HL Deb 15 May 1893 vol 12 cc866-85

called attention to the home charges of the Government of India in relation to the condition of the finances of India; and moved for copy of a letter from the Secretary of State to the Governor General of India in Council (Financial), No. 152, of 18th August, 1892. He said that, since the recent discussion of the matter in their Lordships' House, the Budget Estimate had been received from India for this year. He had then used the word "alarming" in reference to the condition of the Indian finances; but he was now of opinion that it was not so alarming as the rumours in the Press had led him to suppose. For many years the Indian Government had borne out of Revenue charges what other Governments would have provided for by means of borrowing, such as those for special defence works, for which in England money had been borrowed, but which in India had been charged to current expenses. Generally speaking, he thought that with economy, and unless a further serious fall took place in the gold value of silver, there was no reason to suppose that the Indian finances would not recover their equilibrium. As the Indian Finance Minister had recently said, the financial position of India rested upon Military Expenditure, and the condition of the exchanges in reference to the Military Expenditure in India. He was glad to observe that the Under Secretary for India in the other House, in answer to questions, had on several occasions admitted the importance of economy in the Military Expenditure. The matter of the exchanges was still before a Committee, of which the Lord Chancellor was Chairman; and, therefore, he would not go into it further than to say that all who knew anything of India must feel the great hardship which the fall in the gold value of silver imposed upon those serving in India upon salaries; and that hardship might become a matter of serious prejudice to the Public Service. He hoped some means would be found to remedy that great hardship without imposing fresh taxation upon the people of India, which would, in present circumstances, be exceedingly difficult. The part of Indian finance he desired to call attention to mainly was the Military Expenditure at home charged to India. These home charges wore not referred to the Lord Chancellor's Committee. He would not go into the smaller parts of the home charges upon the Indian Revenues, such as the salary of the Secretary of State for India, or the charges for the Consular Establishments in Persia and China, which was a subject of constant protest, but would confine himself to the Military Expenditure. The management of the debt, he believed, had been put upon a satisfactory footing, and no objection could be taken to the figures respecting the debt which formed a large part of the Financial Statement. The home military charges amounted to £4,000,000 at the present time, including stores; and the whole of this £4,000,000, found by the taxpayers of India, was spent in this country, so that India did not derive any incidental advantage from the expenditure. A very careful indentation of stores ought to take place in India, and advantage might result from such an inquiry. He would ask whether it had not been proposed over and over again that the War Office charges, including stores, paid by India should be referred to arbitration; and whether, while the Secretary for War was willing, the Treasury declined to accede to the suggestion? The items that were under the control of the War Office amounted to about £1,000,000; rather more than three-fourths of this was for effective charges; and a little over £300,000 was for non-effective charges. The effective charges included the cost of recruiting and training in England—the cost of the soldier before he embarked for service in India. Every farthing of the charges after he embarked for India until he re-embarked for England was paid by the Indian Government. The non-effective charges included the pensions and other allowances paid to officers and men who had served in India and were charged by the War Office upon the Indian Revenues. He had these military charges before him when he was in India, and on his return he was asked by the Treasury to serve on the Committee which had cognisance of the effective charges for British troops in India; he had served on that Committee, with some intervals, for 14 years—in fact, until last year; and, therefore, he had had the question before him for the last 20 years. Under the régime of the East India Company, the whole effective charge was paid by the Company, bills being sent in for the actual charges of the men sent out to India. In respect of non-effective charges nothing was paid at all. There were then about 20,000 Regular Forces serving in India, and no payment was made at all by India on account of non-effective charges until 1822. Then there was a bargain made between the Imperial Government and the East India Company, under which the latter agreed to pay £60,000 per annum for all non-effective charges in India then and in future. Some quid pro quo apparently was given; but the English Government thought the East India Company had behaved very handsomely in the matter. That arrangement lasted until the direct government of India was assumed by the Crown, when the whole of the English Forces in India became the Forces of the Crown; and that, of course, necessarily obliged a reconsideration of the arrangement in respect of these payments. What he had to represent to their Lordships was that since that time the charges gradually and greatly increased, and the increase had gone on notwithstanding the repeated remonstrances of successive; Governments of India and successive Secretaries of State for India in Council; but up to the present time no equitable arrangement had been made in respect of those charges. He had no intention whatever to impute to the officers of Her Majesty's Treasury or others concerned, or even successive Cabinets here, any desire whatever to do injustice to India. He was satisfied, also, the Houses of Parliament were anxious only to do what was just and right as between England and India. He attributed the inequitable result, first, to the great complexity of the subject; and, secondly, to the great pressure of business of different kinds which had weighed upon the successive Governments of this country. Parliament had last year passed an Act by which the functions of the Legislative Council in India had been extended. The Budget must now be discussed there year by year. Questions had been already asked; and it was not to be expected that this subject, which had been so long before the public in India, and which was fully dealt with in Papers laid before Parliament and available to anybody, would not be discussed freely and fully in the Indian Legislative Council. To resume a short history of the question. In 1861 these charges were met by an arrangement under which £10 per effective man in India was paid to meet the whole effective charge of the Indian Army, and £3 10s. per man to meet the whole non-effective charge, the latter charge, in was distinctly understood, being only for one year. That was done under the Act 24 & 25 Vict. c. 89. When that arrangement was made, his late friend and old master, Sir Charles Wood, afterwards Lord Halifax, than whom no man was more thoroughly conversant with Indian finance, laid it down that that temporary arrangement was not to be regarded as an admission that India could justly, be called upon to pay charges which ought really to be borne by the Imperial Exchequer; and so early as 1861 a protest was put forward against the arrangement on behalf of the Secretary of State in Council. The effect of that change was to raise the annual non-effective charge from £60,000 to £225,000 per annum; but no complaint could be made on that score, for it must be remembered that a largo number of English troops were required there in consequence of the abolition of the old Indian Army. That arrangement ceased in 1870, when a most complicated and extraordinary plan was imposed upon India, under which, year by year, the actual pensions India was supposed to be called upon to pay in consequence of the abolition of purchase in the British Army were capitalised, and the capital value, year by year, was charged upon India by the British Exchequer. This arrangement lasted for 14 years, until 1884, and the effect had been an enormous increase in the charges on the Revenue of India, an increase which was not less than £4,000,000 in those years for pensions, and so on. The present Secretary of State for India at that time made a representation to the Treasury on the subject, pointing out that charges arising from measures adopted for purposes unconnected with India, such as the abolition of the purchase system, and the consequent grant of pensions to officers, ought not to be levied upon India. It was urged that it was exceedingly unjust that the Indian Revenue should be called upon to bear any charge in order to get rid of that peculiarly English abuse, and the granting of pensions to officers on compulsory retirement on attaining certain ages, and so on. A Return upon that subject was laid before Parliament in 1884. He could not, throughout all the Papers laid before Parliament, find any answer to the argument so put forward on behalf of India. The arrangement for capitalisation of the purchase pensions ceased in 1884, and he had no materials in his possession as to what had taken place since that time. With regard to effective charges, after the arrangement as to a payment of £10 per effective man in India came to an end in 1869, a system was adopted by which bills for what was considered the actual charges were presented by the War Office and paid by the India Office. Year after year this was done, and year after year the India Office had protested against the details of these charges. They paid certain sums to account, while protesting against the whole thing. Matters, however, went on from bad to worse, and in 1874 a Committee of the House of Commons was appointed at the instance of Mr. Fawcett, who took great interest in Indian finances, to consider the whole subject. The Committee came to the conclusion that charges were imposed upon India which ought to be borne by England, and in their Report strongly insisted on the great importance of strict fairness in all financial arrangements between India and this country; and they stated that they had received the impression that charges had, in some instances, been imposed upon India which ought to be borne by England, and they agreed in the opinion emphatically expressed by the Marquess of Salisbury that— The most effectual way of securing financial justice to India was for the House of Commons to be constantly watchful on her behalf. The noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) was not altogether incapable of the use of sarcasm, and he might not on that occasion have intended to express his real expectation that the House of Commons was at all likely to be very watchful on behalf of the Indian taxpayer and Indian finances; but