discussion and consideration, and while two Committees appointed to inquire into the subject were still sitting, and had not only not yet given their opinion, but had not even reported the evidence to Parliament. When in 1813 the India Bill was introduced to the House of Lords in the month of July, Earl Grey and Earl Granville, and those noble Lords who acted with them, denounced Government in no measured terms for introducing the Bill at so late a period. The language which they used on that occasion would exactly apply to the present case, only with somewhat more force and truth, for instead of the month of July, it was not till the month of August that the Government introduced the present Bill. For this reason, he would adopt the course pursued by his noble Friend near him (the Earl of Malmesbury.)


said, that without intending to cast any reflection on the noble Earl who had the conduct of this Bill, he must complain of the course which their Lordships were invited to take, and he did so for reasons widely differing from those which had been urged by those who had preceded him. He believed that the present was the first instance within memory—at least it was the first instance which he remembered—in which the two Houses of Parliament had been called upon by the Ministers of the Crown to appoint Committees to pursue the laborious, difficult, and responsible task of seeking out the truth in a complicated and important question, and then, after two years spent in the examination of witnesses, had been suddenly summoned to rush into legislation before any opinion had been formed, or any Report presented by those Committees—nay, even before the evidence already taken had been laid before the House. He was far from asserting that in consenting to the appointment of Committees, Her Majesty's Government necessarily bound themselves to adopt the recommendations of those Committees, whatever those recommendations might be; but they certainly did pledge themselves thus far—that they would not altogether supersede the Committees so appointed, disappoint the just expectations of the public, or set aside those able wit- nesses who had been called upon to assist in their investigations. The noble Marquess who had just sat down had referred to the important declarations made by Lord Grey and by Lord Grenville on a similar occasion, and he would not, therefore, weaken their authority by repeating them; but he would call their Lordships' attention to the peculiar circumstances under which the present Parliamentary Committees had been appointed, and to the declarations made at the time of their appointment by the leaders of both parties, with respect to the duties and the obligations imposed upon the Government and Parliament by reason of that appointment, and to the course which ought to be pursued as consequent on these inquiries. Upon the nomination of the Committees, the noble Earl at the head of Her Majesty's late Government (the Earl of Derby), who he regretted was prevented from attending to-night, through illness, and also the noble Lord who now led the House of Commons as the representative of the present Government, did not in the slightest degree differ in their estimate of the duty which the Committees were called upon to perform.—[See Hansard, cxx. 859, 546.] In the Commons, the noble Lord the Member for the City of London was the more cautious of the two; but he and the noble Earl at the head of the late Government were equally distinct in opinion as to the duties and functions of the Committee. Lord John Russell said, "It was right that the Government should retain in their own hands the power of submitting, when the fitting time arrived, such propositions as they may think wise and politic to Parliament after the Committee has made its Report;" thus distinctly intimating that whilst the power of judging for themselves, should be retained by the Government, that power would not be exercised until after the Committees had made their Report. Lord Derby, then at the head of the Government, went further. After recapitulating, with all that clearness and emphasis which marked every proposition enunciated by the noble Earl, the duties of the Committee, and the subjects which ought to come under consideration, he went on to say that the Committee was appointed for the purpose of enabling the House to consider whether the Directors had been faithful stewards of their trust, and that on its report their Lordships would be called on to determine how far it might be wise to continue, to abrogate, or modify, the existing system of government. By that Report, he added, we shall be guided. Were these engagements fulfilled, or these just expectations realised? Quite the reverse. So far from seeking the advice of the Committees, Her Majesty's Government had decided upon the question at issue without even waiting to hear what the Committees might think fit to recommend. Lord Derby, as he had observed, had gone so far as to state that the Government were ready to be guided, in the course which they would pursue, by the reports of the Committees, and that to the two Committees must be intrusted the task of considering how the affairs of India should hereafter be best conducted. Yet Parliament was now compelled to legislate in the month of August, when the Committees had neither expressed their opinions, nor made their Report, So far as their Lordships' Committee was concerned, he could take upon himself to say that such was now the case. The noble Earl who had presided over that Committee (Earl Granville) had not ventured, with all the power of persuasion which he possessed, not only from his high talents, but from the great personal regard so deservedly and universally entertained for him, to call upon their Lordships' Committee for an opinion. It certainly was not from want of power that he had so refrained, but he had not ventured to use the power which he possessed. He could not consider this mode of proceeding as respectful to Parliament, or likely to be satisfactory to India. But it was not merely of the want of a Report that he complained. The evidence was set aside likewise, and treated with indignity. At the present time not one of their Lordships, except the Members of the Committee, could be aware of what had taken place in the Committee, and yet they were called on to legislate, at once, in the absence of evidence, and after having been committed by a vote of both Houses of Parliament to undertake a previous inquiry. Such a mode of proceeding was, he believed, contrary to all Parliamentary precedent. It rendered all such inquiries, however laborious, little better than a solemn farce. The lateness of the Session had been alleged as an excuse; but why should it be so? If the House of Lords was prepared, under all circumstances, to admit the lateness of the Session as a justification for passing or rejecting a legislative measure, whatever might be its importance, that evil which was now felt to be pressing, would become perpetual; and if their Lordships were to allow themselves to be placed in a position where it was utterly impossible to discharge adequately the duties they owed to those on whose behalf they were called on to act, they must make up their minds, as a consequence, to sink fatally in the estimation of the public. He entreated them to avert such a result. He had heard the Bill before them described in the most opposite terms by its advocates. By some he had heard the Bill defined as the best measure which Parliament could pass; and he had heard it contended—on grounds which he certainly could not adopt, after a splendid eulogium of the conduct of the East India Company and of the Court of Directors in the discharge of all their various functions—that the Bill contained all that was wisest, discreetest, best. This could hardly be logically maintained in support of the Bill; for if the former Government of India had been so perfect, it was difficult to defend the important changes which were made by the Bill now under consideration. On the other hand, he had heard the Bill described precisely in an opposite manner; be had heard it stated—and in language which he thought gave a far juster description of the Bill, and one in which he was more inclined to agree—that the Bill was a mere middle term, adopted for the time, for the purpose of leading, by a change more or less rapid, to an entire abolition of the present system of government. It was difficult to deal with the Bill without first knowing whether it was introduced as a transition to another and a better state, or whether it was to be regarded as a Bill, good in itself, and which impressed its seal of approval upon all that was past, and only applied those slight remedies which all things human, as being incident to decay and failure, required from time to time. He hoped he was right in assuming as accurate that definition of the Bill which represented it as a prudent and gradual step, leading us eventually, by wiser legislation, to a better state of things. He was not prepared to say that in reforming the government of so vast an empire as that of India, with its 150,000,000 of inhabitants, any sudden and violent alteration of the system might not be attended with such peril as to make a more gradual process expedient if not indispensable; but the defence of such a gradual course must be, that each step they were called on to take, was in the right direction, and was in itself a good and advantageous one. The proposed mode of change, under this Bill, was not happy. He should not weaken the effect of the arguments, and the humour of the noble Earl (the Earl of Ellenborough) by referring to the process of elimination proposed to be carried on in Leadenhall-street; but, he quite agreed with the noble Earl, that, it would have been a far more dignified mode of dealing with a subject of such vast importance, that the Directors—especially the nominee Directors—should have been appointed, individually, by a clause in the Bill. It would have beets infinitely more politic to have their names inserted in the Bill itself, as an inauguration of the new Government, giving to that new Government all the authority, the weight, and solemnity of a Parliamentary sanction. That course would not have led to any difficulty of an insurmountable kind. He knew it was frequently said that, in all these cases, it was better to leave the Government to act on their own responsibility. But to provide for the good government of 150,000,000 of subjects was a case so peculiar as to make its own justification, as an exception. Certainly, the calm and temperate mode in which the Bill had been discussed, in both Houses of Parliament, did not give the Government any reason to believe that, from any party or personal feelings, difficulties would have been thrown in their way if Parliament had been called on to name the first Court of Directors. He (Lord Mont-eagle) felt