§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1: —
§ *Mr. C. J. O'DONNELL
said that this Bill was read a second time at about one o'clock on the previous" morning,, and as Amendments could not be put down until after the Second Reading, it was impossible for them to appear on the Paper in time for the present discussion, which was a great disadvantage. He did not hand his Amendments in then, but he believed that other hon. Members had done so. The Committee was in the position of knowing that a number of Amendments were to be moved and yet they had not a shadow of idea what those Amendments were. He ventured to say that that was entirely contrary to the ordinary practice of the House,, and that the members of the Committee had a perfect right to know what the business was which would be laid before, them for consideration. The Council of India Bill was the only Indian Bill of the year, and he considered that it had been dealt with very inadequately owing to the hour at which it was brought on for discussion. On the ground that the Amendments which were to be moved were not before the Committee, he begged to move that the debate be now adjourned.
§ Sir F. BANBURY seconded.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed,. "That the Chancellor do report Progress and ask leave to sit again." — (Mr. O'Donnell.)
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Morley, Montrose Burghs)
said that it had been understood, he thought, on both sides of the House that they should if possible take the Council of India Bill in Committee that night. He would remind his hon. friend that it was perfectly usual at a late period of the session such as that to proceed somewhat rapidly from stage to stage in a Bill, and that, was his only excuse for pressing the: Committee to proceed with the Bill 1969 that night. The Amendments, so far as he had seen them, were certainly worth considering, but he thought those that were in order could be discussed in a very moderate quantity of time. Having regard to all the circumstances, he hoped that his hon. friend would not persevere with the Motion for the adjournment of the debate.
§ *Mr. MORTON
said he really thought that they ought to have the Amendments on the Paper. It was only on the previous night that the Government had to give way because they had not got a Bill reprinted, and this was another instance where Members of the House were entitled to have their wishes respected. If Members were willing to stay and do the business properly after seeing the Amendments on the Paper in the ordinary way, then the Government ought to be quite willing to accept the Motion and let the Amendments be printed. Members ought to have a fair and honest chance to do the business of the House properly by being given an opportunity of seeing and considering the nature of the Amendments proposed.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *Mr. C. J. O'DONNELL
moved to leave out from the words consist of' to the end of the clause, and to insert the words fifteen members of whom not more than eight shall have held salaried appointments under the Government of India in the civil or military services, of the Crown.'" The reason he moved was that under the original Act of 1858 the number of members of Council was "fifteen, of whom it was intended that eight should be men who had experience in India, the remaining seven being independents who were not entirely chained down by the effects of official service. His desire was to secure for the Secretary of State what he might call an independent Council. At present the Council was made up of ex-officials. There were two independent members—the Commercial member and the Financial member. These were simply towers of strength to the Secretary of State. They came into the Council unbiassed, while the other members of the body, distinguished men— none more distinguished in many re- 1970 spects—had all the peculiarities of officials who had spent thirty, forty, or more years of their life in the same groove and who were driving the Secretary of State into that groove at the present minute. He moved the Amendment with the intention of saving the Secretary of State from being the victim of a mere official coterie, that he might have seven advisers who were independents in the right sense of the word.
In page 1, line 5, to leave out from the words ' consist of' to the end, and to insert the words ' fifteen members of whom not more than eight shall have held salaried appointments under the Government of India in the civil or military services of the Crown.'
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."
§ Mr. MORLEY
said he was afraid he must persist in being the victim of those gentlemen who, unlike the hon. Gentleman, were ready to sacrifice all their faculties of independence. They had had full justice done to them in a tolerably caustic and effective way by the Member for Montgomery Burghs. He did not know that an ex-official was not a fit person to be put on the Council of India. That was what his hon. friend's contention amounted to.
§ Mr. O'DONNELL
said he desired the Secretary of State should have eight of the fifteen members officials.
§ Mr. MORLEY
said his hon. friend really left out of sight the considerations which were in the mind of Parliament when the Council of India was created. He was not going to labour the matter at that time, but he would remind the House that the object of setting up the Council of India was to surround the Secretary of State with advisers who were men of great experience in the actual administration of India and in the conditions of Indian society. To limit the element of experienced men was, in his view, to frustrate the very objects for which the Council of India existed. He therefore opposed the Amendment.
