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therefore, will 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. Mem- 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
fairly out of the comparison. Then, as to
the collection of the tax, I must say
that I cannot conceive any principle
upon which the collection of the tax can
be more justly and properly arranged
than the system avowed by the Govern-
ment as the system by which the actual
revenue is really collected. The details
of the system are not the same in all
the Provinces-there is a variation be-
tween one Province and another in the
particular provisions in force-but the
policy of the Government of India, and
the policy as endeavoured to be carried
out in every Province, is to place as high
a tax as it is possible to place upon in-
toxicating liquor without conducing to
illicit distillation; and out-stills, which as
a general principle the hon. Member
very properly condemned, are obsolete.
They are only employed in those districts
of India where it is a choice between
having an out-still and having illicit con-
sumption. That is the policy of the
Government. The hon. Member may
say that that policy is not carried out in
certain places. [Sir GEORGE CAMPBELL:
Hear, hear!] But the Government of
India have endeavoured to carry it out
universally, and have acted avowedly
upon it, and the Secretary of State
has supported it, and that is the policy
in India at the present moment. Under
these circumstances, I do not see how
people can accuse us of attempting to
make the people of India drunken.
The hon. Member also took, I think,
an unnecessarily gloomy view of the
increase of the Indian Debt. If he does
me the honour of looking at the state-
ment of assets and liabilities to be found
on one of the last pages of the Paper I
circulated, page 18, he will see that
if you take all the assets of the State in
the form of railways and irrigation
works, loans and cash balances, and
compare that with the Debt of India
and all the other obligations of the

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: No, no! Of finances; not administration.

SIR JOHN GORST: Well, this is a case of administration, because the hon. Member expressed his sorrow to find the alcoholic revenue doubled, and, at the same time, appeared to neglect the equally significant fact that while the revenue has doubled, the consumption has enormously decreased. Sir GEORGE CAMPBELL: No, no!] Well, I will give the Committee the figures in a moment. This is not all. Not only has licit consumption decreased, but illicit consumption has been entirely put down. Therefore, so far as the revenue is concerned, there is much to be thankful for, and nothing to complain of, in the Government of Bombay

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: I admit the decrease in Bombay; but that is the smallest of the Provinces.

SIR JOHN GORST: Well, I will take Madras. The effect of the increase of duty made in 1883 was to reduce consumption from 1,200,000 gallons in 1881, 1882, 1883, and 1884 to 1,000,000 gallons in 1885-6. In Bengal the number of shops for the sale of liquor in 1882 was as high as 39,000; but the stricter measures recently adopted have brought down the number to 27,000. The number of shops for the sale of intoxicating drinks decreased from 16,600 in 1881 to 6,000 in Bombay. While there you have a reduction of consumption-a reduction of licit consumptionthe illicit consumption, I say, has been almost entirely put down; and I cannot understand anything more calculated to make anyone take a cheerful view of Indian administration than the observation of the fact that the revenue has so large increased, while the consumption, both licit and illicit, has no largely decreased. I cannot endure to hear Englishmen of benevolent character trying to make out that

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Indian Government, there appears to be only a total uncovered Debt, which is not covered by assets, amounting to about £38,000,000, and that represents the real indebtedness of India. The nominal Debt, I know, is far higher but all but £38,000,000 of it is covered by assets, not borrowed to be frittered away on unproductive expenditure, but sunk in investments which yield a very fair interest on the outlay. I hope, Mr. Courtney, that the Committee will now consent to pass the Resolution I have moved, and I can only thank hon. Gentlemen for the kindness with which they have received the statement I have made, and for the very useful tone which this discussion has assumed this evening, which I hope will not be without its advantages for the future good government of India.

Under Secretary for India compares 1882 with the present time; but if he made the comparison with the five years up to 1882 it would be found that an enormous change of system had taken place. The Excise Revenue had been doubled by a system which involved a greatly increased consumption, and great laxness. An enormous increase took place, and then there was a partial reduction, and that is the reduction which he speaks of. I speak confidently on this important subject, in which there was a great deal of inquiry, with regard to the question of out-stills, during my administration and that of the hon. Baronet opposite. Sir, this is a very important matter which many important people take an interest in, and we must bring out the truth about it. The hon. Baronet opposite was in the Government of Bengal, and I wish to appeal to him as to the facts. During my administration and his administration this out-still system was confined to places where it was impossible to work the regular system; but it now prevails almost throughout the whole country of Bengal, even in the district of Hooghly, and the fixed duty system is now the exception in Bengal. No doubt a change has taken place of recent years, and you are partially returning to the better system. As to the drunkenness of the people of India, I am thankful to say they are not nearly so drunken as we are, but an immense amount has come in with our civilization; especially in Bengal, the educated classes are taking to drink, in a way they never did before. We cannot shirk this, or rely on these couleur de rose reports upon so important a question. Drinking is becoming common among the educated classes of Bengal and other parts, and I do say that the rise in the Excise Revenue is a very dangerous rise.