justified in believing that this would have been a constitutional mode of proceeding, for the party to which he had always looked up as his best guide in constitutional doctrine—the party of Fox and of Burke—had admitted the necessity of appointing the Governors of India by the vote of Parliament, rather than by the mere exercise of the prerogative, or by any other mode of selection. Objections had been made to the present Bill as continuing the system of double government; but in truth it might be described, as, for the first time, creating a treble government; and increasing the complication of Indian affairs in a manner which, he would take it upon himself to say, when it came into operation, both the Government of the day and Parliament would see cause to regret. We should still have to deal with the India Board, and in addition, we should find two distinct and probably conflicting elements in the nominated and the elected members of the Court of Directors. Where, he would ask, could there be shown an instance, in all the experiments which had been made in constitutions, of two distinct classes of persons working together practically and harmoniously in one single assembly—one class elected by any description of constituency that could be named, and the other class nominated by the Crown? The noble Duke who had charge of the Colonies (the Duke of Newcastle) knew full well how many experiments of this sort had been tried and had failed. If the noble Duke thought fit to offer any reply o these remarks, he would, on this point, be forced to admit that nothing could be less satisfactory than the working of the system which united nominees and elected members in one chamber. The noble Duke had tried it in Australia. [The Duke of NEWCASTLE: No I have not tried it.] Certainly, the noble Duke did not institute the experiment—on the contrary, he believed that the noble Duke was one of those who had had the public spirit and the courage to proclaim the union, in the same assembly, of elected members and nominees as being one of the greatest grievances which could be inflicted on any country; and yet he supported a Bill which for the first time went to introduce this very principle into the government of a great country like India. What would be the effect of this new system? The nominees whom it was proposed to introduce into the Court of Directors, though forming a numerical minority in the Court, would nevertheless feel themselves backed by the irresistible authority of the Board of Control, and the consequence would be that the six nominees would have more weight in the Court than the twelve representatives of the Court of Proprietors. Was this likely to lead to harmony and concord, or, to the very reverse? If it were really wished to strengthen the double government, such as it was, they ought to have supplied Indian knowledge where it was most wanted—at the Board of Control. If they had constituted these nominees into a Council in aid of the President if the Board of Control, they might have created a department which, though afterwards encumbered with the dead weight of the Court of Directors, would always have contained great knowledge, and he hoped would, therefore, have possessed permanent strength. In place of taking this course, local knowledge was supplied to the Court of Directors where it was least wanting, and was withheld from the India Board where it was most required. He understood that it was intended that one of the Secretaries of the Board of Control should hereafter be nominated as a permanent officer. That, he thought, would be a very great improvement, and it would be one of the best steps which could be taken to strengthen that department; much would doubtless depend on the selection made for this office; Indian experience was the indispensable qualification. He wished to see the Indian knowledge of the Board increased; he thought that by neglecting to introduce persons possessed of Indian knowledge into the Board of Control, they were depriving the Queen's Government of the services of those persons who would be most useful for the successful administration of India, while they were intruding these very persons upon the Court of Directors, where they would be viewed with suspicion, and considered as parties who were unfriendly to that body, and placed as a check on its freedom of action. He would now pass to a point which had hardly been touched upon as yet, but which, in his opinion, surpassed in importance all that had been noticed, or all that could be dwelt upon. Little reference had as yet been made to the Natives of India, and to their just right to the protection which it was argued by the Government that this Bill was intended to afford them. His noble Friend would recollect that when this question was discussed at an earlier period of the Session, he had taken the liberty of asking—somewhat irregularly, perhaps, though the noble Earl, with his usual kindness, had excused the irregularity—whether, when he described the new system for the distribution of patronage introduced by this Bill, all civil appointments were to be open alike to the Asiatic subjects of Her Majesty and to Europeans? The noble Earl replied frankly that it was so intended, and that Addiscombe and Haileybury would be equally open to all. Such, he believed, was at the time the noble Earl's intention; and he then told the noble Earl, in reply, that this concession, as a matter of principle, would do more to reconcile to the Government scheme those who considered the Indian question mainly in reference to the condition of the Natives, than any other provision in the Bill. At the same time the noble Earl must be aware that this was important rather as the admission of a principle, than as leading to any large practical consequences. Still it was perfectly true —and it was a matter of congratulation—that the East India Company would no longer be liable to the disgrace and discredit of rejecting candidates highly qualified in all respects, and from reputation and character admirably suited for appointments such as those of medical officers, simply because they were Asiatic born and Asiatic bred. He alluded to the case of the medical student on whose behalf his friends Sir Edward Ryan and Mr. Cameron had so honourably interfered. Yet this concession should not be taken for more than it was worth. Any candidates, it is true, might for the future work their way from Calcutta to Haileybury to stand a competition, (under what regulations they knew not yet,) in competition with British-born candidates for admission into the Company's service. Was this privilege likely to be largely profitable to the Hindoo? He had dwelt on this point for the purpose of leading their Lordships to consider the circumstances which had engaged the anxious attention of the Legislature when the Charter of 1833 was passed. The 87th clause was introduced at the suggestion of Lord William Bentinck; and when inserted in the Act, it certainly was not intended that it should remain; a dead letter. It provided that no distinctions of religion, of colour, of caste, or of birth, should be held a disqualification to prevent either Native or European, from filling any public office whatever. He was sure that his noble Friend was too sincere and accurate to suggest that it was ever contemplated at that time to put or to continue any restriction upon the eligibility thus created. The clause was distinct; it was unlimited, and without any reservation whatever—there was no powers of evading it, except by bad faith. But what had been the practice? Why, the clause had been evaded; and in what way? It had been done in this manner:—It was argued that, although Parliament had passed a Bill declaring in absolute terms that all persons should be eligible, the East India Company should be at liberty to interpret the clause as meaning, that although all Natives should be eligible to the uncovenanted service, yet none but British-born subjects should be eligible to the covenanted service—an interpretation, whether right or wrong, which was totally at variance with the rights and interest; claimed for the Natives of India on the introduction of the Bill of 1833, and with the letter and spirit of the Act itself. As he meant to propose an Amendment on this point, he must request their Lordships' indulgence for a moment or two further on this branch of the case. He wished to prove to their Lordships that the interpretation which he now put upon the 87th clause was the interpretation put upon it by every statesman who was responsible for the Bill of 1833, as well, also, as the interpretation put upon it by gentlemen who were not officially responsible for the Bill. The advancement of the Natives had been recommended by his noble Friend (the Earl of Ellenborough) with great earnestness; and if fine words were any consolation to those whose strong feelings and highest ambition were excited by such advocacy of their cause, then the Natives might find comfort in what had from time to time been said on their behalf during the present debates. But the question now to be considered was, whether the words of those who thus eloquently spoke were in correspondence with the despatches sent out for the government of the Natives of India, and were in conformity with the acts of the Company. In the year 1830 the discussion of the East India Charter took place under circumstances very similar to the present. A Committee had been appointed by one Government; a change of Government had taken place; and the Charter Bill was introduced by the succeeding Government. In February, 1830, when the Committee was appointed, the Duke of Wellington was at the head of the Government, and Lord Ellenborough was at the head of the Board of Control. What were his declared opinions and intentions at that time? His noble Friend then stated that— Among the means of reducing expense was the very desirable one of reducing gradually the number of Europeans employed in establishments in India, and bringing forward, gradually however, and with extreme caution, the most deserving among the natives, by employing them in situations of higher trust and authority than they were accustomed to fill. If these measures should be pursued firmly, but with extreme caution, always regarding the interests and habits and feelings of the individuals in question, he confidently looked forward to an amelioration of the revenue of India."