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Full text of "The Ilbert bill : a collection of letters, speeches, memorials, articles, &c., stating the objections to the bill"




















Letter to the Times from Hon. Mr. Justice Stephen, 

K.C.S.I., March i, 1883 7 

Meeting in St. James's Hall 14 

Leading Article in the Times, June 26, 1883 . . .43 

Leading Article in the SatVrdav Review, ]v'^y. 30, 1883 47 

Letter of the Judges of the High Court of Calcutta. 52 

Petition to the Houses of Parliament (from India) . 70 
Petition of Englishwomen in India to Her Most 
Gracious Majesty the Queen . . . ... .90 

Memorial to Secretary of State for India (from Anglo- 
Indian AssociATiuN, London Committee) . . .94 

Deputation to Secretary of State for India, July 26, 1883 106 
Letter to the Times from Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, 

K.C.S.L, July 27, 1883 127 

Letter to the Times from Mr. J. Dacosta, July 27, 1883 129 

Meeting at Limehouse, August 2, 1883 130 

Letter to the Times from the Right Hon. Sir Laurence 

Peel 143 

A Plain Statement about the Ilbert" Bill, for English 

Readers 145 

List of Members of the Anglo - Indian Association, 

London Committee 153 


The Executive Committee of the Anglo-Indian Association, 
which has been formed in this country for the purpose of 
procuring the withdrawal of the Indian Criminal Procedure 
Act Amendment Bill, commonly known as the Ilbert Bill, 
have considered it advisable to re-publish in a pamphlet form 
the Memorial against the Bill which was presented to the 
Secretary of State for India on the 26th July last, and the 
speeches made by the members of the Deputation on that 
occasion, the protest of the English Judges of the Calcutta 
High Court, the Petition addressed to the two Houses of 
Parliament by Englishmen resident in India, the Petition 
addressed to Her Majesty the Queen by Englishwomen in 
India, some of the speeches made at the meetings held in St. 
James's Hall and at Limehouse, and also some of the leading 
articles and letters which have appeared in the newspapers on 
the subject of the Bill. The object which the Executive 
Committee have in view in re-publishing these documents, is 
to present the arguments against the Bill in a complete form 
for. the information of Members of Parliament and of other 
persons desiring to make themselves acquainted with the 
reasons which have led a large number of persons, of long 
and varied Indian experience, to regard this Bill as an 
unwise and uncalled-for measure. 



Formerly Legal Member of the Council of the Governor- 
General in India, and now a Jndge of the High Court 
of Judicature in England. — Times, March i, 1883. 

Sir, — As I was the principal author of the measure as to 
criminal procedure in regard to Europeans in India, which it 
is now proposed to alter, and as I observe that my name 
has been mentioned on several occasions in the discussions 
on the alterations now proposed to be made, you will, 
perhaps, allow me to give some explanations on a subject 
which is very imperfectly understood in England. 

In this, as in most other cases, it is necessary to under- 
stand the history of the law in order to appreciate its present 
condition and the changes proposed to be made in it. The 
present criminal law of India has grown from two distinct 
roots, the Mahomedan law and the law of England. The 
Mahomedan law was introduced by the Mogul conquerors, 
and was found in force by the English when our power was 
first established in India. It was administered at first by 
native Courts, more or less under English superintendence. 
English magistrates and judges, assisted by Mahomedan law 
officers, were afterwards substituted for the native judges, 
and as experience accumulated, the system of local courts 
now existing all over India was slowly elaborated. It con- 
sists of a High or Chief Court in each province, a Sessions 
Judge, in some cases assisted by additional or joint Sessions 
Judges, and magistrates of various grades, with carefully- 

8 Mr. Justice Stephens Letter. 

defined powers, in each district. The High or Chief Court 
is the ultimate Court of Appeal ; the Sessions Judges may 
be compared to our Assize Courts ; magistrates of the 
first class can sentence up to two years' hard labour, and 
those of the second and third classes have similar but less 
extensive powers. These are the Courts by which the old 
Indian Criminal Law — namely, the Mahomedan law, modified 
in many ways by Regulations and Acts of the Indian 
Legislative bodies, and some principles and definitions intro- 
duced from the law of Lngland — was administered down to 
the year 1861. 

Side by side with them existed the Courts which adminis- 
tered the criminal law of England to European British 
subjects. In a very few words, their history was as follows : 
— Mayors' Courts were established in Calcutta, Madras, and 
Bombay far back in the i8th century. They were succeeded 
by the Supreme Courts, afterwards established in the same 
places, and for these in 1861 were substituted the present 
High Courts, a fourth High Court being added at Agra, 
which was afterwards removed to Allahabad. These Courts, 
by the combined effect of the Acts which established them, 
and the Charters which were granted under powers given by 
the Acts, exercised over European British subjects through- 
out the provinces in which they were situated, the powers 
of the Court of King's Bench in England. They were 
originally intended as a check, in the interest of Europeans 
resident in India, upon the great powers conferred upon the 
Governor-General, and Governors in Council. It would be 
impossible to explain fully how important this function was, 
without giving an account of the legislative and executive 
powers of the governing bodies of British India ; but I may 
say that the existence and the full efficiency oi these Courts 
have always been regarded by Europeans in India, and 
particularly by non-official Europeans, as their strongest and 
best security for the maintenance, as regards themselves, of 
the general principles of government to which they are 
accustomed in England. The Mahomedan Criminal Law 
was never at any time applied to the European British sub- 
jects. The Supreme and the High Courts, in their original 
criminal jurisdiction, administered the criminal law of 
England, with certain modifications, according to the English 
system of criminal procedure. 

For a long time the Courts I have named, were the only 
Courts in India which had jurisdiction over Europeans, 
though the Chief Court of the Punjab and the Recorders' 

Mr, Jtistice Stephens Letter. 9 

Courts in Burmah afterwards received such jurisdiction. 
Certain magistrates, distinguished as justices of the peace, 
had, however, power to fine Europeans up to Rs. 500 for 
petty offences. 

In 1 86 1 the Penal Code, passed in i860, became law, and 
superseded both the criminal law of England as concerned 
Europeans and the modified Mahomedan law as concerned 
natives throughout India ; but the procedure and jurisdiction 
of the Courts remained unaltered till long afterwards, though 
in 1 86 1 a code of criminal procedure which did not apply to 
the High Courts, and consequently not to the trial of Euro- 
peans, was enacted for the regulation of the proceedings of 
the district Courts. 

In this state of the law the position of European British 
subjects undoubtedly did constitute a serious practical griev- 
ance. In the remoter parts of the country they nearly 
enjoyed something equivalent to impunity in criminal cases 
v/hich were not of sufficient importance to attract special 
attention. The expense and delay of procuring a trial at 
Calcutta for an offence committed, say, in a tea plantation in 
Assam, practically prevented prosecutions. This grievance 
was more and more strongly felt as the growth of trade and 
the use of English capital in railways, plantations, and other 
things introduced into India a large number of Europeans of 
a class likely to commit crimes. 

In 1872 the Code of Criminal Procedure, passed in i86r, 
was re-arranged, re-enacted, and in some particulars amended. 
One of the most important of the amendments related to 
European British subjects. The matter was very carefully 
considered, and the leading representatives of the unofficial 
European population were consulted upon the views which 
had either occurred or been suggested to me ; I, as legal 
member of Council, having charge of the Bill. The scheme 
proposed and adopted was this : — Magistrates of the first 
class, being European British subjects and justices of the 
peace {i.e., being specially authorized), were empowered to 
sentence European British subjects up to three months' im- 
prisonment and a fine of Rs. 1,000. Sessions Judges, being 
European British subjects, were empowered to sentence them 
up to twelve months' imprisonment and a fine. In more 
serious cases European British subjects were to be tried by 
the High Courts, the Chief Court of the Punjab, or the 
Recorders' Courts in Burmah. This great innovation upon 
the law as it had existed up to that date— that is to say, for 
more than a century —was based on the following considera- 

lo Mr. Justice Stephens Letter. 

tions : — To have subjected Europeans unreservedly to the 
jurisdiction of the district Courts would have been, and would 
have been felt to be, an intolerable hardship. They had 
never been subject to the district Courts. They had up to 
that time been entitled in all cases to trial by jury in what 
were substantially English Courts, established principally 
for the express purpose of making their persons and property 
secure, and they regarded these privileges, together with the 
protection of their personal liberty supplied by the power of 
the High Courts to issue writs oi habeas corptts, as their great 
safeguards against official oppression, and also against the 
far more serious danger of persecution by false accusations 
on criminal charges in a country where such accusations are 
the commonest methods of revenge and extortion. On the 
other hand, it seemed, and no doubt it was, both a grievance 
and a scandal that the large and increasing European popu- 
lation, established in various parts of the country, should 
practically enjoy impunity for nearly all their crimes. It 
was thought that the remedy provided by the Bill of 1872 
Avould remove the real grievance upon the natives without 
introducing a new grievance to the Europeans. The code 
gave an efficient and somewhat summary form of trial, 
generally speaking, without a jury, for what, speaking 
roughly, might be compared to cases cognizable in England 
under the Summary Jurisdiction Acts and at the Quarter 
Sessions, and it left the jurisdiction of the High Courts in 
more serious cases as it always had been. 

It is, no doubt, contrary to some notions current in England 
to make distinctions between the criminal liability of different 
classes of persons, though even here the principle that a man 
should be tried by his peers, and that application of it, which 
in cases of -treason and felony gives a special tribunal to peers 
of the realm, form part of the law of the land. In other 
parts of the world the principle is far more extensively acted 
upon. Special tribunals for Europeans exist in China and 
Japan, in Turkey, and in Egypt, and there is probably no 
part of the world in which there are so many personal laws 
as in India. Not only are Hindoo and Mahomedan law 
administered by every court in India in all cases connected 
with inheritance and many other subjects, but even in 
criminal matters the feelings of the natives and their practices 
as to personal appearance and the giving of evidence in 
public are studiously respected. If the wife of the Viceroy 
had to testify, she would have to do so in a manner from 
which a Mahomedan married woman of low rank would be 

Mr, Justice Stephens Letter, ii 

excused. I should doubt if there was any part of the world 
in which the common sentiment of the bulk of the population 
would acquiesce so naturally in the notion that Englishmen 
must be tried by men of their own race and colour. 

As to the practical success of the system thus established 
two remarks will be sufficient. In the first place, the Code 
of Criminal Procedure of 1872, after having been in force 
for ten years, was last year re-enacted and extended in its 
operation to the High Courts, which had previously had 
their own procedure. A variety of alterations and amend- 
ments were introduced into the new measure, which in the 
ordinary course must have been submitted for their remarks 
to the different local Governments, but the part of the code 
which related to European British subjects was re-enacted 
without any alteration of importance, and the new code 
came into force on the ist of January, 1883. Why it should 
be considered necessary to amend in 1883 a Bill which had 
been carefully considered and re-enacted in 1882, I am at a 
loss to imagine. This in itself seems to show that there can 
be no solid practical reason for the change proposed to be 

In the second place, even stronger evidence ou this subject 
is supplied by the nature of the proposed change. It is one 
of those changes which condemn themselves. What is 
proposed, as I gather from the telegrams and the reports in 
your columns, is not to abolish the distinction between 
Europeans and natives, so as to introduce substantial equality 
between them in the matter of criminal justice, but to modify 
a privilege which in all its main features is to be maintained. 
The exclusive jurisdiction of the High Courts, the Sessions 
Judges, and the first-class magistrates over European British 
subjects is still to be maintained. The Judge who can 
sentence a native to death is still to be unable to sentence an 
Englishman to more than a year's imprisonment ; the magis- 
trate who can sentence a native to two and in some cases to 
seven years' imprisonment is still to be confined to three 
months in the case of an Englishman ; the course of appeal 
is still in certain respects to be different ; the High Courts 
are still to have exclusive jurisdiction over Europeans in all 
cases requiring more than a year's imprisonment, but hence- 
forth a native Sessions Judge or a native magistrate is to be 
allowed to try Europeans, who can at present be tried only 
by Europeans. This is called removing anomalies. It 
seems to me to be a measure which from the point of view 
of its originators is worthless, for it does not produce 

12 Mr. J 21 slice Stcpheiis Letter. 

uniformity or anything the least like it, while from the- point 
of view of those who oppose it, it is most formidable ; for, 
except as an assertion of the false and infinitely dangerous 
principle that no legal distinctions at all ought to be recog- 
nized between Europeans and natives in India, the change 
has no value and no meaning. 

To consider the matter on its immediate merits, and apart 
from the larger principles which it involves, I may observe 
that it is a question on which official and unofficial Europeans 
in India take very different views. There was ten years ago, 
and I have every reason to believe that there still is, in India 
an appreciable degree of jealousy between the official and 
non-official Europeans. The official European is practically 
in no danger of criminal prosecutions, and has never quite 
lost the feeling that the Supreme Courts and their succes- 
sors, the barrister Judges of the High Courts, who are in 
some sort the representatives of the privileges of unofficial 
Europeans, are more or less intruders on the authority of 
the civilians who are the representatives of the servants of 
the Company. The very change which is now proposed was 
proposed by eminent members of the Civil Service in 1872, 
though on different principles, and in a totally different 
spirit from that in which it seems to have been introduced 
on the present occasion. Nothing was then said as to the 
removal of anomalies, nor was there at that time any 
apparent disposition on the part of the Government to 
attempt to put Europeans and natives on an equality. The 
proposal was, however, rejected on account of the strong 
feeling on the subject of the non-official Europeans. 

Both m}^ Indian and my English experience lead me to 
sympathize strongly in this matter with the non -official 
Europeans. It seems to me most right and natural for any 
one accused of a crime and about to be tried by a Judge 
who decides both on the fact and the law, to wish to be tried, 
if possible, by a man of his own race and colour, who speaks 
his own language, and presumably enters into and under- 
stands his feelings. An Englishman in India is a foreigner 
in a strange country, and I can hardly imagine a more dis- 
tressing position than that, say, of a railway guard, who, 
having misconducted himself when drunk, is brought up to 
be tried before a man who has no sort of knowledge of 
him or sympathy with him, and only half understands him. 
If it is said that a Native before an English Judge is equally 
ill off, it is hardly true, for every effort is made to familiarize 
English Judges with both the language of the country and 

Mr. y ustice Stepliai s Lcttc 


the character of the Natives, whereas Natives have no 
famiharity at all with the character of the lower class of 
English, and few know our language well enough to ad- 
minister justice in it. In so far, however, as the observation 
is true, it proves too much, for it is based upon a defect 
inseparable from the existence of the British power in India. 
It has been observed in many articles, some published in 
the Times, that if the Government of India have decided on 
removing all anomalies from India, they ought to remove 
themselves and their countrymen. Whether or not that 
mode of expression can be fully justified, there can, I think, 
be no doubt that it is impossible to imagine any policy more 
fearfully dangerous and more certain, in case of failure, to 
lead to results to which the Mutiny would be child's play, 
than the policy of shifting the foundations on which the 
British Government of India rests. It is essentially an abso- 
lute Government, founded, not on consent, but on conquest. 
It does not represent the Native principles of life or of 
government, and it can never do so until it represents 
heathenism and barbarism. It represents a belligerent civili- 
zation, and no anomaly can be so striking or so dangerous 
as its administration by men who, being at the head of a 
Government founded upon conquest, implying at every point 
the superiority of the conquering race, of their ideas, their 
institutions, their opinions, and their principles, and having 
no justification for its existence except that superiority, 
shrink from the open, uncompromising, straightforward 
assertion of it, seek to apologize for their own position, and 
refuse, from whatever cause, to uphold and support it. I 
should be sorry to say a word which could embarrass any 
Viceroy in the discharge of the weightiest and most delicate 
duties which can be imposed on any of Her Majesty's 
subjects ; but much of the language lately held as to local 
government, education, and some other subjects has filled 
me, as to my knowledge it has filled others who are inter- 
ested in India, with apprehension, and I do not in the least 
wonder that the Europeans in India see in the proposed 
change about criminal procedure a symptom, all the more 
formidable because in itself it is slight and utterly needless, 
of a determination to try to govern India upon principles 
inconsistent with the foundations on which British power 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

J. F. Stephen. 


On the 2^th June a large meeting of Anglo-Indians ivas held 
in St. James s Hall for the purpose of eonecrting and 
adopting such measures as might be deemed advisable in 
order to obtain the zvithdrawal of the Indian Criminal 
Procedure Bill. The attendance was large ; all the seats 
were filled^ and many had to stand. The Chair ivas 
taken by Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, K.C.S.I, CIE., late 
member of the Supreme Council of India. The folloiv- 
ing speeches, among others, were made at the meeting. 

Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, who opened the proceed- 
ings, said they had met together for the purpose of express- 
ing their opinion on a Bill now pending before the Council 
of the Governor-General of India, under which it was pro- 
posed to deprive English men and English women in that 
country of the immunity which they had hitherto enjoyed 
from the jurisdiction in criminal matters of Native judges and 
magistrates, and for the purpose of framing a representa- 
tion such as it might be hoped would induce Her Majesty's 
Government to consider the expediency of ordering the 
withdrawal of a measure which nearly all Englishmen who 
knew India believed to be highly prejudicial to the best 
interests of that country. (Cheers.) It was impossible, he 
thought, to exaggerate the gravity of the present crisis. The 
widespread excitement and agitation which had been caused 
by the introduction of this measure, and the antipathies of race 
which it had evoked, had wrought an amount of mischief 

Mectino- in St. yanicss Hall. 15 

which it would take years of wise and prudent statesmanship 
to undo. (Hear, hear.) And mischievous as the introduc- 
tion of this Bill had been, and bitterly as those who brought 
it forward must repent of their temerity, it was certain that 
the evils of proceeding with the Bill would be far greater, for 
it would establish a permanent cause of antagonism between 
our countrymen and their native fellow-subjects. (Cheers.) 
The objections which Englishmen felt in connection with this 
measure were not a mere passing gale, which, as soon as it 
passed, would leave behind it a serene and peaceful atmo- 
sphere. The reasons urged against it were not reasons of a 
temporary character, which would diminish in weight as 
time went on ; for it was perfectly certain that this Bill, 
if it became law, would intensify those antipathies of race 
which it was the province of every wise statesman to dimin- 
ish. (Cheers.) This was the view which was held by the 
great majority of those who had lived and served in India, 
and it was the view, he believed, of all of those whom he was 
then addressing. He did not wish to overstate the case. 
The admission of Natives into the Civil Service under the 
competitive system, and the appointment of Natives to 
posts hitherto reserved for that Service under the opera- 
tion of the Act of Parliament passed in 1870, naturally 
had a tendency to raise this question of jurisdiction ; 
but v/hen the question was raised in 1872 it was then 
settled that it was not expedient to subject Englishmen 
to the jurisdiction of native criminal Courts — (hear, hear) 
- — and their contention was that that decision was a wise 
decision, and that no sufficient grounds had been adduced 
for rescinding it. He would not stay to review in detail 
the objections which attached to this measure, the weak- 
ness of the arguments which had been adduced in its 
support, the absence of any genuine demand for it in the 
first instance on the part of the great body of the Native 
community — (cheers) — the needlessness of the measure 
upon administrative grounds, or the rashness which char- 
acterised its introduction. These topics would be fully and 
ably dealt with by the speakers who would follow him, and, he 
was sure, would be treated with that moderation and with 
that regard for the feelings and susceptibilities of the natives of 
India which was almost invariably the result of a lengthened 
residence in that country and of intimate knowledge of its 
people and of the many good qualities which they possessed. 
(Cheers.) For his own part, if he might refer for one moment 
to his personal position in this matter, he wished to say that 

1 6 Meeting in Si. Janiess Hall. 

when the Provisional Committpe did him the honour of re- 
questing him to occupy the chair on that occasion, he was, in 
complying with that request, largely influenced by the reflec- 
tion that it might not be altogether inexpedient that this duty 
should be discharged by one who during a great part of his 
official life was employed in directing and pressing forward 
Native education — (cheers)— and to whom it had been some- 
times imputed that he sympathized unduly with the aspira- 
tions, as he thought the just aspirations, of Native officials 
for adv'ancement in the public service. For he contended 
that it was perfectly compatible with the most friendly 
sentiments towards the Natives of India, and with a sincere 
recognition of the policy and of the justice of rewarding 
eminent Natives of proved merit and ability and of tried in- 
tegrity, to concede to them a larger share in the government 
of their country, while at the same time resisting a proposal 
such as this, subjecting English men and English women 
to the jurisdiction of Native Criminal Courts. (Cheers.) 
There were two allegations which had been made in connec- 
tion with this matter, and on which he desired to say a few 
words. In the first place, it was alleged that the opposition 
to this measure was entirely or mainly confined to unofficial 
persons, and that the majority of the officials \\\ India and 
many of the best Indian officials in this country approved of 
the Bill. In the second place, it was asserted that this oppo- 
sition was at variance with the views held by some of the 
greatest Indian statesmen of past times. With regard to 
the first of these allegations, he thought that this meeting, 
and the long list of officials and retired officials, many of 
them men who have served in the highest positions, which 
had appeared during the last few days in the London news- 
papers, was a sufficient refutation — (hear, hear) — to say nothing 
of the information which was coming in from week to week, 
and which was corroborated by a telegram only published 
that morning, showing that a large proportion — indeed, an 
enormous majority — of the officials now serving in India, had 
joined in the opposition to the measure. (Cheers.) Before 
him and around him were many distinguished men, repre- 
sentatives of all branches of the Indian Service — men 
who had served as Chief Commissioners of important pro- 
vinces, members of Council, secretaries to Government, 
political officers of various grades, military officers in large 
numbers, judges, collectors, and magistrates, medical officers, 
engineers, educationists, not to mention the many able 
men who, though not in the official service of the State, 

