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It is title ofer major was on the
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 cossors, 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 Majesty” shall ment; as Viceroy he should be cease to be vested in or exer- in the eyes of the native princised by the Company. So ces the direct representative of ended the rule of the “Com- the King and the unmistakable pany of Merchant Adventurers ruler of the Empire.
By the Act of 1858 one of of votes at a Council.” The her Majesty's Principal Secret- second proviso, which was inaries of State exercises all serted after grave discussion in powers and duties which were the House of Commons, is the exercised by the Company or more important one, that “exthe Board of Control. A cept for preventing or repelling Council was established, called actual invasion of her Majesty's the Council of India, which Indian possessions, or under was not to be a mere consulta- other sudden and urgent necestive body, but “shall, under the sity, the revenues of India shall Direction of the Secretary of not, without the consent of State, conduct the Business both Houses of Parliament, be transacted in the United King- applicable to defray the exdom in relation to the Govern- penses of any military operation ment of India and the corre- carried out beyond the external spondence with India.” All frontiers of such possessions by correspondence was, however, her Majesty's Forces charged to be in the name of the upon such revenues.” The Secretary of State. The spirit, if not the letter, of this Secretary of State is ad- provision was broken when, in dressed in name by the Indian 1878, the very day after ParliaGovernment, and signs all the ment was adjourned, the Indian despatches from the India Government received orders to Office. The Secretary of State send native troops to Malta. sits and votes as President of No man acquainted with the Council of India, and ap- Indian affairs would like to points a Vice-President. He see a more active interference has the power, subject to the ex- on the part of the House of ceptions which will be mentioned Commons with the details of immediately, to decide ques- administration; but much tions on which members differ, danger lieth in the Governbut any dissentient member ment of India or the Secretary may require his opinion to be of State being allowed to evade placed on record-a privilege Acts which Parliament has which has proved of consider. passed on the recommendation able service. The Secretary of of Committees of both Houses, State is bound to give reasons, which sat for long periods of except in urgent cases, for any time and took the evidence of exercise of his veto. The Act as many Indian experts as of 1858 contains two provisions were available whenever the which to a certain degree limit time came round, at intervals the power of the Secretary of of twenty years, for renewing State: “No grant or appropri. the East India Company's lease ation of any part of the Indian of government. If the Acts Revenues or of any other have grown obsolete let them property coming into the pos- be repealed, but they cannot session of the Secretary of be evaded without far-reaching State in Council by virtue of disturbance. this Act shall be made without The Council of India was the concurrence of a majority created to supply the knowledge of Indian affairs pos- are not communicated to the sessed by the Court of Directors, members of the Council unless and to be a restraint on the the Secretary of State 80 power of a Minister, in pos- directs. “Such questions as sessing no knowledge of the an Afghan war," writes Sir subject, to administer India John Strachey, one of the according to his individual ablest and strongest men that pleasure. The powers given over ruled an Indian Province, by the Act to the Council were “negotiations with Russia and not, however, as great as they the Amir of Kabul regarding seem to be or as they ought to the affairs of Afghanistan, or be, if the Council is to be more the annexation of Burma, do than a consultative body. The not come before Council. Its functions of the Secret Com- members have not only no mittee were transferred by the power of interference, but they Act of 1858 to the Secretary have no recognised means of of State, and he may send to obtaining information in reIndia, without consulting the gard to such subjects other Council, any orders (except in- than those of the general structions dealing especially public.” But these are matters with finance, which still re- which essentially ought not to quire the concurrence of a be concealed from the view of majority of the Council) which, the whole Council. In the before the passing of the Act, days of the East India Commight have been sent by the pany the Chairman and Board of Control through the Deputy-Chairman of the Court Secret Committee of the Court of Directors were members, as of Directors. In matters re- we have stated, of the Secret lating to war and peace and Committee. It was considered to negotiation with the native essential that these two chief States, and the policy to be functionaries of the Company pursued regarding them, the should be acquainted with ail Secretary of State is em- and everything relating to the powered to send orders direct Government of India, and it is without submitting them to equally necessary that certain the Council or recording or members of the Council of giving notice of the reasons India should enjoy the means for making the order. Thus, of knowing, as they ought to though he may not send in- know, all that is passing which structions dealing especially can immediately or incidentally with finance, he may and has affect India. ordered military operations to It is a matter of regret that be undertaken by the Govern- the Act of 1858 did not bestow ment of India, involving an on the Council of India the expenditure of millions of important power of initiation money, without the cognisance which the Court of Directors of his Council. Despatches possessed. The Court of Difrom India on high political rectors used to receive the desmatters are as a rule marked patches from India in the first “Secret” in India, and they instance, discuss them, and sub
mit to the Board the drafts of Council table for the perusal the despatches which they pro- of those Councillors who are posed to send in reply. The not members of the Committee, President of the Board might and then come on for discussion alter these drafts or substitute by “the Secretary of State in others in the place of them. Council.” They are then either The present procedure is en- recommitted to the Committee tirely different. The Council or the despatch goes to India. is divided into several Com- To bring before the Council mittees, each dealing primarily subjects only after the Secrewith one special department of tary of State has made up his the State. The India Office mind is a grave inroad on the is also similarly divided into usefulness of the Council. As departments. When a com- John Stuart Mill wrotemunication is received from “Unless the forms of business are India, a brief summary of its such as to ensure that the Council contents having been made shall exercise its judgment on all
it questions; that all matters requiring for the Secretary of State, it
decision shall be considered by them goes to the special department and their views recorded in the initito which it belongs. The head atory stage, before the Minister has of the department or some committed himself to an opinion, assistant makes a précis of the they will possess no more weight or
influence than the same number of matter and drafts the des- clerks in his office (whom also he can patoh which he proposes should consult if he pleases), and the power be sent in reply. This is sub- of the Minister will be practically mitted through the Under- uncontrolled.” Secretary to the Secretary of If the power of the Minister State. If the latter approves, is not to remain practically the despatch is sent to the uncontrolled, changes will have Committee, who consider the to be made, not only in the papers and send them back form of business but in the to the Minister with any alter- constitution of the Council. At ations in the draft they recom- present the members of the mend or observations which Council are appointed by the may occur to them. But as a Secretary of State, and hold rule the Committee do not care office for a term of ten years, to criticise a draft which has with a power of reappointment the sanction of the Secretary under special circumstances for of State. If the Minister a further term of five years. differs from the Committee, he The original term should, as in sends the paper back to be the case of the members of the reconsidered, and occasionally Governor-General's Council, be himself visits the Committee for five years, for after that for personal discussion of busi- period a retired Indian official ness with the members. He has no knowledge of what is then finally sends the papers, going on at the moment. The with or without remark of his Secretary of State's power of own, to the Council. They re- reappointment must also tend main for a certain time on the to destroy independence. As VOL. CLXXVIII. — NO. MLXXVIII.
the East India Company said Pleasure," but the usual term in their petition to Parliament, is five years, though many drafted by John Stuart Mill — instances have occurred of its
being extended. It took Lord "Owing their nomination to the
Cornwallis seven years to comsame authority, many of them probably to the same individual Minister, plete the work which Hastings whom they are appointed to check, began, of introducing a sound and looking to him alone for their and honest system of adminisreappointment, this desire of recom
tration. Wellesley laboured mending themselves to him, and their unwillingness to risk his displeasure for seven years at the Imperial by any serious resistance to his wishes, Policy which established will be motives too strong not to be close bond of connection bein danger of exercising a powerful tween the British Government and injurious influence over their and the principal States of conduct."
India; and the Marquis of The Council Act of 1876 en- Hastings was occupied for abled the Secretary of State, seven years in completing the for special reasons, to appoint work of making the British any person having professional authority supreme throughout or peculiar qualification to be the Continent. William Bena member of the Council of tinck also worked for seven India with the old tenure “dur- years in carrying out those ing good behaviour." But reforms in the internal econthere is a grave objection to omy of the government which the power thus given, that it have given his administration may be turned to political a living name in India second purposes for which it was not only to that of Cornwallis. intended. By an Act of 1889, Dalhousie's splendid reign •passed by the House of Com. lasted more than eight years. mons at midnight without due It has been suggested that the discussion, the Secretary of customary term of office of the State was authorised to ab- Viceroy should be extended to stain from filling vacancies in seven years. The main arguthe Council until the number ment brought forward
in should be reduced to ten. This favour of the change is that reduction is a cogent reason for the first two years for not allowing a Member of Governor-General is learning Council to be absent from his his work, and when he is beduties for any length of time. coming most useful he has to
The superintendence, direc- leave. On the other hand, tion, and control of the civil there is the vital objection and military government of that in his fourth year the British India is vested by Viceroy practically becomes a statutory provision in the despot. All his Councillors Governor-General of India in owe their appointments to his Council The Governor-Gen- recommendation, and he is able eral is appointed by his to carry any measure without Majesty by warrant under the a note of dissent. After a Royal Sign Manual. He holds man of masterful genius has office "during Our Will and ruled for five years, his sub