§ *Mr. SMEATON
regretted the inconsiderate way in which the Government had treated the Bill. It was a most important Bill, dealing with constitutional questions, and he did not think it was right that it should be relegated to an exhausted House sitting at an hour when every Member was tired both in body and in mind.
§ Mr. SMEATON
said he supported the Amendment most heartily. His first remark was that the right hon. Gentleman appeared to be under a misapprehension with regard to his own Council. In 1858, the Council was constituted in the proportion of eight to seven—eight being members appointed by the Queen, and seven by the Board of Directors. The seven members appointed by the Board of Directors were non-officials. The eight appointed by the Queen in Council were officials. The Council so composed proved amply useful, and had the best results for the time it lasted—until 1869, when it was reconstituted. Apart altogether from the question of the Amendment being a reversion to the previous constitution, he would like to point out that the old Council had the cardinal virtue of containing a strong, stalwart, independent, non-official minority, and they all knew what a powerful influence such a minority could exert, particularly in the case of the right hon. Gentleman himself, who was not personally acquainted with India, and had to rely on his advisers. The right hon. Gentleman always heard the voice and opinions of officials; rarely had he the chance of hearing the views of others. He was too much advised by officials who were, from their habit of mind— a habit of mind acquired by twenty-five years of subservience to superiors—unable, however willing they might be, to appreciate the non-official, outside view of things. They had been taught to do what they were told, and had no soul or mind of their own, except to do exactly what they were bid. When, they came home it was very unlikely j they could altogether get rid of this particular characteristic, and the chances were they would go on in the same way 1972 that they had done in India. The virtue of the non-official element was that it introduced into the Council the quality of independence: and one point of importance to which he would like to draw the right hon. Gentleman's attention was that under the Act of 1858, which was not at the present time repealed, a majority of the votes of the Council could influence powerfully the financial administration of India; and it was to that particular branch of administration in India that he thought the earnest attention of the House should be drawn. Practically everything in India, as his right hon. friend well knew, depended on finance. It was the finance of India that had brought India into the condition in which it was. It was the excessive extravagance and the excessive taxation that had brought into India at the present moment the unrest which existed, and he thought any measure which could give the Secretary for India, so to speak, a strong locus in the financial administration of India— a powerful informing and checking agency at his elbow—would be of immense value-to him. He pointed out that there were three clauses in the Act of 1858 under which a strong unofficial minority would be able to be of immense help to the Secretary of State. Clause 41 was as follows—The expenditure of the revenues of India in India and elsewhere shall be subject to the control of the Secretary of State mid no appropriation or grunt of such revenues shall be made without the concurrence of a majority of votes at a meeting of the Council.'If there was a strong substantial minority of seven well-informed independent men, the chances were that the Secretary of State, if his attention was drawn to anything like excessive taxation or extravagance in administration, or to wildcat projects of an arrogant Viceroy, like the invasion of Tibet—the chances were that the Secretary of State would be much more likely to cast his vote with that independent minority than with the official majority which would go along the old bureaucratic lines. The next matter in regard to which the minority would have great power was contained in Section 49—All powers of borrowing are to be exercised with the concurrence of a majority of votes at n meeting of the Council.1973 Exactly the same result would follow. The Secretary of State would probably be very much influenced by the opinion of independent men of finance. These men would understand the local position because they must by law have had a residence of at least ten years in India, and they would be able to give the Secretary advice and strengthen him in his desire to check the extravagant borrowing that had been going on for years in India. Last of all, he would draw their attention to the words of Section 55—Except in preventing or repelling invasion the revenues of India shall not be used to defray the expense of military operations beyond the external frontiers of India.If there was one crime more than another of which the Government of India and the late Conservative Administration in this country had bean guilty in recent years it was the crime of the invasion of Thibet. That was a moral offence, a political offence, and a financial offence, and he maintained that if the Secretary for India had had, in his Council, seven men of independent views, courage, and local Indian experience, who understood the exact political condition of India, that invasion would never have been sanctioned, and the enormous expenditure to which it gave rise would never have been incurred. He therefore said that on every ground, moral, political and financial, this Amendment to give to the Secretary of State a strong and independent, minority, not bound by official traditions, not men who had been all their lives taught merely to do as they were told, ought to be supported. He had himself been taught, not always successfully perhaps, to do what he was told in the same way, and he had had some difficulty in getting rid of the idea. He found sometimes even the Whips in this House acted on the Indian doctrine that an official should have no mind of his own. He maintained that a strong body of men of the kind he had described, who, as the law required that they should have at least ten years experience in India, would have local experience, local knowledge, and knowledge of politics and finance in India, would strengthen the hands of the right hon. Gentleman in doing what he considered, and what the right hon. Gentleman considered, to be his duty to India.