if he really entertained that expectation it certainly had been entirely deceived, because from that time to this there had been no enthusiasm shown by the House of Commons in that direction for the relief of the Indian taxpayer. No notice whatever of the representations of the Committee was taken by the Government of the day, although it was admitted by the highest Military Authorities that India was charged too much. His Government in India did all they could to put this matter on a proper footing, and they wrote home pointing out that the highest authorities had frequently admitted that India had been called upon to pay an unnecessarily high rate in connection with the home charges. The Duke of Argyll was then Secretary of State, than whom no one was keener to get justice for India; but it was certain that nothing came of those representations, and no consideration was given to India in respect of those charges for which it was admitted too much had been taken in the past. After the House of Commons Committee of 1874, a small Committee was appointed in the next year with a distinguished Member of Parliament, Mr. Bouverie, as Chairman, and they made some recommendations as to the cost of the troops; but they ignored and put aside altogether the great questions raised between the two Governments, on the ground that it did not fall within their province to examine or decide upon them. They said that these wore questions for the Cabinet to determine. When the Report of that Committee was sent to the Indian Government they sent back a despatch in which it was conclusively shown that, according to the recommendations of the Committee, India would have to pay, not only the whole cost of raising and maintaining the men required for Indian purposes, but a certain part of the cost of raising and training men in the Reserve as well. No notice was taken of the criticisms upon the Report by the Government of India. Year after year the same thing went on, the charges were sent by the War Office to the India Office; and at last the Financial Committee of the House of Commons, finding that there was no probability of settling the matter, and all the arrears which were accumulating, made a strong protest, the affair was brought before the Cabinet, and the upshot of the whole matter was that a settlement was made to the end of the year 1879. About that time Colonel Stanley (the present Lord Derby) was Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and he admitted that India had been charged more in former times than she ought to have been charged; but it was suggested that a Commission should be appointed to settle a fixed rate of contribution in the future. A Commission was sitting more or less continuously from 1879 to last year; and, as Chairman of that Commission, he wished to take this opportunity of expressing his obligations to its members, especially to Sir Thomas Seccombe and Mr. Knox. For years they could get no accounts, and when at last those for 1885–6 and 1887 were obtained it was found that they could not arrive at a Capitation Rate unless they could get the opinion of the Indian Government upon the matter, as (hey were most concerned and knew most about it. And that was also the opinion of Viscount Cross. When Viscount Cross was Secretary of State for India he requested the opinion of the Government of India with respect to the charges, because it was obvious that without receiving the views of the Government of India with regard to the claims of the War Office the Commission would not be able to deal satisfactorily with the question. They could only go into calculations. But he was happy to say that simply upon the arithmetical calculations they came to the conclusion that a very large reduction should be made in the charges. The answer of the Indian Government to the request of the nobles Viscount only arrived in 1890, and the noble Viscount sent it to the Treasury with the request that it should be laid before the Commission, At the expiration of a year he received a letter from the Treasury addressed to him officially as Chair of the Commission enclosing the Despatch of the Government of India—a long and able document—with the request that he would lay it before the Commission. That request was accompanied by a letter from the Secretary to the Treasury, in which the Treasury expressed its concurrence in the objections raised by the War Office; and in these circumstance he, as Chairman of the Commission, felt that he could do nothing less than respectfully decline to lay documents before the Commission upon two of which the Commission were told their opinion' would not be taken. So that he must inform their Lordships the result was that after 14 years' work the main contention of the Government of India would not even be considered. It was put altogether on one side, and was utterly and entirely ignored. All the difficulties remained now just as they existed 20 years ago, and he would ask the Secretary for India to explain what his views at present were on the subject. The Government of India contended that when the Indian Army was used for Imperial purposes, that fact should be considered by the Home Government when they came to fix the new rate of payment for the effective charges in India; and they also urged that consideration should be given to India for the inequitable way she had been treated in the past. It was said that England and India were in partnership, and in whatever was necessary for the general advantage of Imperial interests India fairly ought to bear a proportion of the charge. If India could be consulted he thought she might be fairly asked to bear those charges; but India had hardly ever been consulted when a large charge was thrown upon her by the Imperial Government. The fact that no Capitation Hate had been settled was not the fault of the Government of India, for they had been constantly pressing for it. Whose fault it was he would not like to say, or whether it was that mysterious Body called the Cabinet, who refused to entertain the matter. What was the cause of the bad fortune or mischance which had entangled this question so miserably for the last 20 years passed all comprehension. For his own part, he thought it quite useless to appoint more Committees to inquire into this matter. Two or throe sensible men in the Cabinet, with the information they could obtain from experts, could, he believed, settle the matter in a very short time. The Indian Government had constantly represented that an inequitable use had been made of the Indian Army in Imperial expeditions. The whole of the ordinary expenses in the Abyssinian Expedition were paid by India, only the extraordinary expenses being paid by the Home Government, the argument used being that India would have to pay her troops in the ordinary way, and she ought not to seek to make a profit out of the affair. But how did the Home Government treat the Indian Government when troops were sent out during the Mutiny? Did they say, "We don't want to make any profit out of this?" Not a bit of it. Every single man sent out was paid for by India during the whole time, though only temporary use was made of them, including the cost of their drilling and training as recruits until they were sent out. If this principle was to be applied in sending out troops to India, surely it ought also to be adopted when Indian troops were sent on Imperial expeditions. Surely some consideration should be shown to India for the inequitable way in which she had been treated in the past in settling the charges for the future. He would not detain their Lordships upon other points. The Indian Army was of great value to England as a training school for both officers and men, and as a Reserve Force; besides being a fruitful source of pensions. There was hardly a family in this country but some member of it was deriving his income from the Revenues of India and spending it, of course, in this country. These were all considerations why equitable and liberal treatment should be given to India in this matter. In reference to the partnership argument, a partnership in Imperial interests existed, no doubt, between England and India. Upon that point no man had a better right to speak than the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who knew the whole thing; and what had he said upon this point? In a Despatch of 10th August, 1883, Lord Ripon said— It was a partnership in which the rich and powerful partner was able to prescribe the conditions under which the business was to be carried on, with very little reference to the wishes or the means of the poorer and weaker partner. His noble Friend also said quite truly, speaking as Governor General of India in Council— We doubt whether, as a matter of fact, the presence of the Secretary of State for India in the English Cabinet insures that regard for India in the execution of military reforms which India has a right to expect in the distraction of military charges between the two bountries"— that was, if the distribution of the charges was to be regulated on the assumption that they wore partners in a joint undertaking. But it was asked of those advocating the claims of India—"Why cannot you give us some sort of idea how you suggest this is to be settled?" He would, with great humility, endeavour to make a few proposals for the consideration of the noble Earl. In the first place, he suggested to his noble Friend, for the consideration of the Government, that the effective rate ought to be reduced from £7 10s. to £5 per head for 10 years. He did not think anything less than that would be fair, taking all the considerations he had mentioned into account. It was monstrous that India should have to pay the extra charge arising from the abolition of purchase in this country. As regarded the non-effective charges, he thought India should not have to pay that charge arising from the abolition of purchase in this country. With respect to the £4,000,000 increase in non-effective charges up to 1884, one-half of that sum should be borne by the Imperial Exchequer, and one of the easiest ways of doing that would be for the Imperial Government to take over £2,000,000 India Three per Cent. Stock. Finally, he suggested that part of the charge of the special defences of India should be borne by the Imperial Government in consideration of the payments made by India for the Expedition to Egypt, and that the cost should be paid out of the, profits England derived from the shares we held in the Suez Canal. If those proposals wore put fairly and candidly before the other House of Parliament, he thought there would be no objection offered to such an arrangement of the matter. He would entreat the noble Earl the Secretary of State for India not to drive the question off for another 20 years, with continual correspondence upon it between the Departments, but to let it be settled for the future. Moved, "That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty for, Copy of a letter from the Secretary of State to the Governor General of India in Council (Financial) No. 152 of 18th August, 1892.''—(The Earl of Northbrook.)


