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therefore, fwill not be able to concede the we are encouraging the people of India demand which he would wish to concede in drinking. I think it has been stated if he could possibly manage to do it. that we found the people of India sober, Now, I must just say one word in reply and we made them drunken. It is not to what has fallen from the hon. Mei- fair to them at all to call them a drunken ber for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell), people. The consumption throughout who has told the Committee that he was India is only one or one and a half engaged in all these Indian questions, bottles of spirit for every adult man in and whose speech has given us a remark- a year; and if that was contrasted with able example of the gloomy and despon the consumption in a sober country like dent view which some people take of England, Scotland, or Ireland, I think Indian administration.
the people of India would come very Sir GEORGE CAMPBELL: No, no! fairly out of the comparison. Then, as to Of finances ; not administration. the collection of the tax, I must say
Sır. JOHN GORST: Well, this is a that I cannot conceive any principle case of administration, because the hon. upon which the collection of the tax can Member expressed his sorrow to find be more justly and properly arranged the alcoholic revenue doubled, and, at than the system avowed by the Governthe same time, appeared to neglect the ment as the system by which the actual equally significant fact that while the revenue is really collected. The details revenue has doubled, the consumption of the system are not the same in all has enormously decreased. [Sir GEORGE the Provinces—there is a variation beCAMPBELL: No, no!] Well, I will tweon one Province and another in the give the Committee the figures in a mo- particular provisions in force—but the ment. This is not all. Not only has policy of the Government of India, and livit consumption decreased, but illicit the policy as endeavoured to be carried consumption has been entirely put down. out in every Province, is to place as high Therefore, so far as the revenue is con- a tax as it is possible to place upon incerned, there is much to be thankful toxicating liquor without conducing to for, and nothing to complain of, in the illicit distillation; and out-stills, which as Government of Bombay
a general principle the hon. Member SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: I admit vəry properly condemned, are obsolete. the decrease in Bombay; but that is the They are only employed in those districts smallest of the Provinces.
of India where it is a choice between SIR JOHN GORST: Well, I will take having an ont-still and having illicit conMadras. The effect of the increase of sumption. That is the policy of the duty made in 1883 was to reduce con-Government. The hon. Member may sumption from 1,200,000 gallons in say that that policy is not carried out in 1881, 1882, 1883, and 1884 to 1,000,000 certain places. [Sir GEORGE CAMPBELL : gallons in 1885-6. In Bengal the num- Hear, hear!] But the Government of ber of shops for the sale of liquor in India have endeavoured to carry it out 1882 was as high as 39,000 ; but the universally, and have acted avowedly stricter measures recently adopted have upon it, and the Secretary of Stato brought down the number to 27,000. has supported it, and that is the policy The number of shops for the sale of in- in India at the present moment. Under toxicating drinks decreased from 16,600 these circumstances, I do not see how in 1881 to 6,000 in Bombay. While people can accuse us of attempting to there you have a reduction of consump- make the people of India drunken. tion-a reduction of licit consumption The hon. Member also took, I think, the illicit consumption, I say, has been an unnecessarily gloomy view of the almost entirely put down ; and I can increase of the Indian Debt. If he does not understand anything more calcu- me the honour of looking at the statelated to make anyone take a cheer- ment of assets and liabilities to be found ful view of Indian administration on one of the last pages of the Paper I than the observation of the fact that circulated, page 18, he will see that the revenue has so large increased, if you take all the assets of the State in while the consumption, both licit and the form of railways and irrigation illicit, has no largely decreased. can- works, loans an cas balances, and not endure to hear Englishmen of bene- compare that with the Debt of India volent character trying to make out that and all the other obligations of the
Indian Government, there appears to be Under Secretary for India compares only a total uncovered Debt, which is 1882 with the present time; but if he not covered by assets, amounting to made the comparison with the five years about £38,000,000, and that represents up to 1882 it would be found that an the real indebtedness of India. The enormous change of system had taken nominal Debt, I know, is far higher: place. The Excise Revenue had been but all but £38,000,000 of it is covered doubled by a system wbich involved by assets, not borrowed to be frittered a greatly increased consumption, and away on unproductive expenditure, but great laxness. An enormous increase sunk in investments which yield a very took place, and then there was a partial fair interest on the outlay. I hope, Mr. reduction, and that is the reduction Courtney, that the Committee will now which he speaks of. I speak confidently consent to pass the Resolution I have on this important subject, in which there moved, and I can only thank hon. Gentle was a great deal of inquiry, with re. men for the kindness with which they gard to the question of out-stills, during have received the statement I have made, my administration and that of the hon. and for the very useful tone which this Baronet opposite. Sir, this is a very discussion has assumed this evening, important matter which many important wbich I hope will not be without its people take an interest in, and we must advantages for the future good govern- bring out the truth about it. The hon. ment of India.
