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Budget was only circulated in the form of a pamphlet and no discussion could take place upon it unless the Finance Member proposed a new tax. This restriction was now removed and discussion was to be always allowed. But it should be noted that the members were not to vote the Budget, item by item, and subject it to all the obstacles and delays which Parlimentary ingenuity could suggest. They were only to discuss the financial policy of the Government which was to be advantageous to both sides. The Government could get an opportunity to remove mis-apprehensions of the people, and the people could criticise it openly instead of giving vent to their opinions in annonymous and even scurrilous papers. (Curzon).
(2) The concession of the right of interpellation or asking questions on matters of public interest. For this purpose as well as for the first, certain conditions were to be laid down. This was expected to help the members to form right opinions and not to be misled, or entertain unjust ideas in the absence of official information. The Government also could get an opportunity to make their policy known and face the hostile criticism openly.
(3) The enlargement of the councils.
(4) Advance in the representation of the people in the Legislative councils. (see provisions of the rules made under the Act). The nonofficial members were increased and tho principle of indirect election and selection by a few sections was also introduced. Thus the representative, if not the elective principle, was introduced into the Councils, though as yet both in the Supreme and Provincial Legislatures an official majority was guaranteed." In short the Bill, even though it did not satisfy the extreme wing of the, advanced party, was a forward step, in the direction, if not of Indian Self, Government, yet of Indian participation in the highest adminitrative functions. Thongh the popular representatives could not out-vote the official majority, they had a perfect right of expres sing their opinions. Thus the Bill paved the way for the adoption of the principles of the Minto-Morley Reforms.
The Minto-Morley Reforms.
What led to them? (1) Political unrest in India (190508).-When it was proposed by the Government of Lord Curzon to bring about the partition of Bengal, which he considered only as a new re-adjustment of administrative boundaries", with a view to the more efficient working of the Imperial machinery of the government, a fierce popular agitation broke out against the proposed change. "The feeling aroused," says Roberts," was no doubt partly genuine, but largly based upon a misunderstanding of the point at issue." According to him the agitation was adroitly manipulated by literary and legal classes whose vested intrests. were said to be threatend. The proposal was denounced as a measure to partition the nation and to divide a homogeneous people. It was considered as a "deliberate and sinister attack upon the traditions, history and the language of the Bengalis." The movement became revolutionary after the proposal was carried out by Lord. Curzon. According to Lord Morlay, the movement was an expression of a feeling of unrest due to various causes, "partly superficial, partly fundamental." He believed that the best way to draw the teeth of the extremists was to win the support of the moderate party by granting a real measure of reform ( R 369 ).
(2) Lord Minto's Minute of 1906. It pointed out how the growth of education had led to the rise of important classes aspiring to take a larger part in shaping the policy of the Government. A committee of his council considered the question of the constition and functions of the legislative councils. With the approval of the Secretary of State he issued a circular to Provincial Governments to invite their opinions on the committee's report, They were
also instructed to consult important bodies and individual representatives of various classes before submitting their conclusions. His lordship then forwarded all the papers to the Home Government.
(3) The rapidly growing influence of the Indian National Congress. "There was the rapidly growing influence of the Indian National Congress and the gradual drawing together, at any rate in open political alliance, of the Hindu and Muhammedan leaders, although originally the Muhammedan had opposed the movement, and, as lately lately as 1899, their chief representatives, under the presidency of sir Amir Hassan, had declared that the Congress policy impeded the true political and moral progress of the country" (R. 568) Like most progressive parties the Indian reformers contained a moderate and an extremist section. The former issued a manifesto that their goal was the attainment of the dominion status for India by constitutional and peaceful means. With this aspiration of the Congress party the Liberal Government in England at this time was in perfect sympathy.
(4) Liberal Government of Mr. Asquith. In the year 1906 a Unionist Government was succeeded by a liberal. ministry, and Lord Morley became the Secretary of state. He had not liked Lord Carzon's policy specially in the matter of the partition of Bengal, and was now anxious to follow a different course. He recognized the splendid work of Lord Curzon who had always insisted upon efficiency rather than concessions. But Lord Morely pointed out that Lord Curzon would have proved a more successful administrator, if he had cared to realize that there could be no true, solid, endurable efficiency without what are called political concessions. (Ke. II. 89) "It might be risky to apply occidental machinery in India, but that," said Lord Morley, "ought to have been thought of before we applied occidental education; we applied that and occidental machinery must follow." This point of view had made Lord Morely and Lord Minto not to flinch in the course they had marked out in the direction of liberalizing the Indian
institutions. According. to Lord Morely there were three classes of people to be considered. There are the extremists, who nurse fanata stic dreams that some day they will drive us out, of India......... The second group nourish no hopes of this sort but hope for autonomy cr self government of the colonial species and pattern. And the third section ask for no more than to be admitted to co-operation in our administration and to find a free and effective voice in expressing the interests and needs of their people. I believe the effect of the reforms has been, is being, and will be, to draw the second class, who hopes for colonial autonomy into the third class, who will be content with being, admitted to a fair and fall co-operation." (Ke. II 83.) Mr. Asquith also remarked:"There are in India things which are inevitable, but which were not foreseen, such for instance, as the spread of education, the great intercommunication between the East and the West, and the infiltration of ideas which 50 or 60 years ago were perfectly alien to the people of India." Owing to a number of cases of this kind, you cannot rest where you are and if your Indian administration is to be efficiently conducted and founded on stable basis it must be done more and more and step by step by associating the people of the country, with the government that exists for them." Thus did the Liberals sympathise with the aspirations of the two progressive parties in India.
(5) Edward VII's Proclamation (1908).—The King-Emperor, on the ocassion of the fiftieth anniversary of the transfer of the Government of India to the Crown, issued the historic Proclamation, which was read by Lord Minto in the Durbar at Jodhpur. His Majesty proclaimed that in the judgment of his Councillors, it was proper to extend the principle of representative institutions. "Administration will be all the more efficient," said the Proclamation, "if the officers who conduct it, have greater opportunities of regular contact with those whom it affects, and with those who influence and reflect common opinion abont it".
(5) Lord Morley's sympathatic attitude".-Lord Morley the the Secretary of State, did not hesitate to give effect to his liberal intentions at once. He appointed, in 1907, two Indians in his Council and two years later, in the course of his Bill, he appointed, Mr. (Now Lord) Sinha to the post of Law Member of the GovernorGeneral's Council. In pursuance of the same policy, an Indian came to be placed in each of the Executive councils for Madras, Bombay, Bengal, and Bihar and Orissa. Lastly Lord Morley explained his views, as forcibly as he could, on the proposals formulated by Lord Minto's Committee mentioned above. (Second cause).
Their objects and peculiarities-The main object of Minto-Morley reforms was to give the Indian legislative councils a more representative charactor, (i) by increasing their members, (ii) substituting in them election for nomination, (iii) and by extending freedom of discussion to them. This three-fold object can be clearly seen from the provisions of the Act of 1909, mentioned below. In introducing these three fundamental changes, the framers of the Bill pursued a line of policy that was quite distinct in its nature in the history and character of the representative institutions. To understand the significance of this policy, it is important to note two pecular points in the Act.
(1) "The Act itself was couched in wide and general terms and left all the details and some important questions of principle," to be determined by rules and regulations, which had to be drawn up later on by the Government of India. It is, therefore, appositely described as "little more than a blank cheque drawn in favour of the Secretary of State, leaving in his hands the ultimate shape of the rules on which everything depended".
(2) The Act advocated the principle of representation by classes and interests. It is said that the Muhammedans pressed for