My Lords, there is no Member of your Lordships' House who is more entitled to bring this subject forward than the noble Earl, not only because he has been Chairman for many years of a Commission which has laboriously and usefully dealt with the subject, but also because he was for a long time connected with the War Office, and has filled the high position of Viceroy of India. These home charges have been the subject of constant controversy between the India Office, the Treasury, and the War Office; and I can assure the noble Earl that I welcome any assistance given me in sustaining the very unequal combat in which the Office over which I preside is always engaged against those two great Departments. My noble Friend has referred to a letter written by my direction when I was Secretary of State for India in 1884. I entirely adhere to what I said in that letter, as I have no doubt my noble Friend adheres to the opinions he expressed in the despatches he wrote. My noble Friend has referred to the subject of the homo charges. Before 1884–5 the effective Army charges were £421,000 a year; but after that period they necessarily increased con- siderably, because in 1885 10,000 European troops were added to the Indian Army at the time Lord Randolph Churchill was Secretary of State for India. I will not trouble your Lordships with the figures for the successive years, but in 1892–3 the effective charges amounted to £548,000. That increase is due almost entirely to the additional number of British troops now in India. The non-effective charges were formerly capitalised, with the result that a very heavy yearly home charge was thrown upon the Government of India. Now however, the system of capitalisation has been abandoned, and the charge for pensions is made according to the actual amount due each year. This change in the system has resulted in a reduction; but the amount payable will by degrees, as the pensions fall in, probably rise again in the future. The total amount of the pension charges upon the Indian Revenue was estimated at 1892–3 at not less than £1,900,000. My noble Friend spoke— and I think with great justice—of the extreme hardships which India suffers in having to provide for charges which are in large measure due to changes effected in our military system independently of India. At the time of the abolition of purchase, I may remind your Lordships that heavy additional charges were thrown upon the Government of India Although no such great alterations are now made, yet from time to time precisely the same thing occurs. There is generally a pressure in the other House for some change in our Army system, involving increased expense; the War Office yields to the pressure, and the Indian Government finds itself saddled with additional charges which it has had really no voice in imposing. Increased burdens of that kind, I think, may reasonably be, considered to constitute a grievance; but I fear that the imposition of such burdens is not likely to cease. There will be no doubt that it is extremely difficult to determine precisely what share of these burdens ought to be borne by the respective Governments. The Indian Government is in the unfortunate position of having those matters settled for it by the Government at home, and the India Office finds that schemes involving a large increase of expenditure are frequently pressed on the Department in the House of Commons largely in- creasing the charges against which they had originally protested, and in which they had never concurred. This was disappointing, for economists are wont to look to that House for support. Whore I think India suffers is that we have no supporters, as the Home Government or the Treasury has in the other House of Parliament, which will not throw large additional taxation on this country to meet increased expenditure. I am afraid the spirit of economy is not very strong in the House of Commons now. The noble Marquess said in past years that the only hope India had of more economy was in the other House of Parliament; but that hope has vanished. The reason why proposals that must throw fresh burdens on the Government of India are so frequently made in the House of Commons is that those who make them know that their own pockets will not suffer in the desire to make things agreeable and comfortable. The taxpayers of this country exercise no check upon such proposals, and the consequence is that charges are sometimes imposed upon the Government of India which that Government thinks unjust and unnecessary. Among the subjects which my noble Friend has referred to is the subject of military stores. Recently, as far as I know, there has been no protest against stores. A more satisfactory arrangement has been made in point of management, and the Government of India have been judiciously taking steps in the last few years to render India independent of this country in the matter of military stores. As far as possible, the Indian Government now supplies its own stores. With respect to the Capitation Grant, I may remind the House that formerly the grant was £10 per man serving in India. Then it was agreed that it should be reduced to £7 10s., £3 a head having to be paid as well for deferred pay, which is a new charge, and the matter rests upon that basis at the present time. The India Office has no particular desire that the question should be re-opened and discussed anew, for bitter experience has taught the Department that the re-opening of a question of this kind generally results in the imposition of additional charges; and though it may not appear very consolatory, I am advised by those who share my noble Friend's views, and who desire as much as he does that India should obtain a good bargain in this matter, that there is no reason for urgency on our part to have a fresh inquiry into the subject. My noble Friend said, with truth, that his Commission did not embrace the important general considerations of policy which have been urged on this subject, and it is natural that it should be so. Upon those questions of general policy which I have been invited to discuss, I do not think it at all safe to express very confident views. As to the share that India should bear of the expenses of expeditions out of that country, it appears to me that if India is really interested in an expedition, it is right that that country should contribute a fair amount towards the cost of it. It is impossible to decide upon such matters beforehand. They must be dealt with at the time. All I can say is that we think India should be fairly and generously dealt with, and not charged with the cost of these expeditious unless she has a distinct interest in them. With regard to Egypt, for instance, India has a very considerable interest. Then my noble Friend went on to raise before me visions of a most agreeable kind, which I am afraid will remain but dreams—visions of a large contribution to Indian Revenues from our portion of the Suez Canal Shares. I confess I should like to be the fortunate Secretary of State for India who receives that gift. If it should come I can assure my noble Friend we shall accept it without the slightest hesitation. As to the partnership argument, there is something even with regard to Egypt, which my noble Friend overlooked. Supposing we received a considerable sum on account of the Suez Canal Shares for which we had to pay our share in the first instance, we should have to bear our share of the expenses in Egypt, which are now being increased, and that would be a matter of very considerable difficulty to us. There are other matters which have been referred to. Take, for instance, the Colonels' allowances, as they are called. They form a considerable portion of the huge sum we pay for pensions. They used to cost the old East India Company about £150,000 a year; but now, in round numbers, they come to, I should say, £550,000. They are increasing, and will increase, very considerably; and the whole of this arises from an interpretation put upon an Act of Parliament, I think it is 21 & 22 Vict., by certain Commissions. The question is incapable of any complete solution; but it is one which I am quite certain successive Viceroys and Secretaries of State will continue to press upon the Home Government—that is, that we should not have to bear so large a share of the Army expenses, We must try to reduce them, but I am not very sanguine that we shall be able to do so. We shall not fail at the India Office to do our utmost to keep these charges within a reasonable amount With regard to military charges, I hope the Government of India will never forget that they have the clear and undoubted right to look in case of a great emergency to this country. If we have to keep up an Army in India equal at all times for all emergencies, that would put an intolerable burden on India. While maintaining an Army sufficient for all present purposes and sudden emergencies, I maintain that India has a right to look to this country for Reserves in case of need. And, above all, India may, to a certain extent, feel that the changes in the Army system have brought some compensation in the matter of the largo increase of her Reserves. It is no small matter, because in the case of an emergency we could send out large and powerful Reserves. That is not paid for by India. I can only repeat that we are most anxious to obtain for India justice in regard to all these charges, and that no efforts on our part will be spared in this direction. I cannot sit down without thanking my noble Friend for bringing a subject before the House which is well deserving the attention of Parliament.