—[2 Hansard, xxii. 251.] The evidence of Sir Thomas Munro before the Committee swept away the notion that the Natives were disqualified, either by character, nature, or want of ability, from filling offices of authority. In speaking of the Hindoo character, he said— Unless we suppose that they are inferior to us in natural talent, which there is no reason to believe, it is much more likely that they will be duly qualified for their employments than Europeans for theirs, because the field of selection is so much greater in the one case than in the other. We have a whole nation from which to make our choice of natives; but, in order to make choice of Europeans, we have only the small body of the Company's covenanted servants. No conceit more wild and absurd than this was ever engendered in the darkest ages; for what is in every age and every country the great stimulus to the pursuit of knowledge, but the prospect of same, or wealth, or power? or what is even the use of great attainments, if they are not to be devoted to their noblest purpose, the service of the community—by employing those who possess them, according to their respective qualifications, in the various duties of the public administration of the country? Our books will do little or nothing; dry, simple literature will never improve the character of a nation. To produce this effect we must open the road to wealth, and honour, and public employment. Without the prospect of such reward, no attainments in science will ever raise the character of a people. On the 13th of June, 1833, Mr. Charles Grant (now Lord Glenelg), then at the head of the Board of Control, proposed to introduce a clause in the then pending Bill to put an end for ever to all disabilities on the part of the Natives on account of their birth or religion. On that occasion Lord Glenelg was ably seconded by the late Mr. Charles W. Wynne, his predecessor in office, who said— It is with great pleasure he had heard a declaration which he wished had been made the subject of a distinct and substantive resolution to occupy the first place in their proceedings—namely, that all Natives of India, without regard to colour, descent, or religion, should be eligible to every office under the Government which their education and acquirements might qualify them to fill."—[3 Hansard, xviii.741.] On the 10th of July following, Mr. Wynne again said— The only principle on which India could justly, wisely, or advantageously be administered was, hat of admitting the Natives to a participation in the Government, and allowing them to hold every office the duties of which they were competent to discharge. Instances were adduced of corruption and venality; but were they not the result of our own conduct? Duties of importance devolved upon them, without adequate remuneration either in rank or salary—no reward or promotion for fidelity. Why, then, complain of peculation and bribery? We made vices, and then punished them."—[3 Hansard, xix. 537.] These generous views were likewise recommended by one of the most eloquent of our leading statesmen. On the same occasion Mr. Macaulay said— I now allude to the wise, benevolent, noble clause which enacts that no Native of our Indian empire shall, by reason of his colour, descent, or religion, be incapable of holding office. To the last day of my life I shall be proud of having been one of those who assisted in the framing of the Bill which contains that clause. Do we think we can give knowledge without awakening ambition, or do we mean to awaken ambition, and provide it with no legitimate vent?"—[3 Hansard, xix. 534 & 536.] Nor were Munro, Grant, Wynne, and Macaulay, the only authorities to which he (Lord Monteagle) could appeal? The statesman and soldier who knew India the best, confirmed these judgments. On the 5th of July, 1833, the Duke of Wellington, speaking on the same subject, said— If there was any one point in which all parties had agreed—and he made this assertion from a perusal of the evidence before the Committee which sat to inquire into the subject in both Houses—it was, that the Natives of India should, as much as possible, be employed in the revenue and judicial establishments of the country. That point was again and again impressed on the attention of Ministers in the evidence of last Session."—[3 Hansard, xix. 204.] And Lord Lansdowne, speaking in the same debate, and representing the government of Lord Grey, conclusively added— It was a part of the new system which ho had to propose to their Lordships, that to every office in India every Native, of whatever caste, sect, or religion, should be by law equally admissible; and he hoped that the Government would seriously endeavour to give the fullest effect to this arrangement, which would be as beneficial to the people themselves as it would be advantageous to the economical reforms which were now in progress in different parts of India." —[3 Hansard, xix. 171.] He would now ask their Lordships whether the declarations and promises then expressed, and the expectations then raised, had or had not been fulfilled and adhered to? So far was this from being the case, that the following description, given in the Report of the Committee of 1833, was an accurate description of the state of India at the present moment:— The Natives are alive to the grievance of being excluded from a larger share in the executive Government. They are at present only employed in subordinate situations in the revenue, judicial, and military departments. It is amply borne out by the evidence that such exclusion is not warranted on the score of incapacity for business, want of application, or of trustworthiness; while it is contended that their admission, under European control, into the higher offices would have the beneficial effect of checking the moral obliquities of their character, would strengthen their attachment to British connexion, and conduce to the better administration of justice. If, therefore, their Lordships looked back through the interval of twenty years they would find that, notwithstanding the enactment of the 87th clause, to which so much importance was attached in 1833, the Natives of India were still left at this lay precisely in the same condition in which they stood before the clause was enacted. The evidence of Munro, the declarations of Grant, Wynne, Macaulay, Lord Lansdowne, the Duke of Wellington, and the authority of the Committee of 1830, have all been set at nought. He would show their Lordships that such was the case from evidence taken in the present Session. He spoke upon the authority of one of the most able and excellent men examined before the Committee on India Affairs—he referred to Mr. Cameron. After that gentleman had gone into a detailed explanation of the state of things in India, well calculated to be a guide to all parties in the State, and to Parliament itself, he was asked this question —" Is there one single office filled by a Native of India at the present time, to which he would not have been equally eligible before the last Charter?" His answer was, "There is not one single office that is now filled by a Native to which he would not have been eligible before the last Charter." Such then is the manner in which we have satisfied the expectations excited in 1833 by the enactments of our Legislature, and the declarations of some of our best and greatest men. It was true, new offices had been created, to some of which Natives had been appointed; but from all offices in the covenanted service the Natives were still, as they previously had been, absolutely excluded, and a line of demarcation had been drawn by which the engagements of Parliament were rendered nugatory. The 87th clause was passed to give the Natives full eligibility; Parliament had passed the law, but the exclusion still existed in its full force. In the year 1828 the number of Natives in the employment of the Company was 1,197; in 1849 the numbers had increased to 2,818. This looked very well in a tabular return; but when the House considered how the Natives employed were classed, they would find that in the revenue and judicial offices the increase was only from 1,034 to 1,344:—all the rest of this mighty increase, which looked so well in a tabular form amounted to little or nothing, because the Native appointments were made for the most part to offices of the most subordinate rank, and the salaries paid, in most cases were of insignificant value. For instance, there were offices to which it was said Natives were appointed, but which were so insignificant that it was impossible to describe them otherwise than under the title of "various." These offices in 1828 amounted to 149; and in 1849 they reached to 990. Why, if the Government were to give a return of home appointments, and were to include in it the metropolitan police, might not any one exclaim, "See how generous the Parliament and the Government are—they now admit hundreds and thousands of the middle classes into places to which they would not have been named in 1827," that is, before the police force had been formed. These Indian appointments, therefore, ought to be weighed, not numbered. According to his noble Friend's explanation of the Bill, it was proposed to admit all qualified persons into the civil service, provided they had had a suitable education at Haileybury, and had undergone the necessary examination; but that was only a part of the scheme, and he had already shown that the distance between India and England, the uncertainty of success, and the difficulties connected with religion and caste, rendered this concession almost nugatory. Still, the Natives would be ineligible for some of the higher civil and judicial offices. In the year 1833 this distinction between the covenanted and uncovenanted service was not stated in Parliament as constituting a difference in the qualification of a candidate fur employment; he, therefore, wished that it should now be extinguished by Some positive and declaratory enactment, and would, therefore, suggest to his noble Friend an amendment in entire conformity with the principles of the present Bill, by which, alter reciting the 87th clause, they should declare that it was not to be construed or controlled by any reference to or by any distinction drawn between the covenanted and uncovenanted service. He was anxious, however, to guard himself against the supposition that he was dealing with this question in any other respect than as regarded the eligibility of Natives for appointments. He was far from suggesting that the Natives should be placed in any position for which they were not as yet fitted: what he contended for was, that, consistently with past legislation, with right, and with principle, it was indispensable that the unqualified eligibility of the Natives of India, if fitted for office, should be declared on the face of the present Bill. They could not shrink from taking this course on the ground that there had been no expectation created to justify the demand. He had shown abundantly that this was not the case. If they really meant to repeal the 87th clause, let them say so. But let them not leave the matter to the discretion of those over whom they had no control; for as the Bill stood, these appointments were involved in the rights of patronage vested not in the Board of Control, but in the Directors. Therefore, if it was intended that the spirit of the 87th clause of the Act of 1833 should be carried out, they must insert a statutable provision to carry out and to enforce their own intentions; unless, indeed, they were disposed to do what he could not for a moment believe his noble Friend at the head of the Government would ever be guilty of—to say one thing, when they meant to do another. Did they mean to declare the eligibility of the Natives? If so, let it go forth that such was their intention; for, in the words of Mr. Macaulay, he would say, "Do you think we can give knowledge without awakening ambition, or do you mean to awaken ambition and provide it with no legitimate vent?" The noble Earl (Earl Granville) said, that much had been done of late years for the education of the Natives of India. No doubt; but still the capacity which the Natives had shown for availing themselves of, and profiting by, this improved education, had far surpassed the generosity of the Government, or the facilities placed within their reach. Even on this subject of education he had to reproach the Company for their shortcomings. So long ago as 1813 it was made compulsory upon the Company, by the Act passed in that year, that they should spend a lac of rupees, or 10,000l. annually, upon the education of the Natives of India; this obligation had not been fulfilled. No step had been taken to perform the engagement till the unpardonable neglect was discovered in 1824, when a Committee, appointed to inquire into the subject of public instruction, found that not a single farthing of that sum had ever been expended. Even then only two years' arrears were paid out of the large sum due. This appeared on the evidence of one of the most distinguished of the civil servants of the Company, Sir Charles Trevelyan. He must say, therefore, that he was not prepared to trust the Directors on this point. He did not trust them, because even when Parliament imposed specific obligations upon them, they forgot those obligations, and, sometimes under one pretext, and sometimes under another, they excluded all Native candidates from the higher offices in the civil service and from the covenanted service altogether. And had their conduct on more general questions been irreproachable? What said Mr. Macaulay elsewhere, the eloquent defender of the Board of Directors? Why, Mr. Macaulay stated in the other House that there was not one of the great measures of Lord William Bentinck—the greatest and wisest reformer known in Indian history—there was not one single measure which had not been counteracted by the Home Government, and Which did not entail upon its author reprimand instead of honour. If such an account of the Home Government was given by their most eloquent defender, he was quite at a loss to conceive how a more severe or more impartial judge would have described their conduct. The evidence taken before their Lordship' Committee had clearly established the fact, that practically the present double government of India was an irresponsible government Of this the present war in Burmah was a proof; we were now engaged in what seemed to be one of the most causeless, and, as far as he could judge, one of the most dangerous military enterprises that we had ever undertaken since our first occupation of India. If we had encountered greater perils before, certainly we had never done so with the prospect of deriving from them a benefit so infinitely small—if any benefit there existed. He would not, indeed, say that a mere question of 700l., winch was now keeping all India east of the Ganges in confusion, was necessarily inconsistent with the justice of the war, because 700l., though a small sum, might involve a question of national honour. But who, he would ask, was responsible for this war? His right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Control had, indeed, with that generosity of heart which characterised him, gallantly said that he would be responsible for this war. But this was merely the sort of official responsibility which attached to a Government, coming in after an act had been done, and throwing their shield over the acts of governors or generals abroad: what was practically wanted was, an admission of the direct responsibility of the person who might by his direct and immediate interposition have averted this calamity. He wished to know who was actually responsible for the commencement of that war? Was it the Governor General of India, the Board of Control, or the Court of Directors? In conclusion, he must say that, while there were many parts of this measure which introduced changes which did infinite credit to the Government—particularly with respect to the establishment of open competition as preliminary to the admission to office—he must most decidedly object to the insufficiency of the reforms provided, and to the anomalous, and he feared impracticable, mode of continuing the present system of double government. He did not, indeed, object to the propositions of the Government on this point if they were intended merely to establish a form of government which should serve simply as a transition step, but were not intended to be adopted as a permanent institution. When the House went into Committee, he should propose an Amendment, with a view of obtaining better security for carrying into practical effect the expressed intentions of the Government and of Parliament, with respect to the admission of Natives of India to Government appointments.


said, that he should not enter at any length into the details of this question; but he was not sorry to have an opportunity of expressing his opinion with respect to some great popular fallacies, in accordance with which the conduct of Her Majesty's Government in respect to this measure had been condemned both in that House and out of doors. He would not now discuss the worn-out question of the advisability of delaying legislation, because that question had been fairly submitted to the House of Commons; and the opinion of the country, so far as it could be collected from its representatives in Parliament, had been expressed by an overwhelming majority—much greater, indeed, than had been expected by the Government—composed of individuals of all parties, who had declared their conviction that the Government had taken the wisest course in not delaying for another year to legislate on the question of the government of India. He must say that the Government had taken that course from a strict sense of public duty. Party convenience, and the surface current of popular opinion, so far as it could be gathered from the press and other sources, appeared to be in favour of delay; and the knowledge that a variety of heterogeneous objections were sure to be offered to any measure that might be brought forward, would have led led Her Majesty's Government to decline to legislate during the present Session. They did so only from the belief that delay would be injurious to the interests of our Indian empire, because it would maintain there a state of doubt, transition, and agitation, which was perilous to the continuance of our sway. They were no doubt, too, influenced in coming to this conclusion by the opinion of the Governor General, which, notwithstanding whot had been said, he believed it was their duty at least to intimate to Parliament. He would not deny that it was now somewhat late in the Session to bring a measure of so much importance before their Lordships; but although it was now technically before them for the first time, its merits had, in fact, been frequently discussed during the progress of the Session. He could not, therefore, at all agree in the conclusion at which noble Lords opposite had arrived, not to enter upon the discussion of the measure. He believed that when in office they intended to have proceeded to immediate legislation; and he very much doubted whether, if they had expressed an opinion on this Bill, it would have been in accordance with the sentiments of those with whom they habitually acted in another place. No doubt, however, under these circumstances, it was very convenient for them to abstain from discussion. The noble Lord who had just resumed his seat (Lord Monteagle), repeating an objection to the measure of the Government frequently heard out of doors, had charged the President of the Board of Control with inconsistency, in indulging in brilliant eulogiums on the Court of Directors, and the whole conduct of the Indian Government, at the very time when he was introducing a measure which materially altered its constitution, and which, therefore, implied that it was at present defective. He was surprised to hear that statement. What was the course taken by the opponents of the present Indian Government? He did not deny that there were many serious defects in the constitution of the Indian Government; but those who had got up an animated agitation on this question—upon almost every question connected with its practical working—had indulged in enormous exaggerations. While, therefore, the Government admitted the existence of defects in the constitution of the Indian Government, and abuses in its administration of affairs, and, therefore, proposed to introduce changes with the view to obviate them for the future, it was, on the other hand, quite fair for them to show that great exaggerations had been indulged in with respect to almost every alleged defect in the Indian Government, and that it was, therefore, not incumbent upon them at once to sweep away the whole system of double governments. But when his right hon. Friend did that, the very persons by whom the exaggerations had been made turned round and said, "You are defending things as they are; why, therefore, should you alter them?" The Government were not defending things as they are. They admitted that great defects existed in the present composite system of government, and they proposed improvements; but they were bound to point out exaggerations, and to show that in consequence of some admitted defects it was not incumbent on them to sweep away the whole edifice. He would mention one or two other points upon which the greatest exaggeration had prevailed. It had been said that the greatest blot upon the administration of Indian affairs was the judicial department, the defects in which were not only great, but had been increasing of late years; and it had been frequently said that when nothing else could be done with a man in India he was made a Judge. Mr. Halliday, however, in his evidence before their Lordships' Committee, distinctly stated no such accusation could be fairly brought against the India Government. Again, a petition had been presented from Madras, in which, on the authority of some reports of seventeen or eighteen years ago, certain public works were represented as being greatly needed; but it turned out, upon inquiry, that these works had been constructed fifteen or sixteen years since. The noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Ellenborough) had accused the Government of having lost a great opportunity, and said, that this was a bit-by-bit reform. But he (the Duke of Argyll) considered it as a great merit of the measure before them that it was not a new paper constitution for India. Let the House recollect how our Indian empire had been gained. It consisted of acquisitions made bit by bit from various races, and was inhabited by people of different languages and customs; the Government had grown with the growth of the empire—it had been developed gradually; and he considered that it would have been the height of rashness in the Government to have swept away the whole of this system without any sufficient cause, for the purpose of setting up a new constitution for our Indian empire. The real object of those who complained of this being a bit by-bit reform was to get rid of the double government. It seemed to him, however, that there were great fallacies in the argument usually held on this subject. What was wanted was the establishment of a single government. Now, this must be a change either in substance or in name. If of substance, what change did they wish? The Indian Government was now entirely separate from the Home Government, which was only a Government of review; it was one of active operation only as regarded foreign policy. No one, however, proposed that a Minister of the Crown should preside over the Government of India without the assistance of a Council. It was admitted that there must be a double government, and that the Home Government must consist of a Minister and a Council. That being so, the whole question with regard to a change in the substance of the Government fell to the ground. As long as they had a Minister acting under the advice of a Council, it was in fact utterly impossible to obtain what the supporters of this change desired—a single Minister with undivided responsibility for the whole government of India. If they wanted a change more than in name, they must want a single Minister responsible for all that was done in India; but that was a system upon which, by the admission of its own advocates, they could not venture. He, therefore, agreed with his noble Friend (Lord Monteagle) that they could not escape responsibility. His noble Friend had referred to the case of the Burmese war as an illustration of the deficiency of responsibility for the Government of India. But even in Europe wars were sometimes occasioned or precipitated by the conduct of naval or military officers. The sort of accident which had occurred in Burmah might take place in any empire; and there were circumstances connected with the Bast Indian Government which must render it impossible for the Home Government to be made responsible for acts that might involve the country in war. If the change required were not one of substance, it must be one of name. The noble Earl (the Earl of Ellenborough), however, said that he had a strong conviction that a change, not in substance, but in name—the carrying on of the government in the name, not of the Company, but of the Crown—would conduce in the highest degree to the welfare of the Indian empire. He (the Duke of Argyll) certainly did not say that sooner or later the time would not arrive for the Government to take the administration of Indian affairs into its own hands; but he certainly thought that the present was not the time. Mr. Halliday, one of the ablest of the Company's servants, in the course of his examination before their Lordships' Committee, expressed his desire that the government should in future be carried on in the name of the Crown; stating at the same time that that could be done without any change being made in the mode of conducting business by the Board of Control and the Board of Directors, which would leave the division and responsibility very much where it was at present. When questioned as to the ground on which he advised this change, he said that at present the Natives of India had an impression that we only farmed the government of the country, and that belief tended to create an impression to our disadvantage. It was under the system of farming the governments that the greatest cruelties had taken place in the administration of India. To the subjects of an Eastern empire no greater change could be possibly imagined than the change from the ride of some rapacious governor to that of a monarch who took the management of affairs into his own hands. That was the impression of the Natives of India of the change from a Government that was farmed to an Imperial Government. If, then, we told the people of India that we were not farming them out, but that there was about to be a change, that that farming of them out was about to cease, they would at once, and naturally, expect that a change far greater than we were prepared for was about to take place. They would expect that the system of taxation existing under the farming Government would undergo large alterations, and that some great amelioration was to be effected in their condition. He put it to the House whether they were ready to guarantee to the Natives any change of the magnitude that they would expect—whether they were prepared to deal on this great scale with the subject of Indian taxation—and whether they were able at once totally to reconstitute the whole system of land revenue in India? He contended that they were able to do none of these things; and, that not being able to propose any changes analogous to the experience of the Natives in such cases, they should nut hold out a prospect which they had neither the hope nor the intention to see realised. The only real ques- tion which remained was the question with whom the election of the Indian Council should be left. His noble Friend who introduced this question had been repeatedly alluded to as having admitted that if we were starting a new Government for India we should not use the same constituency that we now did. He confessed to not seeing the farce of this objection. It was through a commercial Company that we first acquired the government of this great empire; in 1833 that Company still retained something of its commercial character. But the course then taken by Parliament was to deprive it of its commercial privileges, and the ground urged for this was that it would be better to carry on the functions of empire when disengaged from commercial pursuits. How then, Parliament having deprived them of their commercial privileges, on the ground that so to do would fit them for the administration of Indian affairs, could they turn round afterwards and say, "There is no reason to continue to you the Government of India. It was given to you because you were a commercial Company; but you are no longer such, and therefore there is no reason why you should continue to govern." Under any circumstances this would seem unfair; but it seemed peculiarly so when the fact was that the anticipations held out in 1833, that the Company being divested of their commercial character would direct their attention more to the Government of India, had to a very great extent been carried out. The results then promised had actually been achieved, and during the last twenty years a much larger proportion of the Board of Directors had consisted of persons experienced in the affairs of India. So far, then, as the removal of its commercial character was concerned, he saw no ground for dispensing with the services of the Company in the Government of India. He must say he had looked forward with great pleasure and interest to the address of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Ellenborough) on the important question before the House, and he hoped the noble Earl would not think he meant anything disrespectful to him when he said he was exceedingly disappointed. The greater portion of it was not directed to the measure of the Government, or to any great principles, but was an attack upon the Directors of the East India Company. He confessed that he doubted the policy of the noble Earl's raillery directed against the Directors. According to the admissions of the noble Earl himself, what we wanted was a Council of experienced and independent men, whose position would be respected; and he could conceive no greater inconsistency than—whilst perpetuating the existence of such a Council—to hold it up all the while to the ridicule, and, as he believed, the undeserved deserved ridicule of the public. He was ready to admit that public feeling had run strongly against the Directors and the whole Government of India; he believed however, that there was, even now, a considerable reaction in the public mind. It had been contended that by the reduction of the number of the Directors you would diminish their independence, and also that by the introduction of a foreign element you would throw comparative discredit on the existing body. He did not believe that the change now proposed would interfere with the elective element of that body; and he thought that the introduction of the foreign element would bring in some of the first and ablest men of the day. No one who had any knowledge of the men who generally returned from India could help acknowledging that there was no class more anxious to promote the prosperity of that country than those gentlemen, who were so well qualified by their service. In fact, for the remainder of their lives al most every one who returned from India continued to feel an almost primary interest in Indian affairs. It was therefore of the utmost importance to see that the measure of the Government did not diminish the desire of these persons to take part in the government of India. He did not believe that it would. He believed, on the contrary, that the proposal now made would tend to raise the character of the Board of Directors, and would in this most important respect, as in others, conduce to the welfare of our Indian empire. He had been disappointed with the speech of the noble Earl (the Earl of Ellenborough) in another way. Though the noble Earl intimated that he should give his assent to the second reading of the Bill, he nevertheless said, that this measure would introduce a poison into the constitution of our Indian Government which ultimately would sap and undermine its foundations. To what did the noble Earl refer? He (the Duke of Argyll) saw nothing likely to sap and undermine those foundations. Did the noble Earl mean that the system of education would tend to lower the character of the civil service, or that the process of nominating Directors would tend to deteriorate the character of the Board? He was sure neither of these were his reasons, and, therefore, he was at a loss to understand on what ground he could bring so serious a charge against the Government; and still more was he at a loss to know how, after making such an accusation, he could still find it consistent with his duty to give a general assent to the Bill.