§ *Mr. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)
said any Member of the House who had been an official in India was the best judge of the condition of mind in which he left that service. It was not for him to speak of the condition of mind of his hon. friend, who had himself explained his own condition of mind. He sympathised with him that, having been chastised with official whips in India, he had come home from what he described as semi-servile conditions to be driven by Government Whips—he would not call thorn scorpions—at home. For his own part he did not at all recognise the picture drawn of submission amounting to servility on the part of the public servants in India. But really the Amendment, if accepted, would not make any great alteration in the Bill, for if a minority of six was not sufficient to prevent crimes, such as the invasion of Thibet, to accept for the moment the hon. Member's picturesque nomenclature, a minority of seven would not do it. He really could not see that the net result of making the minority seven instead of six would be other than that the taxpayers of India would have to provide an extra £1,000 a year for the extra man in the minority. That was the only effect the Amendment would have. He hoped hon. Members who had heard his hon. friend talk about the finances of India in terms which he altogether refused to accept as bearing any resemblance to the facts, would remember what Sir M. Hicks Beach said, some three years ago, to the effect that the finances of India were far better managed, and in a far better condition than the finances of England. The question they had to consider was whether the Amendment would only have the effect of making the taxpayers of India pay more. It was no use bringing in Lord Curzon—his name like King Charles's head seemed to come into every speech by the Indian Members and he and all his works were always condemned. He (Mr. Rees) had always dissociated himself from these too comprehensive and ready condemnations, but the merits of Lord Curzon's administration in no way affected the question they were considering. He deprecated raising personal matters like the success or otherwise of Lord Curzon which were not in the slightest degree relevant, and indeed the denial of all merit to that distinguished Viceroy did, 1975 not argue a very dispassionate or discriminating survey of the situation.
§ *Sir J. JARDINE (Roxburghshire)
said there were other considerations than those to which hon. Members had Already adverted. India was made up of great provinces with varied languages, different customs, and immense areas, with numbers of officers working there on different lines. If the Secretary of State was to be properly advised he must have representatives of the great provinces to help him, one at least for each great province to represent the affairs of 50,000,000 60,000,000, or 80,000,000? Where better than in the Civil Service would he find the men competent to give advice. It was, therefore, he thought, a good custom that civil servants from those parts should be found at the end of their career helping the Secretary of State with their advice at Westminster. After all it was those officials who travelled all over the districts of the provinces, who served from low offices to high ones, and got experience. He admitted the great value of outsiders, gentlemen engaged in trade and commerce, who brought a special kind of knowledge into the great work, but, after all, they had not been brought into such wide contact with the people in those broad areas, nor as a general rule had they done as much in the way of learning the languages and customs of the people. That was one reason why they should not lightly interfere with the present construction of the council at Westminster. On the question of the official mind he would like to say something, having had for many years a good deal to do with officials. He need not apologise, having been an official him self. He would admit that officials, like any other class, got a peculiar intellectural bias. A friend once said to him, talking about the difference between Judge and jury, that a Judge, however qualified, could not get away from himself, and if he were to be constantly a judge of fact, he would be judging with that peculiar bias which he must acquire as he went on, but which he could not see though his friends saw it. He admitted that officials might have their views influenced by official 1976 training, might be inclined sometimes to red tape, but these defects were quite different from what was mean by want of independence, and he claimed for the public services in India a great deal of regard and sympathy for the natives. It was quite true that many of them had had to work under a system of executive subordination, but the very large areas over which they had to exercise their own judgment prevented anything like a slavish tendency of mind. There were many officials in India who were not under influence or orders from the Government, or anyone else, like the learned Judges who were charged by Parliament with the impartial administration of justice between the Crown and the people. No one would contend that such lofty duties tended to make the mind servile to the powers that be, From, the ranks of that high and learned judiciary, the Council of the Secretary of State had often been recruited. Besides those again there were the military men, so the Council was a most varied collection of public servants. He did not undervalue the special qualities of the non-official members brought in, their familiar knowledge of business, of trade, of commerce, and of banking, which no public servant could have. That class came into close touch with the commercial classes of the people with whom the officials had less to do, and in this way the fluctuations of trade, the relations of capital to the industries of India, and such like things, got fair discussion in Council. They ought to get on the Council as much varied ability as they possibly could, and if the Secretary of State really meant to bring in natives of India to help him with their practical knowledge, they would have a still more valuable quality introduced into the Council, and one which they had not there yet. However much a man, whether British or native, might know one part of India he could not know all parts. In the world of natives there were immense depths, too deep for us to sound, but far more familiar to the natives, and it was in that respect that the Council at Westminster ought to be strengthened with a native member or two. They must leave a great 1977 deal to the responsible Minister of the Crown, and not tie him down with restrictions on the exercise of this important patronage.
§ *Mr. LUPTON,
in supporting the Amendment, said that he had not one word to say in criticism or disparagement of the Council of India. No doubt they were men of independence of action, of experience and knowledge, but for all that the result was bad. There could be little doubt that India was the worst governed country in the world. That was the result he had come to after trying to learn during the last few years what the conditions really were, and that result was supported by a great deal of literature. He had tried to elicit information in contradiction of what he had read on the subject, but had not succeeded. He had tried to get information from the hon. Member for Montgomery Boroughs. He had tried to get the hon. Member to contradict what he had read about India, but he did not, and instead he admitted that the average income of the people of India was between ½d. and 1d. a day.
§ *Mr. MORTON
said he would not detain the House long, but he did not think that anyone ought to complain if they spent a few minutes in considering a matter which was of the greatest importance, bearing in mind their responsibilities towards the three hundred million or so people in India. It was unfortunate that that Bill was not brought forward earlier in the session so that they might have had more and reasonable time to consider it. He entirely disagreed with the hon. Member for Montgomery Boroughs. He did not believe the hon. Member thoroughly understood the matter. Hon. Members j did not seem to be astonished on hearing him say that. He entirely agreed with i the hon. Member for Stirlingshire when he suggested, not that they could undo the errors that had been committed, ' but, that they might, by wisely appointing proper persons on the Council, in future avoid them. That 1978 was what was proposed. He knew the hon. Member for Montgomery Boroughs did not understand that. He would be glad to know that his right hon. friend was going to have charge of India for all time, but that was impossible, and they had to provide for he state of things when the right hon. Gentleman was obliged to give up office. Therefore the right hon. Gentleman would, perhaps, excuse them for endeavouring to take an interest not only in the present government, but in the future government of India, and to bear in mind our responsibilities to so many millions of people. He thought the suggestion in the Amendment was a good one. Personally he would like to see a majority of independent and non official men on the Council. Most of those hon. Members who had had anything to do with official men knew that they were always biassed and that they could not take an independent and straightforward view of anything except an increase of their salaries or the securing of a longer holiday. That was not the case with business men. In business affairs the business man was accustomed to take a fair and intelligent view of human affairs. Such men were much more likely to do what was right and fair towards the people of India than were official men. He was sorry therefore that his right hon. friend could not see his way to accept the Amendment. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman was not refusing it on the ground that it was not an Amendment which came from himself or his official advisers. He was sorry that the right hon. Gentleman had resisted the Amendment, but he was glad to see that he took a much fairer and a more enlightened view of the Government of India in the future than his predecessors had done in the past.