My Lords, I think the noble Earl the Secretary of State for India deserves our thanks for his very clear declaration that in case of an emergency India may rely on getting all the aid she may want from this country if it should come to a question of sending out Reserves. I am very glad to hear that definite statement, and I am sure it will give general satisfaction throughout the whole of India. No one knows better than myself the difficulties which beset the Secretary of State when he comes to deal with the Treasury and the War Office. In all these battles the noble Earl may rely upon any assistance I can give, as far as it is any use to him. I hope the noble Earl will press on the Treasury and the War Office the necessity of enabling him to carry forward the plans he has sketched out this evening. I will not trouble your Lordships with many figures. The noble Earl has mentioned the £500,000 for the Colonels' allowances. Then comes the increase of Retired Pay, which was no less than £670,000 a year when I inquired into the matter. I have here a list of charges imposed, some of them against the wish of the Indian Government, and many of them without its knowledge, from 1864 to 1883, amounting altogether to no less than £884,000 a year. Undoubtedly, therefore, India has a grievance, which is increased by the fact that this sum has to be raised in rupees but paid in sterling. Some time ago I got the India Council to appoint a very carefully selected Committee to go into the whole of those charges. The Report is private, and I cannot, therefore, place it on the Table; but the Committee went through every charge, and I believe that most of their recommendations have been carried out, and that there is every disposition to do the Indian people justice in these matters. Last year an Act was passed very much enlarging the Indian Council, and the result of that Act will undoubtedly be that a great number of persons representing different phases of opinion will be placed upon it by the Governor General and by the Governors of Madras and Bombay. This matter of the home charges is one which the Indian people have at heart. I do not mean to say they are always right in their objections; but it is a matter upon which they have set their minds to do what they can to get them reduced. And I only wish now to give this caution —that I think now that these matters are entrusted to them in Council, we shall hear much more from India about those home charges than we have hitherto. The result will be to give a lever to the Secretary of State which I hope he will use against the Treasury and the War Office in carrying out his views. Of course, the question of contribution towards the Military Expenditure is a matter of policy which neither the Secretary of State in Council nor the Govern- ment of India can regulate; but I am certain that in the course of a few years the Indian people will force us to do them justice.


