THE EARL OF LYTTON
, in rising to move—That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty for copies of extracts of all correspondence between the Secretary of State for India and the Governor General in Council, from the 1st of January 1878 to the present time, respecting the prosecution, firstly, of productive public works by means of borrowed funds; secondly, of works designed for protection against famine and commonly described as protective works; and thirdly, of the measures taken for the purpose of famine insurance,said, he understood that the Motion would be unopposed; but perhaps his noble Friend the Under Secretary of State 580 for India would allow him to take this opportunity of asking him when the Returns would be laid upon the Table. It had been announced in the Gracious Speech from the Throne that, in consequence of the cessation of hostilities upon North-West Frontier, and other favourable circumstances, Her Majesty's Government in India had been able to resume works of public utility, which had been suspended, and to take other measures for the further improvement of the people. The prosecution of public works, and provision for the protection of the country against the calamities of recurrent famine, were matters of vital importance to the welfare of India; and it would doubtless be gratifying to their Lordships to learn from the Correspondence on this subject what were the works of public utility which, having been suspended, were now resumed; what were the measures now being taken for the further improvement of the people, and what the instructions addressed by the Secretary of State for India to the Governor General in Council on these matters. This information would also greatly enhance the interest attaching to the Budget just published in India, which appeared to be of a highly satisfactory character, both as regards the normal growth of the Revenue, the practical results of the measures taken some years ago for its improvement, and with the sagacity and judgment with which these results were now being utilized for the emancipation of trade and the reduction of burdens on consumption. He hoped Her Majesty's Government had no objection to the Motion of which he had given Notice.
, in reply, said, there would be no objection on the part of Her Majesty's Government to give his noble Friend the Returns he had moved for. His noble Friend was quite right in saying that these Returns would contain information of a most interesting and important character. He could assure his noble Friend, on the part of the Secretary of State for India, and of the Government generally, that there would be no unnecessary delay in presenting and publishing the Papers; but some time must elapse before that could be done. They knew the interest which his noble Friend took in this subject, and he knew the character of the 581 Returns, and that they would require time to prepare; but there should be no unnecessary delay. The Motion, he might say, partook of no Party character whatever.
§ Motion agreed to.
Copies or extracts of all correspondence between the Secretary of State for India and the Governor General in Council, from the 1st of January 1878 to the present time, respecting the prosecution, firstly, of productive public works by means of borrowed funds; secondly, of works designed for protection against famine and commonly described as protective works; and thirdly, of measures taken for the purpose of famine insurance."—(The Earl of Lytton.)