§ Mr. LAIDLAW (Renfrewshire, E.)
moved to insert: "That of the members of the Council two shall be natives of India and two others of not less than ten years' residence in India who have not been in the service of the Government." 1979 He desired to see his proposal embodied in the Bill because the right hon. Gentleman had already announced that it was his pleasure to nominate to the Indian Council two Indian gentlemen. He wished to see that provision put in the Bill, because it was just possible that when the term of seven years' service of those gentlemen came to an end there might have been a change of Government and someone might be occupying the position of Secretary of State for India who had not such advanced views as his right hon. friend. He would like to make sure there fore, as regarded the policy of giving the natives of India a place on the Council that there would be no retrograde step taken in after years. With regard to the other part of his suggestion, that there should be on the Council two gentlemen of not less than ten years' residence in India, who had not been in the service of the Government, that, he might point out, only conformed to the present practice. For a good many years past there had been at least one member of the Council of this description and recently there had been two. In adopting this part of the Amendment, therefore, his right hon. friend would only be conforming to the present conditions, and as it was a very moderate proposition he trusted that the Secretary of State would see no objection to accepting it.
§ Mr. MORLEY
said he was not at all sorry that his hon. friend had referred to his intention as Secretary of State for India, an intention which he had already announced to Parliament, to appoint two Indian gentlemen to be members of the Council of India. That was a very important object, and, if an apology were needed, he thought that this matter alone was so essential that it justified him in keeping the House sitting at that untimely hour in order, to get the Bill through. At the same time, he was afraid that he could not accept the Amendment, and he would briefly explain why. The Amendment proposed to do the very thing that all wise statesmanship forbade them to do, namely, to set up racial standards. There ought to be no statutory recognition of the differences between European and Indian members of that Council. If 1980 he accepted his hon. friend's Amendment it would be putting into a Statute a recognition of fundamental differences of race, whereas all our civilising processes depended upon softening those; differences so far as they could do. On that ground he was unwilling to recognise in a Statute such a word as "racial." Though he could not accept the Amendment he hoped the House would expedite the discussion of the Bill, remembering that it was not the mere small details that they were discussing. They were discussing the policy of admitting native gentlemen to the Council of India, and anybody who reflected on what a change that marked would agree that they ought not to cavil over small differences of opinion, but to keep well in view the great object of policy to which he had referred.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *Mr. C. J. O'DONNELL
moved to add the words, "Provided that any native of India appointed to such Council shall have been an elected member of the Viceroy's Legislative Council or of one of the provincial legislative councils at some time during the five years preceding his appointment." He said that he regarded this as the most important of his Amendments to the Bill, and he again had to express his regret that the discussion had been started without hon. Members having any knowledge of what was coming before them. The Secretary of State desired to have two natives of India on the Council, and the object of the Amendment was to ensure that they should be men of authority. It was of the highest importance in the interests of India as a whole that these native members of the Council should be men who were looked up to in India, and he therefore proposed that they should be men who had already been selected by their fellow countrymen as fit persons to represent them on a legislative assembly. He was quite sure that such a thing was impossible under the administration of the present Secretary of State for India, but there was the utmost danger that at some time or another these native gentlemen might be selected not for their intellectual distinction but because of the certainty that they 1981 would always do exactly what they were told. That state of things existed to a surprising extent at one time in India. Hon. Members who had lived in India knew that there was not a legislative assembly or even a municipal council on which there were not numbers of native gentlemen who always slid in regard to every matter, "As your honour wishes." In course of time it cams to be regarded as an intolerable state of things that the people of India should be represented by men who never gave an opinion of their own, but who always voted with the official chairman. Therefore a system of election was introduced and most members of the district boards were now elected. Things had gone even further than that, however, because on the Legislative Councils also a certain number of native members were elected and a better class of men were in that way secured. These gentlemen were selected practically by vote, and his desire was to secure that persons of that type should come to assist the Secretary of State. There was no shadow of doubt that the time would come when men would be appointed not on account of their independence but on the certainty that they would support the Government of India. For that reason he desired to pass the Amendment.