My Lords, if I could have agreed with the noble Duke who has just sat down upon his view of this measure, I would not have obtruded myself on your notice; but he and others have spoken of this Bill as a transition Bill, intended to pave the way for the ultimate adoption of a single Government. It is against this fatal doctrine of a single Government that I rise to protest. I feel bound to state my reasons for thinking that the maintenance of the East India Company, in all its power and in all its patronage, is necessary to give due security to the lives and civil rights of the people of India. I would further endeavour to prove that what is called single government by a President and his Council, would either degenerate into an absolute colonial government over a poor helpless people, delivered like sheep into our keeping, without even a voice to reveal their sufferings, or it would become again a double government, in which the restraining power would find itself divested of all those real and efficient checks now exercised by the East India Company. And now, my Lords, for the proofs. We all agree that the administration of India should be carried on in India, and should be vested in the Governor General; but we differ altogether as to the manner in which we can secure in the Home Government, for his control and guidance, the greatest amount of local knowledge, the strongest sympathies, the most disinterested care and solicitude for the advancement and welfare of the people of India. Had we to deal with an Anglo-Saxon community we should at once find these requisites in a body of representatives chosen by itself; but in India this is impossible. The next best body that I can imagine, would be one which has been hereditarily and traditionally connected with the Government of India from its very outset, of which the majority of the members have actually served in the country—a body who, by the influence of their authority and of their large patronage, gather about themselves whatever there are in Great Britain of Indian servants on furlough or in retirement. Such a body, living in the midst of English knowledge and English civilisation, but surrounded, as it were, by an atmosphere of Indian sympathies, acquainted with the past by their own experience, with the present by continuous contact with all that there is of worth, of enterprise, of ability in their two glorious services—such a body, armed with due powers by the Legislature to remedy, by their advice and tutelage, the necessary ignorance of the Minister—such a body you might now secure by some slight amendments in the East India Company—and such a body you would now sweep away, to replace it you a new and crude theory of what you call the single government of a President surrounded by his Council. Now, first, with the view of comparing the two systems, let us go through the several functions performed by the East India Company, and consider the manner in which those functions would be performed by the Cannon-row Council. The most momentous duty of the Home Government is the selection of the Governor General. Upon his zeal, energy, and judgment, depends mainly the fate of India. How can the sinister interests of party in this country be best frustrated, how can the Minister of the day be most effectively withstood, should he, under the pressure of irresistible difficulties, seek to rid himself in the Antipodes of a colleague more dangerous even as an ally than as an opponent? Where should we find the most energetic resistance to such attempts, whether on the part of our independent Court of Directors, or upon the part of the Cannon-row Council, which it is proposed to substitute for it?—a Council, be it remembered, destined to sit round a green table in constant communication with the chief they are desired to control. Again, the East India Company selects the Calcutta Council, who advise and check the Governor General in India. Would you trust the delegate of the political party who has drawn the lot of President of the India Board, to select the controllers of his comrade, who has drawn the lot of Governor General; or would you not here again prefer to confide this choice to the East India Company rather than to the Cannon-row Council? So much for the mode in which due restraint is to be exercised over the otherwise irresponsible power of the Indian Minister. We all know how important it is, when an ignorant Governor General goes out, he should be surrounded by men of experience, of knowledge, and of standing—by men capable of restraining him when he might be inclined to go wrong. In this respect, certainly, the Court of Directors have the advantage of the Cannonrow Council. I am doubtful whether this, of which the noble Lord speaks, is to be a Council of advice or of restraint. But, however this may be, the East India Company at least may again do what they have done on more than one occasion. They may refuse to sign, and dare the President to appeal to the publicity of an open trial before the Queen's tribunals. Further, I have still a most important advantage to signalise, incidental to the constitution of the Court of Directors—an advantage arising out of the continuous struggle in which they are involved for the maintenance of their ascendency. Their opinions of measures, conveyed in their despatches, can only prevail in so far as they are formed with judgment and urged with ability. The consequence is, that the measures of the East India Company are elaborated and suggested by the most able men that can be selected for the purpose throughout the country. For this band of distinguished men would be substituted an ordinary Government department, swept in at haphazard by the hack Secretary of the Treasury, from the needy constituencies of the House of Commons. Having compared the rival schemes, with reference to the selection of the Governor General, to the selection of the Councils destined to guide and restrain him—to the selection of the department destined to elaborate the instructions under which he is to act—I would submit them still to another test, scarcely less important. We choose a machine, not only by the work it is capable of performing when bright and perfect from the maker's hands; we look also to its power of duration—to its power of resistance to the strains and shocks to which it is liable. In like manner, it becomes us now to satisfy ourselves that our new Indian Government will not only work well at the outset, but that it is constructed with such compensations and remedies as to qualify it to continue its work without essential change or deterioration. Let us first set forth the special difficulties and dangers which it will have to encounter. The Government of England is a composite Government of King, Lords, and Commons; but it has only one interest to subserve—the interest of the British Empire. The Government of India, on the other hand, whatever structure it may please Parliament to give it, must necessarily have two interests to consider, the interest of India, and the interest of the Empire. Hence arises the necessity of having an Indian element, and an Imperial element. The Court of Directors, or the Cannon-row Council, are intended to represent the wants, feelings, and interests of India, whilst the Imperial element is confided to the delegate of the chance Ministers of the day, which may happen to have been selected by the representatives of Great Britain, not because it thinks aright, or because it has thought at all about the Indian people, but because it holds popular opinions upon purely British subjects. Were we looking solely to the good of India, the Indian element in this double government should be made supreme; but, for our own good, we rule that it should be otherwise. In the interest of Great Britain, absolute peremptory authority is vested, and necessarily vested, in the Minister. The danger then is, lest this Minister, the representative of the dominant party of the day in the British Parliament, should, in the plenitude of his ignorance, by virtue of the brute force confided to him, absorb to himself the functions of the Indian element. There is yet a further danger, scarcely less fatal, lest the Home Government, administered by the Minister, should attempt to rule India, from Cannon-row, to the annihilation of the authority of the Governor General. To strengthen the Indian element against the possibility of such usurpation, Mr. Pitt left to the Directors great substantive powers. He made them independent of the Imperial Government in their origin—independent in their action. He connected them by their patronage with the two services, giving no patronage to the Board of Control. He armed them with the independent exercise of the privilege of nominating the Governors and their Councils, of recalling any functionary, without reason assigned, at their sole discretion. He left them, moreover, the power of passive resistance, by which they might compel the Minister to appeal to the open Court of the Queen's Bench, and make good, in the face of the world, the contested point between them. He gave them the opportunity of appealing to public opinion, of enlightening the public mind, through discussions in the Court of Proprietors, before whom any subjects might be discussed—any information of domestic interest might be produced—without reference to the wish or will of the Board of Control. But other ideas have prevailed since Mr. Pitt's day; and it seems that the Indian element is to be weakened and weakened, until, at the next Charter, it is to be handed over altogether to an absolute Colonial Minister, with the sham check of a Cannonrow Council. It will be then for you, my Lords, to decide how we shall deal with this company of merchant adventurers, who, encumbered rather than aided by the interference of the mother country, have conquered an empire more extensive than that of the Mogul; who have administered it more successfully than our colonial empire has been administered by King, Lords, and Commons—who have organised a civil service superior in ability, in distinction, in honour, in public spirit, to the civil service of any time and of any nation—whose army is without reproach—whose administration of justice, faulty as it may be in the old provinces, for which calamity the present generation is not responsible, is as perfect as human nature can allow in the latterly acquired provinces, for which alone they are equitably responsible. The evils of the old provinces have come down to them from the days of Lord Cornwallis and Sir Thomas Monro;—indeed the East India Company are no more responsible for the existing state of things in India, than we are for all the miseries which the Government of Queen Elizabeth has entailed upon Ireland. With regard to public works, there is no administrative work, no Cadastre or Doomsday-book, which exceeds in grandeur of conception, or success in execution, the revenue survey, already carried over a mighty range of country, and extending rapidly over the rest. It is true that they have left no brick and mortar monuments for time to waste and deface; but they have sown the seeds of liberty among their subjects, and three goodly plants have already shown some fruits, however misshapen and immature, in the petitions which have appeared on your Lordships' table—plants that will grow and prosper, under the same liberal and beneficent policy as that which has given them birth. And when, at the close of their allotted period of rule, these merchant adventurers deliver into your hands this mighty empire, so organised, so administered, in a state of absolute submission, to be dealt with according to your will, it will require, surely, some stronger reasons than have been advanced hitherto, to induce your Lordships to impose an ignominious termination on a career so glorious in the annals of our country.