Baronet opposite was in the GovernSir GEORGE CAMPBELL: I do ment of Bengal, and I wish to appeal not wish to prolong the debate; but on to him as to the facts. During my adone or two bare matters of fact I should ministration and his administration this like to say a word or two. I wish to out-still system was confined to places make a correction-first, as to the Salt where it was impossible to work the Tax. The hon. Gentleman the Under regular system ; but it now prevails Secretary for India has repeated again almost throughout the whole country of what I have frequently corrected, and Bengal, even in the district of Hooghly, must correct again, and that is that the and the fixed duty system is now the exIndian Government have reduced the ception in Bengal. No doubt a change tax upon salt. I have denied that has taken place of recent years, and you before, and I deny it again. What are partially returning to the better syshappened was this--some years ago the tem. As to the drunkenness of the people tax on salt varied from three-quarters of of India, I am thankful to say they are a rupee to three rupees and a quarter. not nearly so drunken as we are, but In Madras and Bombay it an immense amount has come in with three-quarters of a rupee; in Bengal it our civilization; especially in Bengal, was three rupees and a quarter. What the educated classes are taking to drink, has been dono has been to equalize it. in a way they never did before. We They first levelled up, and there was an cannot shirk this, or rely on these couleur outcry, and public attention was directed de rose reports upon so important a questo it, and then they partially reduced it tion. Drinking is becoming common again to two rupees almost all over among the educated classes of Bengal India. Thelate Governor of Bombay, who and other parts, and I do say that the sits opposite, will, I am sure, confirm my rise in the Excise Revenue is a very statement. That was, the reduction which dangerous rise. took place was only from the amount SIR JOHN GORST: After what the at which the tax was fixed for one or hon. Member has just said, I really must two years; and the so-called reduction ask the Committee to allow me to refer was nothing but that. In some Provinces to a passage in the Memorandum which the present tax is now much higher than I laid before the House a short time the level which prevailed some years ago. In that Memorandum it is stated, ago. As to the Excise, I must clear in reply to a representation by the that up. I do not dispute that the ex- British and Colonial Temperance Concessivo consumption of Bombay has gress, sitting in London, that the outbeen reduced; but as regards Bengal- still sytem existed in past times, but and I speak advisedly-what has been that the history of the period during done is this. As regards the consump- which the increase of the Revenue had tion of spirits the hon. Gentleman the taken place was a history of the com
plete supersession of that system hy good working of the Department as a better methods.
whole, that no unnecessary delay should Sie GEORGE CAMPBELL: Well, take place in bringing the new scheme, Sir, I will only ask whether the noble whatever it may be, into operation. I Viscount the Secretary of State (Vis dare say that a great many hon. Memcount Cross) will inquire into the bers in the House may not be aware of matter, and especially whether the in- the difficulties and hardships under still system is not confined to a few which these gentlemen labour. That small districts of Bengal, and whether their complaint is not in vain is, I think, the out-still system does not still pre- sufficiently shown by a statement made vail, although an attempt has been by the Governor General of India as made to limit the size of the stills ? I long ago as January last year, in the hope that some inquiry will be made following words:into the matter, as I am certain I am
« The Governor General in Council cannot right.
conclude his review of this record of excellent Mr. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Cam- work performed without touching on a quesborne): I am sorry to interpose for tion which most nearly concerns the officers a moment between the Committee
who have laboured so successfully. His Ex
cellency is aware that many officers of the Deand its decision ; but there are
partment have had their prospects seriously few matters to which I wish to direct marred under the present scheme, and it would the attention of the Government, and have afforded him great gratification if he could upon which I wish to ask for some
have announced that the new scheme had been definite information. It will be re
fully decided upon.” collected that I have on one or two occa- Yet, notwithstanding the use of lansions put Questions to the hon. Gentle. guage of this kind, here we have been man the Under Secretary of State for going on for a year and a half, and India (Sir John Gorst) upon the subject whenever a Question is asked the only of Indian telegraphy. Not only have answer we can obtain is that the CorreI done so myself, but a Question spondence is incomplete, and that it is, was in the early part of the Session therefore, premature to lay it on the put to him on the subject by an Table or to give any information to the hon. Member the opposite side House. As far as I can make out, this of the House, one of the Members for state of things may go on for years to Hull. I originally questioned the Go- come. I may just state, for the inforvernient on the subject at the commence- mation of hon. Members, what the parti. nient of last year, and, up to the present cular grievance is. The whole difficulty time, no further information has been is caused by the block of promotion in obtainable in the matter, except that the Service, and this arises principally, communications are still taking place, if not wholly, from the fact that an aband that it is impossible to lay any Re- normal number of men was sent out to port upon the Table, because the Corre- this Service in the four years from 1868 spondence with the Indian Government to 1872. In that period no less than 72 is still incomplete. Now, what I want men were sent out, when probably not to ask the Government is, whether it is more than 10 would have been the not possible for them to give us some proper quota. It stands to reason assurance that the new scheme of re- that so large a quantity of men being organization which has been sent out, as sent out has resulted in an impossibility I understand, to the Government of of getting that promotion which they India, and has been practically approved, were led to expect they would obtain if I am not mistaken, by the Govern- when they entered the Service. To ment on this side, will be promptly show that this is not an ideal grievance brought into operation ? The members which I am bringing forward, I may say of the Telegraph Department in India, that it has been under the consideration several of whom have been in com- of the Government for some 12 years past. munication with me and others on dif- Re-organization was attempted in 1880, ferent occasions, and have earnestly im- but without any satisfactory effect, beplored us to do what we can in this cause, as I understand, it simply resulted House to advance the matter in their in placing the congestion higher up in interests, are accordingly anxious, not the seniority list, and not in removing it only on their own account, but for the altogether. In 1884 the Director Gene
ral was called upon to elaborate a point he could only tell me that it would scheme in order to meet the grievances be premature to give any information. of the civil servants of this Department; I will not trouble the Committee further but that scheme apparently was con- on the subject. I now ask permission sidered inadequate, and in 1885 the Go to place before the Committee another vernment of India proposed to the Se matter which has been committed to cretary of State that special compensa- my charge, and as to which I have been tion allowances should be granted to asked to seek information from the Go. such men as were considered to be de- vernment. It is with reference to a Staff serving, but were unfortunate as regarded appointment given to Colonel Pottinger, promotion. That proposal, it appears, and the question that I am asked to was not found to be adequate to the con- obtain information upon is whether the dition of things, and at the end of 1885 instructions sent by the Secretary of a comprehensive scheme was asked for. State to the Bombay Government have Ever since then this comprehensive been disregarded in appointing Colonel scheme of re-organization has been Pottingerto succeed Colonel Willoughby under consideration, and it is with re. at Bombay, Colonel Pottinger being an ference to the provisions of that scheme officer of the British Service who forand to the probable date at which it merly belonged to the late Bombay may be issued that I now ask the Go- Artillery, and being, therefore, ineligible vernment for information. I do not for the appointment ? Now, this may know whether it will be necessary to seem to be a very insignificant matter ; trouble the Committee with any remarks but it appears to me, at any rate, from as to the details of the scheme. I do the form in which the subject has been not, of course, pretend to have the de- placed in my hands, that the appointtails at my command, and I leave it to ment, under the circumstances in which the judgment of the hon. Gentleman the it has taken place, is of a nature to bear Under Secretary of State for India to hardly upon the Native officers. I have say how far he will go into them. But in my hands a letter from the Secretary I do earnestly ask him, not so much in of State to the Government of Bombay, the interest of individuals as in the in- dated the 13th of December, 1871, interest of the Service, to answer the timating the desire of Her Majesty's questions I put to him. I have here a Government that no officer of the letter from one gentleman, saying that British Service should be even tempothose who are in the Service are greatly rarily appointed to any Staff situation disheartened at the delay which has unless he is a probationer of the Staff taken place, and asking me to put cer- Corps, and stating that, if special cirtain questions to the Government on the cumstances renderit indispensably necessubject. This is a letter which I re- sary to appoint a British officer, a full ceived about 12 months ago—that is to explanation of the reasons which render say, before the Dissolution of Parliament thô appointment necessary should be last year; and, owing to the Dissolution, forwarded to the Supreme Government I was not able to do what I was asked. for communication to Her Majesty.
