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and the Bishop of Oxford take part, the Bill is read a second time without a division-In Committee upon the Bill, several Amendments are proposed by the Earl of Ellenborough, and rejected ; but upon his motion, Sir J. Pakington's Salt Clause is expunged— The Bill, as
amended, passes the House of Commons, and becomes law. MHE Ministerial measure for the where perjured witnesses could e
future government of India was got at an anna (1£d.) a-bead, which introduced in the House of Commons rendered it a matter of surprise, on the 3rd of June by Sir Charles he said, that it should be adminisWood, in a speech which occupied tered so satisfactorily as it was. five hours. He began by bespeak. He did not think it could be ing the indulgence of the House, affirmed that justice, under their on account of the paramount im own separate laws, was not fairly portance of the question, which and impartially administered to involved the destiny for weal or the natives of India, who reposed woe of 150,000,000 of our fellow implicit confidence in the integrity subjects: he then disposed of the of English judges. This inference appeal for delay by representing might be drawn from the results that it was unnecessary as regarded of the appeals to the Judicial Cominformation, and in the opinion of mittee of the Privy Council from Lords Dalhousie and Hardinge the Company's courts in India. there might be danger in post- The native Judges, too, who now poning legislation. He next pro- decided a large proportion of the ceeded to give a concise account of causes, had greatly improved in the results of the administration integrity. He passed to the next of India for the last twenty years, head-public works—a subject, he premising that it must be judged observed, of vital importance not by different rules from those ap- only to the welfare of India, but plied to European government, to the interests of this country, many of the elements of the ques. and which was attracting daily tion being peculiar to India. He more and more consideration, the dwelt on the petitions of the Native outlay for that purpose having Association of Madras to show that nearly doubled in five years. Sir its statements were exaggerated Charles read a statement of the misrepresentations. The
rouds completed, or in the course plaints in the native petitions of construction, in different parts might be comprised under three of India, adverting to the subject heads—the administration of jus- of railroads, in the promotion of tice, the want of public works, and which, he said, no time would be the tenures of land. These three lost or expense spared, and to that topics he severally considered. of canals and works of irrigation, With reference to the first, he which had been increased to such dwelt upon the care and labour be an extent as to render productive stowed upon the penal code which 14,000,000 acres of new land. In was about to be carried into effect reviewing the last topic—the tein the Indian territories; he no nures of land-a very complicated ticed the peculiar circumstances, subject--he discussed the compaas well as difficulties, attending rative merits of the Zemindary, the dispensation of justice in India, the Ryotwar, and the village sys.
tems of revenue settlement, pre- of the Indian people, he admitted vailing in the Bengal, the Madras, that it did not follow from these and the Western Provinces respec- facts that the existing Governtively, showing the inexpediency, ment of India was the best that and the impediments in the way, could be devised; but if we were of establishing either as a universal to test a Government by its results, system ; and he examined the sub- whatever might be its anomalous ject of cotton cultivation, the suc character, that of India could not cess of which, he remarked, de. be condemned as bad or inefficient. pended upon the certainty of a That Government might be remarket in this country, which, garded under two different aspects again, depended upon the price of the Home Government and that the American crops. Sir Charles of India. Against the Home Gonext considered the revenues of vernment it was objected that India, which were raised almost there was no responsibility, and entirely from the land, the impost that the Court of Directors, though not being a tax, but a portion of a mere fiction, was an obstruction the rent of the land; the other to all good government, owing to chief sources
of revenue the mode of electing the members, opium and salt, the last tax being their exercise of patronage, and by no means so oppressive as had the manner in which the business been represented ; the gross reve was transacted.