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: I do not wish to prolong the debate; but on one or two bare matters of fact I should like to say a word or two. I wish to make a correction-first, as to the Salt Tax. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for India has repeated again what I have frequently corrected, and must correct again, and that is that the Indian Government have reduced the tax upon salt. I have denied that before, and I deny it again. What happened was this--some years ago the tax on salt varied from three-quarters of a rupee to three rupees and a quarter. In Madras and Bombay_it was three-quarters of a rupee; in Bengal it was three rupees and a quarter. What has been done has been to equalize it. They first levelled up, and there was an outcry, and public attention was directed to it, and then they partially reduced it again to two rupees almost all over India. The late Governor of Bombay, who sits opposite, will, I am sure, confirm my statement. That was, the reduction which took place was only from the amount at which the tax was fixed for one or two years; and the so-called reduction was nothing but that. In some Provinces the present tax is now much higher than the level which prevailed some years ago. As to the Excise, I must clear that up. I do not dispute that the excessive consumption of Bombay has been reduced; but as regards Bengaland I speak advisedly-what has been done is this. As regards the consumption of spirits the hon. Gentleman the

SIR JOHN GORST: After what the hon. Member has just said, I really must ask the Committee to allow me to refer to a passage in the Memorandum which I laid before the House a short time ago. In that Memorandum it is stated, in reply to a representation by the British and Colonial Temperance Congress, sitting in London, that the outstill sytem existed in past times, but that the history of the period during which the increase of the Revenue had taken place was a history of the com

plete supersession of that system by better methods.

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL: Well, Sir, I will only ask whether the noble Viscount the Secretary of State (Viscount Cross) will inquire into the matter, and especially whether the instill system is not confined to a few small districts of Bengal, and whether the out-still system does not still prevail, although an attempt has been made to limit the size of the stills? I hope that some inquiry will be made into the matter, as I am certain I am right.

MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne): I am sorry to interpose for a moment between the Committee and its decision; but there are a few matters to which I wish to direct the attention of the Government, and upon which I wish to ask for some definite information. It will be recollected that I have on one or two occasions put Questions to the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for India (Sir John Gorst) upon the subject of Indian telegraphy. Not only have I done so myself, but a Question was in the early part of the Session put to him on the subject by an hon. Member on the opposite side of the House, one of the Members for Hull. I originally questioned the Government on the subject at the commencement of last year, and, up to the present time, no further information has been obtainable in the matter, except that communications are still taking place, and that it is impossible to lay any Report upon the Table, because the Correspondence with the Indian Government is still incomplete. Now, what I want to ask the Government is, whether it is not possible for them to give us some assurance that the new scheme of reorganization which has been sent out, as I understand, to the Government of India, and has been practically approved, if I am not mistaken, by the Government on this side, will be promptly brought into operation? The members of the Telegraph Department in India, several of whom have been in communication with me and others on different occasions, and have earnestly implored us to do what we can in this House to advance the matter in their interests, are accordingly anxious, not only on their own account, but for the

good working of the Department as a whole, that no unnecessary delay should take place in bringing the new scheme, whatever it may be, into operation. I dare say that a great many hon. Members in the House may not be aware of the difficulties and hardships under which these gentlemen labour. That their complaint is not in vain is, I think, sufficiently shown by a statement made by the Governor General of India as long ago as January last year, in the following words:

"The Governor General in Council cannot conclude his review of this record of excellent

work performed without touching on a question which most nearly concerns the officers who have laboured so successfully. His Excellency is aware that many officers of the Department have had their prospects seriously marred under the present scheme, and it would have afforded him great gratification if he could have announced that the new scheme had been fully decided upon."

Yet, notwithstanding the use of language of this kind, here we have been going on for a year and a-half, and whenever a Question is asked the only answer we can obtain is that the Correspondence is incomplete, and that it is, therefore, premature to lay it on the Table or to give any information to the House. As far as I can make out, this state of things may go on for years to come. I may just state, for the information of hon. Members, what the particular grievance is. The whole difficulty is caused by the block of promotion in the Service, and this arises principally, if not wholly, from the fact that an abnormal number of men was sent out to this Service in the four years from 1868 to 1872. In that period no less than 72 men were sent out, when probably not more than 10 would have been the proper quota. It stands to reason that so large a quantity of men being sent out has resulted in an impossibility of getting that promotion which they were led to expect they would obtain when they entered the Service. To show that this is not an ideal grievance which I am bringing forward, I may say that it has been under the consideration of the Government for some 12 years past. Re-organization was attempted in 1880, but without any satisfactory effect, because, as I understand, it simply resulted in placing the congestion higher up in the seniority list, and not in removing it altogether. In 1884 the Director Gene

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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 Gosuch men as were considered to be de-vernment. It is with reference to a Staff

serving, but were unfortunate as regarded promotion. That proposal, it appears, was not found to be adequate to the condition of things, and at the end of 1885 a comprehensive scheme was asked for. Ever since then this comprehensive scheme of re-organization has been under consideration, and it is with reference to the provisions of that scheme and to the probable date at which it may be issued that I now ask the Government for information. I do not know whether it will be necessary to trouble the Committee with any remarks as to the details of the scheme. I do not, of course, pretend to have the details at my command, and I leave it to the judgment of the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for India to say how far he will go into them. But I do earnestly ask him, not so much in the interest of individuals as in the interest of the Service, to answer the questions I put to him. I have here a letter from one gentleman, saying that those who are in the Service are greatly disheartened at the delay which has taken place, and asking me to put certain questions to the Government on the subject. This is a letter which I received about 12 months ago-that is to say, before the Dissolution of Parliament last year; and, owing to the Dissolution, I was not able to do what I was asked.