said, it-was now more than 20 years since he had to do with those matters; but his experience at that time had left an indelible impression upon his mind, and he was glad that the subject had been brought under the consideration of their Lordships' House. He was also glad to hear the very fair, candid, and full statement, of the noble Earl opposite. The truth was that the Indian Government-had been between two tires in the two large responsible Departments in this country, which were both adverse to the interests of India in this matter of money. There was no backing in the House of Commons. On the contrary, almost every year during the time he was in Office there was something else.


It is much worse now.


could only say it was very bad then. As to the main subject, the principle of division of the expenses between the Imperial and the Indian Governments, the old principle was that the East India Company paid for the actual cost of all troops employed in the defence of India. It paid for nothing more than the cost of the troops sent to India from the moment they left our shores. He happened to be in Office when the abolition of purchase was effected, and he came in for all the pres-sure brought to bear upon the India Office upon altogether a new principle. Mr. Cardwell, at the War Office, contended that not only should India pay the whole expense of the troops actually sent out, but a full proportion of all expenses of the British Army corresponding to the proportion of men actually serving in India. Now, that was a totally different principle. The noble Earl had stated that one-third of the British Army was actually serving in India.


Rather more than a third.


said, that new principle was that India employing one-third of the British Army should pay one-third of the whole cost of the British Army, whether direct or indirect, both at home and abroad. That, he maintained, was not a fair principle on which to charge the Indian Revenues. His noble Friend said that India was bound to remember that she had a Reserve Force in the Army at home. That was one of the favourite arguments of Mr. Card-well. But, turn it round, was not the Indian Army a Reserve for England?


I did not speak of the Army as a general Reserve so much as what is called the Reserve Force itself—about 60,000 or 70,000 men.


said, the real cause of the pressure was the Home Budget. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was under an imperious necessity, perhaps now more than ever, to diminish the charges to be borne. The Indian Government knew that it had no friends —no backing; and that the tendency of the House of Commons was to allow charges to be made against it. This was not a very safe position of affairs. They must know that though self-government was not given yet to the people of India as to the Colonies, still their attention was being directed in a more and more intelligent manner to this subject. He did not deny that, on the whole, the balance of obligation was enormously on the side of India. The Governments of India had maintained millions of people in a condition of peace, prosperity, and growing wealth. Our government of India had been a splendid boon to that country, and no native Administration could have maintained those regions in the condition of peace and prosperity in which they had been maintained. On the other hand, the charges to India had been large. The monetary difficulties had enormously increased, and he thought it would be a most unfortunate thing if the people of India should come to suspect that, in the interests of the English Budget, undue charges had been thrown upon Indian finances.


said, he should confine his remarks to the India Office, and to figures of less magnitude than those which had been discussed; but if there was lavish expenditure and extravagance in the India Office, there would be room for more extravagance in the larger military administration. About three weeks ago Sir Griffith Evans, in speaking on the Indian Budget, complained of the great number of Assistant Secretaries in the India Office, He (Lord Stanley of Alderley) had compared these figures with those of the Foreign Office in the Civil Service Blue Book; and he found that, deducting the Secretary of State and Under Secretaries, the cost of the Foreign Office was £37,949, whilst deducting the Secretary of State and Council and Under Secretaries the cost of the India Office was £46,150. The work done in the Foreign Office with the Commercial and Slave Trade Correspondence probably equalled or surpassed that of the India Office. There was another matter which was capable of arithmetical computation. The Foreign Office and India Office occupied opposite sides of a quadrangle, and the Foreign Office covered a larger space than the India Office; but Sir Griffith Evans had stated that "there were 28 housemaids, two being allowed to each Member of the Council," whilst 10 were enough for the Foreign Office. His noble Friend the Secretary of State had said that the Treasury and the House of Commons were responsible for the increased charges thrown upon India; but in respect of the India Office management the Secretary of State was free to exercise economy.


If the noble Lord will allow me to enter into the great housemaids' question for a moment, I think the noble Viscount opposite is responsible for the present Establishment. I do not think I have appointed any housemaids. But, having seen the Report to which the noble Lord refers, I have made inquiry into the matter, and I am informed that it is impossible to keep the rooms clean with a less number of housemaids. As to the work of the two Departments, I can assure the noble Lord that no comparison can be made between them, for at the India Office we have a vast Stores Department, and the entire work requires a much larger number of clerks. The noble Viscount some time ago inquired into these home charges, and he came to the conclusion that they were reasonable, and could not be further reduced. I am, at all times, most anxious to promote economy; and if it is possible to reduce these charges at the India Office, my noble Friend may be perfectly certain I shall do so. I agree to the Motion.

Motion agreed to.

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