HL Deb 13 June 1853 vol 128 cc3-57

rose to move for the Correspondence between the President of the Board of Control and the Court of Directors on the subject of the measure to be proposed for the future government of India; and said: My Lords, at an early period of this Session I took occasion to express the opinion that it would be desirable that legislation with respect to the future government of India should be deferred for another year. At that time it appeared to me that there was not sufficient information before the public to enable Parliament to come to a correct judgment upon the question; and it did not appear to me that public opinion had been sufficiently acted upon to be capable of receiving with satisfaction such a measure of reform in the government of India as I thought it probable Her Majesty's Government would be induced to propose. Since that time a very great change has taken place in public opinion; and I certainly do think that the people of this country, supported as they are by the press generally, are at this moment quite prepared to receive a measure of reform larger than that which Her Majesty's Government have proposed. At the former period, many persons entertained sanguine expectations that the war in Ava might at an early period be brought to a successful termination. There has sprung up since that time more of agitation in India upon the subject of the future government of the country than perhaps could reasonably have been expected. It is intimated, also, that it is the opinion of the Governor General that it would be desirable not to delay legislation. Further, my Lords, I consider that the events which have taken place in the eastern part of Europe are of very material bearing upon our position, and I think we shall be acting rightly if we at once begin to place our house in order, and prepare ourselves for any future events. I, therefore, now entirely acquiesce in the expediency of immediate legislation upon this subject. At the same time I must express my apprehension, that the measure proposed by Her Majesty's Government— temporary and experimental as it avowedly is—is a measure calculated perhaps more to continue agitation on the subject, than to settle and allay it. My Lords, that measure contains two experiments: the one is made upon the Court of Directors, and the other upon the persons to be sent to India to fill situations in the scientific departments of the army, and in the civil service. The first is one of a peculiar and I may say perfectly Oriental character. It is an experiment of mutilation. A modification, however, is introduced, to suit the peculiar views entertained in this country, for whereas in the East that punishment is performed by the public executioner; in this country, according to the dictates of a superior humanity, it is to be performed by the victims themselves. Nominally, there are at present thirty Directors of the East India Company; but, in, reality, there are but twenty-four in office. To this number six are to be added by Act of Parliament, for the sole purpose of assisting to perform the act of mutilation on the Court. My Lords, I must say that I think thi3 part of the measure is devised with a degree of jocular cruelty which has hardly been witnessed since the time of Louis XI. These thirty gentlemen are to designate the fifteen who are to go out of office, not by any method specified by Act of Parliament, and not according to any specific rule. It is not to be done at once, but the gentlemen are to suffer a prolonged agony of expectation as to their future position, their duties, and their prospects in life, till the 30th of April, 1854. During the whole of that interval no member of the Court of Directors can shake hands with another without feeling that he may be shaking hands with a man destined to be his political assassin or his political victim. My Lords, consider only for a moment what a Director loses when he loses his seat in the Court of Directors. When a Member of Her Majesty's Government is displaced from office, he really loses little. He loses nothing in social position, and is relieved from laborious duties and from great anxiety. The emoluments of office are not such as produce great advantages to the man holding them; while the office, on the other hand, usually introduces very great want of economy into his household, and necessarily a greatly increased expenditure, so that no man holding office is able to do very much towards providing for his family, nor can he look forward to any permanent tenure of office. To go out of office is much more natural than to come in. But, my Lords, it is far otherwise with the Court of Directors. The holder of a Government office is there for public and not for personal purposes; the Director desires to hold his seat solely for personal objects, and not for public purposes. He cannot hold his seat for public purposes, since he has no real power at all—the actual government is really carried on by the Board of Control. But the moment a gentleman becomes a member of the Court of Directors he becomes a great man. The day before he is a Director, he is nobody; the day he is made a Director, he becomes a man of great social influence; he hears constant knocks at his door by parties applying to him for the good things known to be at his disposal; and is a member of one of the bodies which is supposed to exercise an influence over the affairs of India. His social position is very much improved; he holds his office for life; he possesses the semblance of great power and great authority. All this is now proposed to be taken from the Directors. And what will be the result of allowing the operation to be performed by the Court of Directors itself? Do your Lordships imagine that the fifteen best members will be left? I believe, on the contrary, that in all probability they will be the fifteen worst. Three members of the Court are to be cut off in the first instance, to make room for three Government nominees; but why should the completion of this measure for the reform of the government of India be deferred during the continuance of three lives. Will the consequence of that postponement be to retain as members of the Court three ancient and experienced sages? On the contrary, I believe that there will be a strong disposition to defer the time for the full number of the proposed nominees of the Crown to enter the Court—that youth and ignorance will, in all probability, combine to keep out knowledge and experience, and to defer the period when the nominees of the Crown ought to come in. In all probability the youngest, and those who have least claim to authority, will be selected. But, my Lords, Her Majesty's Government are to be restricted to the selection of persons who have been in the service of the Government of India for at least ten years. That restriction appears to me to be particularly inexpedient, for it would admit of the appointment, as nominees of the Government, of persons who are not qualified either by knowledge or authority to act as Directors. No person in the civil service of India can by any possibility, in the course of ten years, have filled any situation which would give him sufficient authority, or enable him to acquire sufficient knowledge, to qualify him to be a member of the Court. In the military service no man in the course of ten years would acquire a higher rank than that of captain, and it would obviously be inexpedient that persons of that rank should be introduced into the Court of Directors to represent the army. I would, therefore, suggest that no person who has not served the Government of India for twenty years, should, on that ground, be eligible as a nominee of Her Majesty's Government. It may be that the lower number of ten years has been taken in order to admit to the Court of Directors some of Her Majesty's judges who have retired from the Supreme Court of India. I will not say that it might not be possible to find some judge who is a fit person to be placed in the Court; but this would not be generally the case, for the knowledge of judges is usually confined to the business of their courts, and to the presidential towns in which they reside. It is, therefore, most rare for them to acquire a general knowledge of the country, and under ordinary circumstances it would be difficult to find persons less likely to do good service to the country in the direction than the judges of these courts. If, however, the rule were taken that no individual who had served the Government of India for less than twenty years should be a nominee of Her Majesty's Government, an exception might be made in favour of the judges of the Supreme Court. There is another exception which it seems to me absolutely expedient to allow. If the restriction of ten years' service be adhered to, we exclude from the direction every officer who has acted as Commander in Chief of the army in India, or of either of the Presidencies, or as Governor of the subordinate Presidencies. Now, these are the very persons who would be the fittest members of the Court. Undoubtedly, if Her Majesty's Government are restricted —as it is proposed they shall be—to the selection of three members of the Board in the first instance, two of the persons best qualified for the duty, if they would condescend to take the office, would be a noble Lord who was Governor of Madras, and Sir G. Arthur, the former Governor of Bombay; but the rule proposed by the Government would exclude both. These three nominees of Her Majesty's Government would, however, be totally insufficient to effect any material reform. I doubt, indeed, whether even the number of six could be considered as sufficient for that purpose. It has always appeared to me that it is most desirable to make the Council or the Board for India—whichever may be the title under which it may hereafter carry on the government of that country— as perfect a representative as possible of the several departments in the respective Presidencies of India; so that the Indian Minister in this country, on whatever subject he may desire to obtain information, may find some member of the Court from whom, as a man of authority and knowledge, he may gain the information he requires. It is, therefore, I think, the more expedient that the Government should in the first instance nominate the whole number of six, or even enlarge that number, because it would be contrary to all reason to suppose that there will not be a very material deterioration in the remaining portion of the Court which is to be subject to election. I have already said that it appears to me quite as probable that, in the first instance, the fifteen worst members of the Court will be left in the direction as the fifteen best. Consider what will be the probable action of such a constituency as that of the proprietors of East India Stock under the circumstances in which they will hereafter be placed. Hitherto, they have been in some degree under the influence of restraint or shame —although they did not, perhaps, show much on the very last occasion of the election of a director. On nearly every other occasion, the statement that a man had performed good service for India, was considered to some extent to be a recommendation to the Court of Proprietors; and, in point of fact, gentlemen connected with the public service in India—though not, perhaps, of very high distinction—have been elected Directors of the East India Company. What, however, will be the answer of a proprietor of the East India Stock who is now canvassed by a person who seeks a seat in the East India Court on the ground of his services in India? The proprietor will say, "If you are a distinguished man, go to Her Majesty's Government. They will nominate you. It is for them to nominate the East Indians; it is for us to elect the persons whom we think it is most convenient for our own purposes to place in the direction." I feel perfectly satisfied that this part of the plan will lead to the very early extinction of the system now proposed; for such a feeling will be caused by these elections happening one after another, that the disgust of Parliament will be excited, and the result will be, that at no distant period that sentiment of disgust will lead to the whole power being thrown at once into the hands of Her Majesty's Government. I look upon this as a very material point; and I think that, in order to remedy the evils that will arise from the plan proposed by the Government, it is absolutely necessary to adopt the course which I suggested last year, namely, to extend the constituency. It is really almost ludicrous to speak of the present constituency. Out of 1,750 persons, who have about 2,300 votes, there are at present not 250 who have ever been in India. It is not an Indian constituency, although the constituency of an Indian empire. I suggested that all persons in the civil or military service of the Company above a certain rank, at home or on furlough, who might be considered to have retired from the service, should have votes in the election of Directors, and should be added to the present constituency. It may be said this plan would swamp the existing constituency. Now I don't think, even if that effect were produced, that the evil would be very great; but, in point of fact, it would not be the case, because, although no doubt the number of additional voters would be considerable, and would very materially affect the whole character of the constituency, it would not add more than about 1,250 to the present number—making the whole constituency about 3,000. Still, in consequence of the manner in which the votes are distributed, those which are in the hands of banking establishments or mercantile firms are so knit together that the change I propose would not altogether annihilate, though it would materially affect, the present constituency. It appears to me most desirable to constitute such a council or such a court as may at all times perfectly represent the various departments of all the Presidencies of India. We cannot give to India a constitution in India. Let us endeavour, then, as far as we can, to give her a constitution here. That has always been my desire. I am satisfied that in the court or council for India there should always be a representative of the armies of the three Presidencies. This, I conceive to be essential to the good government of the country. It is equally necessary that there should at all times be present in the council at least two gentlemen who have been in the political service— who have resided at various Native courts, and have made themselves acquainted with the feelings, the manners, the habits, and the modes of government of the Native States. I think that to be quite essential. It is obviously necessary, also, that there should be some person acquainted with the revenue systems of each of the Presidencies, widely differing as those systems do from each other. The same course should be adopted, I think, with regard to the judicial system. There should he in the council persons representing the judicial service in each Presidency, because the habits and characters of the people are so different that, unless you have persons conversant with the judicial establishments in various parts of the country, you will not have the means of obtaining that authentic and correct advice upon which it is important that legislation, in reference to the action of the Executive Government, should be founded. It may be said, that it is very desirable that in the council for India there should be certain persons, at least, of European or of English minds. I consider that the mind of England is represented by the Minister for India, who has the power of overruling the council. He goes to the council for advice upon Indian matters. Now, no man in his senses, if he wanted advice upon Indian matters, would go to his banker; yet bankers are at present placed in the Court of Directors to issue instructions for the government of India, of which they know, and can know, nothing. Consider the extreme inexpediency of having persons connected with banks and mercantile transactions in the Cabinet of India. Why, they are as unfit members of the Cabinet of India as merchants and bankers would be for the Cabinet of England. They become cognisant of circumstances which materially affect their own personal interests; they may become acquainted with the probable action of the Government; and it is of all things most undesirable that there should exist any suspicion that the members of the Government are personally interested in the measures of the Government. On these grounds, I think it decidedly desirable that the council should be an Indian council, and that it will be time to look for the presence of the Indian mind when any question comes to be dealt with by the Indian Minister who represents Her Majesty's Government. Her Majesty's Government have decided upon what is called the system of double government. I do not think it is necessary to resort to double government—certainly not to such a double government as now exists—for the purpose of preventing the inconveniences which might result from measures connected with India being constantly brought before Parliament. There is at present, on the part of the Parliament, aperfect distaste to interference with the affairs of India; but there was a period, in the days of Pitt and Fox, when it seemed impossible that Parliament would ever assemble without discussing the affairs of India; yet from that time to this it has generally been found difficult to arouse attention on the subject. I do not think that India would be a subject of frequent discussion if the double government were abandoned. I believe that if India were governed by a Secretary of State, without a good council, questions would be constantly brought before Parliament; but if you give him a good council, which he has the power of overruling, the only cases in which Indian questions would come before Parliament for discussion would be on those very rare occasions when the Indian Minister would be obliged to overrule his council, which he would not do without such good reasons that he need not fear to defend his course in Parliament. The present system of the government of India is one of complication, where you require simplicity. It is a system of delay, where you desire despatch; it is a system of expense where you desire to have economy; and yet, great as are its inconveniences here, they are as nothing compared with the mischiefs produced in India under the present system. If a President of the Board of Control makes himself master of the business that comes before him; if he makes the Court of Directors understand that he is as well acquainted with these subjects, and as competent to deal with them, as they are; if he forms his own opinion, and decides and acts upon that opinion, be assured he will have very little difficulty indeed in managing the Court. I never had the slightest difficulty, after the first two weeks; and I do not see why my successors should not manage the Court as well as I did. How did I do it? Merely by making myself better acquainted than they were with the questions which came before them. When I formed an opinion, I determined to act upon that opinion; and they found it was quite idle to resist. This I will say, that if a man can manage the Court under the system of double government, and can, through them, carry on the government of India, he would do so a great deal better if he had a good council; and it is far better that a man should advise with responsible councillors than with irresponsible clerks, which is now of necessity very often the case. I have said that the mischief of the present system is much greater in India than in this country; and it arises from this circumstance, that while the Indian Minister has full power over all measures, the Court of Directors retains to a great extent the power over men. There is scarcely a single servant of the Company who does not, at some period of his life, go as a suppliant to a Director for a writership or cadetship for some son, or nephew, or other relative; and that circumstance gives the Directors great power over the whole civil and military service. Their patronage is of much more importance and much more influence in India than that of the Governor General. They are of necessity greatly restricted in their choice; and it is of infinitely more importance to a man to get a cadetship or writership for his son or nephew, which is an entire provision for life, than to gain any little advancement which he might hope to obtain from the favour of the Governor General. The position of the Governor General and of the Directors is, therefore, exactly what would be the position of Her Majesty's Government and of the Opposition in this country, if the Government were to remain in possession of all executive authority, while all patronage was transferred to the Opposition. Imagine how government would be possible under such circumstances; yet this is really the system on which you attempt to conduct the government of India, It seems to me, however, that the time is come when it will be expedient to put an end to this, which is, in fact, the most irrational government now existing in the civilised world. It is more irrational even than the government of the Grand Llama. That government is, like our government of India, a sham; but it is at least a sham supported by the prestige of a religion. The government of India has no prestige whatever, except that of a bad old habit— the bad old habit of clinging to a makeshift until it breaks down. But, my Lords, it is a matter of great importance to consider not only the scheme proposed by Her Majesty's Government for the future distribution of patronage, but also the effect which the altered character and composition of the Court will have upon the distribution of that patronage. It is proposed that all the civil servants, and all candidates for appointments to scientific departments of the army, in the service of the East India Company, shall hereafter enter by competition; that these persons shall be admitted to Addiscombe and Haileybury; and it is proposed that to these departments of the Indian service persons shall in future be admitted by examination alone. I am not sure whether Her Majesty's Government have taken into consideration that which will be a necessary consequence of this measure—a consequence, however, which I do not deprecate most deeply affecting the whole social state of India. It will altogether dissever the civil service from the Court of Directors. Up to the present moment, the gentlemen of the civil service have been the sons, the nephews, or the immediate friends of gentlemen in the direction of the Court, of whose care they have been the constant objects; they have affected a superiority over the military service, to which by education they were not superior; and this has produced a very material effect upon the state of society in India. This system, however, will be altogether changed for the future by the arrangement which is proposed; and all the favour which has hitherto been shown to the civil service will hereafter be transferred to the officers of the regular army, because in that army will be found the sons and relatives of those who exercise power in the Government of India. I notice this, because it is a very important circumstance for consideration, and will very materially affect the social condition of persons resident and performing service in India. I do not deprecate this arrangement; I think it is a beneficial one; but it is one which will effect a very great social revolution, which I thought it right to bring under the notice of the House. I have said it is proposed that in future all the gentlemen who receive appointments in the scientific departments of the army shall go through an examination, and shall not be appointed by patronage. Now, as regards the scientific departments of the army, and especially the artillery—though I will not venture to say there is anything in this world which is not improvable—I really know not how those departments are to be improved. I have never in my life heard any military man speak on the subject who did not declare that the artillery of India was equal, if not superior, to any artillery in the world. To what, among other things, is this owing? It is not merely owing to the circumstance of the gentlemen in these scientific departments being persons of education and knowledge, but to the high tone of the service which is created by their being gentlemen. It is the same also in the department of engineers, to which no exception whatever can be taken. And now, as regards the gentlemen in the civil service, I will say of them also—though I may not have had particular reason to be satisfied with their conduct—that they are gentlemen:—there can be no doubt of that; and I know not whether by any possible examination you could acquire that great advantage. Depend upon it, there is nothing in the government of India so important as to preserve the tone of both services. The higher you raise the character and feeling of the services, the more secure you are in the possession of India; and, above all things, this is most essential, that every officer in the Indian service should have something to lose by separation. The higher the connexions of those who serve in India, and the more respectable their position when they return to England, the more secure you are against mutiny and against every colonial feeling which can lead to the separation of the countries. Look back to the state of the Indian army in earlier times, when the persons who held the rank of officers were not gentlemen— when they were taken, no man knew how or whence—when they were frequently the refuse of Europe—certainly the refuse of England—when we were menaced with constant dangers—and when the most disgraceful actions were perpetrated by men calling themselves officers. You have not since witnessed such scenes; and, although exceptions may have occurred, as appears from proceedings of courts-martial I have read, with regard to the conduct of individual officers, yet the general character of the officers of the Indian army is free from any imputation. They are gentlemen in every sense that can be attached to that word. We are told that the competition which it is proposed to establish will very greatly improve the civil service. I last year deprecated the perpetual exclusion of the whole aristocracy and gentry of England from the Indian service; and I so far rejoice in the proposed competition that I have no fear that it will not secure their admission to this service. I think the sons of your Lordships and of the gentlemen of England are quite as competent to pass examinations as any men; but I confess I saw with very great pain that the Minister for India had expressed his satisfaction that under the proposed system the son of a horsedealer Would, in future, be able to obtain admission to the Indian service. My Lords, I am satisfied you could not more highly offend the people of India than by saying you will send among them persons of the horsedealer caste; and I think you could not do worse than introduce into that country the morality and feeling of the stableyard. The higher you place the tone of morality of the gentlemen serving in India, the more secure you are in India. But it is said these persons are to be ad- mitted by merit. What is the merit of being "crammed" in any case? Knowledge is not to be obtained by the sudden infusion of vast quantities. Why, a horse-dealer would not feed his cattle in that manner. The slower knowledge comes, the longer it remains—unlearned incompetency is very bad; but learned incompetency is infinitely worse, because it is almost universally accompanied by self-sufficiency. I have lived for some time in the world, and have looked about me, and I must say that I have usually observed that in public life the men who were most useless, and in society the men who were the most intolerable bores, were the over-educated mediocres. They are generally useful for nothing. It is not to qualities similar to those which you propose to import, that the people of India look. They look to character. It is not the education of schools which makes a man, it is the education which he makes for himself in life; it is the practice of roughing it with equals; it is the constant competition of life which makes men fit to govern men. But what do you propose with a view to fostering those qualities? Nothing at all. When your officer arrives in India, there is to be no competition. Competition there would be useful; but, once he arrives in India, you propose to leave him subject to all the disadvantages of the existing system. You say he shall rise irrespective of his abilities, irrespective of his knowledge; that, in short, he shall rise by seniority; that a man who is not fit to sit at an attorney's desk may rise to be a judge, and that a man who is not fit to cast up an account for a little shopkeeper may become a collector. Depend upon it, my Lords, that it is in India you must apply the remedy, and not here. A man who passes the first examination, and so gets into Hailey-bury or Addiscombe, may be infinitely inferior to another man, who, though failing at the first examination, would, if an opportunity were afforded him, beat him at a second. There is no reason whatever to suppose that premature knowledge will qualify men for the higher situations of life, but, rather, that a later period of life is more likely to indicate the abilities which will fit them for such situations. I feel satisfied, my Lords, that if you adopt this proposal you will commit a very serious error as regards the future government of India. For just observe how it will work on officers of the Indian army. They are for the most part, I am sorry to say, poor men. I do not mean to say that their pay is inferior to the pay of officers of Her Majesty's Army; but it should be remembered that what in England is a luxury, is in India a necessity. They are obliged to go to a very considerable expense to maintain themselves even in health in that country. Many of them have relations in the poorest situations of life in this country; and nothing can exceed the kindness and generosity with which they meet the demands of their poorer relations in England. The result is that they are poor men; and, although they do obtain for their children such education as they can, they do so in general with great suffering to themselves, and by the exercise of much self-denial; and it is quite impossible that those gentlemen can afford the expense of giving their sons such education in a cramming school as will fit them for admission to Haileybury or Addiscombe; at least, they cannot afford to give them that education for the chance of admission into the scientific departments of the army or the civil service. If, indeed, they had a certainty that their sons would obtain admission into either of these services on consideration of their exhibiting a certain proficiency, they would, I have no doubt, endeavour to give them the necessary education; but they can do nothing for the sake of a mere chance. By adopting the Government plan, therefore, you will practically exclude nearly all the sons of the officers of the regular army from those branches of the service of India. They will, in the first place, have little chance of getting presentations to cadet-ships, and for this reason;—the gentlemen who will be nominated to the direction by the Crown will be necessarily gentlemen connected with the civil service, and who will have no necessary or natural connexion with the army. It is proposed that henceforth the Directors shall be precluded from nominating any one to the scientific department, or to the civil service; and that their patronage shall be limited to the direct appointments for the army. This will take away from the Directors a large number of appointments. There is no reason, therefore, why the nominees of the Crown, composed as they will be of officers of the civil service, should go out of their way to give cadetships to the sons of Indian officers; and, as regards the remainder of the Court, I have no doubt at all that what I have predicted will be found to be true—namely, that they will deteriorate every day—that they will become mere nominees of London houses, and their appointments mere City jobs—and they will go on thus deteriorating until they are at last put down by the disgust of the public. How can you expect that such men will trouble themselves to give cadetships to sons of Indian officers? They will, of course, dispose of their patronage so as to promote their own purposes—they will care nothing about India; and, therefore, it will be absolutely necessary that, unless you extend the constituencies in the manner I have proposed, so as to give a better chance of obtaining Indian officers belonging to the civil and military services for those situations in the direction which are to be filled by election—I say, that unless you do that, it will be absolutely necessary, for the good of the public service, that a certain proportion of the cadetships should he given for good service, not by individual Members of the Court, but by the Court itself, subject to the approval of the Board of Control. The general patronage of the Directors has hitherto been divided into batches of 28 parts annually, of which the ordinary members have one each—the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Company two each, and the President of the Board of Control has, by courtesy, the other two allotted to him. When the number of Directors is reduced to 18, only 22 cadetships will be required in place of 28; and what I propose is, that the six remaining cadetships shall be appropriated to the sons and relatives of gentlemen in the two services—in the proportion of one to the civil and five to the military service. I give the civil a larger proportion than their numbers entitle them to; but I would rather do that than seem to press with unnecessary severity upon them. I would give these appointments as strictly upon honour as the good-service pensions of the Navy are given. I would also suggest that when an application is made to the Court for one of these cadetships, a complete statement of the applicant's services shall be made out in duplicate, so that the President of the Board shall have the same opportunity of judging of the fitness of the reward as the Court itself. By making these appointments subject to the approval of the President of the Board of Control, I do not desire to increase the patronage of the Crown; I do so merely in the belief that the exercise of this veto will practically lead to the selection of the fittest men. There is no doubt this advantage in the arrangement now proposed by Her Majesty's Ministers—that they will have the axe hanging always over their heads, because there will be nothing whatever to prevent their proposing to Parliament to pass a measure at any moment for the redress of such grievances as may appear to arise out of their plan. I do not think, therefore, that there will be any material mischief attached to the plan which I propose. I am perfectly willing to admit that it is desirable at all times to infuse new and fresh blood into the Indian service. I am by no means desirous that it should become a hereditary service, because I am sure that that would lead to great disadvantages; but I do think it essential that those who have deserved best of their country should feel that in consequence of their services their sons will have an opportunity of running the same career of honour as they ran themselves. This, I am sure, would strengthen the connexion between that service and this; and of this I am sure, that the regiment which receives the son of a good old officer will feel very differently towards him, than it would do towards an erudite young gentleman who had come out well crammed for an examination. What they would look to is the character of the father, and they would expect to receive the same consideration from the young officer as they had received from their old friend, I feel satisfied that you would strengthen the services