said, he must be excused for troubling their Lordships on this subject, on the ground that it was not merely a great political question, but also had a deep religious and moral bearing. He must be excused, also, on the ground that he was the only member of his order who was appointed by their Lordships to attend upon the Committee which had been sitting upon this question. He had there given his very best attention to the subject, and would now endeavour to point out one or two considerations which he thought ought to be observed upon before this Bill passed into law. While, on the one hand, he wished not to enter upon the political aspect of the question, he desired, on the other, to say that he believed that religious and moral considerations bore more deeply and most influentially on the political welfare of India in her relations to this country. It was impossible to view the manner in which, by means of a body of merchant princes, the great Indian Empire and its indwelling inhabitants, had been committed to the government of Great Britain, and not to feel that it had been so given by the hand of God into our stewardship, in order that we might faithfully discharge his intentions of mercy. If this were so, a failure on our part, for any secondary reasons, in the fulfilment of our bounden duty, must, more than any mistaken policy, tend to one deprivation of the command which, for special purposes, had been placed in our hands. He did not wish to differ from the noble Lord who said it was not the duty of this country, as a Government, to interfere directly with the religion of the people committed to its charge; but he excepted to one word more than once used that night. It had been said that as to the spread of Christianity, it was the duty of this country to maintain an absolute neutrality. He could not admit that word 'neutrality'—it was not the right word—though he might have accepted the word 'non-interference.' So far from being neutral, we ought to be most anxious that the greatest and best gift of God—the possession of truth—should in due time be communicated to the people of India; but we might abstain from 'interference,' because we could not, as a Government, interfere with these questions without bringing to bear upon them powers and motives which were not the true powers and the real motives by which the spread of Christianity should be accomplished. It was just because we were not neutral that we ought to refuse to interfere. We were, however, bound so far directly to interfere as to see that we put Christianity before the people of India at every advantage among those who went out from England to serve the Government of India, professing themselves Christians. We were bound to make provisions of chaplains, and clergy, and bishops for the people who went out there. He must confess, that if he had looked at this Bill as a final measure, he should have looked at it with very great dissatisfaction, because, unlike other Bills for renewing the Company's Charter, it made no provisions for keeping up Christianity among the Company's servants in that distant land. At the present time there was much need of an increase in the number of chaplains, and the foundation of at least another bishopric in India; but he was aware that the reason why no provision of that nature was introduced into this Bill was, that it was not intended to be a final measure. In au interview which he had had with the President of the Board of Control, the right hon. Gentleman informed him that the present Bill was limited to what directly concerned the Government of India, and that it was the intention of the Goverment to introduce other measures in reference to the judicial and ecclesiastical establishments of India. He would suggest that it would be the greatest possible comfort to many outside their Lordships' House to have a public assurance from the Government, before the second reading of this Bill, that it was their intention to make provision for the increasing Christian population of India. It was important, also, that those we sent out to India should be the best specimens we could select of the intelligence and morality of this country; and, therefore, there was one alteration in this Bill at which he heartily rejoiced—he meant the introduction of an examination instead of the simple principle of patronage. He thought the objections to this change would not hold in any way. It had been said that examinations would give for the civil service worn-out students, with brains already exhausted, and with bodies altogether unfitted for enduring the fatigues and inconveniences of Indian life. But surely this was a mistake; there was no reason, from experience, to suppose that the system of examination must do otherwise than furnish, whatever the task, the able and practical minds best qualified to fulfil it. Whether they looked at that House, or at the other House of Parliament, or at the Bench, or at the Bar, they saw, as a general law, that those who did best in the examination provided for them when young men, had risen highest afterwards in their respective walks of life. Whilst, however, he rejoiced at this change, he thought the Bill stopped short of what it should have done. They were giving up a great deal of patronage, and making it the result and the reward of creditable examinations; but mark what would be the effect of conferring it on Haileybury College. Haileybury was calculated for eighty students; the civil appointments averaged about thirty-five a year. Out of the eighty students, some four or five, on account of ill health, or for other reasons, ordinarily passed off each year into other modes of life. The candidates were thus reduced in number to seventy-five; of these, about thirty-five went off every year, and thirty-five were taken in to fill up, the result being that every student placed at Haileybury would receive an appointment in the course of two years. Thus they would be creating at Haileybury one of those close colleges which experience at the two old Universities had shown to work so ill for the higher purposes of academical education. Those best qualified to form an opinion on the matter, anticipated the worst effect from these arrangements. The headmaster of one of the chief public schools expressed himself in a letter to this effect: "I can only say, much as I trust my sixth form at present, I could not answer for maintaining discipline in it if they should be placed in the position in which the students at Haileybury will be put if this Bill passes." What was that position? Their Lordships would observe that every one of the students at Haileybury would know—and all around him would know also—that he would be almost certain, after one or two years, diminishing down to a few weeks, in the course of a diminishing months at least, to obtain an income in India varying from 400l. or 500l. to 1,000l. a year. The temptations of young men to forestall that almost certain income—the temptations of others to minister to their wishes, on the promise of future payment, would be fatal to the discipline of the college in which they were placed; and, therefore, all the disadvantages of a close college would in Haileybury be aggravated by the greatness of the prize immediately before the stu- dents. The expulsion of a young man from the college would be absolute ruin; and therefore the managers of the college would never resort to that proceeding except in the case of gross transgression. Even now an incompetent person, though rejected once, was almost sure to be passed afterwards. But it was the multitude of small things which marked to the observant eve who were unfit to be trusted with that great trust which the civil servants of the East India Company might be trusted with when they went out to India. The result would be to put Haileybury under new and most disadvantageous circumstances for maintaining discipline within, and to make it the worst kind of close college, with the greatest amount of patronage, to tempt instead of to reward the students. Their Lordships would observe another point. It was not merely an evil directly to Haileybury and incidentally to India, but through it a great advantage was lost, which they might have had by opening the competition in the final examination, and bringing in other supplies of young men besides those admitted to Haileybury. He knew it would be said, if all they wanted was a certain amount of intellectual quickness, it would be all very well to throw the final examination open, but they wanted something more—a certain moral probation of young men, and that probation would be lost if the young men were not subjected to the supervision of the managers of the college. But was that not a gratuitous assumption? What was easier than to extend the power given to the Board of Control with regard to Addiscombe, of admitting others to the final examination besides the students of Addiscombe? What was easier than to extend the same rule to Haileybury? What was easier than for the Board of Control to lay clown such rules as would necessarily secure from the candidates evidence that they had undergone some such training somewhere, and that during it they had displayed qualifications which would enable them to perform the high trust they were seeking, with advantage to the people of India and to this country? What was easier than, if they came from the Universities, to require such testimonials? But he did not mean to limit it to the Universities—he would allow it to be perfectly open; he would allow candidates to come from any quarter from which they could bring proper testimonials that they had undergone a proper course of moral training, and were physically fit for the duties before them, and admit them with that preliminary proof to stand the trial with the students from Haileybury as to intellectual qualifications. He did not wish at all to do away with the College of Haileybury. That would be a very rash and a very unadvised measure at this moment. He would keep Halleybury, and Haileybury would always have great advantages. It might provide cheaper training in those things which were wanted, especially by those who went out in the civil service of India. It might in that way be maintained, although thrown open to competition; and if competition failed, they would still have Haileybury to fall back upon. By bringing the students at the end of their course into fair competition with those who had been trained elsewhere, Haileybury itself would advance to a degree of excellence which it could not hope to obtain under a close system, which gave without merit rewards which ought to be the reward of merit alone. That was not all. Let their Lordships consider the signal effect the allowing their students to compete for Indian appointments would have on the great Universities. At present the Universities educated those who were to be the future statesmen of England, and those who were to succeed to large hereditary property. The Universities educated to a great extent those who looked forward to the Bar, and those entirely who were intended for the Church of this country; but there were a great number of young men, an increasing number of young men, who, having distinguished themselves in obtaining academical honours, and having no desire to enter the Church, no particular leaning to the Bar, and no opening to mercantile pursuits, did not know where to turn for employment in the busy state of the world in which they lived. To them it would open a new vent, to make an Indian life possible at the termination of their academical career. In every comparatively small University in Germany they