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and obtained from Lord Minto a promise that they should elect their own members in separate Muhammedan constituencies. Lord Morley spoke in the House of Lords:
"There is one very important chapter in these regulations, about which I ought to say a few words to your Lordships. I mean the Muhammedans. This is a part of the Bill and scheme which has no doubt attracted a great deal of criticism and excited a great deal of feeling in that very important community. We suggested to the Government of India a certain plan. We did not prescribe it; we did not order it, but we suggested and recommended this plan for their consideration-no more than that. It was the plan of mixed or composite electoral college, in which the Muhammedans and Hindus should pool their votes, so to say. The wording of the recommendation in my despatch was, as I soon discovered, ambiguous, a grievous defect, of which I make bold to hope I am not very often in public business guilty." (Ke. 11. 91).
His Lordship mentioned that a mixed and composite electorate would bring the two communities together. But the Govertment of India, doubting the success of the plan, abondoned it, because the Muhammedans had made 3 demands:
(i) Separate election of their own representatives;
(ii) Number of seats in excess of their numerical strength.
Lord Morley said-"Some may be shocked at the idea of reli gious register. We may wish, we do wish, certainly I do, that it were otherwise. We hope that time, with careful and impartial statesmanship, will make things otherwise. Only let us not forget that the difference between Muhammedanism and Hinduism is not a difference of articles of religious faith. It is a difference in life, in tradition, in history, in all the social things as well as articles of belief that constitute a community." (loid).
The same opinion was held by Mr. Asquith (Mu.343). At any rate an unforfunate step was taken and the opinion laid down that in the immense diversity of opinions in India, representation by class and interests was the only practicable means of embodying elective principle, specially when there existed widespread interests and communities, and important minorities. Ace. Estimate on Provisions of the Act of 1909 (A. In relation to Central 2 20. In Legislature.)
(1) The "additional " members of the Council should include members as hitherto nominated and also members elected, in accordance with the regulations to be framed under this Act.
(2) The aggregate number of nominated and elected members should not exceed 60.
(3) The actual number of "additional " members, nominated and elected, the number to constitute a quorum, the term of office etc., should be prescribed by regulations to be made under this Act.
(4) The Governor-General in Council, subject to the sanction of the Secretary of State in Council, should make rules authorising at any meeting of the Legislative Council the discussion of annual financial statement and of any matter of general public interest and the asking of questions, and of dividing the Council upon them under such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed by the rules to be framed under this Act.
By the regulations framed under the Act
(a) The elected portion of this council consisted of 27 members, (i) 13 elected by the non-official members of the provincial legislative councils, (ii) 6 by the Muhammedan communities in the six provinces one member each, (iii) 2 by Bengal and Bombay Chambers of Commerce, (iv) and 6 by larger landholders, in six provinces one member each.
(b) The nominated members secured to the Government official representation and a fair representation, as far as possible,
of different classes and "special interests," for which it seemed impracticable to provide the principle of elections.
(c) The procedure as to elections laid down that females, minors, and persons of unsound mind could not vote, nor were they eligible for election. Persons under certain heads, including Government officers, were also declared ineligable for election. (d) The members were required to take their seats after making an oath or affirmation of allegience to the Crown.
(e) Some positive qualifications for electors and candidates and the methods of election were also laid down.
(f) At least one half of the additional members were to be persons not in the service of the Crown; it was not lawful for the Governor-General to nominate so many non-officials that the majority of the councillors should be non-officials. Hence it was possible and permissible to maintain an official majority in Central Legislature.
(g) The resolutions of the Council were to be considered as mere recommendations, and the Government of India were not bound to act on them.
(h) The power to put questions was extended to supplementary questions subject to disallowance by the President (GovernorGeneral) or by the Vice-President empowered to work in
(B. In relation to Provincial Executive ).
(1) The maximum number of the members of the Executive Councils for Madras and Bombay was raised from two to four, but at least two of them were to be persons of 12 years' service in India.
(2) The Governor-General was empowered to create executive councils for Lt. Governors by proclamation, which (except in the case of Bengal) could be disallowed by either House. (The proclamation which gave an Executive Council to the United Provinces in 1915, was vetoed by the House of Lords).
(C. In relation to Provincial Legislature).
(1) The additional members of the Council were to include members as hitherto nominated, and also members elected in accordance with the regulations to be framed under this Act.
(2) The aggregate number of nominated and elected members was not to exceed the number specified below:
The Legislative Councils of the Governors of Madras and Bombay, and Lt. Governors of the Bengal division of the Presi dency of Fort William., the United Provinces and the Provinces of Eastern Bengal and Assam.............
Legislative Councils of the Punjab, Burma, or any Province
Governor of which may hereafter be
(3) As the third in the case of the Central Legislature.
The regulations framed under the Act, mentioned above, for the purpose of the Central Legislature, were also applicable in the case of the Provincial Legislatures, except this that the official element was not to predominate here.
Importance of the Act.—(1) The Act made little change in the legislative functions and powers of the Councils, which continued to be regulated by the Act of 1861. By this, (a) the Councils were precluded from making laws affecting the provisions of the Acts of Parliament passed after 1860; (b) the Central Legislature alone could repeal or amend the Acts of Parliament passed prior to
1860; (c) both the Central and Provincial Legislatures were no allowed to legislate on various specified heads (p. 155, 156) without the previous consent of the Governor-General. But no clear line of demarcation was drawn between the legislative sphere of the Central Legislature and the Provincial Legislature, though the powers of the latter were strictly territorial. Generally speaking, the Central legislature framed laws only in 3 cases: (a) when uniformity throughout British India was desirable; (b) or if the matter was beyond the competency of the Provincial Legislatures; (c) or if a Province had no local legislature of its own.
(2) The Act laid dawn a new kind of procedure to be adopted in the discussion of the annual " Financial Statement ". It was to extend over several days instead of one or two. First of all, it was to be presented to the Council with an explanatory memorandum. Then after some days, on an appointed day, discussion on the Budget as a whole or any question of principle involved therein, was carried on. Again on a subsequent day, after the Finance Member had made his observations, any resolution, relating to any alteration in taxation, new loan, or additional grant to Provincial Governments mentioned in the Budget, could be moved by a member, if it was entered in his name in the list of business. Lastly after the discussion on these resolutions, every member in charge of a department explained the head or heads of the "Financial Statement,” relating to his departmant. The Budget as finally settled by the government, was ultimately, in a formal way, presented to the Council, when the Finance Member described the changes made and explained why any resolution passed by the Council had not been accepted by the Government. Thus the Council had no material financial power except that of placing before the executive members suggestions or opinions which the latter were not bound to act upon.
(3) Similarly, rules were laid down for the discussion of matters of general public interest, excluding foreign relations or