SIR JOHN GORST: If the hon. Now, my complaint is that, in this parMember will allow me, I can answer ticular case, Colonel Pottinger was an his question in a moment. The matter officer of the old Bombay Artillery, and has been decided by the Secretary of that, having been required to elect deState. A despatch has been sent to finitely for the British or local Service, India on the subject, and as soon as that and having elected for the former, he despatch arrives the re-organization will was ineligible for the appointment. I come into force.
desire, therefore, to ascertain from the MR. CONYBEARE: I am much ob-Government what explanation is given liged to the hon. Gentleman. That of this appointment. I, of course, do answers the principal part of my com- not profess to be familiar with the deplaint, and I suppose that if the scheme tails of these somewhat technical, and, is a workable one it will satisfy those I suppose, military matters; and I may who are aggrieved. I can only say, in say, in justification of my action in justification for having brought the mat. placing the subject before the Governter forward, that when I last asked the ment, that I was requested only last hon. Gentleman for information on the evening by a friend who is unable to
be here to-night, to do so, and that grievance I brought forward, and I shall I have, therefore, been unable to be much obliged to him if he will throw make any independent examination some light on the second. into the question. But, as I have SIR JOHN GORST: I am sure the already said, it is represented as a hon. Gentleman must feel that it is quite grievance to the Native officers in the impossible for me to answer him in Service that an appointment of this kind detail on a matter of this kind without should be made under the circumstances any Notice whatever; but if he will write which I have described, and it is on this me a letter on the subject I shall be ground that I have endeavoured to call glad to reply to it. the attention of the Government to it. I
Question put. am not going to detain the Committee
Resolved, That it appears, by the Accounts further, although there are a great many laid before this House, that tho Total Revenue interesting topics upon which, if this of India for the year ending the 31st day of had been an earlier period of the Session, March 1886 was £74,464,197; that the Total and if it were an earlier hour in the Expenditure in India and in England charged erening, I might fairly be entitled to to Revenue was £77,265,923 ; that there was claim the indulgence of the Committee. £2,801,726 ; and that the Capital Outlay on
an excess of Expenditure over Revenue of I would, however, only say that I have Railways and Irrigation Works was £5,275,364, appreciated the statements made in the besides a Capital Charge of £1,086,045 involved speech of the hon. Member for the in the Redemption of Liabilities. Eresham Division of Worcester (Sir Resolution to be reported To-morrow. Richard Temple) this evening, as well as the vigorous attack made upon the SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND ACT (1885) present system of administration in India
AMENDMENT BILL [Lords). by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. R. T. Reid),
(The Lord Adrocate.) and I can only regret that so little inté- (BILL 360.] CONSIDERATION. rest is taken in these matters in this
[ADJOURNED DEBATE.] House, as has been testified by the descrted condition of the House through
Bill, as amended, further considered. out the discussion. The complaint made MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N): I by the hon. and learned Member for have some Amendments on the Paper; Dumfries was, I think, scarcely suffi- but I should be glad to hear what course ciently appreciated, if he will allow me the Government intend to take with reto say so, by the hon. Gentleman the gard to the Bill. Under Secretary of State. What I under- THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREAstood my hon. and learned Friend to say SURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, in reference to the reform he proposes in Westminster): The Government have the administration of India was, not considered the question raised by the that it was necessary for this House to hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendtake over the entire control of the Exe- ments, and they do not feel that it is in cutive in India, but that, owing to the their power to admit any extension of total absence of publicity as to what is the exception which the hon. and learned done in the Council of India, it is im- Member wishes to extend. It must be possible, either in India or in this House, understood that this measure is not to be to exercise that effective control over the regarded as a final measure ; but it is, management of Indian affairs which it well that the Office of Secretary for should be the aim of all of us to pro- Scotland should be consolidated and mote. I feel very strongly that until we made a more effective Office than it is at get that publicity it will be impossible present for the discharge of the duties to exercise any such control. I do not devolving upon it. In another Session see for a moment why the deliberations -and probably not a very remote of the Council of India should not be Session-it may be desirable that the conducted in public just as much as the functions of the Secretary for Scotland debates of this House. That is all I should be made much wider than they desire to say on the present occasion. I are at present; but the Government do am very much obliged to the hon. Gen- not propose to accept any of the Amend. tleman the Under Secretary of State for ments proposed by the hon. and learned haring given me an answer to the first Gentleman.