§ Mr. MORLEY
resisted the Amendment. His objection could be stated, he said, in a single sentence. The Amendment restricted the area of choice of the Secretary of State. That must surely be a piece of mischief. The wider the area the more likely was the Secretary to be surrounded by competent men. If they wanted independence, knowledge and experience it was a mistake to put a check on the Secretary's choice.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. George Whiteley, Yorkshire, W.R., Pudsey)
asked leave of the House to appeal to his lion, friends who were taking part in that debate. He was extremely sorry it should have happened that that Bill was brought on at such a time, but as possibly the House was aware the Government had private business next day, and also next week, and it was absolutely essential 1982 that the Bill should be brought on after eleven o'clock at night, and after private business. The private business that night, unfortunately, had taken some time, but that was not the fault of the Government. The India Bill had been putdown first in the list. His point was that if they wished to finish their work in three weeks, or rather fifteen Parliamentary days, they must try to make some progress. If hon. Members would look at the state of the Order Paper, they would see there were some sixty stages of Bills, and they must take four or five each day to get through. The Government were doing the best they could to get the Bills on the Order Paper through, and there were one or two others desired practically by all parts of the House which would have to be starred. If the Government were not able to make progress they would have to abandon some of the Bills which were really so necessary.
§ *Mr. C. J. O'DONNELL
said in consequence of that appeal, because of his great regard for the Secretary for India, and as he was desirous to meet the Government as far as possible, he did not intend to proceed with any of the other Amendments in his name, but he hoped the House would forgive him in making the most absolute protest against that way of dealing with a Bill which concerned a population of 300,000,000. The interests of that population were of the most varied kind, and there was no more sacred duty resting on that House than to see that the Government of India as a good and satisfactory one. With these few words he begged leave to withdraw his Amendments.
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clause 2: —
§ Mr. MOONEY (Newry)
moved to I leave out the word 'five,' and to insert the word 'twelve.'" On the previous night he asked when the Bill was under discussion one or two questions of the Secretary of State, who did not give him a reply, probably owing to the ' fact that he had exhausted his right under the rules of the House. The question he wished to put was this. 1983 Clause 2 provided that no person should be appointed to the Council of India who had been out of India for a longer period than five years. The case he desired to raise was the case of a person who was temporarily lent from the Council of India. When the famous Wyndham—MacDonnell correspondence was published it was distinctly stated by Sir Antony MacDonnell that he had been offered and had accepted a seat on the India Council, and that if he were to go to Ireland some arrangement would have to be made whereby he could retain his position on the India Council and go back to it when he had fulfilled the temporary position he was going to take in Ireland. The question he asked was whether Sir Antony Mac Donnell was a member of the India Council.
§ Mr. MORLEY
said it was a very intricate question. There was a doubt whether Sir Antony MacDonnell ever technically resigned. What was certain was that he never took his seat on the Council, that he never drew any emoluments as a member of the Council, and that at that moment he certainly was not a member of the Council. It was equally true that if that Bill passed Sir Antony MacDonnell could not be a member of the Council.
§ Mr. MOONEY
said he understood a promise was made to Sir Antony MacDonnell by the Government of the day in 1902. It was understood he was temporarily lent to the Government of Ireland.
§ Mr. MORLEY
May I remind my j hon. friend that I am no# in any way I responsible for, or even cognisant of, bargains made, perfectly legitimate bargains no doubt, between the Government of the day and Sir Antony MacDonnell.