by adopting the suggestion which I have made. I rejoice to say, my Lords, that I have now nearly passed through that portion of the subject which involves the consideration of any amendment. I come now to that portion of the subject which relates to alterations to be made in India itself. I see no objection to the formation in this country of a legal commission, which shall take into consideration the expediency of the various laws which have been proposed for the alteration of the criminal and civil law of India. I believe that there are in this country at present men as well qualified and as competent for that task as any Indian, and with more leisure; and I have no doubt that any general laws may be proposed here with as much advantage as in India. But, at the same time, I cannot disguise from myself what this proposal really means. It means the introduction of what is called the "Macaulay code." I have never studied that code attentively myself, but I will venture to tell your Lordships that I have heard it often discussed with considerable zeal in India, and that I have never happened to meet with one single gentleman who was not a philosophical English lawyer who approved of it. That code, as your Lordships may be aware, involves the establishment of a universal system over all India. Now, India, as your Lordships are also aware, is composed of people of different nations, and of the most various habits, manners, and religions. The people of India are, in fact, as different from each other as the peoples of Europe differ from each other; and yet it is supposed that this "Macaulay code" will apply to them all. Your Lordships will recollect that the great principle of the provisions of the Act of 1833 was, that the habits, religions, and manners, of the people were to be considered in the making of their laws. If, as we are told, this code is founded on universal principles, do let me ask you to try it on yourselves first. Perhaps you will say that you have a criminal code with which you are satisfied, and that there is no reason why you should adopt the Macaulay code. Why first force it upon India, where it may happen to be unsuitable? Do as you would be done by. You would doubtless hesitate before you received a new code from any philosopher in India. Why, then, would you force this new code upon them? Try it on yourselves first; and if you, the noble and learned Lords of this House, and the hon. and learned Gentlemen who deal with the subject in the other House, are satisfied with its success, then go and try it elsewhere. There is to be a Legislative Council in India, of which certain members of the Executive Government are to form part. I think that that will be a great improvement. I have at all times advocated that improvement, and I also think that it is quite right that the Governor General should have a veto when he is present as when he is absent. It seems to be quite absurd that it should be otherwise. It is also proposed that this Legislative Council shall be composed of gentlemen of the judicial service principally, but including also gentlemen of the civil service, who are to be brought from the other Presidencies to Calcutta. But, give me leave to ask, my Lords, what these gentlemen are to do in their leisure time? Legislation will not, of course, occupy them morning and night. It would he most injurious to the welfare of India that they should be eternally altering the laws of the country. Is this Council to be in perpetual sessions? Are those gentlemen who are brought from the other Presidencies to have nothing to do when the Council is not sitting? If Hot, their large salaries will be thrown away. I would suggest, therefore, that they should be put to some useful purpose at other times. There is another measure which I advocated twenty years ago, and that is the amalgamation of the Sudder and the Supreme Courts. I remember that it was objected then by Mr. Elphinstone, that the English lawyers might override the Indian lawyers, and have things all their own way. I own that this is a very important consideration, and I hope it will not be lost sight of in carrying out the present proposal. It is also proposed that there should be a Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. I should wish to know whether it is intended that the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal is to he appointed, like the Lieutenant Governor of Agra, by the Supreme Government, as he certainly should be, and whether the tenure of his office is to be (like that at Agra) without limit in point of time? At present the Governors of the subordinate Presidencies, although their appointments are made out without a limit, are understood to be appointed for five years. I wish to know if it is intended that the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal shall remain permanently until he is tired of his situation, and wishes to get home? I wish this to be distinctly understood. But I particularly desire it to be understood that the Supreme and not the Home Government is to nominate the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. I recollect having received an intimation, when I was in India, of a wish on the part of the Court of Directors that I should appoint a particular person to the government of Agra, and that I thought it a most offensive interference with my authority. It so happened that I had already appointed him. He was, indeed, the fittest man; but I considered it not the less an improper interference with the ordinary patronage and responsibility of the Governor General. With respect to this proposed change in the government of Bengal, it must be recollected that there will be one disadvantage attending the separation—and that is, that the Governor General will have no opportunity whatever of becoming acquainted with the minor details of the government of that province. But I apprehend that under all the circumstances he will have the power of requiring that the details shall be submitted to him. With respect to the higher patronage of that officer, I hope that the same arrangement will be adopted as has hitherto been in practice in regard to that province—namely, that all the higher appointments should be submitted to the Governor General for his approval. I never recollect a single instance in which I did not approve of the appointment suggested to me by Mr. Wilberforce Bird whom I appointed to the government of Bengal. I had entire trust in his knowledge of persons, and in his honesty and conscientiousness. I now and then made inquiry for the purpose of clearing up a doubt in regard to certain names submitted to me; but in no instance did I find it necessary to dissent from the appointments which he had recommended. I am glad to have an opportunity of making this statement in justice to this most deserving officer. There is also an alteration to be made which I suggested last year, and I think in practice it will be a very important one—namely, that the Commander in Chief appointed by Her Majesty to command Her Majesty's forces in India should also be commander over the forces of the Indian Government. As I understand it, if Her Majesty shall think fit to appoint as commander of Her Majesty's troops in India an officer of a rank superior to the officer holding the highest rank in the service of the Company, Her Majesty's officer shall be Commander in Chief of the army, and shall also ex officio have a seat in Council. There is another matter which has been proposed, but the details of which have not been announced—I mean with regard to furloughs. There is no subject of more interest to military and civil officers in India. For my part, I am willing to do whatever would be most agreeable to the officers of the Indian army, consistently with the good of the service. If an officer is to be absent for any continued period, he is much better in England than elsewhere, inasmuch as he would be more easily found when required. If an officer goes to Australia, or the Cape, it is difficult to get him back if his services are suddenly required. England, therefore, is the most convenient place for them to reside in. I am afraid I am going to say what will not be popular in India; but I am of opinion that it is necessary to establish as a permanent rule in the service, that no man whatever shall be allowed to retain any office for more than a year the duties of which he is unable to perform. The Governor General should have power to replace him in his office if he should be peculiarly qualified for it; but his absence for a long period from India, whatever his individual interest may be, is decidedly against the interest of the public service. I entirely approve likewise of requiring all appointments of the Members of Council and of the Advocate General to be approved of by the President of the Board of Control. I am satisfied that, however unimportant it may appear, there is hardly any mode by which you can practically improve the position of the Governor General more than by requiring that the Member of Council should be approved of by the President of the Board of Control. I do not mean to question the manner in which those appointments have hitherto been made; on the contrary, I think that that is a part of the administration of the patronage of the Court which could best bear inspection and consideration; but, at the same time, I think there will be a great advantage in the check now proposed. With respect to the appointment of the Advocate General, I think that it is equally necessary to rest it upon the approval of the Crown. I regret to say that there have been appointments to this office which might have been better than they were, on the ground of the fitness of individuals; but I would suggest to the noble Earl the President of the Council, that if the Advocate General be a person who is a thoroughly able lawyer, and if the Legislative Council is to comprise the judges of the Sudder Court and the Queen's Court, the presence of a lawyer in the Council of India as fourth ordinary member thereof will become unnecessary. I would also suggest to the noble Earl that there is another arrangement which it would be highly advisable to make—namely, that with the single exception of original nominations to cadetships, and the nomination of the Governor General subject to the approval of the Crown, the Court should have no power to appoint to any office whatever in India. I regret to say that, as far as my own knowledge goes, and as far as I have been able to obtain information from others, many of the appointments of the Company have been most unfortunate: one which was most unfortunate fell within my own knowledge. It was that of a gentleman—a military officer in the Madras service—who was appointed to superintend the cotton cultivation experiment. This gentleman happened to die when I was in India; and on his death it was found he was a public defaulter—that he had mixed the public with his private money—that he had kept private accounts with American cultivators, whom it was his duty to have controlled—that he had been selling instruments of cultivation to them—and it was further found that he was in partnership with a gentleman who had been a candidate for the direction, and who was his partner under the name of his son—that son being a minor. I sent home those facts to the Court of Directors for their investigation. I apprehend that they did not think it necessary for them to divulge the circumstances under which that gentleman stood to the public; and the Court of Proprietors, in ignorance of those facts, elected him a Director, and there he is now. There is another case, of which I do not know the particulars so perfectly, and which, therefore, perhaps, I should not mention. It related to a gentleman who was appointed by the Court to a most confidential office about the Mint, and that gentleman's conduct was twice inquired into. He came back after the first inquiry, and, notwithstanding the previous inquiry, there was subsequently another one. Knowing these facts, and knowing how much jobbery there may be in sending out from England, without any previous service in India, officers for particular situations of this description, I think it most essential that the patronage of all these appointments should be exercised by the Court, under the control of the Crown. But, my Lords, while we endeavour to do in India what we can, and to improve, as far as we can, the Home Government of India as administered here, I should really be trifling with your Lordships if I were not frankly to declare to you my fixed opinion that, after all, the whole character of the government in India must entirely depend upon the character of the Governor General. He, my Lords, is alone responsible for every act of government. Few in this country know even the names of the members of his Council; and, if they were known, no one would ever think of looking to them as responsible for every measure adopted in India. The Governor General is alone responsible. Now, my Lords, only for a moment compare his situation with that of the Prime Minister of the Crown in this country. My noble Friend is surrounded by gentlemen, I will not say of equal but of nearly equal ability with himself, in every department of the Government. They are the objects of his own selection. He knows them, and he has entire confidence in them. All the more important matters of Government pass in communication between him and them. He is saved the investigation and consideration of all minor questions. If he be in any difficulty, he has the whole Cabinet to consult. If the difficulty be great, he may, as other Ministers have done, endeavour, perhaps, to throw the responsibility upon Parliament, and thus evade it himself. But what is the position of the Governor General? He lands in India frequently without any knowledge of the country but such as he has picked up on the passage, by reading the evidence taken before Parliamentary Committees, and by the study of statistics. He cannot by possibility know any one man in the country when he lands. He begins his government, not with Ministers appointed by himself—indeed, he has not the power of selecting them, for he knows not one man from another—but with the Ministers of his predecessor, whose views and policy may have been altogether different from his own. Yet he is compelled to go on with them. Can he expect, my Lords, his policy being different from that of his predecessor, that he should receive more than a cold support at best, in place of that cordial co-operation which is the result of the unanimity of feeling and sentiment which he might fairly anticipate from Ministers of his own selection? But more than this. What is the work that is imposed upon the Governor General? He performs the whole duty of the Foreign Office, writing every letter with his own hand. He has the entire disposal of the whole military force in that country, consisting of 200,000 soldiers. In every case of war he is alone responsible, not merely for the strategy of the war, but for all the most minute details in every department—for the commissariat, and for every branch of the equipment of the army. When he is with his Council, all the details of every department of the Government come before him. Such is not the state of things in this country. At the head of each department of Government here there is placed a gentleman who is responsible for that department over which he presides, and for it alone. The case is entirely different in India. There the Governor General is alone responsible for all the departments of Government; and I have no hesitation in saying, that from the moment he lands in India till the day when, to his own satisfaction, he places his foot on board the ship which is to carry him to England, he not only has not one day, but he has not one hour, of real relaxation. Every day brings its own work; and it is with the greatest difficulty, therefore, no matter how rapid he may be in reading, in writing, or in coming to his conclusions, that he can in one day despatch the business which accumulates within the space of twenty-four hours. Let us contrast that, my Lords, with the transaction of public business in this country. In this country, if my noble Friend who is at the head of the Government does that which is for the advantage of the people, the people here acknowledge it. The press supports that which is a benefit to the people; and he is at the head of a strong Government. But in India the public is not the people. What we here call the Indian public is composed altogether of English officials, whose interests may be, and often are, I regret to say, considered altogether at variance with the interests of the people. The press of India represents Europeans, and not the people of India. It may so happen that the unanimous combination of what is called the English public and of the press against the Governor General may be the surest indication that he is doing his duty by the people. But though the interests of these individuals may not be those of the people, yet he cannot do good to the people of India without doing good to his own countrymen; and, when so engaged. It seems to me to be the bounden duty of the people of England to give him their unqualified support. My Lords, I say it with the most perfect conviction, that amid all the difficulties of conducting the government of that distant country, it is absolutely essential that the Governor General should at all times, so long as he holds office, have the ostensible and cordial support of all the authorities in England. Without that it is impossible for him to do his duty, either to the people of India or to England. I will not say whether this condition has, under all circumstances and at all times, been observed; but I will say, that unless, as a rule, the home authorities here, acting unitedly for the benefit of India, give all the support and strength they can to his government, you may rue the day when you see the evil which you have introduced into the government of that noble country. My Lords, I now beg to move for the papers of which I have given notice.

Moved— That there be laid before this House, copies of correspondence between the President of the Board of Control and the Court of Directors on the subject of the measure to be proposed for the future Government of India.


My Lords, in following the noble Earl who has just sat down, I shall not, I am sure, appeal in rain for the indulgence of your Lordships. I have listened attentively to the speech of the noble Earl, than whom I may say there is no Member of your Lordships' House who for so many years has studied every question connected with India, who has brought ability of so superior an order to bear upon that study, or who can speak with greater power when he wishes to convey to your Lordships the opinions which he has thus formed. For myself, I most unaffectedly say that the attention which I have paid, and have been delighted to pay, to the subject, as Chairman of the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the Indian question, has left me with only this piece of knowledge, that not only weeks and months are insufficient, but that it would require several years of exclusive study to make one really master of any one of the heads of the inquiry which is entrusted to us. I certainly might endeavour to weaken the authority of the noble Earl, where he makes certain objections to the Government plan for the future government of India by ascribing some personal feelings and considerations in the opinions which he has formed upon this occasion; and I believe the noble Earl would be the last person in this House to deny that he does feel strongly in favour of the plan which he has himself matured with much labour and toil, and which he has so long and so ably advocated. I believe, also, that he would be the first to acknowledge whatever may be his feelings at this moment, that he did at all events once experience some resentment at being cut short in a career' in which he thought he might be useful to his country, and might improve the administration of the Government of our Indian possessions. But, my Lords, I am bound to say, sitting as I have done by that noble Earl for the last three or four months in the Indian Committee—seeing the assistance which he has given to me, and to every other Member of that Committee— seeing how singularly he has abstained fram using the advantage which his superior knowledge and ability gave him either in controlling the action of the Committee, or in dealing with witnesses who were hostile to his own views—and seeing how carefully he abstained from accepting any support to his own views either from the Committee or from the witnesses, which did not appear to be in most strict and exact accordance with the truth—I am hound to acknowledge my entire belief that the paramount feeling in the mind of that noble Earl is the good of the public service. In stating this in your Lordships' House, and in the presence of the noble Earl, I am only repeating what I frequently said to other Members of the Committee, whom, I may add, I have always found completely to concur in the justice of these observations. Some additional proof might be found, if it were wanted, of the public Spirit of the noble Earl, and of his fairness and candour in the way in which he commenced his speech to-night, when he avowed that he attached no blame to the Government for not having delayed legislation upon this subject. When I see Indian reformers, as they are styled, stating that they are ready to legislate if measures are proposed in accordance with their views, I think that they cut away the ground for delay so far as they are concerned. But I am bound to admit that there may be other more weighty arguments for delay than those which those Gentlemen are in a position to urge. Clearly, as far as Members of the Government are concerned, and their personal ease and Parliamentary convenience go, nothing would have been better for them than to defer legislation for two or three years, as the noble Earl proposed, or, still better, for five years, as was suggested by the noble Lord on the bench opposite (Lord Monteagle). But we should have incurred a grave responsibility —attribute what motives you choose—and here I must observe that the only part of the speech of the noble Earl which I did not like to hear was that in which he attributed motives to so respectable a body as the Court of Directors really are—I say we should have incurred a grave responsibility if we had refused to listen to the representations of the Directors when they solemnly told us that we should be doing the greatest possible injury to India if we allowed any delay to take place in this matter. Such a warning, surely, could not be totally disregarded. But in addition to this we had also the unqualified opinion of another person: and though it may not be quite Parliamentary to refer to it, yet it may be a reason for guiding you in your judgment upon this occasion, as it was a most powerful reason with the Government for the course which they pursued. The opinion of the late Governor General (Lord Hardinge), who can have no possible interest in the matter, is the same: and I think, when the noble Earl comes before you to-day and changes his opinion upon this point, and gives the reasons why he does so, that the question of delay may be considered as good as settled, and can only be moved now in a party spirit, which I should deeply regret to see mixed up in so important a question as this. I shall, therefore, at once proceed to notice some of the subjects to which the noble Earl has reverted. Referring then, my Lords, to what fell from the noble Earl on the subject of the Government measure, I should wish to be permitted to say some few words upon a portion of the subject which was omitted from his speech. I have always observed that while he certainly is not very sparing of his censures on the Court of Directors, he has never to the full extent joined the chorus in proof of the misgovernment resting in certain abuses which are said to be still in existence in India; and I attribute this to the fact of his superior knowledge. Knowing what difficulties there are to be dealt with in that country, he makes allowances accordingly. But as this is not the case with others, I may perhaps be allowed to make some remarks upon the principal charges of misgovernment in India, showing where I think they are exaggerated, and where they may be easily remedied. Perhaps also I may go into the question whether under each of these heads similar charges might not very plausibly be brought against a Government, which, while we admit that there are certain anomalies in it, and that it is a system of checks and compensations, which often for a time delay the affairs of Government, yet is, as I am sure every Member of your Lordships' House will admit, that Government which of all others in the world gives the greatest security to life and property, and affords the greatest freedom of thought, word, and action. I need not say that I am alluding to our own Government of Britain. The first and perhaps the most important charge which is generally brought forward relates to the administration of justice in India. It is said that the law is incomplete, that the Company's judges have not sufficient knowledge of the law, and that they are too young to exercise the important functions belonging to them, while the judges of the Supreme Court have not the knowledge which they ought to have of the habits and customs of the native population. They say that the course of procedure is expensive. They refer particularly to the stamps in processes; and much stress is laid upon the fact of the great delay which has taken place with regard to the institution of a general code for the whole of India. Now, my Lords, after hearing the whole of the evidence that has been given before your Committee, I think that there is clearly a great exaggeration with regard to the incompetency of the whole of the judges belonging to the India Company. That there does exist a certain amount of incompetency I will not deny; but I must beg the House to consider the difficulty with which the Government had to deal in the establishment of any administration of justice whatever, since the time when they took that country from the natives who occupied it, and who, previous to that time, were entirely ignorant of justice being administered in the way in which it is understood in Europe and in civilised countries. They had to construct the whole machinery at a time when our own laws at home were singularly cumbrous and complicated, and were only made bearable by the excellent administration of them. They had to take out lawyers totally unacquainted with the language and habits of the country, and in sending out young men, there was the difficulty, I think not successfully contended with, of educating them to the highest point before intrusting them with these important functions; but that is exactly one of the matters in which improvement is to be made, and it is one on which, I think, we could not with justice found any reason for the abolition of the existing Government. What is the state of the law here at this moment? I will not refer to the important question of the law of evidence, to the institution of trial by jury itself—both of which are now subjects of inquiry—to the transfer of property, or to a thousand other such questions; but I will ask your Lordships how long is it since the reforms sought for for so lengthened a period in the Court of Chancery have been consummated? I remember at the beginning of last year receiving a letter from an attorney who was unreasonable enough to complain of a denial of justice, because his cause had been more than three or four years before the High Court of Chancery. I was un- able to give any answer myself to his complaint; but I sent his letter to Lord Chancellor Truro, who, with that great courtesy which always distinguishes him, sent me a long autograph letter, explaining how it was quite in accordance with form that the cause had been so long in being set-tied, and stating the reasons why it would be impossible to accelerate to any great degree the future hearing of that cause, I forwarded his Lordships' letter to my correspondent, who, I hope, was satisfied with it, though if he had been making a speech or writing a pamphlet against the judicial institutions of this country, its contents would have given point to his arguments. With regard to the introduction of one general code into India, we have heard what the noble Earl has himself said upon the difficulty of such a measure. Twenty years ago the same difficulty was found to exist; and the Duke of Wellington, I remember, said that it would be utterly impossible to introduce such a general code for a people who differed as much in their habits, customs, and manners as the inhabitants of the north and south of Europe. Yet it has been made, not by the noble Earl I admit, but by all others who complain of the administration of justice in India, one of the gravest charges against the Company that seventeen years have elapsed without carrying that code into effect. And what is the state of things at home? Why, the noble Lord upon the woolsack had been openly twitted in this House as an "amiable enthusiast," for hoping to see in his lifetime a portion of our own law consolidated into one code. Now though I do not think the noble and learned Lord too sanguine in his anticipations, I am, bearing in mind the evidence given before the Committee, even more sanguine that the Indian code will win the race after all. Another charge is the amount of stamps upon law procedure. It is doubtless a very unfair tax; but a large revenue is derived from them which it is not easy to dispense with in one moment. I do not think, however, that we have much to boast of at home. What is the case here with regard to the very last Courts which you have established is this country? Nearly your very last law-reform was passed almost for the purpose of securing a cheap mode of justice; and yet a noble and learned Lord conies down here twice a week on the average to remonstrate with your Lordships that 24 per cent of the whole money paid into Court is actually wasted on costs. I really think, my Lords, that these are not reasons which would induce your Lordships to change the Government under which you live; yet such are the reasons that are urged against the present government of India. Every day provides us with similar cases and similar instances. A noble and learned Lord not long since stated that one little word, "may," in one of our Acts of Parliament, has baffled the wisdom of the Judges for the last 100 years, and that they are still not able to decide what the true meaning of that word is. But I pass on to other points, being desirous rather of answering the general objections which have been taken, than of going into detail through the clauses of the Bill—which will indeed be more properly and becomingly done when we have the Bill, and go into Committee upon it. At the same time I am Very glad that the noble Earl went so fully into it, because I hope that I shall be able to afford some practical answers to the objections which he has raised. It is alleged that the unsatisfactory position of trade in India has been aggravated by the behaviour of the East India Company, and that trade has not that footing in the East Indies which it ought to have. But I believe that nothing is more unreasonable than to suppose, as some do, that because Colonies inhabited by Anglo-Saxons of considerable energy, who have established no manufactures whatever in them, but have exclusively devoted themselves to mining and agricultural pursuits, take a large amount of trade and manufactures from this country, therefore there is to be the same increase in India, an old country, a poor country, and a manufacture-exporting country, in which we have to compete with the Natives in their own markets. These are circumstances which tend to prevent that increase of trade in India which we all wish to see. At the same time, when it is apparent what the increase of trade has actually been, I think the accusation which has been made is not borne out. The importation into this country of cotton wool and coffee from India has been increased by very nearly one-third within the last ten years. The average importation of rum has more than doubled. The importation of sugar and molasses has more than trebled; while the value of cotton piece-goods introduced into that country from England has been actually quadrupled. In the last fifteen years, upon the value of the whole imports, there has been an increase of no less than 140 per cent. During the same period the exports have increased 112 per cent, which is immeasurably beyond the extraordinary increase in the exports from this country. This suprising increase is attributable partly to the abolition of transit duties, and partly to the exertions of the admirable civil servants of the Company. It is satisfactory also to find, that in the period to which I have already referred, the number of ships and the amount of tonnage employed in the East India trade has about doubled. I will now say a few words on education—a point to which the noble Earl has not on this occasion referred, and respecting which he holds opinions at variance, I believe, from other noble Lords who are in the habit of addressing the House on Indian affairs. For myself, I can only say that I regard it as the first duty of the Government to improve and intellectualise the people of India, even at the cost of our dominion there. I do not, however, believe that any such result would follow our efforts to diffuse the blessings of education among the Natives of that country; on the contrary, I think we could not take a more effectual means of binding them to us by every tie of gratitude and affection, than by supplying them with our own literature, and spreading among them our own feelings and ideas. I desire to see education in India immensely extended. At the same, we must take into consideration the difficulty of extending education in a country composed of races differing from each other in customs and feelings. It should also be borne in mind that the English residents have hitherto differed among themselves as to the manner in which education should be imparted to the Natives. Under these circumstances it ought to be a matter of Congratulation that at the present time there exists both a greater amount of agreement among various parties as to the necessity and the mode of extending education to the Natives, and a greater desire on the part of that population itself to receive it. At the present moment between 30,000 and 40,000 natives are receiving an excellent education; and instead of regretting that the educational system produces such results as the Madras petition, because it is drawn up in a spirit hostile to the Government, and is not accurate in its statements, I hail them with pleasure, as the first indication that the Natives of India are apply- ing their minds to acquire some knowledge of the institutions of this country. The next subject to which I will allude is one of great importance—the financial condition of India. The revenue is chiefly gathered from the land tax, the salt tax, and opium. I turn to the revenue of India, which is derived from land, salt, and opium. With respect to the opium revenue, to which great objection is taken, it is only fair to state that the continuance of the duty was recommended by the last Parliamentary Committee that sat on the subject, and, therefore, the Legislature and not the Company ought to suffer reproach, if reproach be deserved on this subject. As to the salt duty, it is doubtless objectionable that the Government should establish a monopoly; but it is some compensation that the tax is levied in a way least unsatisfactory to the people, and that, although it has been considerably reduced, the amount collected last year, of which we have any account, was greater than at any former period. The land tax, as your Lordships are aware, varies in different parts of India. When the English took possession of Bengal, they found a system which entirely denied the rights of property. They saw the evils of this, and introduced a perpetual settlement; but it is unfortunate that, in ignorance of the customs of the country, we introduced a system which inflicts great personal hardship on those to whom it applies. At the same time it cannot be doubted that, generally, Bengal has improved, and no person can traverse the country without seeing on every side manifest signs of prosperity. Some injustice still continues; but, according to the evidence of Dr. Duff, who is entirely unconnected with the Company, and as great a friend of the Natives as ever existed, the fault is attributable not to the Government, who would remedy the injustice were it brought to their knowledge, but to the want of energy on the part of the Natives to make their grievances known. The ryotwar system was introduced by one of the most eminent servants of the Company, and one of the greatest statesmen India ever produced, Sir Thomas Monro; but although opinions vary as to its merits, many contend that great disadvantages are connected with this mode of taxation. As regards the village system, which prevails in the North-western Provinces, there seems to be a general agreement in its favour among those most conversant with the subject, because, while it respects the rights of property, it conciliates the usages and customs of the Natives. To what extent this system can be introduced in the other Presidencies, is a question which it would not be safe for this House or the Home Government to determine. That is a matter which I agree with the noble. Earl in thinking must he left—with many other important questions—in the hands of the Governor General, The financial system of India is not good; but when it is borne in mind that we have only lately reformed our own financial system, it would he somewhat unreasonable to insist at once and immediately upon the reformation of that of India. Any financial reform would doubtless tend to facilitate the promotion of public works which has been much dilated upon, and which is the next head to which I will address myself. When speaking on this subject a short time since, a noble Earl referred to the magnificent buildings erected by Ackbar, and asked us to contrast them with the public works we have ourselves performed. But I cannot look upon the erection of palaces and such like buildings as any evidence of a good government or a happy people. We should not be inclined to acknowledge that the Pyramids, or the imperial roads, or the Palace of Versailles, must be taken as proofs that at the time of their execution the Governments were better and the people happier than they are now. Look at the magnificent Abbey in our immediate neighbourhood. I defy any one to point to a church built within some hundreds of years which equals it in beauty; and yet I believe there is no man in either House of Parliament, except, perhaps, the noble Lord who recently presided over the Woods and Forests (Lord John Manners), who thinks the Government which existed in England at the time the Abbey was built, was better than that of the present time, or that the people then were happier then they are now. Perhaps, the only modern building that we can look on with anything like a feeling of national pride is the magnificent structure in which your Lordships are now sitting; but, so far from affording the slightest evidence of good government, it appears to me to owe its magnificence, as a whole, and its beauty in detail, partly to the professional skill of the architect, but quite as much to that peculiar quality of his mind—whether it be called firmness or obstinacy—which has enabled him to set at defiance the attempts of successive Go- vernments to control his architectural fanoies. The execution of many public works in India has been delayed by the enormous expenditure incurred during successive wars. At the same time, something has been done; during the last five years the expenditure on public works has been nearly doubled. The great trunk road from Calcutta has often been referred to in terms of reprobation, but even here a great improvement has taken place. On a former occasion I acquainted the House that the son of the late Chief Justice Bushe had recently travelled on this road at the rate of from 8 to 10 miles an hour, and that he found no bridge broken down except one over the river Soave; and when I added that there might possibly be natural difficulties opposing the construction of a bridge over that river, the noble Earl (the Earl of Ellenborough) started up and said that whatever else the Government might do, he hoped they would not attempt to build a bridge over the Soave, because it must necessarily be carried over a tract of water and sand five miles in length. I mention this merely for the purpose of showing how useless it is for us to discuss matters of detail here. Some great works of irrigation have been undertaken. The Ganges Canal is being carried on, and will be completed in three years at a cost of 1,500,000l. With respect to all questions of public works, the Home Government must depend on the Government of India. The railroad question has recently assumed a more satisfactory aspect. No doubt, great mistakes were committed at the outset; but have we in this country nothing to reproach ourselves with as regards public works? Here, canals and railroads have wisely been left to individual enterprise; but what has been the result of our legislation on the subject? A network of canals has been established over the face of the country; we allowed railway companies to buy up a portion of them, by which means the public was deprived of the security for a continuous water communication throughout the country. Again, when railroads were established, a department of Government was instituted to control their proceedings; but Parliament refused to adopt the recommendations which this department furnished on the subject. The railway companies, left without control, have engaged in rivalries and squabbles with each other, and at length, unable to settle their disputes, have asked Parliament to do so for them. It appears from evidence given before a Com- mittee of the House of Commons that 70,000,000l—one-third more than the debt of our whole Indian empire—have been absolutely squandered in preliminary Parliamentary proceedings by railway companies. In justice, then, we ought not to pass too strong a condemnation upon the mistakes committed in connexion with pub-lie works in India. I cannot concur in the noble Earl's objection to a double government, and it really seems to me that the very plan he has suggested involves a system of double government. The noble Earl appears to have changed his views on the subject of a double government. With increased knowledge and experience the noble Earl is justified in changing his opinion; and I should be sorry indeed to find that any statesman in this country should hesitate to alter his views of existing institutions, from time to time, according to varying circumstances. The noble Earl, however, several years ago, expressed himself thus, respecting the form of the Indian Government:— The present form of government has existed for more than half a century. Did the Ministers, then, imagine that it was formed by men who had no skill in the management of affairs, and that it might, therefore, be destroyed whenever its destruction was recommended by a modern theory? Then, after praising the authors of the measure, Mr. Pitt and Lord Melville, the noble Earl proceeded to say— It had now stood the experience of half a century, and half a century, not of peaceful times, but of times of danger and of war—of danger the most imminent, and of war the most extensive—and it had gone through all these dangers increasing in firmness and power. After having stood the shock of wars and proved adequate to a great Crisis, why was it proposed to alter this in time of peace, and to strengthen the Government) when, according to all experience, the business of Government was one of comparative ease? I may also refer to what the noble Earl said last year; because in all his remarks, whatever distinction he may make, he tends to the keeping up a double government. Last year, then, the noble Earl said— I am willing to admit another principle, though I do so with very considerable reluctance—namely, the necessity of continuing the double government! and there should be a body of men interposed between the Government of India and the Government of England,"—[see 3 Hansard, cxx., 566.] And, after suggesting an elected Council of twelve in place of the Court of Directors* the noble Earl added— I propose to leave the relations between the Council and the President as they sow are be tween the Court of Directors and the Board of Control. It is clear, then, that the noble Earl at that time contemplated no other change than a change of men, of numbers, and of names; twelve men elected by an enlarged constituency instead of twenty-four, and a body called a council in place of a court. In giving evidence before the Commons Committee, the noble Earl said— I would propose to do away altogether with what is called the 'double government.' I would not have a despatch prepared by the Court of Directors and submitted to the President in the same way that it is now. One advantage of this change would be the abolition of the double government; but the members of the council should have the power of representation in the same manner as at present—the power of forming an opinion upon all subjects, Of course, the President would have the power of overruling his council in the same way he has now the power of overruling the Court of Directors. I confess, it appears to me that the scheme of the noble Earl is essentially that of a double government, and that it would be liable to all the objections urged against that now existing. I cannot help thinking that the description given by the noble Earl of his course towards the Court of Directors is very likely to occur, although in a modified degree, with a person less energetic. If the Council found the President of the Board, whoever he might be, firm in opinion, and having formed an opinion that he choose to abide by it, you would either have a board of cyphers, or a board in open hostility to the President. The observations made by the noble Earl last year show that he considered it a settled point that the Direction is not to go into the hands of the Crown, but to remain independent of it. I think I need hardly go into the question of the cruelty shown to the Court of Directors in obliging them to mutilate themselves. There are certain cases which have been proved beyond a doubt, and which we desire to remedy. The fact that some of the best servants which the Court have, cannot be appointed except by canvass, which they do not like to undergo, is very objectionable. I think that will in some degree be obviated by the introduction of the six Government nominees in the manner proposed in the Bill. It is proposed that six of the members shall necessarily be Indian servants who have served for ten years; the object of which is clearly to have the appointment by the Crown entirely free from party objection. With regard to the remarks of the noble Earl on the subject of the Com- mander in Chief, I think the question worthy of further consideration, and will not at present venture to give an opinion upon it. I have not a word to say in favour of the constituency. If we were about to create the constituency now, of course no such body as the existing one would be formed. It exists however; and as to the suggestion for augmenting its numbers, I really think that would only increase an acknowledged evil, instead of correcting it. The fact that they are inclined to select a certain number of persons connected with the leading houses in the City, although deprecated by the noble Earl, is so strongly advocated by other parties, that I think it a most invaluable ingredient in the constitution of the Board of Directors; and although I do not wish to put any of these people higher than, they deserve to be, I think it most likely to find very useful advisers on Indian affairs amongst such men. One of the great objections of the noble Earl to double government is this, that it is productive of great delay. There is no doubt if you carry out the principle of throwing the responsibility on the Government of India, you must have a Government at home more for superintendence and revision than anything else. In some cases a slight delay is not important; but it is far better to suffer some little delay than to decide matters too rashly and hastily. With regard to delay in matters of urgency, my hon. Friend, now at the head of that department, states that from what he has