Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

or

establishe local

by

Roval

inted

ing, and so ceased to have a Courts, whether created by local title to the name by which authority or established by they were incorporated by Royal Charter, but with cerQueen Elizabeth's Charter- tain necessary reservations at"The Governor and Company taching to the royal prerogative of Merchants of London trad. and the privilege of Parliament, ing into the East Indies.” The letter drafted by James The Company surrendered their Mill communicating to the claims, territorial and financial, Government of India the priviand all their commercial prop- lege which had been bestowed erty, to the Government of upon it, combines compreIndia, and they were thence- hensive and elevated views forward to hold that property with so much circumspection as trustees of the Crown. The and dignity, that it must ever third great Charter Act of be shown as a model of what a 1833, which deprived the Com- State paper ought to be. The pany of its commercial privi- East India Company wrotem leges, made important changes “In contemplating the extent of in the form of the Government legislative power thus conferred imof India. The bounds of the mediately on our supreme Govern. Empire, whose foundation ment, and in the second instance on Clive had laid in the groves

ourselves, in considering that on the

use of this power the difference beof Plassy, had extended north

tween the worst and the best of ward to the borders of the Governments mainly depends, - in Punjab, and the title Governor- reflecting how many millions of men General of Bengal in Council may, by the manner in which it shall

in the present instance be exercised, no longer indicated an execu

be rendered happy or miserable, in tive body that governed the adverting to the countless variety of greater portion of a vast con interests to be studied and of diffitinent. The Act provided that culties to be overcome, in the execu"the superintendence, direc

tion of this mighty trust, we own

that we feel oppressed by the weight tion, and control of the whole of responsibility under which we are civil and military government conjointly laid. Whatever means or of all the said territories and efforts can be employed on the occarevenues in India shall be and sion-whatever can be effected by

free and active discussion, or by prois hereby vested in a Governor

found and conscientious deliberation General and Councillors, to be --wbatever aids can be derived from styled the Governor-General of extrinsic counsel or intelligence, all India in Council.” It also at the utmost will be barely combestowed on the Supreme

mensurate with the magnitude of the

sphere to be occupied, and of the Governing body a great consti- service to be performed. We feel tutional privilege. A power of confident that to this undertaking legislation was now for the first your best thoughts and care will be time exclusively vested in the

inimediately and perseveringly ap

plied ; and we invite the full, the Grovernor-General in Council, constant, and the early communicaand this power was to embrace tion of your sentiments in relation to the whole of the Empire, in- it. On our part, we can venture to cluding all persons. British. affirm that no endeavour shall be

wanting in promoting your views Foreign, or Native, all places and in

o praces and perfecting your plads. Others, and all things, as well as all also, who are in a situation, by advice or exertion, to assist in the from holding any place, office, work, will contribute to it, we hope, or appointment by reason of to the extent of their power. And we trust that by the blessing of his religion, place of birth, deDivine Providence on our united scent, or colour. The Royal labours, the just and beneficent in- Proclamation in 1858 renewed tentions of this country, in delegat. the pledge, which is the baseing to our hands the legislative as

and rock of the constitution of our well as the executive administration of the mightiest, the most important. Indian Empire. and the most interesting of its trans- The Charter Act of 1833 marine possessions, will be happily allowed the East India Comaccomplished,"