SIR JOHN GORST: If the hon. Member will allow me, I can answer his question in a moment. The matter has been decided by the Secretary of State. A despatch has been sent to India on the subject, and as soon as that despatch arrives the re-organization will come into force.

MR. CONYBEARE: I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman. That answers the principal part of my complaint, and I suppose that if the scheme is a workable one it will satisfy those who are aggrieved. I can only say, in justification for having brought the matter forward, that when I last asked the hon. Gentleman for information on the

appointment given to Colonel Pottinger, and the question that I am asked to obtain information upon is whether the instructions sent by the Secretary of Stato to the Bombay Government have been disregarded in appointing Colonel Pottinger to succeed Colonel Willoughby at Bombay, Colonel Pottinger being an officer of the British Service who formerly belonged to the late Bombay Artillery, and being, therefore, ineligible for the appointment? Now, this may seem to be a very insignificant matter; but it appears to me, at any rate, from the form in which the subject has been placed in my hands, that the appointment, under the circumstances in which it has taken place, is of a nature to bear hardly upon the Native officers. I have in my hands a letter from the Secretary of State to the Government of Bombay, dated the 13th of December, 1871, intimating the desire of Her Majesty's Government that no officer of the British Service should be even temporarily appointed to any Staff situation unless he is a probationer of the Staff Corps, and stating that, if special circumstances render it indispensably necessary to appoint a British officer, a full explanation of the reasons which render the appointment necessary should be forwarded to the Supreme Government for communication to Her Majesty. Now, my complaint is that, in this particular case, Colonel Pottinger was an officer of the old Bombay Artillery, and that, having been required to elect definitely for the British or local Service, and having elected for the former, he was ineligible for the appointment. I desire, therefore, to ascertain from the Government what explanation is given. of this appointment. I, of course, do not profess to be familiar with the details of these somewhat technical, and, I suppose, military matters; and I may say, in justification of my action in placing the subject before the Government, that I was requested only last 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 already said, it is represented as a grievance to the Native officers in the Service that an appointment of this kind should be made under the circumstances which I have described, and it is on this ground that I have endeavoured to call the attention of the Government to it. I am not going to detain the Committee further, although there are a great many interesting topics upon which, if this had been an earlier period of the Session, and if it were an earlier hour in the evening, I might fairly be entitled to claim the indulgence of the Committee. I would, however, only say that I have appreciated the statements made in the speech of the hon. Member for the Evesham Division of Worcester (Sir Richard Temple) this evening, as well as the vigorous attack made upon the present system of administration in India by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. R. T. Reid), and I can only regret that so little interest is taken in these matters in this House, as has been testified by the deserted condition of the House throughout the discussion. The complaint made by the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries was, I think, scarcely sufficiently appreciated, if he will allow me to say so, by the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State. What I understood my hon. and learned Friend to say in reference to the reform he proposes in the administration of India was, not that it was necessary for this House to take over the entire control of the Executive in India, but that, owing to the total absence of publicity as to what is done in the Council of India, it is impossible, either in India or in this House, to exercise that effective control over the management of Indian affairs which it should be the aim of all of us to promote. I feel very strongly that until we get that publicity it will be impossible to exercise any such control. I do not see for a moment why the deliberations of the Council of India should not be conducted in public just as much as the debates of this House. That is all I desire to say on the present occasion. am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for having given me an answer to the first


SIR JOHN GORST: I am sure the hon. Gentleman must feel that it is quite impossible for me to answer him in detail on a matter of this kind without any Notice whatever; but if he will write me a letter on the subject I shall be glad to reply to it.

Question put.

Resolved, That it appears, by the Accounts laid before this House, that the Total Revenue of 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 an excess of Expenditure over Revenue of £2,801,726; and that the Capital Outlay on Railways and Irrigation Works was £5,275,364, besides a Capital Charge of £1,086,045 involved in the Redemption of Liabilities.

Resolution to be reported To-morrow.

(The Lord Advocate.)


Bill, as amended, further considered. MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N): I have some Amendments on the Paper; but I should be glad to hear what course the Government intend to take with regard to the Bill.

THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster): The Government have considered the question raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendments, and they do not feel that it is in their power to admit any extension of the exception which the hon. and learned Member wishes to extend. It must be understood that this measure is not to be regarded as a final measure; but it is. well that the Office of Secretary for Scotland should be consolidated and made a more effective Office than it is at present for the discharge of the duties devolving upon it. In another Session and probably not a very remote Session-it may be desirable that the functions of the Secretary for Scotland should be made much wider than they are at present; but the Government do not propose to accept any of the Amendments proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman.

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