found a flourishing class of Sanscrit scholars; but although our Universities had their richly-endowed Sanscrit professorships, the professors were useless, because they had no Sanscrit classes to study under them. Throw open the competition and the anomaly would at once disappear. Their Lordships would see at once it would be a great benefit to the Universities to have those young men led to take an interest in India. It would be a great gain to the Universities, but not to the Universities only. It would be a gain to India and the civil service, just in the same degree as to the Universities. Their Lordships would observe the peculiar working of the clause. It absolutely sealed up the civil service of India from all young men who happened to be above the age of seventeen. The young man who distinguished himself at Oxford, and left at the age of twenty, unless he entered as a student again with the boys at Haileybury, would be for ever incapacitated from taking part in the civil service of India. He might have formed the greatest love for Indian pursuits, he might have felt the most direct calling for the Indian service, he might have manifested talents and capacities of a kind to qualify him in an especial degree for the service, and yet it was absolutely closed to him by the restriction to those who had passed the second examination in connexion with Haileybury. If they formed, by the action he recommended, classes in the Universities in which young men would be educated for Indian pursuits, it would confer still greater advantages upon India; for what could be more beneficial than to send out those who had had all the advantages of English education and English connexions at English Universities? When settled in India, they would still look back to the time when they were studying at home with those who had risen since to high positions in the two Houses of Parliament, and a higher tone would animate their minds when comparing situations with those with whom they had mingled in the fair and honourable strife of the University arena. And that would apply, not only to the Universities, but largely to all other ranks of life and society; because he was not for limiting it at all to the Universities, but for extending the interest in India and Indian subjects through every part of the kingdom and different classes of society, which it would I be impossible to expect if they limited the supply of servants to Haileybury alone. It was, then, upon these grounds that he earnestly entreated Her Majesty's Government to reconsider that portion of the Bill which referred to Haileybury College. He would far rather, if the Government would undertake to consider it before the Bill went into Committee, leave the matter in their hands, than give notice of any Amendments upon such a Bill as this. He would leave it in their hands, earnestly entreating them to remember that, if they should in this way seal up the supply of the best qualified men for the Indian service, they must necessarily lower the character of that service, and so present the morality and attainments of a Christian people, in the eves if the heathens of India, in a lower light than they might have done. And, after all, it was upon that basis that the security our Indian Empire must be rested. It had been said, with equal truth and eloquence, that if, at this moment, the British Empire in India were to pass away, it would eave behind it the traces of fewer magnificent buildings than marked the sway of almost any other people who ever for a reason exercised the rights of empire over melt a country. It was not much the ha bit of the British people—even at home—to raise magnificent structures as emblems of their power and greatness. It was rather their vocation—and he thought it a higher one—to leave as the impress of their intercourse with inferior nations marks of moral teaching and religious training; to have taught nations of children to see what it was to be men; to have trained mankind n habits of truth, justice, and morality, instead of leaving them in the imbecility falsehood and perpetual childhood; and, above all, to have been instrumental in communicating to them, not by fierce aggression and superior power, but by the gentle persuasion of that moral superiority, that greatest gift bestowed by God upon ourselves—the only true ennobler of fallen humanity—true faith in His word, and true belief in the revelation of His Son. He begged to leave this question to Her Majesty's Government, and should not give notice of any Amendment, trusting it would receive full consideration from them before the Bill went into Committee.


said, that bough he must own that, so far as he vas concerned, he regretted that their Lordships should not have had an earlier opportunity of discussing the measure, yet he did not blame the Government for the decision they had adopted of at once legislating for the government of India. Though it might have been desirable to lave more time after the inquiry of the Committees to mature a question of this description, the mode in which that object should have been attained was by the appointment of the Committees at an earlier period. Of all points connected with the consideration of the Indian Government, he felt it was most important that Parliament should establish some well considered and efficient machinery—some well-devised form of government, in order to deal efficiently with the various questions upon which the internal welfare of that extensive empire depended. Whatever might be the result of these inquiries of the Committees of both Houses of Parliament, it was clear that by far the larger portion of them must be disposed of in India itself, and that it was only with a very small portion that Parliament was competent to deal. Under these circumstances, it was most desirable, if Ministers could satisfy themselves as to the best mode of dealing with the matter, that they should regard their first duty to consist in reconstructing and remodelling the Home Government. Looking at the Court of Directors as a public body, he must say, without being influenced by any feeling of hostility to them, that he could not help considering that that body had not fulfilled the duties of executive government as usefully and efficaciously as it might have done; and that, in respect to that portion of the functions of the Home Government with which it was charged, it did not tend to give vigour and efficiency. He gave the Court of Directors full credit for having done much to advance the good government of India, especially of late years; but it was impossible not to feel that in the very nature of the relations between the Directors and the Board of Control, there was a cumbrous and perplexing system of communication, tending to delay, and prejudicial to good administration. In corroboration of this statement, he would refer to the evidence of Mr. Chapman, before the Commons' Committee, where he mentioned an instance of a certain Commission of Inquiry having been appointed in India., in 1850, whose Report, though approved by Lord Dalhousie, and by the Court of Directors, on its being sent to this country, was not replied to until March, 1852. Another strong objection to continue matters as they were, was, that they would no longer be submitted to; and the only reason, he understood, for the proposition to continue the Court of Directors merely was, that it was an existing body. As regarded this country, it was well understood that India was not under a double government; and any profession to the contrary was, as regarded India, keeping up an imposture and delusion. It appeared to him that there would be some difficulty in working the Council given to the Governor General by the present Bill. Whatever regulations Parliament might make with regard to that Council, it was abso- lutely essential that it should continue in the Governor General that supreme super intending power and control, without which it would be impossible satisfactorily to conduct the affairs of that empire. He also conceived it his duty to address an observation upon the admissions to the civil service. It was his very decided opinion that it would be injudicious to the last degree to confine all the competition for admission to that service to those who had passed through the Company's College, at Haileybury. It was perfectly true that a competition could not be relied upon for securing in all cases precisely the qualities which were required in order to enable the candidate to perform the duties expected of him in India; but it was better that a candidate should succeed in a competition by being crammed with information that would be of service to him there, than that he should go thither without competition, and without information of the requisite nature. One good effect would be attained by the system of competition—namely, that the young men so selected would, when they arrived in India, be likely to demean themselves towards the Natives with due consideration and respect. He could not help regarding the present measure as a mere temporary settlement of the question. It was impossible to suppose that the Government Bill could continue in operation, either to the satisfaction of the people of this country or the people of India, for any length of time.


said, it would only be necessary to trouble their Lordships for a few moments in reply. The noble Earl (the Earl of Ellenborough) had expressed his disappointment that the Government should be content to nominate in the first of instance only three members of the Court of Directors, instead of nominating the whole six. But there was a manifest advantage in nominating only the smaller number in the first instance, and in postponing the nomination of the three other Directors to some future time. It was very important that men of the highest character and qualifications should be nominated by the Crown, and three such men would be more likely to be met with than six. He was not bound to defend the present constituency of the East India Directors against the noble Earl; but, when the noble Earl compared them to Old Sarum, he must take leave to remind him that the East India proprietary contained names remarkable for great wealth and intelli- gence. No one had suggested a constituency that would work practically better than the present one. He agreed with the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Oxford) that it was right to take measures for the spiritual welfare of all those whom this country sent out to India. He could not, however, give any further pledge than that the matters brought under the notice of the Government by the right rev. Prelate should be fully considered. He was happy to find that the noble Lord (Lord Wharncliffe) treated with the contempt it deserved the allegation that the Government ought not to have legislated because the Parliamentary Committees had not finished their labours. The Government would not have been justified in acting upon a mere question of Parliamentary etiquette, when they themselves thought, and were also assured by the Governor General, that it was dangerous to the peace of our great Indian Empire to postpone legislation. Notwithstanding some remarks that had been made to the contrary, the Government measure actually strengthened the existing East India Company; but if, for want of vitality, they were not able to go on, the Bill gave the means of sliding, without any great change, into a simpler form of government.

On Question, agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly; and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Monday next.

House adjourned to Monday next.