Meeting m St, J antes s HalL 17 

had in commerce and in the learned professions done 
much to further the moral and material improvement of the 
Empire of India. (Cheers.) This movement was shared in by 
men who left India many years ago, and by men who left 
it, as it were, but yesterday, all inspired by a common convic- 
tion that this measure was wrong, and dangerous, and incom- 
patible with our holding our true position in India. (Cheers.) 
And if this opinion was shared by Anglo-Indians, who left 
India a quarter of a century ago, by men who left but recently, 
and by numbers of men who were living and working there 
at the present moment, assuredly there was cause for urging 
upon her Majesty's Government the grave impolicy of allow- 
ing this Bill to proceed. (Cheers.) The second allegation was 
that the opposition to the Bill was at variance with the views 
entertained by some of the greatest men of past times, and 
in support of this assertion passages had been quoted from 
writings by Sir Thomas Munro and Mr. Elphinstone, to show 
that if they had been living at the present day, they would 
have been supporters of Mr. Ilbert's Bill. He thought that 
this was a most complete mistake. It was, of course, im- 
possible to assert with perfect certainty what would have 
been done or said by men who lived half a century ago, 
had they survived to the present time. But from what he 
knew of the writings of those men, from what he had learned 
of the character of the work which they did, it seemed to be 
in the last degree improbable that they would have so belied 
themselves as to support such a Bill as this. Both these 
men held most liberal views on the subject of advancing 
Natives in the public service as they became qualified for 
higher posts, but they both attached a paramount import- 
ance to the policy of maintaining the position of English- 
men in India as the dominant race. It was impossible 
to read Sir T. Munro's famous minute on the Indian Press 
— where he says : — " I cannot view the question of a free 
Press in this country without feeling that the tenure with 
which we hold our power, never has been, and never can 
be, the liberties of the people " — and not to feel a tolerable 
certainty that had he had a vote on this occasion it would 
have been on the side that meeting took. As to Mr. Elphin- 
stone, there was in one of his papers a passage which, it so 
happened, bore indirectly upon this question, and showed 
very plainly what his opinion would have been. In a paper 
which he wrote in the year 1832, some years after he had 
left India, on the subject of permitting Europeans, who at 
that time required a Hcense to live in India, to reside in that 


1 8 Meeting in St. James's Hall. 

country, Mr. Elphinstone said : — " Europeans, of course, could 
only hold lands on the tenures already established, and the 
only remaining difficulty I apprehend in the suggested in- 
crease to their numbers would arise from the manner in 
which they would be made responsible to justice. The ex- 
tension of English law is very objectionable, and placing the 
Europeans under Native law would indirectly lead to the 
same result. In a choice of difficulties I think it would be 
preferable to increase the powers of local magistrates in some 
degree, still continuing to apply the English law to Euro- 
peans, and leaving all capital or very serious causes to be 
tried, as at present, by the Supreme Court." But Munro and 
Elphinstone were not the only distinguished men whose 
opinions might be cited in opposition to this Bill. All 
Anglo-Indians honoured the name of Metcalfe, and among 
Lord Metcalfe's published writings there was a passage which 
bore upon this question. In an important minute which 
he wrote, when a member of the Supreme Council, upon the 
administration of justice in India, he distinctly stated that it 
was " highly expedient to secure to British subjects as much 
as possible the enjoyment of their own laws, and always the 
right of trial by jury in criminal cases, extending the same 
right to Native subjects as soon as it could be done with the 
prospect of benefit, and securing to them also their own laws 
and usages " — thus emphatically recognizing that, in this 
matter, distinctions of race could not be entirely ignored. 
There was another authority he should cite. No Indian 
name in recent years was more deservedly honoured than 
the name of Lawrence. What was Lord Lawrence's view 
as to the true position of the British Governm.ent in relation 
to the people of India } This he expressed in a paper which 
he wrote very shortly after the quelling of the Mutiny: — 

"Placed, as we are, widely separated from the Consti- 
tutional Governments of England or America, our Govern- 
ment is established, as all Governments should be, for the 
good of the people ; but while in their case the popular will 
is generally taken as the criterion of the public good, that is 
not always the case in India. We are not elected or placed 
in power by the people. We are here by our moral superiority, 
by the force of circumstances, and by the will of Providence. 
These alone constitute our charter of Government in India, 
and in doing the best we can for the people we are bound by 
our conscience, not theirs." (Cheers.) 

It would be difficult to describe in clearer or weightier 
words the true position of the Government of India in relation 

Meeting in St, J antes s Hall. 19 

to the natives of that country. The question was whether 
the provisions of the present Bill were compatible with that 
position. He thought that they were not. He held that the 
present Bill, and other recent measures of the present Govern- 
ment of India, embodied a policy which differed widely as the 
poles from the policy of Munro and Elphinstone, of Metcalfe 
and Lawrence, and of all the great men who had helped to 
establish and maintain the British Empire in India — (cheers) 
— and that continuance in the path along which that policy 
led, was as certain to be prejudicial to all the best interests of 
the people in India as it was fraught with difficulties and 
dangers to our own dominion. (Cheers.) 

Mr. Roper Lethbridge, Hon. Sec. of the provisional 
committee, read a telegram received the previous night from 
Calcutta, which illustrated in a very vivid light the danger 
that was being run by the continued unsettlement of the 
great question before them. The telegram ran as follows : — • 

"While the prosecution of the Indian rioters is still pending, 
the wife of the Public Prosecutor has been brutally assaulted 
by a sweeper. Other domestic cases. General feeling of 
alarm among European ladies. The Uriya bearers have 
held a meeting and subscribed for Surendranath Bannerjea, 
evidently instigated by Bengalee sedition mongers.' I believe 
that the conduct of the Natives arises from the conviction 
that insulting Europeans is giving effect to the policy of the 

That telegram appeared a most important one, and it 
was very deplorable that there should be even the sus- 
picion of such a thing on the part of the Native mind 
that they might with impunity, and by way of giving 
pleasure to their rulers, assault Englishmen and English- 
women. The thing was perfectly preposterous on the face 
of it ; but still, if the opinion was going about, the sooner it 
was stopped the better. As to the correspondence, he had 
that morning alone received fifty-seven letters from various 
parts of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and two from the 
Continent, on the subject of the meeting. Those letters 
expressed, without a single exception, the utmost enthusiasm 
on behalf of the movement, and he might say that among 
the thousand odd letters that had reached him during the 
last few weeks there was absolutely only one Anglo-Indian 
who had anything to say in support of Mr. Ilbert's Bill. 
There was one point he should like to notice with regard to 
that correspondence — viz., the very great difficulty which it 
showed there was in obtaining anything like concerted action 

C 2 

20 Meeting iii St. Jmness Hall. 

among Anglo-Indians in England, owing to their wide disper- 
sion ; and that difficulty had only been partially surmounted 
by the remarkable enthusiasm shown by correspondents in 
various distant centres. Only on Friday he received a letter 
from one of the most distinguished Bengal civilians now in 
England, a late Judge of the High Court of Calcutta, point- 
ing out that he had only recently observed the advertisement 
of this meeting in one of the local papers, and stating that 
he was most anxious to join. Up to that day they had a 
list of adherents numbering over 500 names, and that number 
was increasing with every post. It was absolutely impossible 
any longer to doubt Anglo-Indian opinion on the subject ; 
official, as well as non-official, it was perfectly unanimous. 
He had received letters from a large number of gentlemen 
who entirely sympathized with the object of the meeting, but 
for various reasons did not wish publicly to join the move- 
ment. A very considerable number of Anglo-Indian ladies 
had shown their keen interest in the opposition to the proposed 
legislation, and in more than one instance had volunteered 
their services in urging their masculine friends to take part 
in the movement. There was no feature in the proposed legis- 
lation more objectionable than the position it would assign 
to Englishwomen in remote parts of India, and that was one 
point in which it was clear that the position of the opponents 
of the Bill was, logically as well as practically, absolutely 
unassailable. If the privileges of Native Indians were 
attacked by a persecuting Government, the English people 
would be quite ready to defend them ; ought they then to 
do less for their fellow-countrymen } (Hear, hear.) On 
that point he might read a letter he had received from a 
Commissioner who had just returned from the charge of one 
of the most important divisions in India — a division contain- 
ing a very large non-official European population. He 
said : — 

"I think the Bill a great blunder — the worst since the 
greased cartridges. It makes one doubt whether there is 
not, among many advantages, a terrible risk in placing at 
the head of the Indian Empire a man who has never been 
in India. (Cheers.) From the letters I have received from 
India I find that the large classes of artizans and working 
Europeans are wild with excitement and hatred of the 
Natives ; that the next grade, the tea assistants, railway 
employes, &c., are scarcely less agitated ; and that even the 
high officials and leading Europeans are full of anxiety and 
concern, and annoyance with the Government for raising the 

Meeting in St. Jamess Hall. 21 

question. It is the more deplorable because the last ten 
years has witnessed a growth of friendly feeling and mutual 
confidence between official and non-official Europeans, and 
between both . those classes and the Natives, such as could 
never have been expected in the days of Lord Canning." 

A Judicial officer of long and wide experience wrote : — 
" One shrinks from thinking what might in some cases be 
the position of Englishwomen under this Bill." One pleasing 
feature of the correspondence was that large numbers of the 
letters he had received, dwelt with especial emphasis on the 
non-political character of the movement. In Parliament 
many loyal supporters of the present Government in both 
Houses were among the warmest opponents of the Bill. 
Indeed, one of the very ablest of Her Majesty's Ministers, 
and the only one except Lord Northbrook who possessed 
any personal knowledge of India, had published a book, 
which showed clearly enough his opinion of the impropriety' 
of placing poor, isolated Englishmen in India under the 
criminal jurisdiction of any but those who were entirely and 
in every way qualified to enter into their feelings and motives. 
He referred, of course, to Mr. Trevelyan, the present Chief 
Secretary for Ireland, well-known by his writings as the 
*' Competition Wallah." Several present would 'remember 
Mr. Trevelyan as a distinguished ornament of Calcutta 
society, writing Anglo-Indian comedies, and helping to play 
them, too, at Belvedere. No one would doubt the immense 
ability of that gentleman, and in the chapter of " Letters 
from a Competition Wallah," headed " Hindoo Character," 
he had expressed very strong views. He himself [Mr. 
Lethbridge] did not wish to say anything, and he 
believed that all who were acting with ,him wished to say 
nothing that could possibly be offensive to their Native 
fellow-subjects — (cheers) — and he trusted that nothing 
which they could not say among their private Native friends 
would be said on any platform in England. Therefore, 
he might not approve of some of the things which Mr. 
Trevelyan had said, and, indeed, he [Mr. Trevelyan] possibly 
might have modified his views with the advance of education 
in India ; but there wa? one story which he would quote 
very briefly, which he thought illustrated the point they were 
upon. He would epitomize the story, and then give some of 
Mr. Trevelyan's own words. Two planters in the Mofussil 
paid a flying visit to a third planter, taking a travelling 
Englishman — probably Mr. Trevelyan — with them. After 
dinner they heard a jackal cry, and two of the men went 

22 Meeting in St, J antes s Hall. 

out to have a shot at him. A shot was heard, and presently 
the two men rushed back to their friends, pale and agitated. 
" I believe I have shot a man," said one of them, " but we 
did not dare to look." As the planter took aim a man had 
risen up between him and the object at which he took aim, 
and dropped again before he was well on his feet. The 
other men — who had never left the house — went to the spot 
and found a Hindoo peasant stone dead, with a bullet through 
his heart. He would give what followed in Mr. Trevelyan's 
own words : — 

** The relations of the poor fellow prosecuted the planter 
for murder, and more — that he had tied the deceased to a 
tree, beaten him cruelly and' outraged him in the most foul 
manner, and finally put him out of his misery by deliberately 
firing at him from a distance of a few yards. This vindictive 
lie was supported in every particular by a number of the 
'villagers. The presence of his three countrymen — a happy 
chance — and nothing more, alone saved the prisoner from 

Lastly, there was one letter which he would read, which 
reached him that morning, because it showed the opinion of 
a most important section of the Anglo-Indian community, a 
section least likely to be biassed by an improper feeling in 
the matter. It was from the Ven. Archdeacon of Bombay, 
Dr. Leigh-Lye, and was as follows : — 

" I much regret that the distance of my residence from 
town and other engagements prevent my attendance at the 
meeting on Monday next for the withdrawal of the Indian 
Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, and I earnestly hope 
that success may attend your efforts against the measure, 
the mere prospect of which has aroused such violent animosity 
of race. The interests of true religion, of unity, peace, and 
concord among all nations are not likely to be promoted, 
but may most certainly be seriously injured by what nearly 
all Anglo-Indians appear to agree will be prejudicial to our 
Government, with which the welfare of India is so closely 
connected." (Hear, hear.) 

Mr. W. S. Seton-Karr (late Bengal Civil Service and 
Foreign Secretary to the Government of India) : In moving 
this resolution, " That this meeting disapproves of the Bill 
now before the Indian Legislature to amend the Code of 
Criminal Procedure, 1882, and desires to move Her Majesty's 
Government to take measures for the withdrawal of the same," 
I may be pardoned for saying that it would be much more 
pleasure to me to appear on a platform on which I should 

Meeting in St, Jamess HalL 23 

have to second efforts of the Indian Government in some 
measure designed to ameliorate the condition of the people 
of India, or on which I should have had to defend the 
Government, than that I should have to appear to assail its 
measures : but when Mr. Lethbridge invited me to join this 
meeting, and when I considered that this measure attacked 
the interests of an increasing and a highly important class 
in India, and when I thought that with the interests of that 
class was inseparably bound up the progress of our 
administration, and even of our very supremacy in the East, 
I felt it was a matter of conscience and duty to place my 
services, whatever they might be worth, at the disposal of 
Mr. Lethbridge and his committee. (Hear, hear.) This 
controversy, which has been so prolonged, has brought to 
the front every argument which could be adduced for or 
against the measure. I have heard it said lately that there 
are some papers about to be presented to Parliament for 
Avhich we might wait in order to form a conclusion ; but I 
am of opinion — and that opinion, I think, will be borne out 
by the facts — that everything concerning this unhappy con- 
troversy has long been laid before the public — from letters, 
from telegrams, from debates, from leaders in the papers, 
from the letters of " Asiaticus " on the one hand, and from 
the letters of " Britannicus " on the other hand, and from the 
ominous silence of one weekly journal in England supposed 
to be intimately acquainted with, and intimately interested 
in, India. (Cheers.) I would remind you that the ground 
upon which this measure was at first supported, was, that it 
was intended to remove an anomaly. I will just briefly 
remind you that a Native gentleman, finding that in Calcutta 
under the fierce light of the Press, and in full publicity, he 
could exercise certain powers, and that when he was sent to 
the Mofussil he could no longer exercise those powers, brought 
this matter before the notice of the Government. I am very 
well aware that since the question first arose, the ground to 
a certain extent has been shifted ; and that the partizans of 
this Bill are anxious to defend it, not so much on the ground 
of the removal of anomalies, as on the ground that they are 
bringing up the Natives to an equality with Europeans. I wish 
those gentlemen had remembered for a moment the cele- 
brated saying of Lord Mayo — about levelling up, and not 
levelling down. (Hear, hear.) But for one moment I would 
venture to deal with the question of anomaly. Why, the 
whole of India bristles with anomalies — anomalies meet 
us at every turn. Our splendid Empire there in itself is 

24 Meeting in St. James s Hall. 

an anomaly, and we have done as much as we could 
to tolerate and to recognize anomalies, privileges, and 
exemptions to the very verge of abuse. Not to quote more 
numerous examples, which will be within the recollection of 
every one, I may remind you that when we tolerate the 
polygamy of the Brahmin ; when we tolerate the law of 
divorce and marriage of the Mahomedans ; when we tolerate 
the seclusion of the Hindoo Zenana ; when we, by a recent 
enactment, allowed Rajahs and Nawabs and other men of 
position, to claim exemption from appearing as witnesses in 
the civil courts — we have done everything in our power to 
give sanction to exemptions, and to throw over privilege the 
authority and sanction of the law. (Cheers.) I may be 
permitted to suggest to this meeting and to the committee 
the advisability of not, in any arguments against this Bill, 
laying too great stress on the prophecy that this measure 
would end by driving British capital from India. My ex- 
perience is that into India British capital and British enter- 
prise will go, sometimes with the aid of the law, sometimes 
without the law, and sometimes, as in past generations, 
almost in defiance of law ; and I believe that as long as we 
retain even our hold upon India, there will be found, 
side by side with the great public buildings of our 
great cities there, the factory of the merchant and 
the bungalow of the planter. The exemptions from 
this jurisdiction, or the continuation of this privilege, 
I should be inchned to put on somewhat different grounds. 
Let me give an illustration from my own experience, 
which, I doubt not, will be corroborated by the experience 
of those around me. It is not so much that it will 
banish capital, but that it will give to those numerous em- 
ployes of companies and of institutions a sense of perpetual 
unrest, disquiet, and insecurity. (Cheers.) Let me take a 
case. A gentleman employed in agricultural pursuits, far 
away in some isolated and jungly district, becomes involved 
in what, for want of a better term, I will generalise as a series 
of agrarian disputes. Then, either from his own fault, per- 
haps, or from the unscrupulous character of the Natives, he 
becomes involved in some controversy which leads to the 
prosecution against him of a criminal charge. Now you are 
well aware (at least I am, from my own experience) that in iso- 
lated districts, far away from Calcutta — its Bar and its Press — 
in such districts, the presiding magistrate is compelled, by 
the very imperfect nature of the instruments before him, to 
be at once counsel for the prosecution, counsel for the de- 

Meeting in St, J antes s HalL 25 

fence, judge and jury. Now in cases which, however impor- 
tant to the individual, may not be important enough to 
warrant a transfer of the case to one of the courts in the 
Presidency, in such cases I think, that it is a reasonable 
privilege — a reasonable exemption — that a man so situated 
shall claim to be tried before an English judge, who, in addi- 
tion to his knowledge of the law, to the knowledge of Native 
character which has been secured by long and honourable 
service, has also that knowledge of the position and of the 
character and of the proclivities of his countryman, which 
will enable him to say with greater certainty than the Native, 
whether the charge brought against him is likely to be true, 
or whether the defence set up by the Englishman was in fact, 
and in law, substantiated. In all this I see nothing more 
anomalous, nothing more illogical, nothing more inconsistent, 
than in a thousand other cases which we have already had. 
And I put it to you whether after all society is not better 
satisfied, criticism is not more disarmed, and the interests of 
justice are not better consulted, when a European at a dis- 
tance from friends and advisers, is tried by a tribunal which 
is not only impartial, but which he and the world besides 
believes to be thoroughly equitable and impartial. (Cheers.) 
Without saying one single word against the class of Native 
judges, whose integrity and impartiality I am bound to admire, 
I do say that this claim on the part of an Englishman to be 
tried before one of his own countrymen, is one which has 
justice and right on his side. I would just for one moment 
refer to the general question of policy, and to the state of 
the controversy at the present time. It is within my recol- 
lection and knowledge, and I daresay it will be within your 
knowledge, if you have paid attention to the debates in the 
Legislative Council, that many of the avowed partizans of 
this Bill now declare plaintively and candidly that if they had 
had any notion that they were going to raise all this outcry and 
agitation, they would never have thought of introducing the 
Bill. (Hear, hear.) Perhaps I may be pardoned for giving 
you an anecdote of the late Lord Lawrence, which I don't 
think you will find in his admirable biography. Lord Law- 
rence was once engaged in a discussion in the Council, and 
after it was over he said to one of the most able and consci- 
entious members of the Council that he proposed to do so- 
and-so. This gentleman, who, to do him justice, knew a 
great deal of the law, but perhaps not so much of the coun- 
try, replied, " Why, your Excellency, you do not find any 
ground for doing this in the corners of this bundle of 

2 6 Meeting in St, Jamess Hall. 

papers ! " " My good fellow," his Excellency replied, with 
that frankness and that bonhomie which distinguished him 
throughout his life, " what you say is perfectly true, but, 
after all, is there not something due to a knowledge of the 
people and to political instinct ? " (Cheers.) Now, if those 
who are the partisans of this Bill had had anything of Lord 
Lawrence's sound political instinct, they would not have 
ventured to bring this Bill forward in the Council. (Cheers.) 
I would remind you, too, as your chairman has reminded you, 
that it is only just eleven years ago since this question was 
taken up and discussed in its present bearing, and was, as 
the officials and non-officials thought, finally set at rest by 
Sir Fitzjames Stephen. I don't say that any distinct pledge 
was given — for giving pledges is a rash thing — to the Anglo- 
Indians, that at no future time would this question of criminal 
jurisdiction be brought up ; but I do say there was a tacit 
pledge that it would not be raised without grave administra- 
tive reasons demanded it, at least for an Anglo-Indian gene- 
ration, which we may take at thirty years. And I may also 
remind you that when this Bill to remove so-called judicial or 
legislative anomalies shall be passed, the anomalies will 
still remain, as inconsistent, as illogical, and as incongruous 
as ever. The English judge will still be able to sentence the 
Rajah to death, and the English magistrate to give sentence 
of three years' imprisonment ; whereas, in the case of the 
Europeans, Native magistrates will only be able to give sen- 
tences of three months' imprisonment, and a judge only 
twelve months' imprisonment. I ask you, judging from past 
experience, how long do you think it likely that these patent 
anomalies shall escape the lynx-eyed investigation of some 
legislator who is anxious to make a name for himself.? 
(Cheers.) I say that the passing of this Bill will leave these 
anomahes just as inconsistent and illogical as they were 
before, and I will ask you, as I would ask any administrator 
of experience, whether it would not be much better to tolerate 
a system which involves a patent anomaly, which occasions, 
perhaps, a slight dislocation of the administrative machinery, 
which involves the transfer of one important case occasionally, 
where it would be important to the Europeans, from one 
tribunal to another, or a deputation, perhaps, of some Euro- 
peans to try a planter, or to try some Englishman up the 
country for an offence against the law, would it not be better 
to tolerate the system than to have all this agitation and all 
these evil passions aroused } (Cheers.) But, gentlemen, I 
remember that there are others who have to speak, and who 

Meeting in St. J antes s HalL 27 

will probably dilate from fuller experience and with more 
pregnant examples than I can give ;' but there is one grave 
question of State policy, which the chairman has truly re- 
marked, is brought to the front by this unhappy question. 
The eminent men who have built up in India a splendid edi- 
fice of British valour and statesmanship — whether they were 
nurtured in India itself, or whether leaving English policy 
behind at the Cape or in Egypt, they have, without par- 
tiality, without party, contributed to our moral and mate- 
rial prosperity — those great names, as we have been re- 
minded by the chairman, have preferred to act tacitly, but 
not openly, upon the maxim that we are more in India by 
ascendancy of character, by governing power, by the supre- 
macy of our language, of our laws, of our literature, and, 
above all, as a last resource, by the power of physical force ; 
but they have taken care not to parade these maxims before the 
world. They have not lectured their subjects of a conquered 
race on the evils that have been inflicted on them by cen- 
turies of priestcraft, of despotism, and of superstition. They 
have carefully kept those maxims to themselves, but it is the 
unhappy tendency of this controversy to bring into broad 
daylight everything which a wise and prudent administrator 
should seek to hide. (Hear, hear.) This discussion, as it has 
proceeded in India, has inevitably dipped the pen in gall, and 
has done more to embitter the relations between the European 
community and the Natives than any single proposal since the 
Mutiny, and to outrage the cherished conviction which is 
shared, I believe, by every Englishman in India, from the 
highest to the lowest, by the planter's assistant in his lonely 
bungalow, and by the editor in the full light of the Presidency 
town — from those to the Chief Commissioner in charge of an 
important province, and to the Viceroy on his throne — the 
conviction in every man that he belongs to a race whom God 
has destined to govern and subdue. (Cheers.) This subject has 
again revived those antipathies of race and creed and colour 
which in past times have been allowed to subside, and which 
from the occasion of the great Sepoy rising, it has been the 
constant endeavour of every patriotic Englishman to allay. 
I am not here to-day to imitate that language, but I do trust 
that all who follow me will imitate the example of our chair- 
man, and will to-day exhibit in argument the just and calm 
and dispassionate language which, if it may not sway the 
Council or the Cabinet, never fails ultimately to secure the 
respect and the reasonable submission and intelligent acquies- 
cence of a nation. I trust that we shall be — I trust that we 

2 8 Meeting in St, J antes s Hall. 

all, officials, and non-officials — shall be animated by a deter- 
mination to recognize that Empire as a magnificent heritage 
— not as a battle-field of politics, not as a scene of philan- 
thropic experiments — (hear, hear) — not as a place for the war- 
fare of party — but as a magnificent heritage which we are de- 
signed to, and which we ought to hand down to our successors, 
if not improved, at least unimpaired, and which every true 
Englishman has in his heart recognized as a material, well- 
earned increment to our already grand accumulation of public 
credit and of national renown. (Loud cheers.) 

Mr. J. D. Mayne (late Acting Advocate-General of Madras) : 
I am glad to have heard it so prominently put forward that 
this meeting is in no sense whatever a party movement. India 
was never won, and India will never be retained either by 
Liberals or Conservatives. India was won, and India must 
be kept, by the great body of Englishmen whose heritage it 
is, and there is no person, of whatever political party or poli- 
tical creed, who is not equally concerned in everything which 
interests the honour, the safety, and the dignity of our 
fellow-countrymen in the East. (Cheers.) Again, Sir, I 
think it most important that we should remember that we 
are not here to advocate the withdrawal from the Natives of 
any privilege that they possess, or even to withhold from the 
Natives any privilege which they desire. (Cheers.) The 
Natives at present are governed by a system of law and a 
system of judicature which was settled long years ago, with 
which they are perfectly satisfied, and which there is no in- 
tention to change. (Cheers.) The proposed change only 
concerns the very few Englishmen who may from time to time 
be brought before criminal courts ; and it is no more a matter 
of interest to the Natives that these should be committed by 
Native magistrates, or tried by Native judges, than that in the 
hour of their illness they should be prescribed for by Native 
doctors, or operated upon by Native surgeons. (Cheers.) I 
grant you that if it could be shown that the possession of 
the present privilege entailed any partiality in dealing with 
the Europeans, if it could be shown that by means of that 
privilege the Native prosecutor was put at any disadvantage, 
then I admit freely that the privilege should be withdrawn. 
But it has never been suggested that any European judge or 
any European Magistrate in dealing with his fellow country- 
men has been guilty of partiality. (Cheers.) And I do say, 
and every one who knows India will echo my opinion, that 
there is not a Native in India who in any cause in which his 
interests are concerned, whether his opponent be a European 

Meeting in St. y antes s Hall. 29 

or a Native, would not by preference choose an English 
judge to try him. (Loud cheers.) It seems to me that we 
should remember in discussing this question that we are asked 
to remove a privilege, the possession of which does no injury 
to anybody, and the withdrawal of which will confer no 
benefit upon any human being on the globe. But, Sir, this 
privilege is one, time-honoured and ancestral, the birthright 
of every Englishman, which he prizes as his life. It is the 
privilege that in every stage of a criminal proceeding, in every 
stage of any proceeding which may affect his liberty, his 
character, or his life, he shall be judged by a countryman of 
his own. (Cheers.) Sir, this is no fantastic or new-fangled 
privilege, invented for the first time by a small privileged 
body for their own purposes. This is a privilege, the roots 
of which must be sought in the foundations of the English 
Constitution. This is a privilege which has been asserted 
and maintained by every Christian nation in their dealings 
throughout the East, and this is a privilege which has been 
asserted and confirmed within recent years, not merely by 
the Indian Legislature, but by the British Parliament itself. 
Upwards of six centuries and a-half have passed since the 
barons extorted from King John the Magna Charta, which 
was in itself the declaration of the English common law, and 
one of the rights which they insisted upon for themselves 
and for their plebeian subjects was this, that every man 
should be judged by the decision of his own peers, and in 
pursuance of that right, and up to the present day the com- 
moner is tried by the commoner, and the peer is tried by the 
peer. If Lord Ripon were to return to England and be 
guilty of a felony — (laughter) — Lord Ripon would not be tried 
by the Lord Chief Justice of England and a jury sitting at 
the Old Bailey, but he would have to be tried by the Lord 
High Steward of England and the assembled peerage of 
Great Britain in their ermine and their robes. (Cheers.) 
Again, it is the first principle of International Law that 
every nation has a right to try foreigners of whatever origin 
within its own shores for crimes committed within its own 
jurisdiction ; but the Christian nations of Europe have per- 
sistently refused to recognise that right in their dealings with 
Eastern races, and in all their dealings in Turkey, in Europe, 
in Africa, in Asia, in Japan, they have persisted in maintain- 
ing the right of their subjects to be tried for criminal offences 
by their own countrymen, and their own countrymen alone. 
(Cheers.) I observed in a recent article by Sir Arthur 
Hobhouse that he attempts to deal with, and to set aside, 

30 Meeting in St. Jamess HalL 

this argument by saying that it rests upon a different principle 
— that it rests upon the ground that the laws of those nations 
are in themselves unjust, that their punishments are in them- 
selves cruel, and that they refused to admit the evidence of 
the European and of his friends. I will give Sir Arthur 
Hobhouse another instance to which he will not be able to 
find the same objection. India, as we know, is encircled and 
intersected by Native States : many of them have reached 
the highest stage of organization ; some of them possess 
tribunals as good as our own, and laws modelled upon our 
own. Travancore and Mysore have exactly the same 
criminal law as British India, and their judges' tribunals are 
precisely as good as our own. Well, the India Office has 
persistently refused to allow any European who commits an 
offence in a Native State to be tried by the tribunals of that 
State — (cheers) — and if a European commits an offence in 
Travancore or in Mysore, he must be brought up before the 
High Court of the adjoining Presidency, or tried by a 
countryman of his own in the Native State. And, Sir, the 
principle upon which this exemption rests, is rational and 
sound. It does not rest upon any idea that the Native 
judge will necessarily be partial or unfair, but it rests upon 
the principle that every criminal has a right to be tried by a 
judge who understands his feelings, who understands his 
ways, w^ho understands what are the temptations to which he 
is likely to give way, who understands what are his modes of 
action and his modes of thought. And I maintain with 
confidence that there is no Native judge, however wise, 
however just, however learned, who is so capable of under- 
standing the ways of thought and the modes of action, the 
habits and the manners of an Englishman, and still more 
of an Englishwoman, that in any case of controversy his 
decision would be satisfactory. (Hear, hear.) I believe 
that if this attempt to give jurisdiction to Native judges 
were successful, every case which ended in conviction would 
be followed by an embittered controversy, which would 
spread anger and dismay throughout the length and breadth 
of the land. (Cheers.) Now we are asked whether we 
think that Native judges would be consciously unfair to a 
British subject. Frankly speaking for myself, I should say 
that in ordinary cases, and under ordinary circumstances, I 
do not think they would. (Hear, hear.) I believe that the 
Native judge, if a European of influence and position were 
brought before him, would display to him a very much 
greater degree of leniency than he would receive from his 

Meeting in St, Jamess HalL 31 

own countryman. I believe that, if a European of influence 
and position were brought before him, charged with a 
crime of which he was really guilty, he would not 
receive from that Native the stern and unhesitating 
justice which would be meted out to him by a judge of his 
own language. But in the case of the lower classes of Euro- 
peans I am by no means confident that it would be the same. 
I think, for instance, that if a couple of half-intoxicated 
sailors were brought up before a Brahmin magistrate for 
having broken into a Hindu pagoda, or slaughtered a sacred 
monkey, they would probably receive very hard measure 
indeed — (laughter) — partly because the magistrate would be 
utterly unable to put himself into the point of view from 
which the accused regarded the offence, and partly because 
the culprits would probably conduct themselves before him 
with a degree of levity — (laughter) — and independence which 
would very much excite his indignation. It seems to me 
that in considering the granting of this jurisdiction to Native 
judges, this is a matter most important to be considered. 
The great majority of offences would be what we call police 
offences, assaults, drunken freaks, and the like, committed by 
the lowest class of Europeans — the guards, the engine-drivers, 
the mechanics, the loafers, and so forth. No^, I cannot 
imagine a spectacle more derogatory to the dignity of the 
European than the spectacle of one of these unintelligent 
and angry Europeans, hustled about like an indignant 
Samson by half a dozen puny Native constables, and bad- 
gered for a day before a fussy and self-sufficient Native 
magistrate who did not understand him, and by whom he 
was not understood. When I was in India, it was the in- 
variable practice, whenever it was possible, to effect the arrest 
of a European by means of a European constable, and it 
was always found that the European at once submissively 
yielded to the European constable, and went with confidence 
and respect before the European magistrate, because both 
the European constable and the European magistrate em- 
bodied to his eyes the majesty of the law to which he had 
been accustom.ed to yield and respect from his birth. (Hear, 
hear.) But no European of the lower class ever does 
believe, or ever can be brought to believe, that any Native, 
however highly placed, is his equal. It may be very un- 
becoming, it may be very unchristianlike, that he should 
not do so. I am far from wishing to defend him for not 
doing so ; but it is an ultimate fact in his nature that nothing 
will induce him to give the same submission and respect to 

32 Meeting in St. y antes s Hall. 

a Native that he will do to his fellow-countrymen. Perhaps 
this may be a part of the same feeling which has induced 
him always to unflinchingly fight against overwhelming odds, 
and has led Englishmen to march to victory in every quarter 
of the globe, from Cape Comorin to Cashmere. (Cheers.) 
I ask you, is it wise to alter a system under which ready and 
unhesitating obedience to the law is accorded by those who 
are most likely to be subject to it, for the sake of substituting 
a tribunal which the culprit will not respect, which he would 
resist with unavailing, unseemly resistance, and whose 
decision would not be accepted with acquiescence by himself 
or his friends } I have no hesitation in saying that there is 
not a European convicted by a Native judge who would not 
be of opinion that if he could have reported his own case in 
his own language to one of his countrymen, the result would 
have been different. (Hear, hear.) Now again. Sir, we know 
that India is pre-eminently the land of false complaints. 
Where the Italian stabs with the stiletto, the Native 
strikes with the sword of the law. Let me read to you a 
passage familiar to every one of you, from Macaulay's great 
essay upon "Warren Hastings." He says: — "An Indian 
Government has only to let it be understood that it wishes a 
particular man to be ruined, and in twenty-four hours it will be 
furnished with grave charges, supported by depositions so 
full and circumstantial, that any person unaccustomed to 
Asiatic mendacity will regard them as decisive." What was 
true, as stated by Macaulay, of a Native Indian Government, 
is equally true of any person, or of any class of persons, who 
have influence enough to wish to bribe false testimony. One 
instance of this sort has been read out to you by Mr. Leth- 
bridge. Let me quote to you an instance from my own 
personal experience in India. Every one, probably, who has 
been in India, could furnish you with half a dozen similar 
instances, but this will do as well as any other. A good 
many years ago I had to defend a Native judge, or Moon- 
sijfy as he was called, and twenty-five or thirty coolies upon 
the charge of what was called ** torchlight robbery." The 
case was proved with an amount of unanimity and respecta- 
bility of testimony that I have hardly ever seen equalled. 
Numbers of respectable inhabitants were called to prove 
that they had been awoke in the middle of the night by a 
gang of men who had burst into the village, burning their 
torches, and slinging their stones , and firing off their 
muskets ; that they heard them break into the house of a 
respectable merchant (who was himself produced), and that 

Meeting in St. James's Hall. '^'^ 

they had gutted his house, and set the greater part of his 
property on fire. At the end of nearly a week's trial it was 
proved and established beyond all dispute that there never 
had been a torchlight robbery at all. (Laughter.) That is 
to say, every one of the facts proved were perfectly true, but 
the whole thing had simply been a pantomime. A number 
of persons had been heard to enter the village in the manner 
perfectly truly described, in the middle of the night ; they 
had then gone and broken open the house of a Native 
merchant, which he had kindly placed at their disposal, and 
they had burnt a quantity of old accounts and papers which 
he with equal liberality supplied to them for the purpose. 
The whole object of the charge had been to crush the Native 
judge who had made himself obnoxious to the Brahmins of 
the district, and the twenty-five or thirty Native coolies 
were thrown in at random to add probability to the charge. 
Gentlemen, I need hardly say that a European, unprotected 
in a distant district, is pre-eminently exposed to charges of 
this sort. It is said, " But suppose a charge of this sort is 
made, the Native judge is as capable of detecting the falsity 
as a European judge would be." In thecase of a charge brought 
against a Native I think that would be so, but it would not 
be so in the case of a charge brought against ^ European. 
Natives getting up a false charge would arrange all the facts 
and all the circumstances, so as to give preparatory answers 
according to their own view of what is probability, and in the 
case of a Native they would make it probable, and any improb- 
abilities would be disbelieved by the Native ; but it would be 
utterly impossible for a number of Natives making up a 
charge against a European to frame a connected chain of 
falsehoods which should not contain numerous improbabilities 
arising out of the habits and manners and ways of action 
of the European which would at once stamp it with falsity 
in the mind of a European judge, but which a Native judge 
would accept as adding probability to the charge. (Cheers.) 
And again, although I am quite willing to allow the most 
thorough credit to the Native judges for impartiality in an 
ordinary case, and under ordinary circumstances, you must 
remember that our system of judicature must be arranged 
with a view to extraordinary cases, and India is pre-eminently 
the country in which, according to the French proverb, the 
unforeseen is that which is almost certain to happen. You 
never know at what moment some wave of national, political, 
or religious feeling may sweep over the face of India, and 
convulse Native society to its depths, and when such an 


34 Meeting in St. James s Hall. 

emergency arises, every Native is subject to political, social, 
and religious influences, the depth and the power of which 
we are utterly unable to estimate, and when an occasion of 
the sort arises, I do not say that a Native judge would neces- 
sarily be partial — he would try not to be so if he could, but 
I hardly believe he could if he would — but this I am certain 
of, that his decision would never be accepted as being im- 
partial. Take, for instance, the present state of things in 
Bengal. Consider the torrents of obloquy and vituperation 
which are heaped upon every Native who has attempted to 
stand up against this change recommended by Mr. Ilbert. 
Can .you imagine any Native strong enough to resist the 
whole torrent of the public opinion of his own country 1 
Take again what is known at present as the contempt of 
co2irt case. Never was there a case in which the parties 
assailed were so utterly and transparently right as they were 
in that case. A dispute arises between two Native members 
of a family as to the possession of an idol. Both parties, 
who are Hindoos, and the counsel, who are Hindoos, ask 
the judge to have the idol before him for inspection. After 
taking the opinion of a high- caste Brahmin, he consents 
to do so, and, having done so, he is assailed by a Native 
paper as a Jefferies and Scroggs, and with all sorts of vile 
epithets. He is accused of having attempted to tamper with 
the religious feelings of the Natives, and the whole length 
and breadth of Indian society is convulsed with the charge. 
Let us recall those days that are within the memory of most 
of us — the time of the Indian Mutiny. Do you believe that 
if such a period were to recur, any Government worthy 
of its name would be able to leave the criminal jurisdiction 
of Europeans in the hands of Native magistrates } (Cheers.) 
Do you think they would venture to incur the risk of having 
man after man picked off by Natives and consigned to prisons 
under their own control, for their own destruction } They 
would not do so. But I ask, what are we to think of a 
system of judicature which at the very time when it ought 
to be in the fullest working order, is by the nature of things 
to be put completely out of gear } (Hear, hear.) Now I 
wish to refer to one or two of the arguments in favour of 
this Bill, which have been advanced by its most accom- 
plished advocate. Sir Arthur Hobhouse. I shall not deal at 
length with the anomaly argument which has been discussed 
so ably and so effectively by Mr. Seton-Karr, but I will only 
say this — that if there is one anomaly greater than these 
privileges, if there is an anomaly greater than the existence 

Meeting in St. yamess Hall. 35 

of our own empire, it is the anomaly that for the last 
hundred years Hindoos and Mahomedans, Sikhs and 
Rajputs have, under our rule, and by the possession of our 
privileges, lived together in harmony and peace. (Cheers.) 
It is the anomaly that for the first time in their own 
experience we have put a stop to the ravages of the 
Pindarees and the Thugs, and that the very class of people 
who are at present calling out against our tyranny and 
oppression, are living under a system of liberty and equality, 
such as they never could have enjoyed under their own 
Native rulers. (Cheers.) Again, Sir, we are met with that 
familiar argument th*at this is only a very little measure, 
and Sir Arthur Hobhouse is quite triumphant against Lord 
Salisbury, because he made the mistake of saying that under 
this measure, if passed, the lives of English subjects would 
be at the mercy of the Natives. That is not so at present, 
but I must remind you that those who advocate this measure 
avowedly intend it as the first instalment towards the utter 
sweeping away of every European privilege. (Cheers.) If 
you once admit that this principle is indefensible, that the 
European should be tried by only his own countrymen, it is 
a logical and necessary result of the abrogation of that 
principle that every atom of the privileges which he at 
present enjoys, should be swept away from under his feet. 
(Hear, hear.) If you once allow this beginning, it must go 
on to the end, and before very long the time will come when 
the European in the distant Mofussil will be committed by 
a Native magistrate upon a criminal charge, sentenced to 
death by a Native judge, his sentence confirmed by a Native 
High Court, and himself hanged within a month by a Native 
executioner. I ask you whether that state of things will be 
satisfactory to those who have sons, and, still more, those 
who have daughters, who are likely to take up their resi- 
dence in India .^ Then, again, we are told that we ought not 
to be dissatisfied with this measure, because similar measures 
have already been passed that have had no evil result. It 
is said, '' Look at the police magistrates in Calcutta. Look 
at the High Courts. In those Courts there are Native judges. 
Yet you are satisfied with their decisions." Sir, there is no 
parallel whatever between the two cases. (Hear, hear.) 
The Native police magistrate sits in the full blaze of the 
public opinion of the assembled European community. He 
pronounces his decisions after argument by European 
counsel, and his decisions are published and commented 
upon by the European Press. The High Court judges, 

D 2 


6 Meeting in St. J antes s Hall. 

again, are the pick of the Native Bar — are men, few hitherto 
in numbers, who have passed their whole time in administer- 
ing justice before Enghsh tribunals, and who have become 
impregnated with the principles of English law. But, I ask 
you, do you think it would be satisfactory that all the police 
magistrates should be Natives, and that all the High Court 
judges should also be Natives ? I think it would not be so. 
(Cheers.) But if the present Bill is passed, the position of 
a European in the distant districts of the Mofussil will be 
exactly like that of a European in Calcutta, if he were 
brought up before a bench consisting wholly of Native 
magistrates, with an appeal to Native judges. Suppose that 
the English Press had been swept away, that the English 
Bar had vanished, that the whole European community had 
disappeared. That would be the parallel, and that parallel, 
I say, would not be satisfactory to you. (Cheers.) There 
is one more observation I wish to make. We all know that 
beneath the calm and placid exterior of Indian society there 
lurk elements of disturbance which are continually ready to 
break out with all the violence of a volcano. Is it wise that 
we should supply fresh means for political controversy } is it 
wise that we should supply fresh causes of the bitterness of 
class 1 Hitherto, the strongest part of our administration 
has been the administration of the law. Is it wise to change 
that for a system which cannot possibly be better, and which 
will inevitably be worse t Hitherto, every person, of what- 
ever class. Native or European, has leaned with undoubt- 
ing confidence upon the impartiality and the strength of 
our judicial system ; but if it were once imagined for a 
moment that that judicial system could be worked for the 
purpose of gratifying Native spite against a prominent 
European, then I say a storm of resistless anger would arise, 
which would sweep like a hurricane over the length and 
breadth of the land. (Cheers.) We at present see from 
this controversy the bitterness that has arisen between 
Natives and Europeans, official and non-official — a bitterness 
which has never existed since the days of the Indian Mutiny. 
I do implore our rulers to be warned in time. I do implore 
our rulers to beware, lest in attempting to repair a defect, 
imaginary and theoretical, in the bulwarks of our constitu- 
tion, they introduce a rift, small, perhaps, and unperceived, 
but which will gradually widen and enlarge until before it 
the very fabric of our Empire crumbles into ruins. (Loud 

Mr. J. M. Maclean (late editor of Bombay Gazette) : In 

Meeting in St. J antes s HalL 37 

rising to second this resolution,* I must say that I do so with 
great pleasure, because I was intimately connected, during a 
long career in India, with that non-official class against whom 
this measure is chiefly directed. I have always, for my own 
part, had a strong feeling of contempt for those decorous 
trappings of hypocrisy with which many Englishmen 
attempt to disguise from themselves the real character of 
our tenure of power in India. This movement is strictly 
non-political, and I am, therefore, free to say to-day that I 
think it is a great misfortune that public men of both parties 
in recent years have been too profuse in the use of high- 
sounding phrases about equality and fraternity, and the 
rights of man generally, addressed to the people of India. 
The misfortune of Lord Ripon is, that he, being apparently a 
very sincere and simple-minded man, has come to the con- 
clusion that those phrases were to be accepted in earnest, 
and has tried to carry them out and to put in force the 
principles of the French Revolution as applied to the 
Government of India. (Cheers.) To show that I am not 
going too far in saying this, let me remind you what is 
the ground upon which Lord Ripon proposes this alteration 
of the law. He says expressly in his despatch to the Secre- 
tary of State that no change in the law wilf be stable or 
satisfactory which does not sweep away completely, and at 
once, every judicial disqualification based on difference of 
race, or on the supposed privileges of a dominant caste. 
Lord Hartington actually re-echoes that opinion. Well, 
gentlemen, can you imagine anything more ludicrous than 
an English Secretary of State, and an English Viceroy, who 
hold those appointments simply by virtue of being English- 
men, consulting v/ith one another how they shall do away with 
the privileges of their humbler fellow-countrymen in India } 
(Cheers.) They do not for a moment propose to lay down 
their own offices ; that would be going too far ; that would 
be carrying their principle " to an illogical extent," possibly 
they would say. (Laughter.) But they are quite ready to 
attack those of their fellow-countrymen who have gone 
abroad for the purpose of doing their best to improve the 
welfare both of India and of England. I think it is a great 
misfortune that a number of public speakers and writers in this 
country have seized with avidity upon some indiscreet ex- 
pressions used at a Calcutta meeting which was held to 
protest against this Bill. There are some Englishmen 
in this country who seem to be never happier than 

* The last resolution on page 41. 

38 Meeting in St. James s Hall. 

when they are showing their superior virtue by vili- 
fying their countrymen abroad. (Cheers.) When we 
consider all the circumstances of the case, the English- 
men in Bengal might say to themselves, as Lord Clive 
did on a memorable' occasion, ''we are only amazed at our 
own moderation." Just consider for a moment what this 
class of non-official Europeans is in India. It is composed 
of planters, professional men, and skilled workmen in all 
departments. Well, these men are necessarily a privileged, 
dominant class. No legislation can make them anything else 
but the Government itself. I dare say some of you have 
noticed, from the Gazette of India the other day, that Lord 
Ripon has been conferring decorations on officers of a 
volunteer regiment formed in India. There the Government 
recognized the exceptional position which the non-official 
Europeans in India hold. They dare not appeal to the 
loyalty of the Natives to form volunteer regiments. No, but 
they appeal with confidence to the loyalty of the non-official 
Europeans in the country, and they have raised regiments 
several thousand strong to assist in the defence of our Indian 
Empire. So, in the same w^ay, when any tax is brought for- 
ward, it is to the non-official Europeans that the Government 
look to set the Natives an example of how to make sacrifices 
of their own personal interests for the benefit of the State. 
In the same way, when any measure is brought forward 
that the Government wishes the Natives to adopt in a quiet 
and loyal spirit, it is to the English Press and the English 
non-official class in India that they appeal, and the appeal is 
never disregarded. (Applause.) Then, gentlemen, is it not 
monstrous that, having to deal with such a community, the 
Government of India never for a moment thought of asking 
w^iat would be the opinion of the non-official community 
themselves regarding this change in the law which was about 
to be introduced 1 If you look at the papers presented to 
Parliament, you will find adverse opinions expressed by every 
class in India, by officials belonging to every province — some 
of the provinces not in the least degree interested in this 
Bill ; but the Government of India seems never for a mo- 
ment to have thought of consulting the Chambers of Com- 
merce, of consulting the Associations of Planters, or the 
prominent men of the Anglo-Indian community, to learn how 
this Bill would be received by them. (Cheers.) That was a 
very great and serious mistake for them to make. I am quite 
certain, from the way in which the Anglo-Indian community 
have behaved at other times, that this Bill would have been 

Meeting in St. J antes s Hall. 39 

discussed by them in a Svober and temperate spirit, and that they 
would have been anxious to do what they could to further 
the intentions of Government. Look at their conduct, for 
instance, with regard to the appointment of Native magis- 
trates in Calcutta and Bombay. Those appointments have 
not always been so successful as some people imagine. I 
dare say Europeans of the well-to-do class do not know the 
feelings with which decisions of Native magistrates are 
sometimes received by the humbler classes of their fellow- 
countrymen who come before them. There is a well-known 
story of a sailor who was brought before a very intelligent 
Native magistrate in Bombay, and he was told by the Euro- 
pean constable in charge of him that he was brought up for 
disobedience, and asked what he had to say. The sailor cast 
a glance upon the Native magistrate, hitched up his trousers, 
and said, " Well, I have nothing to say except this, * that I 
object to be tried by a Coolie magistrate.' " (Laughter.) 
Still, I am afraid that that is the feeling with which very 
often the decisions of the Presidency Native magistrates are 
received by the sailors, and such men brought before them. 
But still, the European community have acquiesced in the 
appointment of the Native magistrates ; they have never 
severely criticised them, and that is a proof of their mode- 
ration, which the Government ought to have taken into ac- 
count. I shall not detain you by going very closely into this 
question, because it has been very freely discussed to-day, and 
I am sure you are already getting a little weary. I will only say 
one thing, that in all the papers which have been presented 
to Parliament, there is a strong feeling amongst the officials 
themselves, who were consulted by the Government of Lidia 
in the first instance, that it was a pity that this Bill should 
have been brought forward. Mr. Grant Duff, about the 
purity of whose Liberalism no possible doubt can exist, says 
in his minute on the Bill, " It is perhaps a pity that just now 
a measure of this kind should be brought forward which can 
affect so very few persons indeed," And Mr. T. C. Hope, 
who is a member of the Viceroy's Council, insists on the 
essential difference of race, and tries, though evidently under 
the influence of the Viceroy, to minimize this Bill as far as he 
possibly can. The same feeling is evidenced in all the official 
despatches that were received. The Government of India very 
eagerly seized on some expression of the judges of Bombay ; 
but I am informed on excellent authority that the Chief 
Justice of Bombay, though he expressed an opinion as to the 
way in which the administration of the law could be carried 

40 Meeting in St. Jamess Hall. 

out if this change were effected, pronounced no opinion what- 
ever on the expediency or the pohtical suitabihty of a mea- 
sure of the kind. I met also not very long ago a very dis- 
tinguished Anglo-Indian, who told me that he had given an 
opinion in favour of this Bill some years ago, but he thought 
it would be madness for any practical statesman to persevere 
with the Bill in the face of the storm of opposition which it 
has encountered. (Cheers.) Now we have a consensus of 
official and non-official opinion against this measure, and we 
can go now to Lord Kimberley and ask him that it shall be 
withdrawn. But remember, ladies and gentlemen, that be- 
hind the Secretary of State in this matter there lies the 
people of England, and if the Secretary of State should 
refuse to heed our appeal — if, unfortunately, the Government 
should persevere with this ill-omened measure — it rests upon 
every one of us to do his utmost to appeal to the people of 
England to do us justice. (Loud cheers.) Even extreme 
politicians in this country are very ready to use the ascend- 
ancy of England in India for promoting their own purposes. 
Let me point out to you that only a few days ago at Birming- 
ham, Mr. Bright, when he was looking at the wall of tariffs 
built up by foreign nations to shut out English goods, and 
trying whether he could find a breach in the wall anywhere, 
exclaimed, triumphantly, "India at all events is a free trade 
country.'' Yes, but why is India a free trade country } 
Not of her own free will ; not by the consent of the 
people of India, whose interests Mr. Bright is sup- 
posed to have so entirely at heart. Free trade was 
forced upon India at the point of the sword, as Mr. 
Bright himself vv'ould say, if he were speaking to 
his opponents. It was forced upon the people of India by a 
Government which supposed it knew better what were the 
interests of the country than the people of India did. I 
concur thoroughly with the Government which made the 
beneficial change. I have always held that the cotton 
industry of India ought not to be backed up by protective 
duties, and that if it cannot prosper without those duties, it 
ought to fail, and the people of India ought to be allowed 
to buy their goods in the cheapest market. But that is not 
the opinion of the people of India themselves. They believe 
that those duties were taken off for the benefit of Mr. Bright's 
friends in Lancashire, and they complain that it was an act 
of oppression to compel them to put direct taxes upon them- 
selves in order that this benefit might be conferred upon Mr. 
Briglit's friends. (Cheers.) If English ascendancy in India 

Meeting in St. J antes s HalL 41 

can be used in order to put down protection and to make 
free trade triumph, why should it not also be used for the 
protection of the liberty and property of non-official Euro- 
peans who make India the best customer for the trade of 
England, and to whose enterprise and industry it is due that 
India is now so profitable a component part of the British 
Empire ? Let me tell these extreme politicians, who are so 
inconsistent when their interests are concerned, that if they 
wish to try their sentimental theories of a false humani- 
tarianism anywhere, they must find some other field than 
India. (Cheers.) The danger there is too great. If this 
policy should be persevered in — this ill-omened and disas- 
trous policy — it can only end in bringing about consequences 
which will be most injurious to the interests of England 
and to the welfare of India. (Applause.) 

The following resolutions were passed at the meeting : — 

I. " That this meeting disapproves of the Bill now before 
the Indian Legislature to amend the Code of Criminal Pro- 
cedure, 1882, and desires to move Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment to take measures for the withdrawal of the same." 

II. "That the Secretary of State for India be j-equested to 
receive a deputation to lay before him the grounds of objec- 
tion to the Bill." 

III. "That the following gentlemen do form an Execu- 
tive Committee (with power to add to their number) for 
carrying out the objects of the meeting, and to take 
such further steps as may be necessary : — Major-General 
W. Agnew, late Judicial Commissioner of Assam ; Sir 
Alexander J. Arbuthnot, K.C.S.I., CLE., late member of the 
Supreme Council of India ; Henry Berners, Esq., late of 
Calcutta ; Colonel C. S. Blair, late Deputy Commis- 
sioner, Mysore ; J. H. A. Branson, Esq., late of Calcutta ; 

C. J. Brookes, Esq., late of Calcutta ; C. T. Buck- 
land, Esq., late B.C.S. and member of Board of 
Revenue, Calcutta ; J. R. BuUen-Smith, Esq., C.S.I., late 
member of Legislative Council of India ; Sir Orfeur Cave- 
nagh, K.C.S.I., late Governor Straits Settlements ; M. 

D. Chalmers, Esq., late Bengal Civil Service ; Surgeon- 
General R. Cockburn ; General Sir A. Cotton, K.C.S.I., 
R.E. ; J. Dacosta, Esq., late of Calcutta ; Surgeon-General 
A. C. C. de Renzy, C.B., late Sanitary Commissioner of 
Assam ; Lieut-Colonel Eardley-Wilmot, 14th Bengal Lan- 
cers ; James Fergusson, Esq., CLE. ; Sir T. Douglas 
Forsyth, K.C.S.I., C.B., late Commissioner, Punjab ; Surgeon- 

42 Meetmg in St. ya7ness Hall. 

General C. A. Gordon, C.B., late Principal Medical Officer, 
British Forces, Madras ; Edward Grey, Esq., late Bengal 
Civil Service; H. Hankey, Esq., late Bengal Civil, Service, 
and Inspector-General of Police, N.W.P. ; R. S, Hills, Esq., 
late of Calcutta ; Major-General H. Hopkinson, C.S.I., late 
Chief Commissioner of Assam ; Colonel R. H. Keatinge, 
V.C., C.S.I., late Chief Commissioner of Assam ; J. B. Knight, 
Esq., CLE., late member of the Bengal Legislative Council ; 
A. Lawrie, Esq., of Calcutta ; C. A. Lawson, Esq., editor of 
the Madras Mail ; Roper Lethbridge, Esq., CLE., late Press 
Commissioner of India ; S. P. Low, Esq., of Messrs. Grindlay 
and Co. ; J. M. MacLean, Esq., late editor Bombay Gazette ; 
Melville MacNaghten, Esq., of Nischindapur, Bengal ; 
Colonel G. B. Malleson, C.S.I., late Guardian of the Maha- 
rajah of Mysore ; G. F. Mewburn, Esq., late member of the 
Legislative Council of India ; E. C Morgan, Esq., late 
member of the Legislative Council of India ; A. T. Osmond, 
Esq., late of Calcutta ; Deputy-Surgeon-General S. B. 
Partridge ; W. G. Probyn, late Bengal Civil Service, and 
Judge of Saharunpore ; E. T. Roberts, Esq., Barrister, late 
of Calcutta ; A. Rogers, Esq., late member of the Bombay 
Council ; J. O'B. Saunders, Esq., proprietor of The English- 
man, Calcutta ; Lieut.-General A. C Silver, late Secretary 
to Government in the Military Department ; W. S. Seton- 
Karr, Esq., late Bengal Civil Service, and Foreign Secretary 
to the Government of India ; John Stevenson, Esq., of 
Midnapore, Bengal ; Chas. Sanderson, late Solicitor to the 
Government of India, Calcutta ; Major-'General E. Tyrwhitt, 
late Inspector-General of Police, N.W.P. ; Lieut. Templer, 
late Indian Navy ; Ernest Tye, Esq., late Hon. Magistrate 
and J. P., Assam ; J. D. Ward, Esq., late Bengal Civil Service 
and Judge of Chittagong ; Colonel T. Prendergast Walsh, 
late Bombay Army ; Brigade-Surgeon J. Berry White, late 
Civil Surgeon, Assam ; and Geo. Williamson, Esq., late of 


{June 26, 1883.) 

The meeting held yesterday afternoon to protest against 
the Ilbert Bill was in point of numbers as successful as its 
most sanguine promoters could have ventured to anticipate. 
The hall was filled to overflowing with an audience obviously 
very much in earnest in seeking the withdrawal of the mea- 
sure. Sir Alexander J. Arbuthnot occupied the chair, and 
set forth the main points of the controversy in a speech 
marked by studious moderation of statement. His estimate 
of the gravity of the present crisis can scarcely be-contested, 
whatever may be thought of the merits of the question in 
dispute. It is unfortunately beyond doubt that the introduc- 
tion of the Criminal Jurisdiction Bill has caused widespread 
agitation and excitement, has evoked antipathies of race, and 
has produced a vast amount of reciprocal irritation, which 
might very well have been avoided. Sir Alexander Arbuth- 
not holds that these mischievous results of the discussion 
which has been going on for the last four months will be in- 
tensified and rendered permanent if the Indian Government 
persists in passing the Bill. The objections felt to the juris- 
diction of Native magistrates over Englishmen in criminal 
cases are, he assures us, of a kind which custom will not 
diminish, but will rather deepen and increase. Leaving to 
others the treatment of the detailed arguments against the 
Bill, he passed to the consideration of what is now the domi- 
nant factor in the case — the extraordinarily unanimous oppo- 
sition of the Avhole Anglo-Indian population. He has no 
objection to giving to competent Natives an Increasing share 
in the government of India, and he can appeal to his Indian 
career to show that no narrow and Illiberal jealousy dictates 
his present conduct. But he thinks, as do thousands more 
who are honestly anxious to give scope for the just ambition 

44 Leading Article in the '' Times T 

of Natives, that there are many ways of utilizing their ablH- 
ties without meddling with the particular department which 
the proposed law invades. Jurisdiction over Englishmen in 
criminal cases ought to be one of the last proofs of our con- 
fidence in Native probity and impartiality, and can very well 
be withheld for a long time to come without in any appreci- 
able degree hampering reformers who wish to develop Native 
capacity for administration. To be judged by their peers is 
the most dearly prized right of Englishmen, and the preser- 
vation of that right is incompatible with the transfer of 
criminal jurisdiction to men differing from them in race, 
religion, history, and education. 

The chairman laid great stress upon the evidence that this 
feeling prevails not among this or that section, but among all 
classes who are practically acquainted with India. It is 
very probable that some men of ability and position can be 
found to defend the Ilbert Bill. The striking originality 
required to produce a measure of which no one approves, is 
not to be looked for in the Indian Government. But the 
point is that the overwhelming majority of those who have 
to live under Indian law, and in whose exertions lies the 
best hope of Indian advance, are, rightly or wrongly, con- 
vinced that the proposed change is a mistake ; while among 
Indian officials, whether active or retired, the preponderant 
opinion is to the same effect. Sir Alexander Arbuthnot uses 
an argument alike legitimate and unanswerable when he 
points to the long list of official and non-official persons who 
have intimated their objections to the Bill ; to the reports 
which prove that the general opinion of English adminis- 
trators throughout India is hostile to it ; and to the passages 
which show that, so far as authority is to be relied upon, the 
eminent Anglo-Indians of earlier days have condemned the 
present proposal by anticipation. It may be possible to pro- 
duce a similar array of instructed opinions upon the other 
side. It may be that there are Indian officials, past and 
present, who have remained silent while this question was 
being debated, though fully convinced that the Ilbert Bill is 
wise and expedient. It may be that throughout India there 
is a great body of hitherto silent planters, merchants, and 
artisans who look with perfect equanimity upon the prospect 
of being judged by Natives, But in that case it is fair to 
ask that they shall be produced. At present the whole 
current of Anglo-Indian conviction appears to run strongly 
in the opposite direction, and while it does so, it must 
remain a thing which no wise Government will venture to 

Leading Article in the '' Times J' 45 

disregard. We might grant that the Bill is right in the . 
abstract without in the smallest degree weakening the prac- 
tical objections to passing it. By the showing of its friends 
its action will be of the most limited kind. Out of the vast 
and heterogeneous population of India, divided by every 
kind of religious, ethnic, and social barrier, it selects a mere 
handful of fortunate persons and declares them eligible for 
the post of judge in criminal cases affecting Europeans. In 
bringing about this infinitesimal result, it arouses the appre- 
hension and the hostility of the whole body of Englishmen in 
or concerned with India. Is the game worth the candle "i 
Is it desirable to do so much evil that so small a good may 
accrue } That is practically the question put by the chair- 
man of yesterday's meeting, and it is one that peculiarly 
calls for the attention of statesmen, no matter what may be 
the abstract arguments for the Ilbert Bill. It does not do 
to dismiss the whole body of hostile opinion as the fruit of 
panic or unreasoning prejudice. Englishmen in India are of 
the same race as those who stay at home, and an opinion 
shared by a great number of them, possessed of more than 
the average intelligence and enterprise, deserves, at least, as 
respectful treatment as would be accorded to a popular vote 
in England. No one surely will be cynical enough to main- 
tain that opinion is worthy of attention only when it directly 
disposes of the emoluments of office. 

It is not necessary to follow in detail the arguments 
against the Bill adduced by the different speakers. They 
are already tolerably familiar to our readers. They were 
yesterday put forward with commendable moderation and 
candour, notwithstanding the temptation to exaggeration 
which a sympathetic meeting naturally offers. Mr. Seton- 
Karr did well in declining to adopt the cry that if the 
Bill were passed it would drive capital out of India. The 
influx of capital is undoubtedly regulated by the degree of 
security and comfort which capitalists enjoy ; but nothing 
short of very violent legislation indeed could produce an 
effect sufficiently palpable to justify predictions of that kind. 
In our domestic legislation we understand perfectly well 
that while it is nearly impossible to ruin an industry, it is 
very easy to depress it. Nearly all the economic contro- 
versies of the last forty years have turned upon the removal 
of obstacles to commerce which, though troublesome, were 
well known not to be fatal. The case of Englishmen in 
India is quite strong enough to dispense with overstatement. 
There will not be a general exodus if the Ilbert Bill passes 

46 Leading Article in the '' Times!' 

any more than there will be a collapse of Indian society, if 
it is withdrawn. But the change of the law would un- 
questionably add to the risks of capital and the unplea- 
santness of life in India, just as some vexatious restriction 
may hamper and depress, without destroying, an indus- 
try at home. It is highly important for India that every- 
thing should be done to foster enterprise and to promote 
confidence, and it would consequently be a mistake to 
encourage the present dangerous temper of the natives by 
ostentatiously defying the universal and strongly expressed 
opinion of the English community. 


