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.. Exchequer, when Great Britain was losing to the Crown another great empire on the opposite side of the Atlantic; (b) that it was not just to punish only the Company by putting an end to a system of their administration and laying the whole blame of the Indian Mutiny, without proper enquiry en the Court of Directors, when the fact was—
(i) that Indian Government had been carried on by the joint counsels and joint responsibility of the Court of Directors and the Board of Control;
(ii) and that the duty imposed upon the Court of Directors was to originate measures and frame drafts of instructions onlyf or the approval of Her Majesty's Government; hence the latter. could not but be in the fullest sense accountable for all that had been done or forborne or omitted to be done;
(c) that it was futile to expect better administration by annihilating only that branch of the ruling authority which could not be the one principally in fault and might be altogether blameless, in order to concentrate all the powers in the other branch which had necessarily the decisive share in every error, real or supposed?
(d) that it was unreasonable to disgrace the Company, in this fashion, in the eyes of ali, when the fact was that they had done their best to do everything possible to improve the material and moral condition of the people, for which the Company would always be willing to await the verdict of history;
(e) that it was highly and extremely cruel to support the doctrine that India should be administered with a special view to the benefit of the English who resided here or to condemn the Company for believing that their first duty was to the people of India rather than any one else;
(f) that it was absurd to abolish the remaining rights and privileges of the Company for having hitherto acquiesced without murmer in all the changes introduced from 1784 to 1853, and for having co-operated with Her Majesty's Government in correcting the defects;
(9) that it was dangerous to abolish the existing system before devising a better system, because:-
(i) the administration of India by a Minister of the Crown without the advice of a council, composed of statesmen, experienced in Indian affairs and qualified not only to advise the Minister, but also to exercise a moral check, will be an utter failure, since the public opinion of England itself was unacquainted with the Indian affairs;
(i) the administration of India by a Minister with the help of a council, composed of nominated members will be a farce, pure and simple, since they would look up to him alone for their re-appointment and would be unwilling to risk his displeasure;
(iii) and the administration with the help of sugh an irresponsible council would be highly detrimental to India's interests, since their existence would only serve to weaken the Minister's responsibility or only appear to give a sanction of prudence and experience to his bad measures.
(h) and that Indian affairs would ultimately be dragged into the mesh of the British Politics, and the appoint ments would be made not with reference to personal qualifications but on the basis of party politics.
In short the partisans pleaded for the continuance of the status quo. But all these arguments and protests, lowsoever reasonable, were completely ignored by the opponents of the Company, who continued to point out, 1ightly or wrongly, the defects of the Company's administration. They urged:
(a) that the greatest defect of that system was the irresponsi ble character of the [double Government which had led, on the one hand to ruinous wars, and on the other, to a conflict between the Government of India and the Court of Directors. This conflict had assumed a serious aspect, because the former relying chiefly on the support of the Board of Control had grown obstinate and rebellious;
(b) that it had resulted in cumbrous and of administration. "Before a despatch upon the most important matter can go out to India, it has to oscillate between Cannon Row and India House, that it is proposed by one party, altered by the other, altered again by the first and sent back to the other; and the adventures of a despatch between these two extreme points of the metropolis were often as curious as the familiar adventures of Guinea"; (Ke. I. 324).
(e) that it was an objectionable arrangement that the chief functions of the Government of India should continue to be committed to a mercantile body, not responsible to Parliament nor to public opinion.
All these arguments prevailed in the long run. It was declared by Lewis: The constituency which elect the body of Directors is an accidental body aud has no real relation with the interest or the government of India. The fallacy which pervades the petition of the Company in this. It speakes of the E. I. Co., as one indivisable, as if from the time of the battle of Plassy down to the last renewal of the Charter, it had remained unchanged in character, functions and influence. The trouble is, that it has undergone as important changes during those hundred years as the English constitution between the Heptarchy and the reign of Queen Victoria. It is, herefore, the most transparent sophism, it is offering an insult to our understanding to apply arguments founded upon original and
unchanged state of the Company in its modern and altered form." (Ke. I. 354).
Notwithstanding this kind of decision, it is to be admitted that since the Company were "prepared, without a murmer, to relinquish their trust altogether", (Ke. I. 308) if a better system could be devised, the opponents, instead of answering Mill's arguments, did injustice to the Company and abolished their administration by pointing out a few defects, for which the Beard of Control and the Crown's Ministers were equally accountable. Mill spoke the truth, if not the whole truth; and his arguments today would appeal to those students who have carefully studied the nature and character of the growing influence of the Secretary of State from year to year.
B. In the days of Canning & Mayo.
In legislation, Lord Canning's administration "stands apart from all subsequent times". The Indian Penal Code and the Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure were passed. The police was organised and regulated by a new Act. The Indian Civil Service Act was passed, which scheduled a number of appointments that were, in the future to be reserved to members of the Covenanted Civil Service. It also provided that outsiders under exceptional circumstances were to be appointed without regard to statutory conditions. Such appointments were however to be provisional, and became void, if they were not sanctioned within twelve months by the Secretary of State.
I. The Indian Councils Act of 1861.
What led to it? (a) The Events of 1857. To the Supreme Legislative Council two judges and a few representatives of the Provincial Governments had been added, in 1851, to render assistance in the framing of laws, by their legel experience or local
knowledge. With all this the government lacked the insight and correct information of the sentiments and prejudices of the people of India. When the Mutiny broke out in 1857, it was with some reason urged by a section of people, headed by Mr. (Sir) Syed Ahmed that it was highly conducive to the welfare of Government, indeed it was essential to its stability, that the people should have a voice in the Supreme Legislative Council. If this was not immediately done, the Government, on the one hand, would not know the inadvisability of its laws, and on the other, its views and intentions, being unknown to the people, would alway be misunderstood.
(b) Lord Canning's Despatch.-The above view had not the support and apprabation of Lord Canning, who at any rate thought it advisable to return to the earlier system which prevailed before 1834, viz: the existance of 3 Provincial legislative authorities. Hence he proposed that the existing single Council should be broken up into three distinct Councils, the Legislative Council of the Governor-General at Calcutta, and Provincial Councils for Madras and Bombay. He also advocated that 3 nonofficial members, Europeans or Indians should be admitted into the Councils. He wanted that the Councils should concern themselves with legislative measures of local character not affecting the reyenue. "These proposals are remarkable as constituting the first decisive step in the direction of decentralization, and also that of associating Indians or indeed non-officials with the business of legislation".
(c) Conflict between the Supreme and Madras Governments.-This conflict arose on the Income-Tax Bill and the validity of the laws introduced in the non-Regulation Provinces without the enactment of the Legislative Council. The latter made a demand that certain correspondance between the Secretary of State and the Government of India should be communicated to it. Sir Charles Wood, the Secretary of State, complained in the