§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ VISCOUNT CROSS
Your Lordships will remember that by the Act governing India the Council of India in England to assist the Secretary of State was to consist of 15 Members, and when a vacancy occurred the Secretary of State was bound to fill it up. About a year ago I appointed a Committee to consider carefully the home charges of India, about which considerable complaint has been raised in India itself. One of the recommendations of the Council was that their own number should be reduced. They stated that they had no doubt whatever that a reduced number would be able to fulfil all the duties imposed upon them entirely to the satisfaction of the country, and in fact that if more responsibility rested upon those who were left, the work would be, if possible, better done. Under those circumstances, and acting on the recommendation of the Council 575 itself, with which recommendation I entirely agree, I have to ask your Lordships to assent to the Second Reading of this Bill. A vacancy on the Council has unfortunately occurred through the ill-health of Sir Henry Yule, whose presence on the Council had been of enormous advantage to the natives of the country. A man of more kindly disposition, thorough intelligence, high-minded, upright, honourable character I believe never existed, and I should like to bear testimony to the estimation in which his work is held, and to the services which he has rendered in. the office he so long filled. I now have to ask your Lordships to give a Second Heading to the Bill, which I may say was passed in another place without being challenged even by a Division.
§ Bill read 2a (according to order); Then (Standing Order No. XLV. having been dispensed with) Committee negatived; and Bill to be read 3a to-morrow.