In considering was about 26,000,000. In these objections, Sir Charles exenumerating the results of the last plained the machinery of the two twenty years' administration of branches of the Home GovernIndia, he noticed the extinction of ment, insisting that he, as the head slavery, suttees, infanticide, human of the Board of Control, was sacrifices, and Thuggee, all of responsible to Parliament for the which had been quietly put an end administration of Indian political to, contrasting the state of British affairs as the Secretaries of State India with that of India under in their respective departments. Mahomedan rule and that of na He argued that the Court of Di. tive princes, appealing to the tes- rectors was no sham, as had been timony of native as well as Euro- alleged, and that the charge of pean authorities. Sir Henry Elliot, delay preferred against the double a trustworthy witness, had disproved system was groundless, a large the boasted superiority of the portion of the government of InMussulman administration of In- dia being administered in India dia, even in the matter of public itself. He then addressed himworks ; while the improved condi- self to the question, what should tion of the indigenous peasantry be the form of the future Indian was shown by their increased power government--whether it should be of consumption of the necessaries double, or whether it should be a of life. The value of the im- single authority, administered by a ports into India had augmented Secretary of State. He examined from 7,993,0001. in 1834-5 to the proposal of Lord Ellenbo17,313,0001. in 1849–50, or 140 rough, to substitute for the Court per cent. After adverting to va of Directors a council of twelve rious improvements now in opera- persons, to be named in the Acttion for ameliorating the condition a scheme which, in his opinion,
would be a double Government selves to the Indian service, I under another name; that of Mr. shall be exceedingly glad ; if the Halliday, that there should be an son of a horse-dealer can introduce elected body of twenty-four per- himself in that way, I shall also sons; and the evidence of Mr. J. be exceedingly glad. Merit, and S. Mill, Lord Hardinge, and Mr. merit alone shall be the test.” Marshman, more or less in favour But the direct appointments to of a double Government. He the Indian army not being fit subthen explained the Ministerial jects for competition, would be left measure. They proposed to have as at present in the hands of the the relations between the Board of Directors. In respect to the ExeControl and the Court of Directors cutive Government in India, the as they stood, but to change the principal change proposed was the constitution and limit the patron- separation of the Governorship of age of the latter. The thirty Bengal from the Governor-Genemembers of the Court were to be ralship, constituting a Lieutenantreduced to eighteen, twelve of Governor of that Presidency, conwhom were to be elected in the tinuing the Lieutenant-Governorusual way, and six nominated by ship of Agra, and giving power to the Crown from Indian servants the Supreme Government to instiwho had been ten years in the ser tute a new Presidency in the disvice of the Crown or Company, tricts on the Indus. A temporary which would obviate the objection, Commission would be appointed that the best Indian servants in England to digest and put into would not obtain seats in the shape the draughts and reports of Court. One-third of this number the Indian Law Commission apwere to go out every second year, pointed in 1833. As legislation on but to be forth with re-eligible. that digest must take place in InThis change was to take place gra- dia, they proposed to improve and dually ; in the first instance, the enlarge the Legislative Council, thirty Directors were to elect fif- giving the Governor-General power teen, and the Crown nominate to select two members, the Trade three. The Directors were to re- of the Presidencies one each, and ceive 5001. a year. The Chairman making the Chief Justice of the and Deputy Chairman 10001. The Queen's Court, and one
other proposed system of government Judge, members—in all, twelve ; was to continue until Parliament the Governor-General to have a veto should otherwise provide. With in their legislation. The education respect to patronage, which was and the examination at Haileybury now entirely in the hands of the would be improved by increasing Directors, it was proposed to do the legal education and conducting away with nomination by favour, the final examinations by indeand to make civil and scientific pendent examiners. The superior appointments depend upon merit Courts were to be improved by alone. On this point Sir Charles consolidating the Courts of Sudder Wood expressed himself very em- Dewanny Adawlut with the Queen's phatically. Haileybury and Addis- Courts, the Amalgamated Court combe “shall be thrown open to being an ultimate Court of appeal, unlimited competition. If the aris- with original jurisdiction in certain tocracy are able to introduce them- cases. Minor Courts were to be
instituted in each of the towns of and Mr. Norton's pamphlet, cases the Presidencies, and the Judges of gross oppression on the part of of the Amalgamated Court occa. Judges, or arising from the general sionally employed as a special state of the law. Cases commission to try causes in any heard, and judgment was passed part of the country. They also without the accused being heard ; proposed to raise the character, some Judges were young and inacquirements, and salaries of the competent, and unacquainted with native Judges. Sir Charles Wood, the language of the country. He in conclusion, took a rapid survey denied that any parallel to this of native education, and the pros- state of things could be found in pects of Christianity in India. England; but one might be found
Mr. Bright discussed the Go- in the orations of Cicero when he vernment scheme in a satirical vein described the administration of of criticism. He objected to it justice in Sicily under Verres. As entirely, on the ground of the a consequence of the ignorance of maintenance of the double Govern- the Judges, perjury and corruption ment, which was a mockery and a were general; and yet the remedy delusion, and he was convinced that of employing the natives had not it would not be approved by the been tried. It was “libellous, imwhole Cabinet. It was not possi- pious, and blasphemous ” to assert ble that thirteen sensible gentle- that the people of India were not men, with any pretensions to form fit to hold office in their native a cabinet, would agree to a measure land. Sir George Clerk described of that nature. (Cheers and laugh- the high caste Hindoos as exceedter.)
ingly moral, and fitted for the The debate was then adjourned higher offices even of Governto the 6th of June, when it was re ment. It was all very well for sumed by Mr. J. Phillimore, who Sir Charles Wood to go back to showed, in an elaborate speech, the time of Akbar for a picture of that the system of Government native government: he might as hitherto maintained in India had well have gone to the days of not contributed to the welfare of Attila for an account of the Authe people of that country. With gustan æra. If a Hindoo were to regard to the exclusion of natives apply the same arguments to us, from offices, by the Act of 1833 it might he not turn to the sevenwas declared, that neither colour, teenth century, and, misled by the descent, or religion should incapa- councils of the men who invariably citate any native from holding slandered those whose dominions office in India ; but the Govern- they attempted to confiscate, ask if ment of the Company had not we had ever heard of Louis, of placed a single native in office Catherine of Russia, of Frederick who might not have held office of Prussia, of the incestuous Court before the passing of that Act. of Dresden, of the kidnappings of With respect to a code of law for men from one end of Europe to India, nothing had been done to the other; of their cruel punishcodify the law, and the administraments if they fled; or (coming to tion of the civil and criminal law later times) of the sack of Warsaw, was in a frightful state. He of the partition of Poland, of the quoted from Mr. Lewin's evidence crimes which occasioned and the
terrors which attended the first India, spreading doubt and disFrench revolution ? And, if an trust there. The main question, other Genghis Khan or Tamerlane he agreed with Mr. Bright, was were to sweep over Europe once the system of double Governmont, more, what would they think if he and it was because he was conassigned these events as reasons vinced of the expediency of this for not allowing the natives to system that he supported the mohold any offices in their own coun tion. So far from the Court of try? The tenures of land, a most Directors being, as alleged, a mere important element in the question, sham, under the existing system had been passed over too lightly the practical government of India by Sir C. Wood. The East India rested with the Court, under the Company had assumed the rights paramount control of Her Majesof the proprietors of the land, but ty's Ministers; but the great virtue had invariably neglected all his of the double Government conduties. Under the Zemindary sys- sisted in its being the only mode tem in Bengal the native landed by which the administration of Inproprietary had been reduced to a dia could be purged of all political dead level of misery, and the Ryot- bias. Sir James then proceeded war system had blighted the pros- to show that the Directors' patronpects of the Madras provinces. age had been properly distributed; Condemning in strong terms the that the emoluments of the Indian general policy and proceedings of civil service were inferior to those the Court of Directors, he appealed in corresponding stations in the to the House whether so enormous general public service; and that a power should be left in such India, so far from languishing, had hands.
advanced in prosperity—this reSir James Weir Hogg defended sult being indicated by the large the Company at great length, and increase of the gross revenue, nothis speech produced a considerable withstanding reductions of duties effect upon the House.
and taxes, and in spite of fiscal joiced, he said, that agitation and legislation in this country calcuclamour had done their worst, and lated to retard the commercial probrought out everything that could gress of India. Upon this head, be alleged against the East India he referred to a variety of returns, Company. He then depreciated disproving, he contended, the conMr. Bright's “speech of shreds clusions of Mr. Bright respecting and patches, of bits from old news the finances of India. The estipapers, pamphlets, and magazines.”. mate for the year 1852-3 showed There was no lack of information
a gross revenue of 29,228,2521., extant respecting India, which was and an expenditure of 26,317,5261., not a sealed book; all that was re- leaving an Indian surplus of quired was industry and applica- 2,910,7261.; after allowing for the tion to explore fifty-three large tribute to England there was still folio volumes. Addressing himself a surplus of nearly 500,0001., inmore directly to the question, he cluding the estimate for the Bur. urged the necessity of immediate mese war, which was about 600,0001. legislation, which was peremptorily The Indian debt had nominally demanded, and that delay would increased; but of this increase tend to disturb the tranquillity of 15,000,0001. had been incurred