§ Mr. MOONEY
said he always understood that a pledge publicly given by a Minister of the Crown to a member of the Civil Service of the Empire should 1984 be carried out by his successors in office unless there were very strong reasons, and these reasons should be stated, why the pledge should be broken. The Government of the day in this case through a responsible Minister promised that a certain thing would be done and he was rather astonished to learn that that promise was not binding on the successor of the Minister. In 1902 Sir Antony MacDonnell wrote to Mr. Wyndham: —I told you I had been offered and had accepted nomination to a seat on the India Council and that it would be necessary for me to consult Lord George Hamilton before anything was settled regarding the Irish appointment. I have now seen Lord George Hamilton and I understand from him that there would probably be no difficulty in allowing me to retain a lien on the India Council and lending my services to the Irish Government.Mr. Wyndham's answer was as follows: —I ciphered the purport of your letter to the Prime Minister and received his concurrence by telegram yesterday and by letter this morning. It is understood you accept a scat on the India Council and are to be transferred when the vacancy occurs. I will ask Lord George Hamilton to see that the Press understands and insists on your great administrative achievements in India.That was the undertaking given on the authority of the Prime Minister of the day that Sir Antony was to get a seat on the India Council—then to be lent to the Irish. As he understood the right hon. Gentleman now he seemed to have some doubt as to whether Sir Antony MacDonnell did become a member of the Council or had ever resigned. He had in his hand a publication issued by the- right hon. Gentleman —
We have nothing to do with the question whether Sir Antony MacDonnell is a member of the India Council, but the Amendment is to extend five years to twelve, and that-allows the hon. Member to put his point.
§ Mr. MOONEY
submitted he was perfectly in order. He wanted to show that Sir Antony MacDonnell was not at the present moment acting on the India Council and that he would be debarred from going back, which would upset a 1985 promise and an undertaking given to a Civil Servant of the Crown in that House. He found in the India Office list that Sir Antony MacDonnell was described as having been a member of the Council, being appointed on 17th January, 1903. Then came this curious note, "Resigned January, 1905. Did not act, having held appointment of Under-Secretary for Ireland concurrently." What he wanted to know was, did Sir Antony resign by a written document, because otherwise he did not see how this could be?
I really do not think we have to deal with the question whether Sir Antony MacDonnell resigned by written document. All we are concerned with is whether the period in the clause is to be extended so that he could in future be appointed.
said the India List said that Sir Antony MacDonnell resigned in January, 1905. If he resigned then, did he resign in such a manner that, in the event of his expressing a desire to go back to the India Council, he could be appointed by the Secretary of State in the ordinary way; and if that was so, would he not in the course of a year or two under the section they were discussing be debarred from doing that which it was distinctly understood he would be entitled to do when he went to Ireland.
§ Mr. MORLEY
said a member of the India Council who resigned could not be reappointed. If any gentleman had resigned he could not be reappointed. As to the Amendment before the House he must object to it.
§ Ms. MOONEY
asked if he was to understand that the entry in the India Office List was correct and that Sir Antony MacDonnell handed in his resignation.
§ Mr. MORLEY
said he could not say whether the list was correct or not. All those transactions took place before he took office. He had always understood there was no effective appointment, and that there could therefore be no technical resignation. As a matter of fact it was quite clear that Sir Antony MacDonnell 1986 never took his seat on the council and never received the emoluments.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *Sir J. JARDINE
said he wished to move an Amendment which dealt with a question of law and policy. As he understood it, references in the Bill to the Government of India Act 1858. left, unchanged the qualification of future nominees to the council to people who had served and resided in India, but the word India was defined in the Act of 1858 as being what they now called British India. The words used in that Amendment were taken from a later Act of Parliament, the Interpretation Act of 1889, and would enable the Secretary of State if he so chose to appoint persons who had resided in the territories of the native princes of India. His Amendment was—In page 1, line 10, at the end to insert the words: '' and the word India shall, as regards any appointment made after the passing of this Act, mean British India together with the territories of any native prince or chief under the suzerainty of His Majesty exercised through the Governor-General of India or through any Governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-General of India.Our policy had been to extend privileges to persons under those native chiefs or princes, and the Amendment he had moved would help that policy to be carried out. It would also help the Secretary of State to choose not only native Judges of the High Courts or other experienced natives whose time had been spent in British India, but also Ministers of the native States, some of which were governed with great ability. Some of these men had done great service to the British Government in times of peril; most of them had full acquaintance with native ways, and it would be well to include them in the definition.
§ Mr. MORLEY
said he did not think he could accept the Amendment. It was not really necessary, and it did not really greatly extend the area from which the Secretary of State could choose. He could not accept it.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Bill reported, without Amendment; read the third time and passed.