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ideas of political progress have been but as to their relationship to the formed in the breathless atmosphere of people of India, the constituency which life in the West, and who are the Congress Party represent cannot perhaps unable to accommodate their be described as otherwise than a minute pace to the slower movement of life and almost microscopic minority of the in the East. The hon. Member (Mr. total population of India. At the present Schwann), for instance, is anxious to time the population of British India is have the elective principle more clearly 221,000,000; and of that number it has defined and more systematically en- been calculated that not more than forced, and he has placed an Amend from 3 to 4 per cent. can read or write ment on the Paper, in which he asks any one of their native tongues; conthe House to signify its opinion that no siderably less than 1 per cent—about reform of the Indian Councils which one-fourth or one-third-can read or does not embody the elective prin- write English. In the Province of ciple, will be satisfactory to the Bengal alone, where the population exIndian people, or will be compatible ceeds 72,000,000, it has been calculated with the good government of India. that the maximum constituency created I venture to say, Sir, that this Amend. by Mr. Bradlaugh’s Bill would have ment is vitiated by a two-fold fallacy, only numbered a total of 870,000. It for while, in the first place, the hon. appears to me that you can as little Member affects to speak on behalf of judge of the feelings and aspirations of the Indian people, he at the same the people of India from the plans and time entirely ignores the primary con proposals of the Congress Party as you ditions of Indian life. When the hon. can judge of the physical configuration Member assumes in this House to be the of a country which is wrapped up in the mouthpiece of the people of India, I mists of early morning, but a few of must emphatically decline to accept his whose topmost peaks have been touched credentials in that capacity. No system by the rising sun. To propose an elaboof representation that has ever been rate system of representation for a devised, no system of representation that people in this stage of development the ingenuity of the hon. Member can would appear to me to be, in the suggest, no system of representation highest degree, premature and unwise. that

would stand the test of To describe such system as 24 hours' operation, would, in the most representation of the people of India infinitesimal degree, represent the would be little better than a farce. people of India. Who are the people The Government assume the responsiof India ? The people of India are bility of stating that, in their opinion, the voiceless millions who can neither the time has not come when representaread nor write their own tongues, who tive institutions, as we understand have no knowledge whatever of English, the term, can be extended to India. The who are not perhaps universally aware idea of representation is alien to the of the fact that the English are in their Indian mind. We have only arrived at country as rulers. The people of India it by slow degrees ourselves, through are the ryots and the peasants, whose centuries of conflict and storm. Nay, life is not one of political aspiration, it may be said that it is only but of mute penury and toil. The plans within the last 25 years that we and policy of the Congress Party in have in this country entered into anyIndia would leave this vast amorphous thing like its full fruition. No doubt residuum absolutely untouched. I we are apt to regard popular repredo not desire to speak in any sentation as the highest expression of other than terms of respect of the political equality and political freedom; Congress Party of India. That Party but it does not necessarily so present contains a number of intelligent, itself to those who have no instinctive liberal-minded, and public-spirited men, sense of what political equality is. who undoubtedly represent that portion How you predicate political of the Indian people which has profited equality of a community that is sunby the educational advantages placed at dered into irreconcilable campstheir doors, and which is more or (“No!")—into irreconcilable camps by less imbued with European ideas; differences of caste, of religion, of VOL. III. [NEW (FOURTH) SERIES.]

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custom, which hold men fast-bound Councils, and may have an opportunity during their life-time, and the rigour of of explaining their views with a fuller which is not abated even beyond the sense of responsibility than they at grave ? I notice that the hon. Member present enjoy. If the Government are has altered the terms of the Amendable at present to go no further it ment as it was originally placed upon arises from no want of sympathy with the Paper. At first he spoke of the the inhabitants of India, but from a elective principle as defined at the sense of the colossal responsibility that meetings of the Indian National rests upon them, and of the dangers Congress. But those words are now that would accrue from any rash or omitted. I think that that is a prudent imprudent step. This Bill is not, omission. For the truth is that the perhaps, a great, or heroic measure ; Indian Congress is not of one mind, but, at the same time, it does and does not speak with one voice on mark a decisive step, and a step in this matter. In 1890 we had a Bill advance. As such it has been welcontaining an elaborate system of comed by every living Viceroy of India. electoral colleges and proportional re- It was foreshadowed by Lord Dufferin; presentation, and overswollen Councils, it is earnestly asked for by Lord presented to this House; but in the Lansdowne; and it has received the following year this Bill was inconti- emphatic approval of Lord Northbrook, nently withdrawn, and has never been no less than the approbation of Lord heard of since. And in that year Mr. Ripon. I hope that these facts, and the Bradlaugh—of whose Parliamentary explanation which I have given, may ability no one could have any doubt-commend this Bill to the sympathy of introduced another Bill entirely dif- the House, that it may be regarded as ferent, in which he showed such ex- a useful measure, and may be exempt treme diffidence in himself and in the from the ordinary Parliamentary obIndian National Congress, and such stacles and delays. There are two confidence in the Indian Government, main objects which this House is that, although it contained expressed entitled to require in any new legisprovisions for a system of election, the lation for India. Firstly, that it should means by which that system was to be add to, and in no sense impair, the efficarried out were left entirely to the ciency of Government; and, secondly, discretion of the latter. These ambi- that it should also promote the interests guous, fluctuating, and hesitating pro- of the governed. It is because I posals illustrate the premature and believe this measure will further both experimental character of every reform those ends, that I commend it to the hitherto advocated. But while these sympathetic attention of the House, and considerations render it, I believe, will conclude by moving that the Bill impossible so to re-model the Legis- be now read a second time. lative Councils of India as to give them

Motion made, and Question proposed, the character of Representative

" That the Bill be now read a second Chambers, I should be

last

time."-(Mr. Curzon.) to deny the importance of the opinions and the criticism of gen- *(5.40.) MR. SCHWANN (Manchestlemen representing the advanced ter, N.): I beg to move as an Amendphases of Indian society. At present ment : the sole vent that is available for that

"That, in the opinion of this House, no body of opinion is in the native Press, reform of the Indian Councils which does not and in organised meetings such as the embody the elective principle will prove satisIndian National Congress. Everybody factory to the Indian people, or compatible on both sides of the House agrees that with the good government of India." this knowledge and activity might be I beg to assure the House that I move better utilised than it is at present; this Amendment in no Party spirit. I and the Government believe that the think that in the presence of 285,000,000 sub-section of Clause 1 will provide of our fellow-subjects in the East it the means by which representatives would be wrong of anyone to touch on of the most important sections of a subject so nearly allied with their native society may be appointed to the interests in anything but the most

Mr. Curzon

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judicial and impartial spirit. At the must not forget that the English same time I feel it incumbent upon nation consists of more than one race, me to move this Resolution, because I and that it is almost impossible to find believe the Bill itself will not answer any nation with absolute purity of race in any way the expectations, the de- and of origin. The Indian people, I sires, and the aspirations of the Indian maintain, have to a very large extent people. We have heard the history of now attained

clear idea of this Bill for the last three or four nationality, and I think this has taken years. It seems to have been wilfully place through the instrumentality of strangled by its present parents. I the English language, of commerce, of repeat that I hope it will not be education, of a free Press, and of the accepted by this House, as it certainly right of free meeting. The hon. will not be accepted by the Indian Gentleman has spoken of India as if it people as anything like even an instal- was entirely sunk in ignorance at the ment of what they desire, of what present day. I should like the House they require, and of what is necessary for to remember that there are five Univertheir happiness. The fact is that the sities at the present moment in India. Bill contains, it seems to me, but a At the present moment at Oxford there very slight trace of the elective prin- are at least 20 Indian students; at ciple. The hon. Gentleman who intro- Cambridge there are 20 Indian students. duced the Bill says that Clause 4, At the Unversities of Edinburgh and which is the only one which can be London there are a large number of credited in any way with an admission Indian gentlemen who are preparing of the principle, is one which will to return to India, after receiving a limit the number of representative thorough English education ; and when Members to a number of gentlemen they go back again they will find a nominated as heretofore by the Viceroy. large number of men who have already Now, Sir, I think the Indian people passed through the English Colleges, have a right to receive from this and who are perfectly able to underHouse a more determined expression stand the value of political privileges of their opinion, and that representa- and views through our Western ideas. tion which is merely nomination by At one time the Punjaubee could not the highest officials of India is not understand the Madrassee, nor the sufficient, and is inadequate at the Bengalee speak with the Mahrattee. present moment. The hon. Gentleman Now a large number of men of these has referred to the year 1861 and to various races of the Indian people are the proposals which were made by able to confer with one another, to the Government of India at that day exchange their ideas, and to act toand which exist at present. Well, but 30 gether for political purposes.

The years have elapsed since that date, very condition of things which I have and what was quite adequate for pointed out as existing to-day was foreIndia at that time is entirely inade- seen by some of our statesmen of quate for the India of to-day. The former times. Lord Macaulay, in a fact is, India, as the hon. Gentleman memorable speech, sayssaid, has slumbered long. We all

" It may be that the public mind of India remember the words of the late Mr. may expand under our system until it has John Bright uttered in the Manchester outgrown that system ; that by good governTown Hall many years ago, when he ment we may educate our subjects into a casaid that India in face of the English become instructed in European knowledge, people was dumb.

But the Indian they may,in some future age,demand European people have since that time found institutions. Whether such a day will ever à voice, and may be considered, come I know not; but never will I attempt to

Whenever it comes it to a large extent, a nation. I am will be the proudest day in English history. quite willing to admit, as the hon. To have found a great people sunk in the Gentleman has said, that India consists lowest depths of slavery and superstition, to of a number of races, with different have so ruled them as to have made them creeds, different customs, and differing citizens, would, indeed, be a title to glory all even in colour. At the same time, we our own.”

Well, I have said that India has a | there must be a large and capable national voice, and that voice, to a large body of men who are perfectly fit to extent, is the Indian National Congress.

undertake the performance of political The hon. Gentleman who introduced

duties for their country. I had the this Bill has said that India consists of a great number of races who are

advantage of being present at the meethostile to one another; but is iting of the Indian Congress of 1890, not strange that in the Indian National and I have never seen any debate Congress you will find Representatives carried on in a more orderly, more of all the races of India, acting loyal, or a more dignified and amicable together for political ends with

manner. Everything was conducted the greatest harmony with the

exactly with as much regularity as if it greatest loyalty to the Crown, and

had been a meeting of the great Federawith great advantage, I submit, to

tions of Conservative or Liberal Assothe questions which interest the Indian

ciations in this country. The only thing people. You will find amongst the

that was changed was the beautiful and Members of the National Congress

gorgeous costumes of the delegates, there Hindoos, Mussulmans, Parsees, Chris

being a very marked contrast between tians, Jains, Sikhs, &c., &c., and other

them and the more prosaic costumes of races. Some of them travel thou

Western Europe. I should like the sands of miles, journeying very often

"House to take note that the Indian three or four days and nights, in order

Congress when sitting was not confined to be present at this National Congress.

to the delegates sent from various parts They often risk even the exclusion

of that vast country. Some six or seven from caste, because, in some cases, the

thousand spectators were present, all crossing of the sea in a ship is suffi.

taking the greatest interest in the procient to exclude from caste, in order to

ceedings, and showing the same political be present. Then, the growth of the Con

energy and enthusiasm as would be the gress is phenomenal. In the year 1885

case on a similar occasion in England. I the Congress met in Bombay, and the

should also like to point out that the number of delegates present was 72; in

delegates were all elected in open, 1886, it met in Calcutta, and the num

free, public meeting; and that, there. ber of delegates was 400 ; in 1887, it met

fore, while we are looking around to in Madras, when the number of delegates

see if by any possibility we can intropresent had swollen to 607 ; in 1888, it

duce a little of the elective principle met in Allahabad, and the number

into India, the elective principle has present then was 1,500; in 1889, it

been already carried on in India to a met in Bombay, and the number present was 1,590; and, in the year and regular manner, by a large section

very large extent, in the most orderly 1890, it met in Calcutta, and then the

of the Indian people. Do not let us number of delegates present was 677

suppose, therefore, that the principle (the proportion of delegates to the

of election is a new one in India. "I number of the population having been

should also like to insist upon the reduced, because it was found very

loyal spirit shown by the people of difficult to offer hospitality to the num

India. If the House will allow me I ber of delegates willing to come from

shall read the opening remarks of the the extreme portions of India in order to

Chairman at the meeting of 1891 in take part in the Congress) but besides the

December last. He saiddelegates there were several thousands

"The keynote of the movement is loyalty to of spectators present as audience on the British Crown and 'attachment to the each occasion. The hon. Gentleman British people, to whom India owes its rehas said that there is a great want in birth. The promoters of the movement have India of men able and willing to take

a thorough appreciation of the excellent in

tentions of the Indian Government, and it is a thorough interest in Indian politics.

their fixed desire and firm resolve to secure It seems to me that if you have got by loyal and constitutional means the reforms such a large number of men as 1,590 which are essential to the fruition of those delegates to travel across the country

intentions. As loyal subjects of Great Britain under such disabilities and inconveni. I and India. We know, whoever may misludge

we desire the everlasting union of England ences as exist in India, it is a proof that us, that we can render no greater service to

Vr. Schwann

either country than by openly declaring what hospitals, dispensaries, and sanitary we consider to be unsuitable or defective in improvements, and of harbour works, the existing administration." Now, the Indian National Congress, a testify to the great interest shown in

port approaches, and pilotage. Officials purely elected body, has gone through the election. One report states : "At the usual forms of criticism. At first the contested elections in Murabganj it was the subject of ridicule; then 96 per cent. and in Jalesar 89 per cent. threats were used and the Anglo-Indian of the registered electors appeared at Press suggested that it should be boy- the polls and voted." At Mooltan, in cotted and suppressed ; and, lastly, it the Punjab, 70 per cent. of the was received and treated with respect, registered voters polled. So keen if not cordiality. Lord Lansdowne, was the contest that the successful with respect to the meeting of 1890, candidate won by one vote only. removed a certain interdict which The average attendance of Members had prevented the Civil servants of the of Municipalities of the united English Crown attending the meeting, Provinces was 63 per cent. of the whole even as visitors, up to that date. number, and in one town exceeded 90 Lord Lansdowne annulled that per cent. I now turn to the main interdict, and, speaking in the most question which is before the Househandsome and courteous manner of that of the application of the elective the Congress, said it was perfectly principle to the Vice-regal and the admissible, that it was the expression Provincial Councils. What did Lord of the voice of the people, that it was Dufferin say in his Jubilee speech constitutional, and that there was no with regard to it? He said, reason why Civil servants should " Wide and broad indeed are the new fields not attend it as visitors and spectators in which the Government of India is called -though not, of course, as members time, need it labour alone. Within the period taking an active part in the proceed we are reviewing, education has done its work, ing. The English Press has also and we are surrounded on all sides by native changed its tone very much as regards gentlemen of great attainments and intellithe Indian Congress. The English co-operation, we may hope to derive the Times, in its notice of the last Indian greatest benefit. In fact, to an AdministraCongress, treated it with far more tion, so peculiarly situated as ours, their courtesy than it had ever done before ; advice, assistance, and solidarity are essential and so it is also with other English Nor do I regard with any other feelings

to the successful exercise of its functions. papers. I do not wish to weary the than those of approval and goodwill their House with extracts. The Anglo- natural ambition to be more extensively assoIndian Press, however, does not treat ciated with their English rulers in the adthe Indian Congress in the same

ministration of their own domestic affairs." friendly spirit. But you might almost This is a complete answer to the plea as well expect the Orange Press in of the Under Secretary that it was imIreland to be fair and impartial to the possible to find in India native gentlehon. Member for North-East Cork men worthy and capable of taking (Mr. W. O'Brien) as to expect the places in the higher Councils of India. Anglo-Indian Press to deal fairly with This was confirmed by Lord Dufferin the Indian National Congress.

The in another speech which he made in House may be surprised to hear that 1887, when he said — there are 755 Municipalities in India,

“Glad and happy should I be if during my and about 892 Local Boards — in all circumstances permitted me to extend and to

sojourn among them (the people of India) 1,647 institutions of a municipal place upon a wider and more logical footing character. A certain proportion of the the political status which was so wisely given, members of these Bodies are nominated, a generation ago, by that great statesman, but a large number—the majority--of their influence, their acquirements, and the

Lord Halifax, to such Indian gentlemen as by them are elected by the people in open contidence they inspired in their fellowmeeting. These Bodies have control of countrymen were marked out as useful Rx7,000,000, and they have the charge adjuncts to our Legislative Councils." of all municipal business, including Lord Northbrook has also expressed streets, roads, water supply in all cities himself in favour of a “properly guarded and most towns, of local roads, schools, application of some mode of election.'

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