seen he does not think there need be the slightest delay in questions of real urgency and importance. I now come to the question of patronage, and I concur with the noble Earl in thinking that there is some disadvantage in the present mode of appointing in the civil service. I am told by competent authority that there is some deterioration in the health, when offices descend from father to son, in consequence of enervating influence in the climate of India. I am told too, that parents, in cases where they have secured the promise of a cadetship for a son, frequently send their sons to more inferior schools than they would do if the appointment were less certain. I have heard it stated that one of the principal reasons why a small Tartar dynasty has governed the immense empire of China for upwards of 200 years, has been that they have got the talent of the whole Chinese population by opening every official situation to competition. But I will refer to instances nearer home. There are the Royal Engineers in this country, and the Indian Engineers. I believe that in those two bodies it is the rarest thing in the world to find a really mediocre man employed. With regard to the examinations, the objections of the noble Earl apply to the fullest extent to the system as conducted now. When you know what difficulties are to be surmounted in an examination, it is very easy to cram up for it; but when you prepare for an examination to be decided by competition, under the care of men of principle, it is not very likely but that the cleverest man will be the person who succeeds at such an examination. It is a striking thing, to begin with my noble and learned Friend now on the woolsack, that there are ten lawyers now occupying seats on the judicial bench who were very distinguished wranglers in the University of Cambridge; and, without adverting to any Member of the present Government, or of Lord John Russell's, some of whom took off the highest honours at Oxford, I ask your Lordships, when you hear the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Lynd-hurst), who carries the House with him by an eloquence that we cannot resist, whether you think his energies have been diminished by sixty years ago having acquired the honour of a high wranglership at Cambridge? I would add to the list the name of the late Sir Robert Peel; and I think it is not necessary to say more to prove that persons who have taken the highest honours in such examinations are those who are most likely to distinguish themselves in whatever service they may be employed. The noble Earl dwelt with some degree of severity on the effect those examinations might have on the gentlemanly tone of the persons who might be employed; but my opinion is, that the examinations would have rather an aristocratic than a democratic effect; for I believe that a poor man will not be able to give his children the education that would satisfy the examination; while the aristocratic or the rich would he quite sure to give their sons an education that would make their way for them in these examinations; and I cannot conceive any reason why any man should shrink from putting his son in a position where, from his own merit, he would obtain such a prize and competence for life, rather than obtain it by the favour of any individual, however respectable he might be. Several other points were referred to by the noble Earl with regard to the government of India; and it is a great satisfaction to find that he agrees so entirely with the noble Earl at the head of the Government. One charge against the present measure is, that it will he likely to cause a frequency of Parliamentary debates on the subject; and the noble Earl thinks that that is a danger to be avoided. I entirely disagree from the noble Earl upon that question. I believe that great advantage (though some deny it) has arisen from the Parliamentary debates that have taken place from the time of Mr. Burke; and, though Parliamentary discussions, as to our colonies, may not have been favourable with regard to matters of detail, yet the result has been to establish the sound principle that wherever there is a colony of Anglo-Saxons they shall have the privilege of governing themselves. But that principle is perfectly inapplicable to India. It is my opinion that when you have this enormous array of servants carrying on a despotic government, it is desirable that Parliament should discuss these questions as much as possible; that each individual person in each individual act he does, shall feel the responsibility weighing upon him, and that publicity at any time may be given to it from such discussions; but, whether that is right or not, I think the question of debates on India will not depend on the double or single government, but on the general interests of the country; it will not depend on the proceedings of the President of the Board of Control, who is now perfectly well known to be responsible for every fault of omission or commission, but will depend on the interests of the country generally. I have to apologise to your Lordships for having detained you so long. I have avoided all attempt at declamation on a subject that might perhaps be tempting for that purpose. I have endeavoured strictly to show that there has been a certain amount of misrepresentation against the Government of India; that, even supposing the case to be true, you have almost got analogous cases in this country; but never would a man think for a moment of changing the form of government under which we live; and I have attempted to show that the Government have endeavoured to do that which they thought most desirable in this case. If they had consulted their own personal ease, they would have deferred it for two or three years; or if they had looked for popularity, they would have adopted the plan of a single government; but they have preferred continuing the Court of Directors, which was acknowledged by the Duke of Wellington —no small authority upon Indian matters —to be the best, the purest administered, government he had ever known, and the most calculated to secure the happiness of the people of that country. Her Majesty's Government have endeavoured to continue that; they have thought it safer to improve than to destroy, yet they have done it in such a way that if the Court of Directors, constituted under this Bill, does not come up to their expectations, upon the requirement of the public at any future time, when the necessity of the case demands it, the change will have been rather facilitated than impeded.


complained of the course taken by the President of the Council in relying on the supposed opinions of the Governor General of India, in order to influence the judgment of their Lordships. It was unparliamentary to have done so. He, therefore, protested, on behalf of that House and of all the deliberative assemblies, against the course that had been taken on this occasion by the noble Earl in referring to a letter not before the House. From the time of the earliest Parliamentary discussions, no Minister had been allowed to refer to a public document which he had not previously laid upon the table of the House, and thus submitted to the examination and free commentary of other Peers. More than a century back this principle had been admitted in the House of Lords; and it was finally disposed of on the occasion of Mr. Adam's Motion in 1807. He must, therefore, set aside Lord Dalhousie's letter, unless the noble Earl undertook to produce it. The noble Earl had spoken of the importance of early legislation during the present Session, on the ground of the danger to India which delay would produce. But the very argument he used applied with double force against the course recommended by the Government. The argument was, that agitation would arise in India if this question was not settled; that there would be insecurity as to the future government of India if this legislation were postponed. This might be a logical argument if the Bill before them effected, or even contemplated, a permanent settlement. But it did no such thing. What was the scheme of the Government? Was it permanent legislation? Would it subdue, check, and annihilate agitation in India? On the contrary, if he knew anything of the question at all, he believed the course proposed would afford a greater bounty to agitation than any other measure that could have been contemplated. They apparently proposed, it was true, by a single measure to include the whole question of the Government of India in one Bill. But their Bill had no stability or permanence with-in it. On the contrary, they claimed for their legislative measures a shorter duration than had ever before been granted; and they did this in a manner both with regard to Committees and Parliamentary proceedings, wholly without precedent, and wholly without justification. They left it to the discretion of Parliament next year, or any following year, to open even the one question which they pretended to settle. If agitation was apprehended, was not this the most certain method of creating it? How did they propose to deal with the local questions which the Native petitioners complained of? Did they mean to leave them to be settled in the next or the following year? And what questions did they leave open for settlement? They left open the question of the employment of Natives, the question of the land revenues, the question of improved laws, the administration of justice, the question of education; indeed he might say every other question the most certain to agitate the minds of the people of India. These were all reserved for future investigation. The noble Earl had referred to the opinion of the Duke of Wellington upon the subject, and in so doing had invoked the greatest name that could be adduced in such a question as this. But did be think that, with the recorded and declared opinions of the Duke of Wellington, he would have been satisfied with this proposal for settling the question of the government of India? It was a settlement in appearance only. It was not a settlement in fact. The Government were not only pursuing a course inconsistent with the declaration of noble Lords of high authority, but at variance with the ordinary proceedings of Parliament. What had been done with reference to this question? Committees had been appointed by both Houses of Parliament. The noble Earl the President of the Council had been an indefatigable and most useful Member of the Committee of their Lordships' House; but and he pretend to say that that Committee had expressed any opinion on the government of India? He knew that it bad been stated abroad, and repeated in the clubs and public journals, that both Houses of Parliament had expressed an opinion in favour of immediate legislation for India. Now, in the presence of the noble Earl, and claiming his confirmation, he would venture to say that neither House of Parliament had done any such thing. The House of Commons expressed an opinion the most guarded, merely directing the attention of the House to the favourable tenor of the evidence with respect to the operation of the Act 3 Will. IV. c. 85, so far as it regarded the government of India. But, guarded as was this opinion, the Select Committee of their Lordships' House was still more cautious. The Resolution of the Commons was rejected, or rather amended, above stairs. The proposition of the House of Commons was laid before their Lordships' Committee by the late Lord Privy Seal. It was not adopted. It was objected to by the noble Lord the former President of the Board of Control (Lord Broughton), as committing their Lordships too strongly; and he moved as an Amendment, a Resolution to the effect that, the labours of the Committee having terminated, and a large field for investigation being left open, a renewed inquiry be recommended. The Resolution merely added at its close that the general tendency of the evidence was favourable to the existing system of government. Less could hardly have been said on such an occasion. Therefore, so far from the Government having received the slightest support from either Committee in their determination in favour of instant legislation, the course taken by both Committees was systematically and pointedly to exclude such legislation. So far had either Committee acted on the supposition that their evidence was closed, and their report on the Government made, that during the present Session they had concluded their examination on this subject. If there was any truth in the assertion that evidence of this supposed termination of this part of the inquiry was to be found in the proceedings of last Session, why did not the Government introduce their Bill at an early period in the present Session? If the reports were made, the subject was ripe for legislation. Government were bound to have introduced their Bill on Friday. They might have done so on their own hypothesis, and their Lordships would not have been called upon to discuss in June a measure which would not reach them till July, when all discussion would be unavailing. He thought he had now completely disposed of the assertion that immediate legislation was justified by the authority of Parliament. He had shown that they were set-ting aside the authority of both Committees in not awaiting their Reports, But there were other facts of material importance in connexion with this matter. The noble Lord now the leader of the House of Commons, in speaking on this subject, distinctly stated, when the Committee was originally moved for, that the proposition to be made by the Government at a future time was to be submitted "after the Committee should make their reports." The noble Earl (Lord Derby) at that time the head of the Government, went still further. He stated, "By the Reports of the Committee the Government are ready to be guided in the course they will pursue; and to those Committees must be deputed the important task of considering how the affairs of India are hereafter to be conducted." Here were the opinions of the leaders on both sides, and they concurred in the necessity of awaiting the reports. Yet now Parliament was called upon to legislate in anticipation of those reports. Therefore, whether he looked to the principle of the case, whether he looked to the authority of Parliamentary proceedings, or the authority of the leaders on both sides of the House, he could not see the slightest possible excuse for proceeding with inconsiderate, ill-advised, and premature legislation. The noble Earl had asserted that if the Government had consulted their own convenience they would have postponed this legislation till another year. He had heard it said, on the contrary, that the real reason why they were called on to legislate at present was, that if they deferred their measure till next year it would not interfere with the new Reform Bill. He did not think such a reason as that likely to recommend Parliament to the esteem and consideration of the people of India. Lord Grey's Government had, in 1833, acted on higher and more statesmanlike motives. He now came to deal with the further difficulties which ought to be overcome before the Government proposition could be entertained. His noble Friend knew that he had not been an inattentive or indifferent Member of the Committee; but he stated plainly that, after two years of laborious investigation, he was not in a condition honestly to pronounce an opinion upon the whole of the evidence before him.

He asked for time to deliberate on such a question. But if this was required by one who for two Sessions had laboured in Committee, wag it not more necessary for the great majority of the House, to whom the evidence had not been even now reported? Was it not required by the public whose opinion ought not to be slighted? Time was given in the year 1833. The proceedings then taken were very different from the present, for Parliament had been afforded a full opportunity of considering what had been done. Sufficient time ought now to be allowed to consider the evidence which had been taken, and he was sure their Lordships would be glad of the opportunity of reviewing the whole of the evidence. Now, with respect to the question of double government. The proposition of the Government in this respect was most extraordinary. So much did they seem to be enamoured with the principle, that they were about to introduce a double government within the Court of Directors itself. Within that Court they would create, practically, a new double government. The new constitution of the Court of Directors would be as essentially a double government as any that now existed. On what did the Government rely in anticipating the success of this experiment? Not a past experience assuredly. In how many colonies of the Crown had the principle been adopted of uniting, in one deliberative assembly, persons selected by nomination and persons elected by the people? In what single instance had it succeeded? Would the Secretary for the India Board inform the President of its success in Australia? Would the Colonial Secretary or Sir W. Molesworth point with triumph to the Cape of Good Hope? He believed they would find it most difficult to point to any solitary instance of success in a case where, in a deliberative assembly they introduced six gentlemen nominated by the Crown, whilst twelve other members were elected by another constituency. Of that constituency be need say but little. Parliament were called on to adopt, as the mode of returning two-thirds of the new governing body of India, that constituency for which the Minister of the Crown, in defending his measure, could not find a word of apology, except that be found it established. Was this the kind of legislation to be adopted for India? No Committee of their Lordships would allow such a principle to prevail with respect to the most insignificant parish vestry regulated by a private Bill, for they would see and declare a constituency like that of the proprietors to be inconsistent with common sense and public policy. He would tell their Lordships why he mistrusted the Directors of the East India Company, and why he dreaded their continued influence, except under a Bill containing very different provisions from the present. He could state his opinions the more confidently, because his conclusions, formed on the evidence, were entirely different from his opinions when he entered the Committee. He would not go into any bygone histories. He would only consider how the East India Company had administered its great functions from the passing of the last Charter in 1833 to the present time. Their Lordships were at least bound to inquire whether everything had been going on well during that term of twenty years —whether the public works had been fairly proceeded with—whether the judicial system was subject only to difficulties which it had in common with the judicial system of England, and were only suffering from such imperfections as they shared with all human institutions—whether education had been extended—whether the faith plighted to the Natives in the 87th section of the Act of 1833 had been faithfully kept. If this were so, then they would have reason to continue the government; but, on the other hand, if the engagements of the last Charter Act had not been fulfilled, but, on the contrary, if they had been trampled under foot—if its obligations had been disregarded—if those to whom it confided great powers for the benefit of others had betrayed their trust, then it behaved Parliament, in the discharge of its sacred trust, to be cautious in again conferring similar powers liable to similar abuse. On the answers given by the evidence taken before the Committee to the questions he had put, he based the difficulty he felt in agreeing with noble Lords. He could give signal instances of the neglect of the Act of 1833. That Act, for the purpose of insuring that there should be a better system of legislation in India, provided that there should be established a Law Commission to provide means for enacting better laws and better modes of procedure. That Law Commission was established under the authority of the Bill, and it was contemplated that it should possess continuing authority. It was consequently enacted that vacancies in the Commission should be filled up as they occurred. The Commission was intended to be the adviser of the Supreme Legislature of India, in matters of legislation; but what happened with regard to the Commission and its functions? The Government appears to have found this Law Commission somewhat troublesome, and took legal opinions to ascertain whether they would be justified in putting an end to it. The reply was in the negative, and stated very prudently that Parliament only could undo what Parliament itself had done. But the Company were not to be foiled. They did not venture to apply to Parliament, but they repealed practically the clause of the Charter by their own authority. They did this by declining to fill up the vacancies in the Commission; thus they deprived the people of India of the benefits which the institution of the Commission was intended to supply. He said that this was a distinct evasion by the Company —and not through ignorance—of the obligation cast on them by law. And this was not the only case of the kind. The Act had provided to deal with the question of patronage, and to guard against its abuses, doing so with as little interference with the Company as possible, by requiring four persons to be nominated in case of vacancies for the civil service, of whom one—the fittest—should be selected by competition, and after a fair examination. The East India Company had set that entirely at defiance; and in no one instance, from the passing of the Act up to 1837, when they were released from this obligation, did they ever even make an attempt to carry the Act into execution. It appeared that in 1837 the Company had a communication with his noble Friend (Lord Broughton), then President of the Board of Control. On the representation being made to him, he agreed to suspend the fourfold recommendation; and an Act was accordingly brought in enabling them to suspend and revise that system. They suspended it; but it never was revived, though the reasons suggested for the suspension were temporary only, and had ceased to exist; and thus, from the Act of 1833 to the present time, the experiment had never been tried. The next question to which he came was as to the power of the Legislature of India. These powers were created by the Act of 1833, and were very extensive. The colonial power of disallowing Acts was not applicable to the Supreme Legislative Council of India. If an Act was disapproved of by the Home Government, it was returned to India to be repealed there. With the exception of a very few specified cases, the Supreme Legislature in India had authority to legislate as in their judgment they thought fit. And how had the Company dealt with this matter? The Court of Directors had not only sent back to the Legislature Bills which they had prepared and approved of; but, not satisfied with this, it had gone the length of putting an inhibition on the authority of the Legislature, forbidding them from entertaining Bills of that character thereafter, without the previous consent of the Home Government. That, also, was a direct contravention of the Charter Act. The Court of Directors, having only the power of dealing with the Act when passed, denied to the Legislature of India the right of discussing the Act at all. The conduct of the Home Government in respect to the reform of the laws of India, was equally without justification. They might have availed themselves of the labours of the Law Commission; but not one of the Bills sent over by the Commission to the Directors had been permitted to pass. But far exceeding all these in importance was the question of the employment of natives in India. Not one word had been said by his noble Friend on this subject, which was, for all that, the most important question that Parliament was now called on to consider. But before entering upon it he was desirous of obtaining some explanation of the meaning of the present Bill. The question which he wished to ask the Government was this—whether the principle of competition proposed to he applied to the civil service would be extended to natives of India, as well as to European born subjects of the Crown? Supposing the case of a native medical student, being the Queen's subject, born at Calcutta, would he be admitted to the free competition for a medical appointment in the same manner as if he were British born?


in answer, had not the slightest hesitation in saying that if natives of India arrived here competent to pass the required examination, they would gain the appointments awarded in free competition the same as if they had been born in Europe.


said, that he received this reply with the greatest delight, less from any large immediate consequence to which it would lead, than from the all-important consequences to which it must lead in carrying out ultimately the full meaning of the 87th section, and the intention of its framers. It had been stated by Lord Lansdowne, in 1833, that there should be an entire equality among the subjects of the Queen in whatever land they were born, and whatever their colour or their religion. He considered the engagement now given by the Government through his noble Friend to be an accomplishment of this. This would be the entire destruction of the monopoly of what was called the covenanted service, as now understood. He was mistaken if there had not been, with regard to these covenanted appointments, a violation of the law of 1833 as it last passed. No one native had, during the last twenty years, been appointed to any one office to which he would not have been eligible before the last Charter Act. This he considered to have been a nonfulfilment of the 87th section. Seeing that in so many instances that Act had not been complied with, Parliament ought to take precautions, in whatever enactment they now passed, not only to ascertain that the enactment itself was wise, but also to provide that it should contain within itself the means of its enforcement. The Company had evidently not fulfilled their duties with regard to public works, and the promotion of agricultural and commercial improvements. Great allowances were to be made for them in these respects, as, no doubt, the resources which in time of peace would have been applied to these important purposes have been dedicated to wars, for some of which the mother country was responsible rather than the Company. But, as he had shown, there were too many other instances in which, without any similar justification or excuse, they had failed to perform their duty. In short, the East India Company stood before them guilty of having violated some of the fundamental laws passed for the happiness of India—including the employment of natives, the selection of civil servants, public works, improvements and irrigation, the encouragement of the settlement of the English in India, the improvement of the law, and the reform of the judicial and revenue system. The Company, then, had no right to unlimited favour and confidence at their Lordships hands. With respect to the authority of Lord Dalhousie, in favour of immediate legislation, he must again protest against the use made of that document, unless the whole of the noble Lord's letter, and in- deed the whole correspondence, were produced. He begged to inquire whether there would be any objection to produce the letter of Lord Dalhousie, to which reference had been made, and all the documents in connexion with it? He stated, and defied all contradiction, that it was the usage of Parliament that no document should be referred to by a Minister of the Crown unless it were produced for the general information of the House.


desired to say a few words in reply to the observations which had fallen from the noble Lord, but in the state of the benches [there were only six or seven Peers present] he should confine himself to two points—namely, the question of delay, and the question respecting the "double government." With regard to the point of delay, he found there were two parties who urged it—some who sincerely and honestly believed that not sufficient evidence had been furnished them to enable them to come to a satisfactory conclusion on the facts; others, he suspected by far the majority, who had come to a most decided opinion of their own on many points with regard to the government of India, who were aiming at a foregone conclusion, and who urged delay simply on the ground that by further agitation they thought they would be able to force a measure of their own on the adoption of Parliament. There could be no question to which of these two classes the noble Lord (Lord Monteagle) belonged. The noble Lord urged delay, because he had not quite made up his mind on all the points of detail. But was it necessary that they should delay legislation because the noble Lord's mind was not made up on questions of detail? The subject of inquiry to which the attention of Committees of both Houses was directed was most extensive, and they had, he believed, as yet only reached the fifth section of the inquiry. But it would be impossible, even if they were to wait until the Committees had concluded their inquiries, to legislate upon all the points. The noble Earl who introduced the subject had told them clearly and plainly that the Imperial Parliament ought not to attempt to legislate upon the details of Indian Government. What necessity could there be, then, for the noble Lord (Lord Monteagle) being so anxious about delay? But the truth was that the real motive of those who urged delay, and who brought forward such grave charges against the present system of government, was ft desire to upset the whole of that system. It was declared by them to be an anomaly. This merely meant that it did not square with some abstract principles of government assumed by those who so spoke. If judged in that way, every system of government might be declared an anomaly. The late Mr. O'Connell had once declared that the existence of the House of Lords was an anomaly, and that if the country was to have hereditary legislators it might just as well have hereditary tailors. But when they said it was anomalous, what did they mean? There was nothing anomalous in giving the power of ruling a, country to those who had acquired it, and who carried on the traditions of its government; and statesmen must argue, not on abstract principles only, but in reference to the circumstances under which the country was acquired, and the acknowledged principles on which the government ought to be conducted. The most plausible argument he had heard as to what was palled the single government was, that we ought to require greater responsibility on the part of the governing power. But if they considered that the real government of India must always be the government in India, they would see that there must still be a government of review at home; and if there were attempted a system of sole responsibility, the single Minister must still have a Council to advise. There must always be a divided responsibility between the Indian Minister, the Indian Council, and the Government of India; so that, after all, it must be, more or less, a system of double government. It was not fair, when the whole system of India was under review, to charge against one part of the Government the faults and shortcomings which belonged to the system as a whole. The noble Baron had instanced the Law Commission as having lapsed by the fault of the East India Company alone. That was not a correct statement. The terms of the Act of Parliament were, that a Commission should be issued by the Government in India the appointments being made by the Court of Directors, with the concurrence of the Board of Control. Vacancies occurred, which were not filled up, and the Commission ceased by the non-exercise of the powers conferred by the Act. That being so, he maintained that the Board of Control and the various branches of the Indian Government were responsible for the lapse of the Law Commission, and that it was not solely due to the Court of Directors. Another instance brought forward by the noble Baron was, the alteration of the curriculum required for civil appointments. He believed it was perfectly true that, by the influence of the Directors, Parliament was prevailed on to alter the Act of 1833; but both the Board of Control and Parliament itself were responsible for it, and it was not fair to visit on the Court of Directors what might have been obviated by the caution of the Board of Control or of Parliament. In the then state of the House, he should not go into any details with regard to the Government Bill. The measure was not before them. The details were hardly yet before the other House of Parliament, and it could hardly be expected that the Government should be prepared to defend on that occasion all the clauses of the Bill. The many valuable suggestions thrown out by the noble Earl who had introduced the subject (the Earl of Ellenborough) would undoubtedly afford matter for discussion in both Houses, and when the Bill was before their Lordships it would be time enough to take the details into consideration. Before concluding, however, he wished to say a few words on another point. There was apparent among those who supported what was called a single government a desire to represent that question as intimately affecting the welfare of the people of India, and to argue that the greatest improvement in their condition could be brought about by the change. He could not think that the welfare of the people of India would in any manner be promoted by bringing the affairs of India more directly under the influence of the House of Commons. Not that he had any fear of Parliamentary discussion, or the expression of public opinion: on the contrary, he had the greatest confidence in, and he placed the highest value on the matured public opinion of the people of this country. He was sure that frequently it had had a most beneficial operation on the East India Company, forcing upon them measures which they otherwise would not approve. Most heartily did he believe that it was due to that public opinion that some of the greatest measures of improvement in India had been effected. He believed it was due to that influence that they had rescued the widows from self-immolation; and, so far as the law at least could do so, had put an to slavery. He believed that it was due to that influence that they now witnessed a growing desire to extend education in the arts and sciences, and to promote the blessings of Christian civilisation; and last, though not least, he believed it was due to that influence that, by a law which, he grieved to say, had received opposition in their Lordships' House, they had established the principle of perfect freedom of religious opinion. But, although he had the greatest confidence in the matured public opinion of this country, when brought to bear on the government of India, he frankly confessed he had not the same confidence in that spasmodic and violent interest shown during the last few weeks in concocting paper constitutions for Indian government; and when the noble Lord began by stating they had introduced a measure unsettling everything, and settling nothing in the government of India, he could not refrain from remarking to his noble Friend near him, that there was all the difference between public opinion brought calmly and steadily to bear from time to time upon such evils as were proved in connexion with Indian government, and that violent public agitation which was brought to bear at one single moment on what was called "the renewal of the Charter." He conceived the greatest possible advantage would arise if the interest now manifested should settle down into a more lasting and more continuous interest in the affairs of India, and a deeper feeling of the responsibility under which the people of this country lie, as to the conduct of that great empire. He should rejoice in such a result, and he believed the measure of Her Majesty's Government would give that public opinion every facility to work and find expression, whilst at the same time it put an end to that periodical revision which was the greatest mischief and the greatest detriment to the Indian empire. He was convinced that the views of the noble Earl who introduced this discussion, whatever they were, with regard to the government of India, were formed entirely on his own great experience and extensive knowledge, and were utterly independent of those party combinations which existed in this country. He had been delighted to listen to the expression of his opinion, and he rejoiced to hear the noble Earl say, that, looking to the present condition of India, looking to the precarious footing on which peace was maintained, and looking to the circumstances of the Indian Government itself, it was his opin- ion now, whatever he might have been inclined to think before, that it was the duty of the Government to proceed, and settle this great question; above all, when he understood that opinion was expressed by the noble Lord now at the head of the Government in India. That opinion would probably not be without weight in another place, and in the country. Respecting the letter from his noble Friend the Governor General, to which reference had been made, the noble Baron (Lord Monteagle) seemed to suspect that fishing questions had been sent out to the Governor General. His suspicions were entirely unfounded. It was a voluntary and spontaneous expression on the part of Lord Dalhousie, of a strong feeling that, whatever was done with regard to the government of India, delay should not take place, otherwise the authority of the English empire might possibly be endangered. And when he was told that that was a chimerical fear, because the natives of India were too ignorant to understand the questions debated, and possessed too little information with regard to the institutions and laws of the country, his answer was—their ignorance, and their ignorance alone, was the only cause for fear. If they knew that hardly any change would take place in the administration of Indian affairs, even if there were a change in what was called the double government, there would be no danger, but it was because they expected some great undefined change in their position, that anything tending to loosen the reins of authority was to be avoided. It was perfectly apparent, from the accounts sent home, that an agitation had risen up in the Presidencies, which was seriously inconvenient, and that expectations were raised in the minds of the Natives which must end in bitter disappointment. Upon the occasion of presenting a petition at an early period of the Session, he expressed a doubt of the propriety of the language used, for which he was severely censured, He was glad, however, to observe, that on a subsequent occasion a similar warning was given by the noble Earl, who said, "It was high time the natives of India should understand that whatever change was made in the government of India, there would be no such changes as they seemed to anticipate." It was most dangerous that these expectations should he raised. He held it to be perfectly unnecessary to postpone legislation. The House and the country were fully informed on that branch of the subject upon which it was proposed to legislate, and, dreading the effects of delay, he did hope that no opposition would be offered in either House of Parliament to the measure which—at variance not only with their personal but their party convenience—Her Majesty's Government had thought fit to introduce.


said, that he had never heard a more authoritative and less argumentative speech than that of the noble Duke on the question of immediate legislation. But what he wanted to know was, whether their Lordships were or were not to be allowed to see the letter of Lord Dalhousie, which had been asked for? It was against the well-known Parliamentary doctrine that was often adverted to, and which he had never heard questioned, namely, that a Minister of the Crown ought not to quote an official document without producing it. Lord Dalhousie, when he gave the opinion which had been quoted from that letter, had no idea whatever of the state of things in England at that moment, nor of the plan which the Government had proposed. It was merely an opinion; but he should like to see the grounds on which Lord Dalhousie had come to that opinion. Without seeing the argument, he certainly could not place much faith in the opinion. The Government themselves had assigned no sufficient reason why delay should not take place in legislating, excepting that an agitation had been got up in India which it was desirable to stop. Why, they were told, on excellent authority, that the measure of the Government was calculated to keep up agitation, and they were also told that the measure of the Government was not intended to he permanent, but was [considered by themselves to possess only a transition character. He thought that a very good reason for delay was furnished by the fact that it was utterly impossible for any one to read and digest the evidence taken before the Committees of both Houses. Since the measure of the Government was introduced, a great deal of the most important evidence had been adduced before those Committees. No doubt, the great question to be settled was the form of government, whether it should be double or single. Though strongly objecting, neither the noble Earl nor the noble Duke had given any reason in favour of the system of double government. Objections against it existed in great force and great numbers. None were more forcible, than the delay and the expense it occasion- ed. The plan proposed by the Government would remove neither of these objections. The system of double government, besides, had sheltered the person who was really responsible—the President of the Board 6f Control. This system might have been convenient to the Ministry of the day in former times, so far as Parliament was concerned, but that was all found out. As Mr. Halliday had said in his evidence before the Committee, the sham was discovered, and was known as well in India as it was in England. He desired to express his great satisfaction at the statement of the noble Earl (Earl Granville), that the Natives of India would hereafter be eligible for the highest civil appointments. That certainly was a great step; but to make it really beneficial, it ought necessarily to be accompanied with a general and thorough system of education.


quite agreed with the noble Marquess who had just sat down as to the expense of the double form of government. In point of fact, however, there was no such thing as a double government, though it was generally declared to be so in order to hide the responsibility. His objection to it was, that, with all its other inconveniences, to which he would not then allude, its expenses were so enormous as utterly to preclude any expenditure or other measures adapted to promote the wellbeing of the country. The noble Earl (Earl Granville), had spoken very sanguinely of the great attention that would be paid to the education of the Natives, and to a matured system of public works. But, in his opinion, so long as this system of double government existed, it would swallow up the whole of the revenue of the country, and utterly preclude the idea of any general improvement in the system of public education, or any attention to the intellectual and physical development of that Natives. A great stress had been laid upon that portion of the Government plan which laid the higher departments of the civil service of India open to the Natives of the country; but, so long as their admission to this competition depended merely on a single clause in an Act of Parliament, which was liable to be set aside or disavowed by subordinate authorities, he, for one, must be allowed to state that his objections would remain as strong as ever. Much had also been said about the agitation which was being made on this subject. There were two kinds of agitation. There was a dangerous and a salutary agitation. The first arose from a desire to procure a better form of government; the second arose from the extravagance and the irresponsibility of the double form of government, and from the excessive taxation to which the Natives were subjected. On the latter point the Government of India had very frequently exhibited the most culpable want of good sense and propriety. They had persevered in levying taxes where the inhabitants did not resist; but where the inhabitants were strong enough to resist, they had invariably given way. He remembered an outbreak in 1810, at Benares, when the Government attempted to lay on a house tax in the province of Bengal. It was resisted in a most determined way. All the population left the town, the dead were thrown into the river because there was no one to bury them, and the Government at last abrogated the tax as to Benares, but laid it on other parts of the province. They had shown themselves to be partial and weak, and of all persons the Governor General of India was the least likely to give an impartial opinion, seeing that he was at all times surrounded by the nominees, the friends and relatives of the Court of Directors, whose views and opinions continually and naturally biassed his own.

Motion agreed to.

House adjourned till To-morrow.