Page images

K. Governor's Powers with regard to Administration
Legislation and Finance after 1919.

(a) In matters of Administration:-(¿) To advoate party government and collective responsibility in the administration of Transferred Subjects. We have already discussed the powers of the Governors in relation to their Ministers. Two principles seem to have been emphasised for the successful administration of Transferred Subjects: (i) that the Ministers should command the confidence of the majority in the Council, and (ii) that they should act together. "It should be recognised from the commencement", said the Joint Committee, that Ministers may be expected to act in concert together. They probably would do so; and in the opinion of the Committee it is better that they should do so". This meant that the Governor was to advocate the principles of party government and collective responsibility. In the beginning there were no parties formed on political grounds in all the local Councils except in Madras. Everywhere practically the members formed themselves. into groups on communal grounds, with the result that there was no advance made in the direction of party government. In the next Councils again some kind of effort was made in forming the political parties and the heads of the provinces, therefore, particularly in the case of the Central Provinces and Bengal invited the leaders of the Swarajists who commanded.majority of votes in their respective Councils, to accept offices, but they refused to do so. Thus the Governors had to face the awkward situation for some time and then resorted to the "Transferred Subjects (Temporary Administration) Rules (p. 410) on account of the continued policy of obstruction pursued by the Swarajists who showed their want of confidence in the Ministers by reducing their salaries to a nominal sum. After the failure of the party government in this manner, the principle of collective responsibility also could not be put into practice.

(ii) To safeguard the interests of the Civil Servants. The second power under this heading conferred upon the Governors

was to safeguard the interests of the Civil Servants whose position was to be profoundly altered under the Reforms. On one hand their appointment, salaries, dismissals and pensions were to be controlled by the Secretary of State, on the other, they were to work under the Ministers so far as the Departments related to Transferred Subjects were concerned, and were to be amenable to their control. This naturally gave rise to a sort of discontent among the British servants in the Services. Consequently, if the importance and prestige of the Services was not to be lowered in their eyes, the Ministers also could not consent to toterate this curious situation that the Civil Servants, failing to carry out their orders with sufficient loyalty and enthusiasm, should not be reprimanded by them. Thus the whole arrangement was being disliked by both the sides, when Lord Chelmsford had to assure them by emphasising three facts: (i) With the introduction of responsible government, however limited, the Civil Servants in the transferred departments must execute the orders of the Ministers: (ii) that the co-operation of the former was absolutely essential for the success of the Reforms; (iii) and that their position in every respect will be guaranteed by statutory orders of the Secretary of State, which no authority in India could disregard or vary. Lord Meston, in indicating the desirability of more cordial relations, says:

"In considering what I may call the vie intime of Government in India, one sees at once two important respects in which it will be changed by the new constitution. The first is the position of the District Officer. That was the best product of the Indian Civil Service, the pivot of the whole administration, and, if he was a good man, the father of his district as well, and the guide and confidant of his people. Practically all the public business of the District passed through his hands. He prevented the different public departments from clashing or overlapping. He was the channel through which the needs of the people reached the Government and the Legislature. He

was the agent by which the policy of those bodies was interpreted, and often tempered and adapted to the people. No race of public servants in the Empire have done better or work than the District Officers in India.

more humane

"But what they represented, though at its best, was paternal government. They were the necessary vehicle of a higly centralised administration. They stood for the strength and the benevolence of autocracy. With the new conditions this must change. So long as a field of the administration is reserved for the control of the official executive, the District Officer will remain as now the local agent for its management. But, as regards the field transferred to the control of Ministers, his chief task will be to wean the people from appealing to him with their needs or protests in matters of policy, and to induce them to have recourse to their own representatives. In other words, he will have to teach them the value of the vote, and how to use it. It is difficult to conceive how, for a long time to come, the business of Government is to be decently ordered without an official as the organising head of each district, or how law and order are to be preserved unless there is a chief magistrate in each district to enforce them. A capable man in such a position will still have much influence and power for good but the old role of the District Officer will disappear as the people become familiar with the new principle of Government." (I. M. 119-21)

To give effect to the promise of Lord Chelmsford, provision was made by Section 96 B, which runs as follows :

Subject to, the provisions of this Act and of Rules made thereunder, every: person in the Civil Service of the Crown in India holds office during His Majesty's pleasure, and may be employed in any manner required by a proper authority within the scope of his duty, but no person in that Service may be dismissed by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed, and the Secretary of State in Council may (except so

far as he may provide by rules to the contrary) re-instate any person in that Service who has been dismissed.

If any such person appointed by the Secretary of State in Council thinks himself wronged by an order of an official superior in a Governor's Province, and on due application made to that superior does not receive the redress to which he may consider himself entitled, he may, without prejudice to any other right of redress, complain to the Governor of the province in order to obtain justice, and the Governor is hereby directed to examine such complaint and require such action to be taken thereon as may appear to him to be just and equitable.

With regard to the position of Civil Servants under the dual government it is laid down in the Devolution Rules 10 and 11 as follows:

The authority over officers serving in transferred departments is to be exercised by the Ministers, and over other officers by the Governor in Council. Where an officer performs duties both in Reserved and Transferred Departments, as will frequently be the case, he is to be deemed as serving under the Governor in Council or under a Minister, as the Governor may decide. Statutory provision is made to safeguard the interests of Civil Servants employed under the new authorities. No order affecting pay or discipline is to be passed to the disadvantage of any officer appointed by the Secretary of State in Council to an All-India Service, without the personal concurrence of the Governor himself. An officer who belongs to an All-India Service has a right of appeal to the Governor against the orders of an official superior by which he considers himself wronged; he cannot be posted to any appointment without the Governor's concurrence; and he cannot be dismissed except by the authority which appointed him. НО. 104).

Thus it is that the interests of the Civil Servants have been entrusted to the Governor, and his Instrument of Instructions specifically refers to his duties in this connection. (p. 406) Notwithstanding all this the Joint Select Committee recommended that the officers who did not like to accept the new conditions should be employed somewhere else or should be allowed to retire on a pension proportionate to the length of their service. As a result of this "as many as 337 officers of the AllIndia Services prematurely retired from service by the end of December 1923, in view of the changes in the condition of Service occasioned by the Government of India Act of 1919".

(iii) To create links between the Executive and legislature(a) By appointing the Council Secretaries: The Governor is empowered to appoint Council Secretaries, distinguished from permanent departmental Secretaries, indicated in Section 52 (4). (p.408) The Governor of a Governor's Province may at his discretion appoint, from among the non-official members of the local Legisla ture, Council Secretaries who shall hold office during his pleasure, and discharge such duties in assisting the members of the Executive Council and Ministers as he may assign to them. There shall be paid to Council Secretaries so appointed such salary as may be provided by vote of the Legislative Council. A Council Secretary shall cease to hold office if he ceases for more than six months to be a member of the Legislative Council. This power, however, is not much used in practice, because the association of such nonofficial members with administration is not quite easy during the present transitional period.

(b) By appointing the Standing-Committees:-Arrangement is made for the appointment of Standing Committees to secure the same purpose of creating a link between the Executive and Legislature, and of promoting the political education of the people of India. (For the mode of appointment see "Functions and Privileges of the Legislature" in the next Chapter). Each of them contains a majority

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »