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capitalists, they have to pay 63 per cent in rupees owing to the fall of exchange. The lines which have been guaranteed in recent years have been guaranteed at 4 per cent, and even at the present rate of exchange it is not likely that these lines will cause any increase of the loss which the Government has to bear.

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: Will the hon. Gentleman distinguish between the earnings of the old guaranteed lines and the new guaranteed lines?

mittee will see from the table that the amount is not 2s. per head. When it is remembered that the amount of taxation which is borne by the people of this country is £2 108. per head, I think that, as far as one can estimate from figures of this kind, it must be admitted that the taxation imposed upon the people of India is very slight indeed. I do not deny that even light taxation may, under certain circumstances, be burdensome; but I venture to say that the Government of India, on the whole, is one of the most beneficent Governments which the world has ever witnessed; that the Government is, on the whole, well administered, administered in a more true sense for the benefit of the governed than has been any other Government the world has ever witnessed; that it is, on the whole, one of the justest and most equitable Governments which history gives us any account of; and that, so far from the people of India having any ground of complaint because they are under the rule of Great Britain instead of under the rule of the tyrants who held sway over them before the advent of British rule, the Natives of India have very good reason to be grateful for the establishment and continuance over them of our beneficent Government.

SIR JOHN GORST: I have not got the figures by me which would enable me to distinguish between the two; but my opinion is that it is some of the old guaranteed lines, such as Madras lines, upon which the great loss is incurred. I should like to call the attention of the Committee to the existence of railways in India in regard to which there is no Government guarantee, and to point out that the chief of these is the Bengal and North-Western Line, which has only recently been opened. It was opened, I think, in 1886. The net return is 3.63 per cent, and the Stock of the line has stood up to a very recent period above par. It is true that the Stock has fallen in the course of the last month to 97, three points below par; but I think that is owing to some anxiety on the subject of traffic. Traffic has now improved, and I have no doubt that the Stock will again stand above par. I point this out because a great deal has been said in this House and the country about the advantage of encouraging the railway system in India; and if capitalists would venture to invest their capital in the same way as in this country without Government guarantee, they have the example of the Bengal and NorthWestern Railway, which shows that they would have a very fair profit for their money, and they would be able to develop the railway system of India without imposing the burden upon the finances of India which guarantees entail. Now, the only other point to which I think I need direct the attention of the Committee is one which was anticipated, to some extent, by the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh). I have put in a table on page 19 to show the burden of taxation upon the Indian people. I put it in because in this House it is very common to speak of the taxation of the people of India as if it

MR. R. T. REID (Dumfries, &c.): Mr. Courtney, I shall endeavour, as I know the time of the Committee is limited, not to use any superfluous words. I rise for a particular and definite purpose; but, in the first place, I wish to join the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh) in his expression of extreme regret that the Indian Budget has been brought on this year at a later period than in any previous year. It is perfectly true that previous Governments have been offenders in regard to this matter; but it is also the were extremely burdensome. The Com-case that a Resolution was passed by

Motion made, and Question proposed, before this House, that the Total Revenue of "That it appears, by the Accounts laid India for the year ending the 31st day of March 1886 was £74,464,197 that the Total Expenditure in India and in England charged to Revenue was £77,265,923; that there was £2,801,726; and that the Capital Outlay on an excess of Expenditure over Revenue of Railways and Irrigation Works was £5,275,364, besides a Capital Charge of £1,086,045 involved in the Redemption of Liabilities."-(Sir John Gorst.)


the House two or three years ago, at the of things. Let us see what are the instance of the hon. Baronet the Mem- causes of this deficiency, because the ber for the City of London (Sir Robert causes deserve more notice than the Fowler), deprecating the great delay to facts of the decrease themselves. In which the Indian Budget was sub- the first place, Afghanistan has cost us, jected. I am sorry I do not see the for the Quetta force, about £2,100,000. hon. Baronet in his place to renew his Now, taking the whole three years protest. Passing from that, let me together, the Delimitation Commission notice the last words of the hon. Gentle--the Commission which has been on the frontier of Afghanistan-has cost nearly £500,000. So much as regards the expenditure on account of the Afghan scare. Then we come to Burmah. Now, the expedition to Burmah was an enterprize of the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington (Lord Randolph Churchill), who seemed, at the time the expedition was undertaken, to be absolutely master of the situation. As soon as he got into Office he and the Viceroy of India, with the consent of the remainder of the Government, led India into Burmah. Now, we told that the work was to be done for £300,000, and that it was only a matter of two or three weeks. I am thankful that I personally protested against the expedition at the time; the whole country, however, was thinking of something different-it was thinking of the General Election, and not thinking of the expense which would be thrown upon the unfortunate people of India by the Burmese enterprize. What is now the contention of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for India? The statement is that the difference between the expenditure and income from Burmah amounts to a deficiency of £3,900,000; and the hon. Gentleman spoke with no hope of altering that state of the accounts. The hon. Gentleman knows as well as I do that there is no prospect of ever making Upper Burmah even pay her own way. Those who are familiar with the country are persuaded there is no chance, at any rate, for many years to come, of Upper Burmah being able to pay her own way. These are two causes of deficiency. These deficits are due to policy; like all financial disorders, they are, in the main, due to an erroneous and extravagant policy. Partly they are due to the absence of economy in internal management; but they are still more due to the fearful wars and enterprizes that are entered upon without any reasonable control over them by the Government of India whenever some

man the Under Secretary of State for India (Sir John Gorst). There are few people who would dispute that the Indian Government is beneficently and justly administered on the whole, and administered with a desire to do what is right towards the people of India. But the objection which is made is that the Government is an extravagant Government, extravagant far beyond the capability of the country to sustain, and that it is a Government which is carried on without an opportunity of coming in touch with the feelings and opinions of the people, and that it is, further, a Government absolutely despotic in its character, which this House is quite unwilling to control from the lack of time. That is the objection to the Government of India, not that its object is bad, but that we do not take pains to make that Government as effectual as it might be, and that in consequence the Government is extremely extravagant, and that the finances are in a very serious condition. Let me say a few words with regard to the financial part of this matter. The Statement which is laid before us tells us that there is a deficiency on the Financial Accounts of 1885-6 of £2,800,000 in round figures. The Revised Accounts state that there was a surplus in 1886-7 of some kind; I am told it should now be £60,000 or more. As regards the Budget Estimate of 1887-8, we are told in the published Statement that there was to be a small surplus; but now it is admitted that the Revised Estimates show, as far as they go, a deficit of between £600,000 and £700,000. Therefore, notwithstanding the panegyric the hon. Gentleman (Sir John Gorst) has delivered on the Government of India, we have this state of things-that in the first year of the three years we are dealing with there is a deficiency of £2,800,000; in the second year it is said that there is a surplus of £60,000; and in the third year there is a deficit of £600,000. That cannot be considered to be a satisfactory state


Jingo" spirit becomes impossible to £3,000,000. Such are the causes of keep under. What are the expedients these deficits, and the expedient by which resorted to for the purpose of meeting the Government endeavour to restore these deficits? These deficits have to equilibrium is one most gravely to be be met in some way or other. When reprehended, and one which it is imdeficits of this kind take place you may possible for anyone to sympathize with. borrow money, or you may impose I have said so much with regard to the fresh taxation. Now, everybody knows particular figures of this year, and I have that a high authority on Indian finance said it without the smallest attempt to has stated that you cannot impose fresh shelter one Party at the expense of antaxation, notwithstanding the vaunted other Party, for we have nothing whatsmallness of the taxation per head of ever in Indian finance to do with Parthe population. The hon. Gentleman ties. I believe that in 1886 the same will not contradict me when I say that expedient to restore equilibrium was substantially you have reached the limit adopted, and therefore the Party to of taxation in India. He will certainly which I belong are equally at fault. I be different from any other Under Se- think in this House we ought to know cretary if he denies that statement. At nothing at all about Party in our dealany rate, you have not attempted to ings with matters concerning India. impose new taxation. What has been Let us consider the state of matters in the done has been done in another way, last 10 years. The hon. Gentleman the which is extremely significant. Accord- Member for Northampton (Mr. Brading to Sir Auckland Colvin's Report, the laugh) pointed out that there had been deficiency has been met by taking from a large increase of expenditure in the the Famine Insurance Fund the amount last 10 years. "Yes," said the hon. necessary. That is the expedient to Gentleman the Under Secretary, in the which the Government are reduced; short reply he made to my hon. Friend and now let me say one word as when Mr. Speaker was in the Chair, to the Famine Fund. Although I "but that is due to railways." Now, have no doubt every hon. Gentleman I am sure the hon. Gentleman did not present is acquainted with the nature say that advisedly, because he did not of the Fund, still, everybody may not show what has been the increased exbe acquainted with it; and it is as penditure upon matters other than well that the country should know what railways. In the first place, I find the Fund really is. The Report of the that in 1876 the total Expenditure was Famine Fund Commissioners, which was £57,750,000, and that in 1886 it was presented to the House in 1880, showed £77,250,000, or a rise of £19,500,000 that in the last 30 years there had been in the space of 10 or 11 years. But five famines in India, of which three let me go into details. In the first year were intense famines, and in the last that I have named-I am leaving out, of of these, that of 1876-8, no less than course, all sums which are less than 5,000,000 persons perished. It was £100,000-in the first year, 1876, the stated that these famines were of a Army Services were £15,700,000, but recurring character, and the Commis- in 1886 they were £20,000,000. Now, sioners recommended that an annual that is not railways; there is an increase sum should be set aside for the pur- of £4,300,000 on the Army. pose of meeting them. The sum which has been systematically and sacredly devoted to the purpose of supplying the needs of the people in time of

SIR JOHN GORST: In consequence of the fall in exchange.

MR. R. T. REID: Whenever one criticizes these things, he is always re

famine is now appropriated by the Go-ferred to the fall in exchange. It is the vernment for the purpose of restoring same story over and over again; we are financial equilibrium. According to my always told that if such and such things judgment, the causes of these deficits are had not occurred everything would havo very serious. The causes are ill-judgod been all right. That is the kind of thing enterprizes, profligate expenditure upon I have heard repeated year after year wars, which have been so under-esti- in relation to the Indian Budget. The mated that one, which it was said would Government of India are bound to cut cost but £300,000, has already landed us their coat according to the cloth they in an expenditure of far more than have; and if we notice great deficits, if

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we find great increase in military ex- | Fawcett, and it has been also pointed penditure, it is no answer to say out by evidence given before the Finance that it is due to exchange. I think Committee which sat from 1871 to 1874, the hon. Gentleman will, on reflec- that the staple of Indian Revenue is of tion, see that the difference between the most insecure character possible. the two items I have quoted is not due The Land Revenue, of course, is very to the fall in the rate of exchange, be- elastic, and it has risen very little in the cause a great deal of the money-indeed, 10 years; it has risen £1,000,000, and if not the whole of it-is paid in India. that is all, and it cannot be expected to At least, it is so in regard to the salaries rise more, because the system in operaand expenses of the Civil Service; tion there is a system of fixed rent for a there is no question of exchange in such period of 30 years. With regard to the cases. The salaries and expenses of the Opium Revenue, everybody knows it is Civil Service rose from £10,300,000 in dependent upon the trade which you can 1876 to £12,200,000 in 1886. What is make for your opium; and if, for the meaning of this? The meaning is example, we come to difficulties about extravagance, absence of proper control, the opium trade with China, does anyand, if I may say so in this House, a one believe that at the present day public systematic neglect by this House of its opinion in this country would allow us duty towards India in dealing with In- to go to war again with China in order dian finance, and in supervising the to bolster up the opium trade? Of course, officials who instruct the hon. Gentle- opium is the most precarious revenue man the Under Secretary of State for you can have. Then the Salt Revenue is India. Of course, the hon. Gentle- one which is open to most of the diffiman can do no more than repeat that culties and most of the objections that which the permanent officials, who are can be raised almost against any revenue. the tyrants of India, are good enough A man with £100,000 a year only pays to put into his mouth. Let me come to as much by way of Salt Duty as the man the charge of collection-that, at least, with £50 a-year. So oppressive is the is entirely spent in India. The charge taxation that one of the Predecessors of of collection has risen in the most extra- the hon. Gentleman said that the repeal ordinary way. In 1876 it was £6,600,000, of the Salt Tax would confer upon the and in 1886 it was £9,800,000. There people of India as great a boon as the is a spring of 50 per cent in the course repeal of the Corn Laws conferred upon of 10 years. Then, again, superannua- the English people. I must say I was tion allowances and pensions, things rather surprised the hon. Gentleman which always go up, have risen from (Sir John Gorst) drew a picture from £2,100,000 to £2,900,000. I say no which one would suppose that nothing more with reference to the Expenditure, but plenty and prosperity existed in Inbecause I have promised to compress my dia, from which one would suppose that remarks as much as possible. I have the Indian people were an under-taxed only given one or two samples of the people. Now, the best proof that India chief items of Expenditure, to show is over-taxed in comparison with the that the Expenditure has increased all power of the people to bear taxation is through. Now, a word or two with that the very necessary of life, salt, is reference to the Revenue. The Revenue taxed to such an extent that it is a has not shown similar elasticity. The grievance to the people of India, accord three chief items of Revenue in India are ing to the admission of an hon. Gentleland, opium, and salt. In the case of man who, at the time he made the statethe land there has been an increase of ment, held the position of Under Secre£1,000,000 in the period given; in tary of State for India. It is a grievance opium the increase, I think, has been to the people of India equal in its inci£200,000; and in salt the increase has dence to what the Corn Laws were to been £100,000; and I should like to the people of England. Now, Sir, I say, as regards railways, that while an have endeavoured to show that the increase has been incurred in expendi- Revenue is unelastic; that the Expenditure, the increase of revenue-and the ture is growing; that there is an imposincrease has been enormous-has kept sibility of new taxation; and I should pace with it. But this does not exhaust like, in the face of these facts, to put a the matter. It was pointed out by Mr. possibility which I hope will not take

