§ THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
said, that he wished to draw the attention of the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) to the fact, that certain alterations agreed to in Committee on the Government of India Bill had not been inserted in the measure as now printed. By the 28th clause of the Bill it was proposed that the Secretary of State, without the intervention of his Council, and not the Secret Committee, should in future be the organ of communication with the Governor General. The noble Earl at the head of the Government, in consequence of some remarks made on both sides of the House while the Bill was in Committee, 1907 consented to alter the clause so as to provide that the Secretary of State should be assisted in such matters by the Vice President of the Council and one of the Members of his Council to be nominated by himself. He had looked at the Bill, and found that no such alteration was made on the bringing up of the Report. There was another trifling inaccuracy, in the 52nd clause, which, as well as that in the 28th clause, would, he hoped, be rectified before the third reading was moved. The noble Earl would recollect that the 52nd clause, as it originally stood, provided that, when an order for the commencement of actual hostilities was sent to India, notice thereof should be given to Parliament within one month after the issuing of such order, or, if Parliament were not then sitting, within one month after it met. The noble Earl, after considerable discussion, agreed that three months, instead of one, should be inserted. But, as the clause now stood, the order need not be produced till within one month after the meeting of Parliament, if Parliament were not sitting when the order was issued; so that, although three months might have expired from the time it was issued before Parliament met, another month must expire before the Government could be called upon to produce it.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
said, he had been occupied for some time in going through the Bill carefully, together with the Gentleman who drew the Bill, in order that the alterations that were to be made in it should be duly inserted. He did not make any alterations on the bringing up of the Report, but proposed to make them before he moved the third reading. With regard to the first point to which the noble Duke had called his attention, he had to state that the 28th clause, as it would stand when the third reading was moved, would provide that with reference to communications with the Governor General the Secretary of State should be assisted by the Vice President of the Council and such Member of the Council as he might from time to time nominate. With regard to the other point, the noble Duke seemed to misunderstand the clause. The clause was quite correct. It provided, that if an order should be sent authorizing the commencement of hostilities, notice thereof should be given within three months if Parliament were then sitting—that was to say, at the expiration of three months—but if Parliament were not then sitting, then within one month after it met.