pany another lease of twenty The Charter Act of 1833 not years. When that time elapsed only vested a power of legis. a great effort was made to delature in the Governor-General prive the Company of their in Council over the whole of remaining governing powers ; India, but it also enlarged the but it was determined after control of the Supreme Govern- much controversy that they ment over the other Presi- should continue to exercise dencies. The chief government them, not for any stated time, was placed in the hands of the but until Parliament should Governor - General and three otherwise ordain. The Court Councillors, of whom the of Directors was, however, deCommander-in-Chief of the prived of its valued privilege Company's forces in India was of nominating to the Indian to be one, and to have pre- Civil Service, and the appointcedence next to the Governor- ments were thrown open to General. Pitt's East India competition. A clause in the Bill gave the Governor-General Act of 1853 made a most ima casting vote, but an Act was portant constitutional change passed in 1786 which em- by adding a quasi-representapowered the Governor-General tive element to the Legislative in extraordinary cases to act Council. To the Governorwithout the concurrence of General, the Commander-inthe Council, inasmuch as such Chief, and the other members power would tend greatly “to of the executive Council, four the strength and security of members chosen from the the British possessions in India, Civil Service to represent the and give energy, vigour, and several Governments of Bengal, despatch to the measures and Madras, Bombay, and the proceedings of the executive newly - created Presidency of government." Neither the Agra, and the Chief-Justice of power of legislature nor the Bengal and a puisne Judge, control over the other Presid- were added. Two years after encies was the greatest im- the passing of the Charter, provement effected by the one of the ablest of statesCharter Act of 1833. It was men that ever governed the clause which enacted that the Indian Empire opened the no native of India, or any doors of the Council to the native - born subject of his public and permitted the deMajesty, should be disabled bates to be published, and brought it under the power of our prestige, and was one of public opinion. The Marquis the primary causes of the reof Dalhousie was vigorously volt of a mercenary army. It criticised for his strenuous was her Majesty's Government struggle that freedom and pub- who were answerable for that licity should be granted to the policy of annexation which, to Indian legislators. But his the Hindu people, seemed irresagacious and far-seeing mind concilable with that respect no doubt perceived that the lease for native feelings, laws, and of the Company would not be usages which must always be extended, and that the Govern- the cardinal principle of British ment of India must some day rule in India. The Sepoy Rebe directly vested in a Secre- volt revealed in a lurid light tary of State only answerable the inherent defect of the to Parliament. And in order “double government,” and it to provide adequate protection could no longer be allowed to for the people of India against continue. On the 12th of the ignorance, the indiscretions, February 1858 Lord Palmerand the errors of Parliament, ston moved for leave to bring he desired to create an in- in a Bill for the better Governdependent legislative body. ment of India, and on the 18th Strong as he was, he may of February the second reading have felt that no Governor was carried by a division of General could withstand the 318 to 173. The Bill proposed undue interference of the Min- that for the purposes of the ister for India and of Parlia- Government of India a Council ment unless he was supported shall be established, to consist by some constitutional body of a president and eight other

When the news of the wild members, to be styled “The fanatic outbreak in 1857 reached President and Council for the England, and the stories of the affairs of India.” The Council massacres became widely known, was too small for the work of all classes were affected with government, and too weak for horror.. They were ignorant, independence. The entire power not in a mood to discriminate, of nomination was vested in and a verdict of condemnation the Crown, in other words in was passed on the East India the Minister, and the form Company History will have of business was to be deterto revise the verdict. The mined by the Minister and his Court of Directors were at- Council, in other words by the tacked for measures they never Minister. The day after the originated and some they even second reading of the Bill, opposed. It was Sir John Palmerston's Government was Hobhouse (Lord Broughton), overthrown on the question of President of the Board of Con- the Conspiracy to Murder Bill, trol, who boasted with regard and Lord Derby became Premier to the first Afghan War that with Disraeli as Chancellor of he “alone did it.” But the the Exchequer, and the able disastrous retreat of the British but imperious and impetuous troops from Kabul damaged Lord Ellenborough as President of the Board of Control. Dis- than Lord Palmerston's, beraeli had now, like Pitt, to do cause it ensured the possession the very thing which a few by the Council of a larger weeks ago he had condemned, amount of knowledge and a and he did it with great skill. larger amount of independence. In introducing his Government When the House met after the of India (No. 2) Bill, he said Easter recess Lord Russell sugthat the House of Commons by gested that, owing to the great agreeing to Lord Palmerston's and decided objections urged Bill had declared by an over- against many of the provisions whelming majority that the of the measure, the House government of India should be should proceed by resolution. transferred from the East India The Chancellor of the ExCompany to her Majesty, and chequer agreed to the suggesit was in deference to this con- tion, and “as the noble Lord viction that he introduced the possesses in the House an new measure. The Government authority which no one has now proposed in the first in- more honourably earned or more stance that there should be a deservedly exercised, I must high officer of State-a Minister say it would be more agreeable of the Crown-who should oo- to me if he would propose cupy the rank and fulfil the the Resolution.” But Lord duties of a Secretary of State. John Russell was not prepared The new Secretary of State to relieve Government of all was to be President of the responsibility, and he conCouncil of India. The new sidered that “the framing and Council was to consist of eigh- proposing these Resolutions teen members, half being nomin was a duty which ought proated by the Crown, the other perly to remain in the hands half to be elected-five by the of her Majesty's Government." citizens of London, Manchester, Ou the 30th of April the first Liverpool, Glasgow, and Bel- resolution—"That it is expefast, four by the holders of dient to transfer the Govern£1000 East India stock, regis- ment of India to the Crown” tered proprietors of £2000 cap- — was carried. Before the ital stock of an Indian railway House met to discuss the or of any public work, and second resolution, Lord Ellenthose who had held her Ma- borough had resigned, owing to jesty's commission or the com- the strong indignation excited mission of the Government of by the publication of the secret India for ten years resident in dispatch censuring Lord CanEngland, or who had been in ning for his Oudh proclamathe Civil Service of her Ma- tion. Three objections were jesty in India or in the Civil raised to the dispatch - first, Service of the Government that it prematurely condemned of India for ten years: The Lord Canning; secondly, that system of election was far its terms were unfitting, oven too complicated and elaborate, supposing the Proclamation deand it wrecked the Bill. It served condemnation; thirdly, was, however, a better Bill it was detrimental to the

as to golf bein he oth

mesty's commhad held work, and Houses carried.to the chovern.

authority of the Governor- trading to the East Indies ” — General. Lord Russell, in the merchants with the sentiments course of the debate in the and abilities of great statesmen, House, remarked: “It was whose servants founded an Emno doubt a very fine piece of pire which they governed with writing, and may rank with firmness and equity. On the many passages from our class- 1st of November 1858 a royal ics, but was it fitting that the proclamation issued throughout Government should hurl these all India declared the direct sarcasms at a man placed in sovereignty of Queen Victoria the position of the Governor- over all territories whether diGeneral?” Lord Stanley, who rectly administered or through had made a tour through India, native princes. In 1876 the became President of the Board direct sovereignty was emphaof Control. After many nights sised by her Majesty assuming of debate upon resolutions, the the title of Empress of India. House got weary of an acad- It is a matter of regret that emic discussion as to what the the Act which empowered her Bill ought to be, and seeing Majesty to make such addition that there was no hope of com- to her style and title as to her ing to any practical decision may seem fit, did not at the with regard to the proposed same time place beyond the constituency, it determined to pale of discussion the right drop the proceeding by resolu- of the Governor-General to the tion, and leave was granted to title of Viceroy. At present bring in a new bill. On the the Governor-General of India 24th of June the second read- is neither by the warrant of ing of the East India (No. 3) appointment under Our Royal Bill was moved by Lord Stan- Sign Manual nor by any Act ley and carried after a short of Parliament recognised as discussion in the House of Viceroy. In the Proclamation Commons. On the 8th of July by the Queen in Council, Visthe Bill, as amended (and it count Canning was appointed was considerably amended), was “our first Viceroy and Goverread the third time. The Bill nor - General," and his sucwent through its various stages cessors, Elgin, Lawrence, and in the House of Lords with Mayo, were gazetted “Viceroy comparatively little discussion and Governor - General”; but and a few unimportant amend- since then the title Viceroy has ments. On the 2nd of August not been used in the Gazette. the Royal assent was given to The title of Viceroy should be the measure by which the gov- distinctly recognised. As Government of the territories and ernor-General in Council, the all powers vested in or exer- Governor-General is supreme cised by the Company“ in head of an executive departtrust for her Majestyshall ment; as Viceroy he should be cease to be vested in or exer- in the eyes of the native princised by the Company. So cos the direct representative of ended the rule of the “Com- the King and the unmistakable pany of Merchant Adventurers ruler of the Empire.

« AnteriorContinuar »