place. I put it for the purpose of showing what is the real condition of Indian finance. Suppose that any great strain came; suppose there was an invasion through Afghanistan, or that there was some great catastrophe, or some great war, in which we required all our resources. Why, Sir, there would be no nest-egg to fall back upon. We have habitual deficits; we have had a deficit in two out of the three years under consideration; and, as far as I can see, there is no branch of the Revenue from which the hon. Gentleman can give us reason to hope there will be any great increase of Revenue within a measurable distance of time. The country is taxed to the full extent, and the margin between Revenue and Expenditure is at best so small that there will be nothing whatever to fall back upon like what you have in this country to fall back upon. In this country there is great wealth, and taxation in proportion to the power to bear it is so light that you might easily extract something for a great emergency. There is one subject which gives us serious cause for reflection, and that is the increasing quantity of money which is being remitted from India to England every year. There is, in the Statement to which I have already referred, an account of the Bills drawn by the Secretary of State. It will be found that there has been within the last 10 or 15 years a large increase in the Bills introduced by the Government for India in this House. It has been suggested by the hon. Baronet the Member for the Evesham Division of Worcester (Sir Richard Temple) that he is accredited with having estimated that the annual drain from India by this country for what you may call the tribute-though I do not mean to say that it is a servile tribute-but that the sum sent from India to England is £30,000,000 every year, without any equivalent being sent back. Part of that, no doubt, is sent sometimes in return for money invested, and comes in the form of Home charges. I do not mean to say that that is the amount drawn by the Secretary of State, for that is only some £17,000,000 or £19,000,000 annually; but the hon. Member to whom I have referred says, I think, that this is the total drain, and represents that money sent to this country from India. It is quite true that for that there has been some equivalent

in the past; but the interest on money spent in India is expended in England, whereas the interest on money borrowed by the Government for this country is spent in this country, and, of course, that makes a great difference as regards the resources of the nation. It seems to me that we are bound to listen to his. We are bound to listen to the best advice and opinion we can get from the Indians themselves. I distrustnot because I distrust the men, but because I distrust their judgmentAnglo-Indians thoroughly in this matter. Those gentlemen, familiar, no doubt, with the details of Indian life, of course have more opportunities of gauging the condition of India than a thoroughly independent witness in this country; but they are all pledged to a system. If you speak to almost any one of them-of course, with here and there an exception-you will find that they are all pledged to the lips in favour of a bureaucratic and despotic system of Government, a system of Government which in India is a benevolent despotism, I 'admit, but still a despotic bureaucratic Government, because it is a Government not controlled by anything in the nature of representation, as is the Government of this country. The Native Congress, to which reference has been made by the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh), was full of the most interesting and valuable suggestions. I believe a great many of the recommendations made by the Natives are worthy of adoption. Amongst other things, they ask that there should be some means in India of questioning the Government as regards the administration of the affairs of the country, and that there should be some method in England for controlling the expenditure of the money which is drawn from the people of India. They ask that there should be a Standing Committee of this House to hear appeals from Local Bodies against the Executive Government of India in matters of finance and administration, where it was thought that this House would be competent to control the decisions of the Indian Government. I am not going into detail on that subject, which is one of enormous importance in itself; but this I am going to say that I have endeavoured to get the Government to listen to a proposal to have some sort of Committee

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