Page images

shall be so paid. (Note- The charges have for the preasent been roughly estimated to be £ 135,000 for five years from 1921. Till the transfer of all the functions, intended to be made over by the India Office to the High Commissioner, is carried out, this amount would be paid to India by the British Exchequer). (2) The appointment of a Committee of Indian affairs at the beginning of each session from both Houses of Parliament. (3) Appointment of Period Commission at interval of 10 years to examine into the working of the new constitution.

B. To reform the Council (1) Changes in its constitutton (See table on page 265) (2) Changes in its proceedure. The rigid statutory provisions are superseded by more elastic regulations:-(a) The Secretary of State in Council is authorised to make rules prescribing the procedure for the sending of orders and communications to India and in general for correspondence between the Home Government and Central or Provincial Governments. (Hitherto every communications sent to India and every order made in England was required to be signed by the Secretary of State and deposited in the Council room for the perusal of all Members during 7 days unless it had been submitted to a Council of the Council. The provisions with regard to Urgent" orders hitherto enforced were also hereby (b) The Secretary of State was empowered to prescribe ber of Members to form a quorum by directions to be issued by him in this behalf (Hitherto it was fixed by a statutory provision to be five (c) The Secretary of State .was required to hold one meeting at least in one month,' (instead of ‘in one "eek').

Secret and cancelled). the num

C. To relax Parliamentary control over Indian au ministra tion. (1) To give effect to the spirit of the Reforms:-the gradual development of Self-governing institutions and progressive realization of responsible Government the Act authorises the Secre tary of State in Council to make rules regulating and restricting his power of control. The procedure prescribed for this purpose is as follows:

By the rules made under this authority, it is provided:(i) that the Home Government's control in relation to the Transferred Subjects should not be exercised except for the following five specified cases:

(a) To safeguard the administration of Central Subjects:

(b) To decide questions arising between two provinces in cases where the provinces concerned fail to arrive at an agreement. (c) To safeguard Imperial interests,

(d) To determine the position of the Government of India in respect to questions arising between India and the other parts of the British Empire.

(e) To safeguard the due exercise and performance of any powers and duties imposed on the Secretary of State in Council for the purposes of prescribing the conditions under which the High Commissioner shall act on behalf of the Provincial Government; for controlling Provincial borrowing, the regulation of the Services, the duties of the Audit Department, etc.

(ii) that the Home Government's control in relation to the Reserved and the Central Subjects should be relaxed, the principle being that when the Executive and the Legislature are in accord, there should ordinarily be no interference.

(2) To provide for the Agency functions-They were separated from the political duties of the Secretary of State in Council, the former being entrusted to the High Commissioner for India, the agent of the Government of India in England. This officer was made responsible for the agency work and commercial business, hitherto transacted by the Secretary of State in Council. He is, therefore, required to purchase stores and stationery for the use the Government in India. It is also his duty to pay the salaries to the Civil Servants on leave in England, and the pensions to the retired officers. Lastly, he has to work as the official Trade Representative of India in England and to assist the Indian students. His office, therefore, is quite distinct and apart from

the India Office, the salaries and expenditure of his establishment being a charge upon Indian revenues. It should be carefully noted. that the appoinment of this officer marks apparently a stage in the progress of Indian administration towards the dominion status, a higher status, in as much as like the Dominions, India will also have her own accredited agent in London. But unlike the represen— tatives of the Dominions, this funtionery is however, to be appointed by the Government of India, but with the approvel of the Secretary of State. Section 29 A makes provision for his appointment by His Majesty's Order in Council, which further makes provision for his pay, pension, powers and duties. But he is to be entirely a servant and an agent of the Government of India that exercises control over him.

The necessity of this change arose because:-(i) The Secretary of State who was constitutionally the superior of the Government of India, could not be as much amenable to its orders as the High Commissioners, who were the representatives of the Dominions and carried out the orders they received from their masters at home. (ii) The Secretary of State, for the same reason, was not answerable to the Government of India for his actions even though they might be against the economic interests of India. Hence to prevent suspicion and criticism of the public in India the change was considered desirable.

Position of the Secretary of State after 1919. The above discussion indicates how the Parliamentary control over Indian administration has been strengthened as well as relaxed. On one hand efforts have been made to increase the interest of Parliament in Indian affairs and on the other, the Act has thrown upon it certain responsibilities. (p. 260) This has changed the position of the Secretary of State in the following


(a) As constitutional adviser of the Crown in matters of Indian administration, his position has been "brought into relief" by the appointment of a separate officer for the discharge of the "Agency Functions," viz., the High Commissioner for India.

(b) The old myth of the India Council as a statutory check State with its power of financial veto' and the Council was reduced to the actually become, namely, an advisory

over the Secretary of
was openly given up,
status of what it had

(c) The Secretary of State has been made more amenable to Parliamentry criticism, his salary being transferred to British estimates. He is thus brought "under the direct and recurrent criticism" of the British Legislature.

(d) The Secretary of State is only to advise His Majesty in Council, who alone is by the Act of 1919 empowered to disallow the Acts passed by the Central or Provincial Legislatures.

(e) The Secretary of State has been given extensive powers of making Rules under the Act, which are to be carefully examined by the Standing Joint Committee created by the Act. The principle of Parliamentary ratification in this procedure in explained below:

A-Before any rules are made under this section (33) relating to Subjects other than Transferred Subjects, the rules proposed to be made shall be laid in draft before both Houses of Parliament and such rules shall not be made unless both Houses by resolution approve the draft either without modification or addition, or with modifications or addition to which both Houses agree, but upon approval being given the Secretary of State in Council may make such rules in the form in which they have been approved, and such rules on being so made shall be of full force and effect B-Any rules relating to Transferred Subjects made under this section shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after they are made, and, if an Address is presented to His Majesty by either House of Parliament within the next

thirty days on which that House has sat after the rules are laid before it praying that the rules, or any of them may be annulled, His Majesty in Council may annul the rules or any of them, and those rules shall thenceforth be void, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.


The Central Executive.

A. The Governor-General.

As the Viceroy. The Governor-General continued to be the head of Central Government after the transfer of Indian administration from the Company to the Crown in 1858. Lord Canning was referred to in the Queen's Proclamation as "the first Viceroy and Governor-General." Since then the word Viceroy, though freely used in practice, is not mentioned in any of the statutory enactments. Nevertheless the title continues to denote the new exalted status of the Governor-General as the Crown's representative in India. He is appointed by the Crown by Warrant under the Royal Sign Manual. But this is only a formality. Really the selection is made by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State, though the responsibility for the choice rests with the latter. He is appointed for a period of five years, though his tenure of office is not fixed by law. This custom is, however, as scrupulously observed as law itself. To realize the importance of the Viceroy's position we must note that he belongs to the British aristocracy and comes out "with unformed mind; it takes him at least a year to get the hang of things; he packs up during the last year; he is working all the time with a machine too big and too complex for any man to control." (R. M. 54). He is surrounded by pomp and awe. "Ceremony walks behind and before him and does obeisance to him." Thus he has power and prestige both. Briefly speaking he performs three great functions:

(a) He personifies the Crown and is, therefore, the ceremonia! head of the sovereignty, the seat of justice and mercy. "He is the repositary of the legal prerogatives and powers, privileges and immunities of the British Crown, as his representative. Hence he can exercise the prerogative of mercy

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »