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object, but explained it in these memorable words : “ It is not expedient that the general policy of Government in relation to the Land Revenue should be questioned, or that the details of revenue assessments should be questioned, by Civil Courts." The Bombay revenue Jurisdiction Act was accordingly passed in 1876, excluding the jurisdiction of Civil Courts in matters of assessment. The private citizen in India is permitted by the British Government, and by British Laws, to seek redress against the Government itself in impartial Courts of Justice. But the millions of the peasant proprietors of Bombay and of Madras, subject to an enhancement of the State-demand at each Revision Settlement, are debarred from seeking justice in Courts, or before any independent tribunal, against the blunders or the undue severity of the assessing officer.
Three years after the passing of this Act, the Bombay Land Revenue system was comprehensively treated and legalised in the Revenue Code of 1879. It was an excellent Code, and it clearly affirmed the cultivator's rights of inheritance and transfer in respect of their holdings. But the Code gave no protection against undue enhancements, and no security against excessive assessments in violation of the principles laid down in 1856 and 1864.
SUMMARY OF LAND REFORMS IN INDIA. We have in these five chapters briefly described the land administration of the different provinces of India during the first eighteen years of the Crown Administration. A great many real reforms were effected. Protection was given to the cultivators of Bengal, Oudh, and the Punjab, against unjust enhancement of rent by private landlords. The system of settlements in Northern India was improved, and assessments were made on the tangible basis of the rental of villages. Relief was given to Madras cultivators by the introduction of the thirty years' settle
i ment rule. Help was given to Bombay cultivators by the Agricultural Relief Act and by the Revenue Code, both passed in 1879. And in the Central Provinces, the recognition of proprietary rights in Malguzars, and the long term settlement begun in 1863, were a boon to the harassed population.
The cardinal defects from which agriculture still suffered may be summed up in a few words.
(1) Enhancements were not limited by definite and specific rules at Revision Settlements.
(2) Assessments were not made according to the Half Rental Rule, but often absorbed the whole rental in Madras and Bombay.
(3) No independent tribunals watched the enforcement of rules.
(4) Special cesses on land, in addition to the Land Revenue, violated the Half Rental Rule.
TRADE AND MANUFACTURE
LORD CANNING undertook a great reform in the Indian Tariff. In February 1857, a year after his arrival in India, he addressed the Court of Directors on the subject. He proposed to equalise the duties on British and foreign merchandise, on raw and manufactured articles. He de sired to exempt from duty a large number of articles which produced little revenue. He wished to abolish export duties, and to augment import duties. The proposals remained in abeyance during the Mutiny of 1857; and, in 1858, the East India Company ceased to rule.
Lord Stanley, the first Secretary of State for India under the Crown, replied to Lord Canning in April 1859. The liabilities of India had vastly increased in consequence of the Mutiny, and the financial difficulties were greater. Lord Stanley, therefore, modified Lord Canning's proposals, so as to secure a larger revenue. British and foreign manufactures should be treated equally by raising the duties on British goods to the foreign rates. Duties on petty articles should not be abolished. Export duties: should not be abandoned. Import duties should be increased.
Before receipt of this despatch, the Indian Government had already passed Act vii. of 1859, raising the duties op British goods to foreign rates, and taking power to levy a the increased duties even on current contracts. And on receipt of the Secretary of State's despatch, Lord Canning replied that the Act recently passed was virtually in accordance with the instructions contained in the despatch. But the Act gave great dissatisfaction to British mer
chants in India; and when James Wilson, the first Indian Finance Minister, went out to India, he had instructions to try and allay the irritation which had been caused.1 Accordingly, in 1860, he abolished the export duties on Indian raw products, and considerably reduced import duties on manufactures. British merchants were conciliated; and India suffered a loss of revenue at the time of her sorest need.
In the same year, a committee was appointed to inquire into the subject of Indian tariffs generally. Two British merchants of Calcutta and Bombay formed the committee, and Ashley Eden, afterwards LieutenantGovernor of Bengal, presided. The committee submitted their report in 1860, and suggested a uniform tariff and important customs reforms. A second committee was appointed in 1867, and submitted a revised tariff. A third tariff was prepared in 1869, and in the following year Lord Mayo's Government passed Act xvii. of 1870. The Act fixed the import duties generally at 7} per cent. on manufactured goods and raw material, at 31 per cent. on twist and 5 per cent. on piece goods, at i per cent. on iron and 10 per cent. on tobacco. The principal export duties were 6s. on a Maund (82 lbs.) of indigo, 3d. on a Maund of grain, 4 per cent. on lac, and 3 per cent. on oils, seeds, cotton goods, hides, and spirits.
Further changes were made in the following year by Act xiii. of 1871. The principal import and export duties, fixed by the Act, are given on p. 338.
Valuable evidence on the operation of these duties on trade was given before the Select Committees of the House of Commons which sat in 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874. It is necessary therefore to refer to some portions of this voluminous evidence.
John Nutt Bullen, a prominent Calcutta merchant who had sat on Ashley Eden's Tariff Committee of 1860,
? See Sir Bartle Frere's evidence before the Select Committee of the House of Commons, 1871.
cotton, &c. . Cotton twist . .
• 31 1 Piece goods . .. Medicines.
• 75 , Colouring materials .
75 Fruits, glass, skins, jewellery, ivory, and leather . . 7 , Beer . .
ijd. per gallon. . . Spirits . . . . . . . . . . 68. Wines
. . . . 38. Iron.
i per cent. Other metals Naval stores, oils, paints, perfumery, porcelain, pro
visions, and oilman's stores Silk . Sugar .
. . 73 Tobacco Woollen piece goods
complained of the export duty of 4 d. per maund (82 lbs.) of grain, and said it fell on the grower of rice, and was, to that extent, an addition to the Land Tax. The import duty of 5 per cent. on cotton piece goods was, he considered, moderate and unobjectionable. There were only two or three cotton spinning and weaving mills in Calcutta,
Sir Bartle Frere spoke guardedly on the effect of keeping down the import duty on cotton piece goods in order to foster the sale of British goods. “There is this difficulty,” he said, “that the interests of India and of England on that point seem rather at variance. No doubt some considerable increase of revenue might be realised by increasing the import duties, say, upon piece goods and yarns, but the direct result of that would be to
Select Committee's Report, 1871 ; Question, 6014