{Jtme 30, 1883.) 

The assemblage of. Anglo-Indians on Monday last was 
distinguished by some new and striking features. Platform 
oratory has been on the increase in India in spite of Lord 
Brougham's dictum that, in that country, men "neither 
debate nor write." But, except on the occasion of a royal 
marriage, a famine or tropical visitation, or the departure of 
some successful Governor or Commander-in-Chief, meetings 
in town halls have been generally confined to a class. 
Planters and merchants comprising Her Majesty's Opposi- 
tion have met at intervals to denounce Her Majesty's 
Government when bent on some measure affecting indigo- 
planting, commerce, or the landed interests. During the 
Sepoy mutiny meetings were convened in India and in 
England to cast discredit on the noble policy of Lord 
Canning. On nearly all these occasions there has been a 
distinct cleavage in the ranks of Anglo-Indian Society. 
During the past week these distinctions have been effaced. 
Members of Council, Chief Commissioners, and other high 
executive and judicial officers were seen standing on the 
same platform with editors, influential merchants, and 
eloquent barristers long known for their skill in exposing the 
errors of Indian Administrations and expounding British 
rights. It is now quite impossible to speak in other than 
respectful terms of such an assemblage, or to call it a mere 
agitation of briefless lawyers, shrieking adventurers, or dis- 
contented civil and military officers. 

Not less remarkable than the composition of the assembly 
were the varieties of reasoning and experience which led 
to a practical unanimity of conclusion. Sir Alexander 
Arbuthnot, as chairman, opened the proceedings in a 

48 Article in the ''Saturday Review'' 

speech of sinp^ular dignity, force, and moderation. We can 
give it no higher praise than that, in argument and diction, 
it would have been equally appropriate had the speaker been 
still in his former place in the Council Chamber at Madras 
or Calcutta. With very trifling exceptions, the same absti- 
nence from irritating topics or haughty denunciation of 
Oriental failings characterized the utterances of those who 
took up the subject where the chairman left it. There is 
good reason to believe that there was no previous concert 
between any of the movers or seconders about the division 
of subjects or the mode of attack. Any one of some four 
or five speeches contained matter enough to throw doubts on 
the policy of the Bill. Taken together, from the different 
points of view of the speakers, the addresses are simply 
overwhelming and irresistible. The subsequent meeting of 
the East India Association has not contributed a single fact 
or argument calculated to throw discredit on Monday's 

The existence and retention of a legislative anomaly in 
favour of the energetic, independent, and occasionally 
troublesome Englishman, was justified by reference to other 
anomalies which the most ardent legislator would never 
venture to touch. The enormous privileges of caste, the 
strange customs of marriage, divorce, death, and inheri- 
tance, had all been tolerated under British rule. Entrance 
into the Zenana is, for all judicial purposes, still barred 
to the English magistrate when on the track of criminals, 
and no Rani, Begum, or lady of rank, has ever been 
subpoenaed from her seclusion to appear as witness before 
even the highest judicial tribunal. Recently, the Legis- 
lature has stereotyped privilege in favour of Native gentle- 
men of position, and at the discretion, of the executive 
Governments has exempted them from attendance in civil 
suits before any Court in the country. In truth, there 
is no society in which privilege is so highly valued by 
the nobleman, is so little resented by the agriculturist or 
trader, and sits so lightly and easily on the mass of the 
community, as is the case in India. It was, after this, not 
difficult for the speakers to justify the exemption which 
the Englishman claims. A dealer in country produce,' a 
tea-planter, an agent for some house in Cachar, Assam, the 
Wynaad, or the Doon, through his own act or that of his 
Native staff, becomes involved in litigation. A charge is 
brought against him, not grave enough to warrant his 
committal to any one of the High Courts, though quite 

Article in the " Saturday Reviezu!' 49 

serious enough to impair his prospects and character, and to 
subject him, before the magistrate or the judge, to sentences 
respectively of three months or one year. Is there any- 
thing calculated to shock our notions of equity, propriety, 
and fairness in the demand that the trial should be held 
before an Englishman, who, to a knowledge of law and Native 
languages, adds an appreciation of the character, position, 
and proclivities of his erring or unfortunate countryman ? 
The " anomaly " would be really greater if, in the case of 
isola'.ion from friends and counsel, the trial took place before 
a single Native judge. This argument Avas backed up by 
evidence showing that several experienced Natives were 
prepared, not to accept, but to deprecate this new respon- 
sibility ; that in any action where English susceptibilities 
were much excited there would be more danger of inability 
on the part of a Native magistrate to deal sternly with facts, 
and of a miscarriage of justice ; and that the spectacle of the 
ordinary loafer brought before a similar functionary might 
be about as edifying as that of the sailor who in Marryat's 
novel was brought before the Pasha, and got off by telling 
wonderful yarns. It was also shown, in handling this 
portion of the subject, that the advocates of the Bill, 
abandoning the ground of anomalies, have based their pleas 
on the high qualifications of the Native judge and the 
necessity for giving full and free scope to his legal know- 
ledge and ability. It is surely more correct to say that in 
criminal proceedings, if any consideration is to be shown, 
it should be shown to the accused. It is not for any judge 
to claim the class of prisoners whom he is to try. In all 
civilized countries it is the prisoner who may object to the 
summary jurisdiction of a magistrate, or claim trial by jury, 
or challenge the list of jurymen. In India, where, as it was 
pointedly said on Monday, a magistrate in less advanced 
districts must be counsel for the prosecution, counsel for the 
defence, jury, and judge, it is not so very illogical, inequitable, 
anomalous, or inconsistent, for the prisoner to demand that 
the person who has to discharge all these varied functions 
should be one of his own colour and creed. 

But the arguments against the Bill were supported by 
facts of far more vital significance than the weighty 
testimony of ex-judges and Commissioners, or the witty and 
forcible illustrations of Irish advocates. It is now admitted 
that a second reference to men outside the Simla ring — that 
is, to the district officers who are not yet obliterated by the 
Bill for Self-Government — has resulted in a remarkable 


50 Article in the '' Saturday Review." 

opposition to the Bill. It has also been discovered that, 
owing to railroads and accelerated communication by post^ 
and telegraph, an electric touch of sympathy runs through 
the whole English community. When Macaulay was burnt 
in ^(iigy in 1836, it was a far cry from Madras or Bombay 
to Calcutta. Now it is known that meetings will be held 
on the same day at Silchar and at Mercara ; and, while an 
orator is addressing an enthusiastic m.eeting in the Town 
Hall in Calcutta, his auditory may be inflamed and excited 
by the news that their sentiments are being reciprocated by 
an equally important assemblage, convened for the same 
purpose, at that very moment at Madras. The expressions 
that rise to the lips on such occasions, though not invariably 
in the purest taste, are almost excusable when we know for 
certain that Mr. Ilbert's Bill was not designed to remedy 
any one positive defect or administrative failure ; that no 
executive ofificers had uttered one word of complaint 
against Englishmen as either defying or obstructing the 
ordinary courts of justice ; that, as regards the mass of 
the Native community, it would confer not the smallest 
benefit nor remove the minutest grievance ; and that the 
whole question had been taken up, analyzed, and dropped so 
lately as 1872. Well might the speakers ask whether it was 
the deliberate intention of the Indian Government to supply 
fuel foe fresh agitation every ten years. Then, too, the 
anomaly of certain exceptional privileges still to be 
reserved to the Englishman, even if the Bill should pass, 
would remain as glaring and offensive as ever, and would 
again tempt the attack of the Native agitator and the prentice 
hand of some legislator not troubled with results, and 
nourished, as Macaulay said, on trope and figure in the 
cloisters of Oxford. 

The tendency of all unnecessary legislation in England 
may be merely to harass a few interests, to hamper freedom 
of contract, and to provoke the jealousies and rivalries 
of classes. But a simi'ar policy in India makes good 
government almost impossible, and raises questions which 
strike experts with positive awe and dismay. Prominence 
has now been given to every sentiment wdiich ought to be 
kept out of sight. Maxims on which statesmen are pre- 
pared to act quietly if necessary, without always parading 
them in laws, proclamations, and manifestoes, have been 
openly brandished in the face of agitators taught by 
English education to feel ashamed of their previous de- 
basement. Old antipathies have been revived ; violent 

Article in the '' Sahtrday Review ^ 51 

contrasts suggested ; controversy has been embittered ; 
and any strong language employed by English journalists 
has been outdone by the virulence and mendacity of Native 
scribblers. Hardly a speaker at the meeting but was prepared 
to produce private letters or to quote extracts from Native 
papers showing a tension on one side and a violence of 
invective on the other without a parallel since the days of 
1857. I^ f^c^ of this raging tempest of controversy one or 
two journalists bid the Government to stand " firm " and 
pass the Bill. Sir W. Harcourt once compared the action 
of his opponents to that of an engine-driver, who, seeing the 
signal of danger, puts on fresh steam. If, after the reference 
to experienced officials, the alarm of residents in India, 
the temperate but forcible language of the speakers at St. 
James's Hall, and the comments of the daily Press, the 
Government persist in turning the draft into law, they will 
much resemble the driver of an express train, who seeing 
from afar both lines strewn with shattered trucks and 
splintered carriages, refuses to apply the break, and hurries 
on to increase the universal havoc. And, amidst all doubts, 
prophecies, denunciations, and fears, we may be pretty sure 
of one thing — that, had the removal of any anomalous caste 
privilege or " incongruity " affected any considerable portion 
of the Native community, and had it excited amongst them 
one-half the amount of opposition not unreasonably shown 
by the whole English population, we should very soon have 
heard the last of Bills for removing anomalies and blots. 

E 2 


From Mr. C. A. Wilkins, Officiating Registrar of the High 
Court, to the Secretary of the Government of India, 
Legislative Department. 

High Court, Engh'sh Department, Criminal. Present. — 
The Hon. Sir Richard Garth, Knight, Chief Justice, the 
Hon. H. S. Cunningham, the Hon. W. F. M'Donell, 
V.C, the Hon. H. T. Prinsep, the Hon. L. R. Totten- 
ham, the Hon. A. T. Maclean, the Hon. J. F. Norris, the 
Hon. J. Q. Pigot, the Hon. J. O'Kinealy, the Hon. C. J. 
Wilkinson, the Hon. W. Macpherson, Judges of the 
the express declarations of the Codes of 1861 and 1872, in 
both of which this restriction was deliberately enacted. 

12. On the other hand, as regards European officials, the 
result of the proposed change will be to curtail considerably 
the powers now exercised by Government in the appointment 
of justices of the peace. At present the Government can 
appoint such European British subjects as it thinks fit to 
be justices of the peace. This power has been hitherto ex- 
tensively employed, and Europeans, other than covenanted 
civilians, have been appointed to be justices of the peace, and 
dispose in a manner which the judges believe to be satis- 

56 Letter of the Calcutta Judges, 

factory, of cases in which Europeans arc concerned. Under 
the amended section the Government will be unable to 
appoint any one who does not fall within one of the four 
classes specified in the amendment There are at present 
in Bengal many such justices of the peace whose appoint- 
ments would have been impossible under the amended 

13. The first argument adduced in favour of the proposed 
change in the law, which the judges propose to consider, is 
that on which his Excellency the Viceroy grounded his 
support of the Bill in the discussion of the 9th March in the 
Legislative Council — viz., the expediency of taking at once 
a step which the policy of admitting Natives to the Service 
rendered sooner or later inevitable. " It is clear," his Ex- 
cellency observed, " that though there is not at the present 
moment an irresistible necessity for introducing this measure, 
as Lord Lytton's system develops, an irresistible difficulty 
will arise. When you have one-sixth of the Civil Service 
composed of Natives, it will be impossible to maintain the 
present restriction. Therefore, what we had to consider was, 
is it better to wait until this necessity becomes overwhelming 
and irresistible, or is it better to introduce the system now .'* 
I confess it appears to me that it is far wiser, and far more 
in the true and substantial interests of those over whom this 
jurisdiction is exercised, that it should be introduced now, 
when the persons who would obtain these powers are very 
Hmited in number: when the circumstances under which they 
enter the Civil Service insure their ability and character, and 
when all their proceedings can be carefully watched. Being 
few in number, it wnll be easier now than afterwards for the 
attention of the Local Governments and the public to be 
directed to their proceedings, and, being the men they are, 
it seems to me that they would be likely to set a good 
example and give a good tone to those who come after them. 
I hold it, therefore, to be wiser to introduce the measure now, 
gradually, cautiously, and tentatively, than to wait till the 
change is forced upon us by necessity, and the powers which 
are now to be given only to a few men have to be given 
suddenly to a very much larger number of Native Civil * 
Servants. This is the ground upon which I thought that the 
time had come when this change could best be made." 

14. The judges fully appreciate the necessity of adjust- 
ing the judicial machinery of the Courts to the declared 
policy of the Secretary of State as regards the employment 
of Natives in the judicial service. But they do not perceive 

Letter of the Calcutta Jtidges. 57 

that that policy necessarily involves any such change as that 
now suggested ; nor, in any case, do they consider that the 
proper moment for making such a change has arrived, or 
that materials at present exist for deciding on the form 
which it ought to assume. 

The table below* shows that of the civilians on the 
Bengal list there are at present twelve Native?, either cove- 
nanted civilians, or persons admitted under 33 Vict. c. 3. 
Of these, two have, been over eleven years in the service, one 
over ten, one over nine, one has been over seven years. The 
rest have been under five years, and of these, five have served 
less than three years. Moreover, since 1875 only one Native 
civilian has passed through the competitive examination 
and that was in 1879. Since that year all the admissions 
have been under the Statute. There are, accordingly, only 
four officers who, in the ordinary course, would for some 
time to come be either magistrates of the District or Sessions 
judges. As regards the rest no question is likely to arise 
for several years. 

15. These figures appear to the judges to indicate that 
the question of the jurisdiction of Native civilians over Euro- 
pean British subjects cannot be regarded as in any way 
pressing for immediate solution. Though it may be intended 
that Native ofificials shall ultimately constitute a sixth of the 
entire Civil Service, there do not appear to be grounds for 
expecting that this intention will be realised for many years 
to come. It would appear, moreover, that various causes 
have, of late years, led Native candidates to refrain from 
seeking admission to the Civil Service by the competitive 
examination, and that the main body of Native civilians will 
for the future be those who are appointed in this country 
under 33 Vict. cap. 3. Such a state of things scarcely seems 
to justify prospective legislation on the ground that an irre- 
sistible necessity is impending, which can be at present more 
conveniently and safely met than at a later date. The 
covenanted Native civilians, who have passed into the service 
by the competitive examination, constitute, it is apparent 
small and dwindling class. So far as can be judo-ed at 
present, the supply has come to a standstill; nor^as to 
admissions under 33 Vict. cap. 3, does it appear that the 
Local Governments have found it feasible to carry out the 
provisions of the Act except on a very limited scale. Three 
officers appear to have been appointed \\\ Beno-al in 1880 
one in i88r, one in 1882. At present, therefore, tile measure 

* Sec table on p. 58. 


Letter of the Calcutta Judges. 

He was first appointed to offi- 
ciate as a Magistrate in 
September, 1881. 

He has elected the Judicial 

On furlough. Hu was ap- 
pointed to act as a Magis- 
trate in August, 1880. 

He has been offered an Acting 

Has not yet passed the depart- 
mental examination by the 
higher standard. 

Has not yet passed the depart- 
mental examination by the 
higher standard. 

Has yet to pass by the lower 

Has yet to pass by the lower 

Approximate years when 

Officers will become 

eligible for appointments 

either as 

ro vooo Q 


■*o eo oo ^ 

Appointments Held. 



Magistrate and Collector 
3rd Grade 



Joint Magistrate, ist 

Joint Magistrate, 2nd 








Substantive Appointments. 

Joint Magistrate, 2nd Grade 

Presidency Magistrate 

Joint Magistrate, 2nd Grade 
(Substantive pro tern.) 
Assistant Magistrate and Collector 

Assistant Magistrate and Collector 

Assistant Magistrate and Collector 

Assistant Magistrate and Collector 
Assistant Magistrate and Collector 
Assistant Magistrate and Collector 

Assistant Magistrate and Collector 

Assistant Magistrate and Collector 
Assistant Magistrate and Collector 

•— 1 > 

July 10, 1871 

July 10, 1871 ... 
July 9, 1872 
June 30, 1873 ... 
July 19, 187s ... 
September 8, 1879 

March 2, 1878 ... 
January 27, 1880 
December 28, 18S0, 

November 3, 1882 

February 3, 1880 
December 27, 1881 

.i 3 C 



c S c 


Appointed in Eng- 
land :— 
Mr. R. C. Dutt ... 

Mr. B. L. Gupta ... 

]Mr. A. Burooah 

Mr. K. G. Gupta ... 

Mr. B. De 

Mr. K. J. Badshah 

Appointed in India :— 
Koomar Rameswar 


Baboo Nanda 

Krishna Bose 
Koomar Girindro 

Narain Deb 

Baboo Gopendra 

Koomar Sattya Sree 

Maulvi Ashunuddin 

Letter of the Calcutta Jiidges. 59 

can, it is obvious, scarcely be regarded as having passed 
beyond the stage of an experiment, How these officials 
will turn out, is a question on which it is at present, and must 
be for some years to come, impossible to form any confident 
opinion. Even as regards the earlier appointments, the 
judges are of opinion that they have been too few in number, 
and, in the majority of instances, have lasted for too short a 
time, to afford material for any safe generalisation, or to 
justify, on the ground of ascertained fitness, a change in the 
policy of Government which would take away from Euro- 
pean British subjects a privilege which, it is apparent, they 
regard as of high value and importance. 

16. If some years hence, owing to the number of Native 
civilians having greatly increased, any administrative diffi- 
culty should arise and a change in the existing arrangements 
be considered necessary, such a change will, the judges 
think, be more safely made at a time when there are better 
means than at present of judging, both of the administrative 
difficulties which have to be met, and of the capacity and 
character of the class of officials whose powers and responsi- 
bihties it will have the effect of enlarging. The increase in 
the number of Native officials will not render the supervision 
of their behaviour in any way more difficult tjjan it is at 
present. On the other hand, longer experience and a better 
acquaintance with the particular points as to which super- 
vision is found to be necessary would enable the superin- 
tending authority to perform its duties more efficiently. At 
any rate legislation, should it hereafter be necessary, would 
proceed on a basis of practical experience, not, as it is likely 
to do now, on mere conjecture as to the conduct and cha- 
racter of officers about whom scarcely anything is known. 

17. In considering the question whether legislation is at 
present advisable, it is necessary to keep in view the wide 
distinction which exists between Native officers who have 
entered the Civil Service by competitive examination in 
England, and those who are nominated under 33 Vict, 
cap. 3, in this country. The judges are not prepared to 
admit that, even as regards the former class, the proposed 
change in the law is any way necessary or desirable ; but 
here there is, at any rate, some guarantee for ability, moral 
character, and such insight into the feelings of Englishmen 
as a short residence in England may be supposed to confer. 
On the other hand, with the statutory civilians there is abso- 
lutely no guarantee against the existence of the very defects 
which constitute the grounds of the reluctance of European 

6o Letter of the Calctiita Jtidges, 

British subjects to submit to their jurisdiction in criminal 
trials. They arc described by the Judicial Commissioner of 
Oude in a document, forwarded by the Lieutenant-Governor 
of the North-Western Provinces with his own reply to the 
Government' of India, as "often being men saturated with 
caste and religious prejudice, and ignorant of European 
modes of thought and feeling." One object of the statute 
was, the judges believe, to enable the Government to enrol 
in the ranks of its service Native gentlemen of high birth and 
social position. It is easy to imagine cases in which a 
gentleman might have on these grounds great claims to a 
nomination under the statute, who might yet be con- 
.spicuously deficient in many of the qualifications which are 
admittedly essential in the judge who is to deal with cases 
in which European British subjects are concerned. It must 
be remembered that it is with olTicials of this class, not with 
successful competitors in the Civil Service examination, that, 
in considering the present question, we have principally to 
deal ; nor can the judges lose sight of the fact that these 
statutory civilians will be appointed by a system of nomina- 
tion which was abandoned by the Government twenty-five 
years ago in favour of competitive examination, and which 
can scarcely be expected to work more satisfactorily in India 
than it did in England. On the offtcers thus nominated the 
proposed change will confer a jurisdiction unknown to 
English law, a combination of inquisitional, magisterial, and 
judicial powers, which may be justified by the necessities of 
the case of India, but which Englishmen in India may with 
some reason contend should continue to be exercised in their 
own case, as it is at present, only by officials for whose com- 
petence or character they have some adequate guarantee. 

1 8. The apprehensions which many Europeans entertain 
as to the results of the proposed change, are not, in the 
judges' opinion, without foundation. There is no doubt 
that the position of Europeans in the Mofussil has many 
disadvantages. They are often completely isolated, they 
live among people alien to themselves in religion, nationality, 
social habits, and political ideas. As owners of property 
and employers of labour they are necessarily brought into 
collision with classes or individuals whose interests conflict 
with their own ; and it is impossible to ignore the fact that 
such a state of things exposes them to very considerable 
risks. The attention of the Government was forcibly drawn 
to this fact by the Hon. Sir Steuart Bayley in the debate of 
March 9. " There is," he said, " another aspect to the case of 

Letter of the Calctttta Jiielges. 6r 

the opposition which I think deserves most attentive con- 
sideration, and this is the real danger which the isolated 
European, living in the Mofussil, runs from false cases 
trumped up against him. It is right that I should state 
publicly that this danger is a very real and very serious one, 
for probably no member of this Council has had the same 
experience as I have, of the lives led by planters in the 
Mofussil. My own experience has given me a strong feeling 
on this matter, and anyone who knows the extreme bitter- 
ness with which disputes about land are fought out in the 
Mofussil, and the unscrupulous methods to which recourse is 
had in conducting these disputes before the Court — methods 
to which a planter cannot have recourse — will understand 
how precarious his position may become, and how essential 
to him it is that the law should be well and wisely ad- 

19. The judges concur in the views here expressed ; 
and they consider that the dangers thus described in the case 
of planters and manufacturers would be even greater in the 
case of persons in a humbler position in life, railway employes^ 
artificers, and the like. These men are continually brought 
into contact with Natives in ways which may easily give rise to 
misunderstandings and ill-will. Should an accusation be 
brought against them, they labour under great disadvantages ; 
they are often isolated from other Europeans ; they generally 
have but an imperfect acquaintance with the vernacular lan- 
guages ; they are unable to retain the costly services of Euro- 
pean advocates ; and they might, in some circumstances, 
find it impossible to secure the assistance even of Native prac- 
titioners. It is easy to see how the grossest injustice might 
easily be inflicted in such cases by an officer who from any 
cause failed fully to realize the position of the accused. It is 
at any rate certain that Europeans of this class would feel 
an entire want of confidence in any but a European tri- 
bunal. On the whole, after making every allowance for tem- 
porary excitement and agitation, it is, the Judges think, im- 
possible to doubt that European residents in the Mofussil do 
really consider themselves to be, and in fact are, in a position 
which justifies them in regarding the privilege of being tried 
by a European, on whose independence and impartiality they 
can fully rely, as one of very real importance to them. 

20. Accordingly, as the number of Native officials who 
will be affected by the proposed change is extremely small ; 
as it seems probable that the majority of Native officials will 
for the future be statutory nominees, appointed in this coun- 

62 Letter of the Calentta Judges, 

try without any guarantee as to ability, and not necessarily 
possessing any acquaintance with the habits or feelings of 
Englishmen ; as there is no evidence of any real demand for 
any such alteration ; as the proposed change will disqualify a 
class of European officers who at present perform their duties 
to the entire satisfaction of the Government and the public ; 
and as it cannot, it appears, be effected without a reviv^al of 
animosities and class feelings, which are, on every account, to 
be deplored, the judges consider that nothing short of grave 
and pressing reasons could justify its introduction. 

21. But, so far as their own observation goes, the judges 
are unaware of the existence of any of the reasons on which 
a legislative change is usually demanded. In the exercise of 
their duties of superintendence and revision, they have occa- 
sion to watch attentively the working of the criminal courts, 
the returns of which are continually before them. Nothing 
in those returns indicates that there is at present any adminis- 
trative inconvenience, any miscarriage of justice, any hard- 
ship inflicted on prosecutors, witnesses, or accused, or any 
dissatisfaction felt with the provisions of the Code as to the 
jurisdiction of the Courts. Some provisions of the Code are, 
the judges are aware, believed by some persons to operate 
severely, and any measure for the reform of these would 
deserve consideration. It might be "well, for instance, to 
consider the possibility of extending to Natives in the Mofus- 
sil, under certain conditions, the right of the nature of a 
habeas corpus, now exclusively enjoyed by Europeans, of 
applying to the High Court in cases of unlawful detention. 
B-ut as regards the powers conferred on the several classes of 
Courts and the rights enjoyed by European British subjects 
in criminal cases, the judges are not aware that there is any 
feeling of grievance or, except among a few individuals, any 
wish for change. On the contrary, the judges believe that 
the privileges now enjoyed by Europeans are readily acqui- 
esced in by the main body of Natives, who understand and 
.sympathise with the natural desire of Europeans to be tried 
by their own countrymen, and who appreciate the evils to 
which any alteration of the existing law may probably con- 

22. They are confirmed in this view by the fact that, 
though the Criminal Procedure Code was for several years 
under consideration, and was criticized minutely by every 
Local Government, and though a very large body of official 
opinion was collected from every rank in the service, no sug- 
gestion on the subject was made by any responsible autho- 

Letter of the Calcutta Judges. 63 

rity till Sir A. Eden's communication, of the 20th March, 
1882, enclosing Mr, Gupta's letter of 30th January, 1882. 

23. The judges find that their views as to this part of 
the subject are endorsed by his Honour the Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor, who, in his speech on the 9th March, observed that 
" there were a great many facts which supported the conten- 
tion that there is no administrative difficulty in connection 
with the matter," and expressed his conviction that " this 
measure is unnecessary in the present condition and consti- 
tution of the Native judicial covenanted service in Bengal." 

24. On these grounds the judges are of opinion that 
there is nothing in the present condition or prospects of the 
service which renders a change of the law expedient ; nor do 
they think that any necessity is likely to arise within any 
period sufficiently near to require or justify legislation, espe- 
cially when that legislation arouses apprehensions and ani- 
mosities which are on every ground matter of regret. 

25. In connection with this part of the subject it may 
be well to point out that the rapid development of railway 
and telegraphic communication, which has been urged by 
some of the supporters of the Bill as a reason for consider- 
ing it to be free from danger, goes far, and will year by year 
go farther, to meet the argument based on administrative 
necessity. There are few parts of India, and there will soon, 
it is to be hoped, be none, in which a European cannot be 
forwarded to any place in which it may be desired to try 
him, with ease, speed, and economy. Europeans in India 
are, for the most part at the present day, for all practical 
purposes, far nearer to the tribunals to which they are 
subject than they have ever been before ; and their trans- 
mission from one place to another will year by year become 
a matter of less difficulty. 

26. The foregoing considerations, in the judges' opinion, 
sufficiently dispose of the question of the expediency of 
introducing the measure at the present time. But some of 
the grounds on which the defence of the proposed change in 
the law was rested by the supporters of the Bill seem to 
the judges to call for observation. In the first place, as to 
the reasons adduced for the change. " The only object we 
have in view," it was observed by the honourable member 
who moved the introduction of the Bill, " is to provide for 
the impartial and effectual administration of justice. It is 
by this test that we desire our proposals to be tried. ' Tried 
by that test the proposal seems to the judges indefensible, 
for no one has suggested that the present administration of 

64 Lcllcr of the Calcutta yudges. 

justice is not effectual and impartial, or that it will become 
in any degree more impartial or more effectual by the pro- 
posed alteration. On the contrary, the proposal is that a 
class of cases, which are admitted to be of so " exceptionally 
troublesome and difficult a character" as to justify their 
exclusion from the cognizance of any but specially qualified 
tribunals, shall be no longer confined to a class of officials who, 
in their disposal at present give entire satisfaction and com- 
mand entire confidence, but shall become cognizable by officials 
who, speaking generally, offer a less complete guarantee 
for impartiality and independence — who necessarily labour 
under the disadvantages arising from difference of nationality 
and social habits, and in whom the portion of the community 
concerned confessedly places less confidence than in the 
existing tribunals. If, as the honourable member says, the 
trial of Europeans is '' apt to put an exceptionally severe 
strain on the judicial qualities of tact, judgment, patience 
and impartiality," it is difficult to understand how the interests 
of justice can be promoted by committing these cases to 
ofificials who are regarded, and, the judges consider, rightly 
regarded, as less qualified to deal with them than those who 
at present are empowered to do so. Under the proposed 
law any Native Assistant-Commissioner who has served 
long enough to become a first-class magistrate might, in 
Assam or in any other non-regulation province, be em- 
powered to commit or try Europeans. Europeans may not un- 
reasonably regard such an arrangement as providing less satis- 
factorily than the existing law for the impartial and effectual 
administration of justice in their own case. It is no dis- 
paragement of the integrity or ability of a Native judge to 
say that he is necessarily more amenable to the external influ- 
ences to which popular feeling, local prejudice, or the wishes 
and interests of powerful individuals may give rise, than is a 
European officer, to whom such matters are for the most part 
unknown. It would be easy to conceive cases in which it 
would require no ordinary fortitude and independence on the 
part of a Native official to run counter to the prevailing senti- 
ments of the society in which he lives. It not unfrequently 
happens that our superior officials are asked to transfer an im- 
portant case from some Native judge or magistrate, not because 
from deficiency of experience or judicial knowledge he is 
unable to try it, but because one side or other apprehends 
(and sometimes even both sides unite in this respect) that 
some unknown or improper influence will be brought to bear 
on that officer. 

Letter of the Calcutta Judges. 65 

27. In this respect it is necessary to point out that the 
present measure differs fundamentally from those by which 
in years past Europeans have been brought gradually within 
the jurisdiction of the civil and criminal courts. On each of 
these occasions the reform had this strong justification, that 
it was really demanded in the interest of an impartial and 
effectual administration of the law. Justice could not, it is 
obvious, be done between Europeans and others either in 
civil or criminal cases, so long as a European could be 
brought before no tribunal nearer than the presidency town. 
Such a state of the law was in many cases tantamount to a 
denial of justice, and in criminal matters it practically, in all 
but very serious cases, secured impunity to the favoured 
class. On these grounds the changes heretofore made were 
justifiable and wise. But on the present occasion it cannot 
be suggested that the change will make the trial or punish- 
ment of European criminals in any one respect easier, 
speedier, cheaper, or more certain. 

28. One of the grounds most frequently alleged in sup- 
port of the Bill was that the present state of the law was 
anomalous, and that this anomaly justified legislation. As 
to this, it is, the judges think, enough to point out that the 
entire structure of Indian society and the British administra- 
tion rests on personal laws, under which particular classes or 
individuals enjoy special rights apart from the general law 
applicable to the entire community. These rights have been 
solemnly guaranteed to the inhabitants of the country, and 
are conscientiously respected by the Legislature and the 
Courts. The principle laid down in the preamble of 21 Geo. 
III. c. 70, that it was "expedient that the inhabitants should 
be maintained and protected in the enjoyment of all their 
ancient laws, usages, rights, and privileges," has been con- 
sistently maintained ; and the Act which at present regulates 
the Civil Courts in Bengal (Act 6 of 1871) expressly pro- 
vides that, in all questions regarding succession, inheritance, 
marriage, or caste, or religious usage or institution, the 
personal law of Hindoos and Mahomedans shall be the rule 
of decision. These personal rights are observed, so far as 
the judges are aware, with equal care and with ready 
acquiescence by the people in their dealings with one another. 
They are insisted on by the class concerned whenever they 
appear to be endangered. Only a year ago the entire Hindoo 
and Mahomedan communities were exempted from some of 
the most important provisions of the " Transfer of Property 
Act " out of respect to the wishes of certain native gentle- 


66 Letter of the Calcutta Judges. 

men who were apprehensive that the proposed enactment 
might be regarded as discountenancing their view of the 
Hindoo law. Such being the universal rule, the English in 
India may, the judges think, with some reason, demand that 
a like regard may be paid to their personal rights, for which 
they have at any rate the prescription of long usage, which 
they highly prize, and which are not shown to conflict in any 
way with the rights of any class. The question asked in 
the course of discussion on the Code of 1872, when the law 
was placed on its present footing, seems to the judges 
extremely pertinent — are English people to be told that, 
while it is their duty to respect all these laws scrupulously, 
they are to claim nothing for themselves } That, while 
the English Courts are to respect and even to enforce a 
variety of laws, which are thoroughly repugnant to all the 
strongest convictions of Englishmen, Englishmen who settle 
in this country are to surrender privileges to which, rightly 
or otherwise, they attach the highest possible importance } 

29. Another ground urged in support of the proposed 
change in the law is the invidious character of the existing 
distinction. If by " invidious " is meant that the law, as it 
stands, unfairly benefits Europeans to the detriment of 
Natives, or that the privilege now enjoyed by Europeans can 
justly be regarded as offensive to Native feeling, the judges 
are unable to see any foundation for such a charge. It is 
not suggested that the rights now enjoyed by Europeans 
should be extended to the entire community, or that the 
proposed chang*e would improve in any particular the general 
administration of the law. If by the abolition of the present 
rights of Europeans the Natives would be benefited, the 
balance of advantages might have to be struck ; but this is 
not the case. No practical advantage for Natives is to be 

30. If even, apart from considerations of practical benefit, 
there were reasons to think that the present state of the law 
was, or could reasonably be, regarded by Natives as humiliat- 
ing or insulting to them or their countrymen, the judges 
would consider that the possibility of remedying such a 
state of things deserved serious attention. But they cannot 
believe that such is the case. There is nothing in the 
existing law which implies any personal disparagement to 
any one. There may be in the ranks of the Native service 
officials who resent the existing law because it impliedly re- 
cognizes the existence of a difference between Europeans 
and Natives, and because they regard such a recognition as 

Letter of the Calcutta yudges. 67 

obsolete, injurious, and oppressive. The judges cannot 
regard such feehngs as deserving of sympathy or considera- 
tion. Those differences, as a fact, exist, and any attempt to 
ignore them would, the judges believe, be unwise and 
disastrous. So far as the present measure encourages the 
belief in any class of the community that such differences 
have ceased to exist — that Hindoos and Englishmen can live 
side by side, not only with just and equal laws, but with 
absolute identity of status in every particular — it must, the 
judges consider, be regarded as a probable source of future 
difficulty. No reasonable official need feel aggrieved or 
humiliated because the law lays down a general rule that a 
class of especially difficult cases shall be tried by the officials 
who are confessedly most competent to try them, to whom 
their trial has hitherto been invariably confined, and to whom 
the class concerned earnestly desires that they should con- 
tinue to be restricted. As was observed in the debate in 
1872, ''The privilege as to the jurisdiction is the privilege of 
the prisoner, not the privilege of the judge. The European 
has an objection to be tried by a Native. Considering the 
position in which he stands, the question is whether you will 
put him in a position in which he does not at present stand. 
You place no slight upon a Native by saying that lie can only 
try a man of his own race. What is there against the 
feelings of the Native in that } Why should any one feel a 
slight because he is told that a particular man is to be tried 
in a particular way. On the other hand, it is a feeling, and 
not an unnatural one, that a man should wish to be tried by 
his own countrymen." This feeling, as a fact, is recognized 
by the provisions of the code which allow Europeans and 
Natives alike to claim that at least half of the jury by which 
they are to be tried shall consist of persons of their own race. 
31. Much reliance has been placed on the argument that 
for many years past Native magistrates have in the Presi- 
dency towns exercised jurisdiction over European British 
subjects without giving rise to complaint. As to this, it is, 
the judges think, enough to say that the position of the 
Presidency magistrates, from the close proximity of the High 
Courts, the facilities thus afforded for supervision and control, 
the presence of a large and influential Bar, the activity of the 
local Press, and the influence of public opinion, renders it 
safe to entrust these officials with far more extensive powers 
than could be safely conceded in the case of Mofussil 
magistrates. This view has been adopted by the Legislature, 
which empowers iC. P. C, 411) a Presidency magistrate to 

F 2 

68 Letter of the Calctitta Judges. 

pass a sentence of imprisonment for six months or fine 
of Rs.200 without any appeal, whereas in the Mofussil, first- 
class magistrates and sessions judges are unable to pass a 
higher sentence than one month or Rs.50 fine without appeal ; 
and in the case of European British subjects no order passed 
by either is unappealable. For these reasons the judges 
cannot consider the experience of the Presidency Magistrates' 
Courts as in any degree justifying the investment of native 
officers in the Mofussil with jurisdiction over Europeans. 

32. Lastly, the judges have to consider the question of 
the finality of the Bill. They are, of course, perfectly 
satisfied that any assurances which may be given by the 
present Government or any members of it in that respect 
will be fully and faithfully adhered to. But such assurances 
would not be binding upon any future Government, and still 
less upon the native community. There would seem to be 
no elements of finality either in the Bill itself or in its 
subject matter. There is no reason why those, in deference 
to whose wishes the Bill has been introduced, should accept 
it otherwise than as a prelude to still larger concessions ; and 
it may probably be more difficult in the future for Europeans 
to protect their rights when the principle upon which those 
rights depend, has once been invaded. 

33. The judges have endeavoured in the preceding re- 
marks to explain why they consider the grounds for the in- 
troduction of the Bill to be insufficient. They believe that 
they have shown that it is justified by no necessity, either 
immediately present or sufficiently near at hand to require 
consideration ; that the native civilians who enter the service 
by competition are a small and dwindHng class ; that nothing 
is as yet, or can be for many years, known of the officers 
appointed under 33 Vict. c. 3, except that they have not had 
the residence in England which is supposed by some to 
render the covenanted civilians competent to exercise the 
proposed jurisdiction ; that the circumstances of Mofussil 
life render the present privileges of Europeans in the 
Criminal Courts not a mere sentimental gratification, but an 
important safeguard against a real danger ; that the measure 
cannot be defended as contributing to the more effectual and 
impartial administration of justice — an object which the 
present law sufficiently attains, and which it is not pretended 
that the amended law would attain any better ; that in this 
respect the present Bill differs from former measures of a 
like nature, which had for their object the removal of an 
acknowledged grievance ; that the anomaly involved in the 

Letter of the Calcutta yudges. 69 

present state of the law is merely one instance of a state of 
things on v/hich the entire structure of Indian society- 
depends ; that the right which the proposed legislation will 
take away, ought not to be, and in fact is not generally, re- 
garded as invidious or oppressive ; and finally, that the Bill 
does not possess the elements of finality claimed for it, but 
on the contrary must, whatever be the wishes of the Govern- 
ment, be hereafter made the standing ground from which in- 
novations will be demanded. On these grounds the Judges 
feel bound to express their strong disapproval of the Bill. 

34. I am directed to state that the Hon. Mr. Justice 
Mitter will record his opinions on the subject of the Bill in a 
separate minute. — I have the honour to be, Sir, your most 
obedient servant, 

C. A. WiLKiNS, Officiating Registrar. 


Petition addressed to iJie House of Commons'^ by Englishmen 
resident in India. 

To the Honourable the Commons of Great Britain 
and Ireland in Parliament assembled. 

The humble petition of the undersigned Euro- 
pean British subjects and others resident 
in India. 

Respectfully sheweth, — 

That by the existing law for the administration of criminal 
justice in British India European British subjects charged 
with the commission, without the local limits of jurisdiction 
of the High Courts of Judicature of Bengal, Madras, 
Bombay, and Allahabad, and of the Chief Court of Judi- 
cature of the Punjab at Lahore, of offences against the 
criminal law, are entitled to be tried on such charges in the 
above-named High Courts or Chief Court, in case of offences 
punishable with death or transportation for life, and by 
European Judges and Magistrates in case of offences not so 
punishable, with the proviso that, should such cases require 
a sentence of more than one year's imprisonment from a 
Judge or three months from a Magistrate, they are to be 
sent for trial to the High Court. 

2. That the right of British accused persons in India to 
be tried by Judges, being themselves European British sub- 
jects, is not of recent introduction, but coeval with the 
establishment in this country of British Courts of Criminal 
Judicature. Criminal jurisdiction over all persons subject to 
their rule was conferred by the Charters of i66r and 1669 

* A similar petition was addressed to the House of Lords. 

Petition to the House of Commons. 71 

on the Governors and Councils of Madras, Bengal, and 
Bombay, who were constituted Courts of Oyer and Ter- 
miner, and the limits of whose jurisdiction were defined by 
the Charters of 1726 and 1753. The jurisdiction of the 
Governors' Courts was transferred in Bengal to the Supreme 
Court at Fort William, established in 1774, under Statute 
13 Geo. III. c. 63, with criminal jurisdiction over all British 
subjects in Bengal, Behar, and Orissa, and in Madras and 
Bombay to the Recorders' Courts established in those towns 
in 1797, under Statute 37 Geo. III. c. 142, with criminal 
jurisdiction over all British subjects residing within the fac- 
tories subject to, or dependent upon, the Governments of 
those Provinces. The last-mentioned Courts were them- 
selves replaced by the Supreme Courts established at Madras 
in 1 801, and at Bombay in 1823, under the Statutes 39 and 
40 Geo. III. c. 79, and 4 Geo. IV. c. 71 respectively. 

