HL Deb 03 August 1866 vol 184 cc1992-4

in moving for certain Returns relating to the Occupancy of the State of Oudh, said, that the good faith of this country and of the Indian Government were involved in this question. On the restoration of peace after the Indian Mutiny the Talookdars and other proprietors of Oudh were given to understand that they should not be dis- turbed in the occupation of their land. They received the assurance with thankfulness and joy, and the policy that had been indicated to them was carried out with success up to 1864. Since that time, however, ceasing to discriminate between the Talookdars whose rights were indisputable, and the ryots who did not of themselves claim any rights derived from tenure, the Government had done its best to discover cases in which the right of occupancy was not secured by any title or well expressed and clearly defined bargain, and in such cases to give the cultivator the permanent occupancy of the land. The sending out of a Commission for this purpose had excited great alarm among the real proprietors, and these proceedings bad actually been commenced without any notice having been given to the then Chief Secretary of State for India, Sir Charles Wood (now Lord Halifax). An inquiry was however instituted, and in consequence of its result he had been led to make the present Motion. About 1,800 persons were examined, but not a single proprietor asserted that any right such as that which the Commissioner wished to discover existed. In his opinion it was highly desirable that the Report of the Commissioner who was employed to make this inquiry should be laid before Parliament, as well as the despatch of the Chief Commissioner to the Indian Government. He also wished to have the Correspondence between the Home Government and the Indian Government upon the same subject.

Moved, That there be laid before the House Copies of the Report of the Financial Commissioner, Mr. Daives, upon the Inquiry into Rights of Occupancy in Oudh; together with the Reports of the different Settlement Officers and Commissioners in Oudh; and of the evidence of the landowners, cultivators, and others upon the same subject: Also for,

Copy of the despatch of the Chief Commissioner of Oudh, forwarding the above-mentioned Reports to the Government of India in February 1865; And also for,

Copy of the reply of Governor General of India to that despatch, and the further Correspondence of the Chief Commissioner and the Governor General on the subject up to the present time.—(The Marquess of Clanricarde.)


I shall not be able to promise the noble Marquess all the Returns which he asks for. The first two are to be had from the office, and Her Majesty's Government have no objection to giving them; but the last—that is, the answer of the Governor and his ob- servations on the Report made by the Commissioner—has not yet reached this country. The Government has received the Report made by the Commissioner in Oudh and the Correspondence which took place at that time. All that I can tell my noble Friend is that the result, as far as we can judge, is that there is no right, such as had been assumed by some persons, in favour of the occupiers, and that the cultivators themselves almost unanimously gave up all idea of any such right, they being satisfied with the rights of the tenant ryots, and convinced that, inasmuch as those rights had never been abused, they were not likely to be abused hereafter.


said, he would withdraw the Motion as far as regarded the last Return.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.