3. The criminal jurisdiction over British subjects of these 
several Courts, whose Judges were themselves British sub- 
jects, was extended by various enactments to the new 
territories acquired from time to time by the East India 

4. The Charter of 1726 and the Acts and Charters under 
which the Supreme Courts were created, constituted the 
Governors and Councils of Madras, Bengal, and Bombay, 
the Governor-General and the members of his Council, and 
the Judges of the Supreme Courts, Justices of the Peace ; 
but as these provisions were found insufficient for the due 
administration of justice, and in order to facilitate the com- 
mitment of British offenders for trial, the Statute 33 
Geo. III. c. 52 empowered the Governor-General in Council 
to appoint Justices of the Peace from the Covenanted 
Servants of the East India Company, or other British iii- 
habitants, to act within the provinces and presidencies of 
Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, and places subordinate 
thereto ; and a later Statute, 47 Geo. III. c. 6S, conferred on 
the Governors in Council of Madras and Bombay similar 
powers within their respective Presidencies in supersession, 
to that extent, of the above-mentioned powers of the 
Governor-General in Council, but with the like restrictions 
as to the persons who might be appointed to act as Justices 
of the Peace outside the Presidency towns. The powers 
then conferred have been confirmed and extended to the 
Local Governments established in India since the date of 
these Statutes by various Acts of the Indian Legislature, the 
last of which, being the existing Code of Criminal Procedure 

72 Petition to the Hotise of Commons. 

passed on the 6th day of March, 1882, came into force on 
the 1st of January of the present year. Every one of these 
Acts prescribed that only European British subjects should 
be appointed Justices of the Peace outside the Presidency 
towns. Native members of the Covenanted Civil Service 
have, it is true, been appointed Justices of the Peace in pur- 
suance of powers supposed to be given by Acts XXV. of 
1861 and II. of 1869, but such appointments, your petitioners 
desire to urge, are entirely contrary to the spirit of both 
Acts and in violation of the express language of the later 
Act, identical in this respect with the words of the Statutes 
above-mentioned, and which clearly indicates that the Civil 
Servants appointed thereunder shall themselves be British 
inhabitants. Down to the 6th of March, 1882, therefore, 
the Indian Legislature fully recognized the inexpediency — 
to use no stronger expression — of conferring on natives out- 
side the Presidency towns even so limited a jurisdiction as 
that of committing European British subjects for trial. In 
the Presidency towns, where such powers are exercised under 
the direct supervision of the British Government and the 
watchful control of a large European community, where the 
Supreme Court was a Criminal Court of Oyer and Terminer, 
and where immediate redress for a wrongful commitment is 
obtainable, the same necessity for special tribunals for Euro- 
peans did not exist, and accordingly the Statutes 2 and 3 
Will. IV. c. 71 authorized the appointment, as Justices of the 
Peace for such towns, of any persons resident within the 
Company's territories without distinction of races. Con- 
siderations of a similar character appear to have prevailed 
in the occasional appointment by the Government of natives 
of India to the Magistracy of the Presidency towns. Your 
petitioners would, however, point out that the appointment 
of native Presidency Magistrates has, on the whole, by no 
means proved a success even in Calcutta. One of the first 
native Presidency Magistrates, appointed in 1856, was dis- 
missed or removed for gross judicial misconduct in 185 . 
No native was in consequence appointed for 21 years after 
him, and though there have been some recent appointments, 
and though from the peculiar circumstances of the Presidency 
towns there do not exist equally strong objections to the 
appointment as apply in the interior or Mofussil, yet in 
many respects these native Bengali Magistrates have not 
been found to discharge the duties of the office as satisfac- 
torily in public opinion as when that office has been filled by 
European British subjects. 

Petition to the House of Commons. 73 

5, The criminal jurisdiction of the Supreme Courts over 
European British subjects was transferred to the High Courts 
estabhshed at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay in 1862, and at 
Agra in 1865, under the Statutes 24 and 25 Vict. c. 104 and 
28 Vict. c. 15, and as regards the Punjab, to the Chief Court 
of that Province created by Act IV. of 1866 of the Supreme 
Council. Natives of India are made ehgible to the benches 
of these several Courts. The policy of such appointments 
is in some measure safe-guarded by the fact that the judicial 
duties of such native Judges are discharged subject to the 
immediate control of their British colleagues, and are liable 
to the check of a large, independent, and vigilant bar, the 
criticism of an able and enlightened European press, and 
the powerful influence of the collective educated opinion of 
the numerous British residents in the Presidency towns. 
Moreover, no native Judge has hitherto sat in any of the 
High Courts singly to exercise original criminal jurisdiction 
over Europeans, but native judges have only sat as members 
of a Court of Appeal with European colleagues. Under 
Act XXI. of 1863 3- Recorder's Court was established at 
Rangoon with criminal jurisdiction over European British 
subjects in British Burmah in respect of all offences not 
punishable with death, jurisdiction in the case of capital 
offences being reserved to the Calcutta High Court. The 
only statutory qualification for the Recorder's Office is that 
the Judge must be a Barrister of not less than five years' 
standing. It must be remembered, however, that, when this 
Act was passed, no native of India, as your petitioners 
believe, had been called to the Bar, and no native, as a 
matter of fact, has ever been appointed Recorder, and your 
petitioners submit that it was not in the contemplation of 
the Legislature that such an appointment ever could be 
made, and that, therefore, no exclusive enactment was 
deemed necessary, and it is generally recognized that it 
would be highly inexpedient to make such an appointment. 

6. The exclusive criminal jurisdiction over British subjects 
of the Courts established by Royal Charter continued till 
18 1 2, when the Statute 53 Geo. III. c. 155 empowered Zillah 
Magistrates (who were Justices of the Peace and therefore 
Europeans) to try British subjects for petty assaults or in- 
juries, accompanied with force, committed on natives at a 
distance from the Presidency towns, and to punish such 
offenders by fine not exceeding Rs. 500, or, in default of 
payment of the fine, by simple imprisonment for a period 
not exceeding two months. The criminal jurisdiction of 

74 Petition to the House of Commons, 

the Company's Courts over European British subjects out- 
side the Presidency towns was never further extended. 

7. On 24th of January, 1857, Mr. (now Sir) Barnes Pea- 
cock, then Legal Member of the Legislative Council of the 
Governor-General, moved the first reading of Bills (framed 
by the Indian Law Commissioners appointed under the 
Statute 3 and 4 Will. IV. c. 85) **for extending the jurisdic- 
tion of the Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction of the East India 
Company in Bengal, Madras, Bombay, and the North- 
Western Provinces, for simplifying the procedure thereof, 
and for investing other Courts with criminal jurisdiction." 
These Bills provided that no person whatever should, by 
reason of place or birth, or by reason of descent, be in any 
criminal proceeding whatever excepted from the jurisdiction 
of any of the Criminal Courts. The Select Committee, how- 
ever, to whom these Bills were referred for consideration, 
were of opinion that the jurisdiction of the Mofussil Courts 
in regard to European British subjects ought not to be ex- 
tended, an opinion in which the majority of the Council con- 
curred, and accordingly, on the 3rd of September, 1859, the 
Council, at the instance of the legal member, Mr. Peacock 
himself, inserted a clause which provided that "no person 
should be empowered by Government to hold a preliminary 
enquiry into cases triable by any of the Supreme Courts of 
Judicature, or to arrest, hold to bail, or commit any European 
British subject unless the person so authorized is a Cove- 
nanted Servant of Government or a European British sub- 
ject." It must be borne in mind that no native of India had 
at that time been admitted as a Covenanted Servant of 
Government. The result, therefore, of that clause was to 
exclude all natives from criminal jurisdiction over European 
British subjects. The Bill so modified passed into law as 
Act XXV. of 1861, the criminal jurisdiction as regards 
European British subjects of the Courts established by Royal 
Charter being in no wise affected thereby, and, save so far as 
it was affected by the creation of the Recorder's Court at 
Rangoon and the Chief Court of the Punjab, that jurisdic- 
tion continued unchanged till 1872. On the 17th December, 
1870, a Bill to consolidate and amend the law relating to 
the Procedure of Criminal Courts of Judicature not estab- 
lished by Royal Charter was introduced into the Legislative 
Council of India by Mr. J. F. Stephen, then Legal Member 
of Council, and was referred to a Select Committee. This 
Bill, as originally framed, did not touch the jurisdiction of 
the Charter Courts. On the i6th of December, 1871, Mr. 

Petition to the House of Commons. 75 

Stephen informed the Council that "the Select Committee 
had received a large number of opinions from the Local 
Governments and persons connected with the administration 
of justice in reference to the Bill, and amongst others they 
had received a most important paper from the Government 
of Bengal. That paper contained a suggestion that Euro- 
pean British subjects should be made to a great degree 
amenable to the ordinary Criminal Courts of the country." 
A reference to the paper alluded to shows that the Bengal 
Government advocated such an extension of jurisdiction to 
the Mofussil Courts on the express ground that these Courts 
were presided over by British officers. Upon a consideration 
of the suggestion so made, the Select Committee, after in- 
formally ascertaining the feeling of the non-official classes, 
recommended with respect to the jurisdiction over European 
British subjects : — 

'*(i) The extension of the jurisdiction of Magistrates 
being Justices of the Peace, and, in the case of Mofussil 
Magistrates, European British subjects, to try European 
British subjects for offences which would be adequately 
punished by three months' imprisonment or fine of Rs. 

'' (2) That Sessions Judges, being European British sub- 
jects, should be empowered to pass sentence on European 
British subjects of one year or fine ; but that in case of 
European British subjects pleading guilty or accepting the 
Sessions Judge's jurisdiction, the Court might pass any 
sentence provided by law for the offence in question. 

" (3) That a European British subject convicted by a 
Justice of the Peace or a Magistrate should have the right 
of appeal either to the Court of Sessions or the High Court 
at his option. 

" (4) That, in every case in which a European is in custody, 
he may apply to the High Court for a writ of habeas corpus, 
and the High Court shall thereupon examine the legality of 
his confinement and pass such order as it thinks fit." 

8. On the consideration by the Council of the Select 
Committee's report Sir Barrow Ellis moved that jurisdiction 
over European British subjects should be conferred on native 
Magistrates of the ist Class being Justices of the Peace, that 
is to say, native members of the Covenanted Civil Service who 
had been admitted by competition in England, and whom he 
thought sufficiently Europeanized to be treated as Europeans, 
but the motion was negatived on a division of the Council 
after full and deliberate discussion, and the Bill, modified 

76 Petition to the Hottse of Commons. 

according to the recommendations of the Select Committee, 
was passed on the 25 th day of April, 1872, as Act X. of that 
year. The proposal to invest native Magistrates with crimi- 
nal jurisdiction over European British subjects evoked on 
every occasion strong opposition of the non-official European 
community, and the question of conferring such jurisdiction 
v/as not again raised in Council until the present year, not- 
withstanding the pregnant fact that an Act to amend Act X. 
of 1872 was passed in 1874, and that the whole law relating 
to the jurisdiction and procedure of the Criminal Courts in 
India (including the Courts established by Royal Charter) 
was remoulded by Act X. of 1882. This last measure was 
framed in consultation with all the Local Governments of 
India and professed to embody the ripe conclusions of ten 
years' deliberation. It was therefore formally and deliber- 
ately resolved in 1882 that it was neither just nor expedient 
that European British subjects should be rendered liable to 
the exercise of criminal jurisdiction by native Magistrates 
outside the Presidency towns. 

9. Although Act X. of 1882, which purported to deal ex- 
haustively with the amendment of the Criminal Procedure 
Code, came into force only on the 1st of January, 1883, yet 
notwithstanding, a new Bill to confer criminal jurisdiction 
over European British subjects without the Presidency towns 
upon native Magistrates and Judges being members of the 
Covenanted Civil Service of India, or of the Native Civil 
Service constituted under Statute 33 Vict. c. 3, or being 
Uncovenanted Sessions Judges, or Uncovenanted Assistant 
Commissioners or Cantonment Magistrates, was, on the 9th 
of February, 1883, introduced by the legal member, Mr. 
Ilbert, into the Legislative Council of His Excellency the 
Viceroy and Governor-General of India, and such Bill is now 
under consideration by that Council. 

10. That from the discussions which have already taken 
place in such Council on the said Bill, and from the pub- 
lished official papers relating thereto, it appears that sanction 
was obtained to the introduction of the Bill from the Secre- 
tary of State for India in Council, and that confidential 
opinions had been obtained from the Local Governments in 
favour of some criminal jurisdiction over European British 
subjects being conferred on native members of the Covenanted 
Civil Service. It further appears that the Chief Commissioner 
of Coorg and the two senior members out of the four who 
compose the Madras Council are opposed to such a measure, 
and that the Government of Bengal was not consulted on 

Petition to the House of Commons. jj 

the subject, such omission being justified as in accordance 
with ordinary practice, the measure having originated in a 
suggestion made by Sir Ashley Eden, the late Lieutenant- 
Governor, shortly before his departure from India. In view 
of the fact that the European population of Bengal far 
exceeds that of any other Presidency, it is, your Petitioners 
venture to think, to be regretted that, before the introduction 
of so important a Bill, steps were not taken to ascertain the 
opinion of the present Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal and 
his judicial and magisterial officers, and also the opinions of 
the Chief Justice and Puisne Judges of the High Court of 
Bengal. It is, your Petitioners feel, matter for yet graver 
regret that no endeavour was made to ascertain the opinions 
and sentiments of the non-official European community, 
who were to be specially and peculiarly affected by the pro- 
visions of the Bill, with regard to a measure, the principle of 
which that community had, on all previous occasions, con- 
demned, and the re-introduction of which has led to a strong 
and general agitation, and awakened profound feelings of 
indignation and distrust. 

11. The effect of this Bill is to disquahfy all Europeans not 
in the Covenanted Civil Service from being Justices of the 
Peace, that is, from trying or committing Europeans, and to 
render eligible in their place {a) Native members of the 
Covenanted Civil Service, chosen by competition in England 
(of whom there are only nine in all India) ; {b) Native mem- 
bers of the new Native Civil Service nominated in India 
without competition and without going to England ; {c) 
Native Uncovenanted District Judges ; {d) Native Uncoven- 
anted Assistant Commissioners ; {e) Native Cantonment 
Magistrates (should any such be appointed). 

12. Your Petitioners have been led to inquire into the 
origin of this astounding proposal, and find that it is the 
result of a compromise arising from differences of opinion in 
the Executive Council of the Governor-General. 

13. It appears from the despatch of the Government of 
India to the Secretary of State for India, dated September, 
1881, that a minority of the Council were in favour of the 
views expressed by Sir Charles Aitchison in a confidential 
communication, dated the 5th August, 1882, that "The 
restriction introduced by the Code of Criminal Procedure 
upon the powers of Courts to inquire into and try charges 
against European British subjects, which rest exclusively on 
race distinctions, are invidious and unnecessary," that is, that 
all exemption of Europeans in the interior or Mofussil should 

78 Petition to the House of Commo7is. 

be swept away, that no person should be exempted from the 
jurisdiction of any Criminal Court in India, and that any 
native officer who has power to try a native for any offence, 
and to pass any sentence upon him, should have power to 
try a European for the same offence and pass the same 
sentence upon him. 

14. It appears from the same despatch that the majority 
of the Council declined to accept any such sweeping proposal. 

15. It appears further that the Government of India did 
not think it worth while to legislate unless they could remove 
from the statute book all trace of what they term '' race dis- 
qualification of judges," and, therefore, so far as your 
Petitioners can gather, as the majority of the Council 
refused to get rid of the "race disqualification," by quali- 
fying the ordinary Uncovenanted native, some ingenious 
person hit on the plan of producing the desired symmetry 
in the statute book, and getting rid of the anomaly by dis- 
qualifying all the Uncovenanted Europeans, against whose 
efficiency and fitness there has never been any complaint, 
and who under the existing law were qualified. 

16. This curious compromise appears to have been adopted, 
and the present Bill appears to have been introduced to 
give effect to it, without the smallest attempt to ascertain 
what would be the feeling of the non-official Europeans. 

17. The principle embodied in the measure is supported 
by arguments based on the so-called anomalous character 
of the present law, on the alleged invidiousness of the dis- 
qualification attaching to native judicial officers, and lastly 
on certain administrative difficulties stated to have resulted, 
or to be likely to result, from such disqualification. 

18. It cannot be contended as a valid or reasonable argu- 
ment, that the right of European British subjects in India to 
be tried on criminal charges by judges of their own race is 
open to any serious practical objection by reason of its 
special and limited character. In a country like India, sub- 
ject by right of conquest to the dominion of an alien people, 
inhabited by numerous races of different origin and different 
creeds, swept as it has been by successive tides of foreign in- 
vasion, which have left behind them peculiar and exclusive 
privileges, as the hereditary rights of particular classes and 
special individuals, where immutable laws of caste, surviving 
the shock of contending systems and accepted as divine by 
millions, have during countless ages circumscribed and de- 
fined the sphere of individual action and crystallized by in- 
numerable prejudices and customs the various gradations of 

Petition to the House of Commons. 79 

rank which are entirely dependent on birth alone, and which 
are neither to be won by merit nor purchased by wealth, and 
where the very idea of equality has come to be regarded by 
a large body of the population as a grave sin against the 
divine inheritance of birth, and where too the avowed prin- 
ciple of British policy has hitherto been the conservation, as 
far as possible, of every existing right, whether founded on 
the fragmentary remains of ancient laws, or on the prejudices 
of religion, caste, or social customs, surely your petitioners 
are justified in urging that, in such a country and under such 
existing anomalous systems, there is no special or unreason- 
able anomaly in the existence of the right now sought to be 
taken away, and the anomaly, if such it can be called, must 
be sought for in the person of the judge and not in the con- 
ditions under which he is permitted to exercise jurisdiction. 
That a Native magistrate, however much it is to be regretted, 
should ever have been invested with special jurisdiction over 
European British subjects within the Presidency towns, whilst 
he was excluded from the exercise of a like jurisdiction outside 
such Presidency towns, is in no way anomalous to those who 
have even a limited experience of the social conditions, privi- 
leges, and prejudices existing in India, and can only appear 
anomalous to those who are ignorant of the distinotive circum- 
stances under which these judicial and magisterial powers are 
exercised. All such anomalies, if such they be, must remain 
as inseparable constituents of the paramount anomaly of all, 
namely, the existence, in fact, of the supremacy of British 
rule in India. The so-called disqualification of Native mem- 
bers of the Covenanted Civil Service to try P^uropeans is 
really not a disqualification of the judge, but a privilege of 
Europeans to insist on being tried in a Court presided over 
by a European — and affects equally uncovenanted as well as 
covenanted Natives. It would be as reasonable to speak of 
the privilege of Europeans to demand a jury composed one- 
half or more of Europeans, as a disqualification of Native 

19. The arguments based on the alleged injustice of the 
so-called judicial disqualification of Natives to try European 
British subjects on criminal charges is hardly worthy of 
serious consideration. Justice presupposes the existence of 
some right, inherent or conferred, and which has been wrono-- 
fully invaded. There cannot be a right to try Europeans, 
existing in Natives, any more than there is a right in English- 
men in England to try peers of the realm for treason and 

8o Petition to the House of Co^nmons. 

20. Your petitioners are at a loss to discover in which of 
the countless races of India this alleged right is supposed to 
exist. If in the heterogeneous mass of the Native races of 
India as a united class, then it may be well pointed out that 
their various and varied social systems are entirely founded 
on the exclusive recognition of special rights and peculiar 
privileges. It can hardly be permitted, therefore, to any 
Native, of any race, creed, or nationality, to argue that the 
existence of the right which the European British subject 
now enjoys in this respect, and which is now sought to be in- 
vaded, is to be condemned because it is a peculiar race pro- 
tection. Your petitioners would contend that, even were its 
m.aintenance claimed on no higher grounds than sentiment 
or prejudice, its existence could not afford a legitimate 
grievance to those whose personal laws have been expressly 
secured to them by British legislation, and deference to whose 
social prejudices is allowed to override the requirements of 
impartial justice. Their females, who live or claim to live in 
seclusion, and their men of rank and position, are exempted 
from appearing in British Courts of Justice as witnesses. 
Your petitioners desire to urge upon your Honourable House 
that the exclusion of European British subjects from the 
criminal jurisdiction of Natives has never formed a ground of 
complaint with the Native populations of India, and your 
petitioners would further urge that the special exemption of 
European British subjects has been recognized by all 
thoughtful Natives as a requisite protection, and as necessary 
for the employment of European capital in India. The want 
of homogeneity amongst the Native inhabitants of India, 
antipathies of creeds, inequalities of caste, the mutual distrust 
and jealousies of different tribes, the profound and unqualified 
contempt felt and expressed by the brave and hardy races 
of the North-West and of the Central Provinces for the 
Bengalee, from whose ranks the Native Covenanted Civil 
Servants are chiefly drawn, all combine to prevent the possi- 
bility of such a complaint. The argument in this particular 
of invidious race disqualification, which your petitioners 
venture to think, owed its origin entirely to European official 
inspiration, was confined to a few semi-Anglicized Natives 
and the limited class of youthful agitators whom they are 
enabled to influence. Even viewing, for the sake of argu- 
ment, the subject of jurisdiction as a mere question of feeling 
(and your petitioners desire to impress on your Honourable 
House that it means a serious sacrifice of a most disastrous 
character), still your petitioners venture to deny the justice 

Petition to the House of Commons. 8i 

of sacrificing even the mere feelings of the whole European 
community in India to the vanity of a few Native officials, or 
to the aspirations of a small uninfluential class of the Native 
population of Lower Bengal ; and since, in support of their 
supposed claim to criminal jurisdiction over European British 
subjects, it is urged that Native Civil Servants appointed by 
competition in England (a class which will form but a very 
small proportion of the entire Native Covenanted Civil 
Service) by their education and by their residence in England 
have become thoroughly imbued with English ideas of justice, 
your petitioners are justified in presuming that they have 
also arrived at a sufficient appreciation of the principles 
underlying the British system of trial by a man's own peers, 
to regard their personal disqualification as no greater insult 
to their ability or integrity than a British juror would 
deem the demand of an accused alien to be tried by a mixed 

21. The existing law sufficiently provides for the appoint- 
ment of Natives to all offices of emolument, even to those of 
District Judge and District Magistrate, and obviates all in- 
convenience arising from the right of a European within the 
jurisdiction to be tried by a European judge or niagistrate, 
by making provisions for the transfer of such case to another 
Court, or, as it is tertbed in England, for a change of the 
venue, and it should be borne in mind that these cases are 
stated by the mover of the Bill to be rare. 

22. Your petitioners would next urge upon your Honour- 
able House the grave objections which exist to em.powering 
Natives in the Mofussil to try Europeans on the ground of 
their unfitness to discharge their duties satisfactorily. 

23. The social system of the Native inhabitants of India, 
the seclusion of Native ladies in the zenana, and the various 
Hindoo prejudices of caste which regard contact with the 
European as contamination, and the bigoted character of the 
Mahomedan creed, prevent a possibility of free and unreserved 
intercourse between the European and Native communities, 
and the consequent growth of anything approaching to in- 
tellectual and moral sympathy between them. In the ab- 
sence of such sympathy the Native judge, however honourable 
and high-minded he may be, cannot properly appreciate the 
motives of European conduct, and is therefore incapacitated 
from forming a correct judgment on the natural presumptions 
of European actions. Moreover, whereas the European in- 
habitants of India have some security for the just and honest 
discharge of judicial duties by a fellow-countryman, whose 


82 Petition to the Hotise of Cormnons. 

character and modes of thought have been moulded under a 
rehgious and moral system and domestic and external in- 
fluences identical with or similar to those under which they 
have themselves been reared, and whose present actions con- 
tinue to be governed by influences of the same character, in 
the case of Native magistrates no such guarantees exist. It 
is impossible to believe that a few years of early manhood 
passed in England, or the intellectual training that these 
magistrates may have undergone, can possibly suffice to 
change their whole moral nature, or to eradicate the ideas of 
right and wrong under which their childhood was trained, 
and which regulate the actions and sentiments of that society 
to the influence of which they are again subjected on their 
return to India. It is contrary to experience to believe that 
in so short a period they can have succeeded in stifling every 
prejudice of caste, or in emancipating themselves from strong 
race prejudices and the subtle influences of domestic and 
popular sentiment by which they are surrounded, and which 
they have absorbed from early youth. 

24. The domestic and social institutions of the Natives of 
India, whether Mahomedans or Hindoos, based as they are 
upon a system of polygamy combined with female seclusion, 
have been developed on a type so opposed in the most 
essential particulars to those of Europeans, and have en- 
gendered as their necessary and indissoluble correlates such 
opposite habits, feelings, and ideas, especially in matters con- 
cerning the relations and mutual conduct of the sexes, and 
all the incidents of such relations and conduct, as to render 
Natives of India wholly incompetent to estimate correctly or 
even intelligently the significance of facts connected with 
them, and consequently incompetent to arrive at just con- 
clusions regarding them. The efl'ect of the proposed Bill 
would, therefore, be to transfer criminal jurisdiction over 
European British subjects, in an important class of cases 
afl'ecting the domestic happiness and peace of the parties 
concerned, from men who by community of institutions, feel- 
ings, and ideas are competent to arrive at correct conclusions, 
to men who, however honest they might be, must necessarily, 
from the absence of such community of institutions, feelings, 
and ideas be powerless to arrive at even intelligent conclusions 
concerning them. 

25. That not only would serious risk thus arise of great 
injustice and misery being inflicted on innocent persons, but 
grave scandal and injury to the reputation of European 
British subjects would be created. 

Petition to the House of Commons. 8 


26. Your Petitioners further desire to point out that, owing 
to the disgrace which attaches in native estimation to the 
appearance of respectable women in open Court, a feeling 
from which your Petitioners believe no native is entirely free, 
an Englishwoman placed for trial before a native Judge 
would encounter an unavoidable prejudice in his eyes, and so 
be placed at a grave disadvantage, while, in the eyes of the 
more ignorant spectators of her disgrace, she would be 
covered with obloquy, to the injury of her self-respect and 
of the esteem of the natives around her. 

2J. So great is the contempt in which the Mahomedan 
and Hindoo natives of India hold the female sex, that an 
Englishwoman brought before a Judge of either of these 
races, to be tried for a criminal offence, would be thereby 
subjected to a special indignity of the most galling kind, and 
one to which it would be in a high degree inhuman, unjust 
and impolitic to expose her. A knowledge of this circum- 
stance would furnish a dangerous temptation to native de- 
pendents and others to worry Englishwomen with false 
charges for the purpose of extortion and intimidation. 

28. Not only are Europeans in the interior of the country 
isolated in the sense of being solitary units in the midst of 
tens of thousands of an alien race, but, by reason of ^difference 
of language, habits and feelings, and the absence of common 
ties and sympathies, they are also morally and socially 
isolated from the natives around them ; in consequence of 
this isolation, they stand at an insuperable disadvantage in 
respect of the means of combating, or even ascertaining the 
existence of, conspiracies to bring false charges against them, 
or of rebutting the evidence brought forward in support of 
such charges, which are of frequent occurrence ; and the only 
counterpoise to this disadvantage which they possess, is the 
right of being tried by European British subjects, of which 
the Bill would deprive them. 

29. That the necessary protection which the European 
British subject now has against false charges — which con- 
stitute the common weapon of offence and annoyance 
amongst the natives of India — which protection partly de- 
pends upon the feeling which such charges inspire in the 
mind of the British Magistrate, and partly upon the just 
severity of the punishment he awards to the offender, will be 
materially impaired, if not completely destroyed, when such 
charges can be preferred with comparative impunity before a 
native Magistrate, who would regard them as the ordinary 
incidents of legal warfare and the natural weapon of the 

G 2 

84 Petition to the House of Commons. 

weak against the strong, reprehensible possibly, but still to 
be dealt with leniently and of no great consequence, espe- 
cially when directed against Europeans in the interior. It is 
well to remember, also, that the native press is for the most 
part antagonistic to Europeans, and generally takes a pre- 
judiced view in all those cases in which there is a conflict, 
either criminal or civil, between members of the two races. 
It is only natural to suppose that Native Magistrates should 
be in some degree biassed by the expression of opinion 
published in these papers. 

30. Moreover, throughout the greater portion of India 
where European British settlers gather no strength from 
numbers, but live isolated from their fellow countrymen, 
their exemption from the Criminal Jurisdiction of Native 
Magistrates has invested them in the eyes ef the natives by 
whom they are surrounded, with a certain prestige, which in 
itself affords no little protection against the danger of false 
accusation. But, as the foundations of such prestige become 
undermined, and Europeans become lowered down to the 
same level as that on which their accusers stand, they will 
necessarily be deprived of this protection also, and will 
become subjected to the danger of frequent persecution, and 
to the constant harassing of the preferment of false charges, 
and not only will the danger to themselves be thus increased, 
but their influence for good on the native population, in 
whose midst they live, will be proportionately weakened. 

31. It has been stated that the jurisdiction which native 
judges have exercised for many years in civil cases in which 
European British subjects may be concerned, affords a con- 
clusive answer to those who oppose the investment of native 
Magistrates with criminal Jurisdiction over European British 
subjects, and that the objections and fears which are now 
expressed are identical with those expressed in 1836, and 
that time has shown the apprehensions then entertained to 
be groundless. As regards the two latter statements your 
Petitioners would point out that the agitation of 1836 was an 
agitation against the extension of the jurisdiction of the 
Company's Courts over British subjects, and was not specially 
directed against the investment of native judicial officers with 
such jurisdiction ; on the contrary, the leaders of native 
society in Calcutta allied themselves in 1836 with their 
British fellow subjects in opposing the extension of jurisdic- 
tion which was then contemplated. The fears then ex- 
pressed have been in a very great measure justified by 
events, and, so far as they may have been falsified by time, 

Petitio7i to the House of Commons, 85 

this has resulted only in consequence of, the whole constitu- 
tion and system of the Company's Courts, having been 
subsequently altered. Your Petitioners, moreover, while 
abstaining from entering on an examination of the merits 
and defects of natives as Civil Judges, deny that the exer- 
cise of Civil Jurisdiction by native Judges affords an 
adequate or indeed any guarantee that native Magistrates 
will exercise criminal jurisdiction over Europeans in a 
satisfactory manner. The conditions under which the two 
kinds of jurisdiction are exercised differ in every material 
particular. The very nature of a criminal complaint, the 
police agency, only too frequently corrupt, by which evidence 
in its support is so frequently obtained, the character of the 
evidence itself and the difficulty in many cases of disproving 
it, the position of the accused on his trial, for the most part 
imperfectly acquainted with the vernacular language and the 
legal liabilities to which he is subject, before as well as after 
trial, all tend to place criminal proceedings on a wholly 
different footing from a civil action, and to displace any 
arguments in favour of the bill attempted to be founded on 
past experience of the manner in which Civil Jurisdiction 
has been exercised by native Judges. It is to be reniembered 
also that a system of bribery is rampant throughout India, 
that the native police are in very many instances excessively 
venal and corrupt, and that the promotion of the Magistrates 
and the police is to some extent dependent upon their record 
of convictions. 

32. The administrative difficulties anticipated from a con- 
tinuance of the so-called disqualification of native Cove- 
nanted Civil Servants are, as your Petitioners allege, 
■difficulties of a purely visionary and theoretical character. 
There are at present not more than nine native members of 
the Covenanted Civil Service selected by competition in 
England. Only two of these are of sufficient standing to be 
affiscted by the measure, and for several years to come not 
more than four or five can possibly come within its opera- 
tion. But, even were these numbers far larger, there are 
numerous districts in India without a European resident, 
where the judicial functions of the native Magistrate can be 
utilized without fear of offence to any member of the com- 
munity, and where his official dignity will not be wounded 
hy the exemption of a single individual from his jurisdiction. 
In addition to this consideration there remains the fact that 
there is no district in India without at least one European 
magisterial officer. Moreover, in Bengal, where the Bill 

86 Petition to the House of Commons. 

must admittedly have the most extensive operation, your 
Petitioners have the public assurance of the present Lieu- 
tenant-Governor that no administrative difficulty will be 

33. Somewhat inconsistently with arguments founded on 
such supposed administrative difficulties, it is urged that the 
Bill will confer criminal jurisdiction over European British 
subjects on only a few native officials, and that the removal 
once for all of all judicial disqualification, dependent on 
birth alone, carries with it an element of finality, and sur- 
prise is accordingly affected at any opposition to a measure 
which is said to rest on principles of natural justice, which 
will effect so small a change, and which cannot be further 
extended. The alleged finality of the measure is delusive, 
and the arguments founded on natural justice find their 
logical conclusion in the abolition of every distinctive right 
and privilege which the European British subject now enjoys, 
and amongst others those which the Bill has advisedly left 
untouched, the Courts by which he can be tried, the punish- 
ments they may inflict upon him, the mode of trial, his right 
of appeal, and his right to be brought before the High Court 
if wrongfully detained in custody. The principle of perfect 
equality, once admitted as paramount to every other con- 
sideration of State, would gain its logical result in a Native 
Viceroy and a Native Commander-in-Chief. 

34. As to the disqualification, with a few possible excep- 
tions, of all Europeans not being Covenanted Civil Servants, 
your Petitioners would remark that, so far from conducing 
to the better administration of Justice, it will produce prac- 
tical inconvenience. At present there are in Lower Bengal 
alone forty Uncovenanted European Deputy Magistrates 
with first class powers who are Justices of the Peace and try 
Europeans, and it is admitted that they do it satisfactorily 
and efficiently. These forty will retain their powers. But 
there are a large number of Europeans in the Uncovenanted 
Service who, as they attained first class powers, would have 
been made Justices of the Peace and have tried on the spot 
all petty crimes committed by Europeans, The Local 
Government will be debarred from using the services of these 
men in their respective sub-divisions for the prompt and 
speedy adjudication of European cases, or the cases will 
have to be transferred to some Court presided over by a 
Covenanted Civilian, thus creating an absolutely gratuitous 
inconvenience, asked for by no one, and having no justifi- 
cation except the removal of an alleged anomaly, which is 

Petition to the House of Commons, Z"] 

one of a class of anomalies which the Government has re- 
solved to retain. 

35. Your Petitioners would point out that the new native 
statutory Civil Service which it is proposed to substitute for 
the disqualified Europeans, is a new and comparatively un- 
tried class ; that it will be many years before any of them 
will be senior enough to be invested with first class powers 
or made a District Judge or District Magistrate, so as to be 
empowered to try Europeans ; that they are chosen by 
nomination in India, not by competition or in England ; that 
they are often chosen on account of the social position or 
influence of their families ; that they have been described in 
one of the confidential communications to Government, by 
the Judicial Commissioner of Oudh, as often " saturated with 
caste and religious prejudices and ignorant of European 
modes of thought and feeling, and not to be trusted to hold 
the scales fairly." 

36. Your Petitioners humbly submit that it cannot be for 
the interests of Justice to disqualify experienced European 
Uncovenanted Deputy Magistrates, who are admittedly fit 
and efficient, and substitute for them such a class as this as 
Criminal Judges over your. Petitioners. So that it is per- 
fectly clear that this Bill, so far from being an enabling Bill, 
as it has been termed by its supporters,' is practically a dis- 
enabling Bill of a very sweeping character, and is entirely 
destructive of an important existing machinery of British 
administration in India. 

37. Your Petitioners would also submit that the proposal 
to empower native Assistant Commissioners to try European 
British subjects is most disastrous, as Assistant Commis- 
sioners are largely appointed in the tea planting districts. 

38. Your Petitioners further point out that at present non- 
official Europeans are largely appointed Honorary Magis- 
trates and Justices of the Peace in the Mofussil and are 
useful in that capacity ; but that this Bill, with no cause 
assigned, disqualifies them from being Justices of the Peace. 
Moreover European Master Attendants are invested with 
like powers as Justices of the Peace in various ports, and are 
found of great use in dealing with English and foreign sailors, 
but by this Bill such appointments will be prohibited. 

39. Your Petitioners regard the right to be tried by Euro- 
pean British subjects as a valuable safeguard, as an ancient 
and highly privileged right, defensible on sound grounds of 
expediency, as well as on those of deep-rooted feelings and 
sentiments, and believe it to be a right which has been of 

88 Petition to the House of Commons, 

the utmost value to them in the past, while initiating enter- 
prise in the Mofussil, and essential to them in the future, for 
the prosecution of those enterprises by which India has so 
much benefited. 

40. Your Petitioners submit, moreover, that the right of 
European British subjects to be tried on criminal charges by 
European British Magistrates and Judges has infinitely 
stronger claims on justice than rest on sentiment alone, and 
is based on principles of policy which are inseparably bound 
up with the welfare of India and the prosperity of all classes 
of Her Majesty's subjects, Native as well as European. 
Your Petitioners claim that the preservation of that right is 
essentially expedient. For in no country is confidence in 
the administration of justice — and especially of Criminal 
Justice — more essential to the well-being of the community 
than it is in India, which owes to British capital and energy 
the recent rapid development of her natural resources, as 
illustrated by the Railway system and the abnormal growth 
of Tea, Jute, Coal and other industries, and which contribute 
in so important a manner to the marked prosperity of her 
people, and which in years of scarcity or famine, support 
millions of her native inhabitants who but for such support 
would perish miserably. Your Petitioners are anxious to 
impress upon your Honourable Plouse that the enormous 
European capital which is already invested, and which is 
about still further to be invested, will assuredly seek other 
channels if British capitalists and their employes are forced 
to lose confidence in the Criminal Courts of the land by 
which they have hitherto been partially protected, at all 
events from persecution and aggression. 

41. Your Petitioners desire to remind your Honourable 
House that the British Government has been invariably 
careful to protect British subjects in Oriental countries from 
trial by Oriental tribunals. They fail to understand why 
this protection, which has been so universally and invariably 
accorded hitherto, should now be withdrawn in India. And 
they desire, moreover, to impress upon your Honourable 
House that the right which they seek so jealously to main- 
tain is simply a protective right, and in no sense is capable 
of being construed as an invasion cf the rights and privileges 
enjoyed by the native subjects of Her Majesty in India. 
The grievous loss which they will sustain will bring no kind 
of compensatory gain to their native fellow-subjects. 

Your Petitioners, therefore, humbly pray your 

Petition to the House of Commons. 89 

Honourable House for protection and redress, and 
that your Honourable House will take into con- 
sideration this humble petition, and that it may 
adopt such measures by Legislative Resolution or 
otherwise as in its wisdom it may deem just and 
proper to maintain the existing rights of your 
Petitioners, and to express its disapproval of a 
policy which is based upon no sound principle of 
statesmanship, and which is founded on no ex- 
perience, and which, whilst unnecessarily depriving 
the European British inhabitants of India of a 
much valued and time-honoured privilege, in no 
way affords any additional protection to their native 
fellow-subjects, and which is hurtful to the interests 
of the Empire by deterring the investment of 
British capital in the country in consequence of the 
feeling it creates of insecurity as to the liberties and 
safety of European British subjects, and which has 
evoked feelings of race antagonism and jealousy 
such as have never been aroused since the dis- 
astrous Mutiny of 1857. 

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will 
ever pray. 


The humble petition of the undersigned Euro- 
pean British subjects, being women residing 
in India, to Her Most Gracious Majesty, 
Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Em- 
press of India. 

May it please Your Most Gracious Majesty, 

Having learnt that a Bill has been introduced into the Legis- 
lative Council of the Governor-General of India to amend 
the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1882, by altering the 
existing law, so as to confer on Native Magistrates of certain 
classes jurisdiction to try European British subjects in the 
interior of India on Criminal charges, and knowing the tender 
care and interest Your Majesty ever bestows upon your 
subjects in all parts of your dominions, we beg most humbly 
to approach Your Majesty, to express the grave alarm with 
which we contemplate the proposed change, and to crave 
Your Majesty's intervention to protect us from the serious 
injury we believe it must cause to our welfare and happiness. 

In thus craving Your Most Gracious Majesty's protection 
we will forbear to enlarge on the many and cogent arguments 
against the said Bill, as affecting our countrymen in common 
with ourselves, being aware that such arguments have been 
ably set forth by our countrymen in India and England, and 
will confine ourselves to those particulars in which it specially 
affects women who are European British subjects, in India. 

First, then, we would humbly submit that the position held 
by women in Native society is so entirely different from that 
held by their European sisters, and this difference so deeply 
affects all the relations of social and domestic life, and the 
customs, habits and feelings connected with those relations, 
that no Native of India, however highly educated, can 

Petition of Englishwomen in India, 91 

possess the knowledge or sympathy essential to a correct 
appreciation of the feelings and conduct of European women. 
But such a correct appreciation of the feelings and conduct 
of accused persons can alone qualify a judge to try them ; 
and consequently the effect of the proposed change in the 
law would be to transfer the trial of European women in India 
to men who, by the force of circumstances, are Incompetent 
to do them justice. 

The civilizing effect of a residence in England on Natives 
of India has been put forward as an argument in favour of 
the harmlessness of the proposed change. But this argu- 
ment is inapplicable to the circumstances of the case, and, if 
it were applicable, would have very little force. For, in the 
first place, the Bill proposes to give jurisdiction over Euro- 
pean British subjects not only to Covenanted Native Civilians 
who have been to England, but to Native Statutory Civilians, 
Native Assistant Commissioners and others, who have never 
left India, and have often had nothing worthy of the name of 
an English education ; and, in the second place, experience 
has shown us that the effect of a residence in England on the 
character and feelings of Natives of India is far from being 
generally such as to inspire us with confidence in their compe- 
tence to try us. 

Apart from the terrible risk of injustice to which Euro- 
pean women would thus be subjected in cases in which they 
themselves might have the misfortune to be accused, their 
examination as witnesses in cases in which their countrymen 
might be accused, before Native Magistrates, would, owing to 
the great difference of modes of life, habits, and ideas already 
described, be in the highest degree hurtful to their feelings 
'and repugnant to their sense of propriety, and this injurious 
consequence would be greatly aggravated by the fact that, in 
the majority of cases, the pleaders to whose cross-examina- 
tion they would be exposed, would also be Natives of India. 

A further ground on which we implore Your Most Gracious 
Majesty's intervention is that, in the opinion of the Natives 
of India, it is highly disgraceful for women of respectability 
to appear before a stranger of the opposite sex, particularly 
in a Criminal Court ; and this is a feeling so deeply ingrained 
in their minds that no amount of education and no residence 
in Europe can wholly disabuse them of it. The Native 
magistrate before whom a European woman could be brought 
for trial would consequently be unavoidably prejudiced 
against her, and she would thus be placed not only in a false 
position, but at an unfair disadvantage. 

92 Petition of Englishwo7nen in India. 

Moreover, the British Government in India, having so far 
lent its sanction to this feeling as to exempt Native women 
of respectabihty from appearing openly in Court, the fact of 
our being compelled to appear before the very men who 
claim and enjoy this exemption for their own women, would 
inevitably give rise, in the minds of ignorant people of the 
country, to comparisons prejudicial to the esteem in which 
we are held, and without which esteem our position in the 
midst of an alien unsympathetic population would be intol- 

Further, we would urge on Your Most Gracious Majesty's 
consideration the fact that, owing to the low estimate in 
which the Natives of India hold the female sex, it would be 
imposing a special indignity on us, and inflicting a cruel 
wound on our self-respect, to subject us to trial by Native 

Nor would the evil thus resulting be confined to this un- 
necessary and unbearable injury to our feelings. For the 
knowledge of the injury and of the dread with which we 
should regard it, would operate as a powerful incentive to any 
ill-disposed Natives to resort to false charges against us for 
the purposes of extortion, intimidation, and revenge ; and 
this temptation would be increased by a belief in our help- 
lessness before an alien tribunal, isolated, as we should in 
many cases be, from our natural protectors ; unable, as we 
should be in the great majority of cases, to obtain the assist- 
ance of European counsel, and ignorant, as we should gene- 
rally be, of the language in which the proceedings would be 

In the case of the poorer class of Europeans residing in 
the interior of the country, the danger arising from this cause 
would be of a most serious character, and would destroy 
their sense of security, and embitter their relations with 
the Natives around them to an extent which would be likely 
to prove a fruitful source of trouble. 

So far we have confined ourselves to the respects in which 
the passing of the proposed Bill would result in grievous 
wrong and injury to ourselves. But we would also urge, as a 
matter well deserving of Your Most Gracious Majesty's care- 
ful consideration, that, by the degradation it would inflict on 
us in the eyes of the Natives of this country, it would go far 
to deprive us of that influence for good on which the enlight- 
enment and amelioration of the condition of our Native 
sisters so largely depend, and which we believe to be an 
object of Your Majesty's anxious solicitude to promote. 

Petition of Englishwomen in India. 93 

We might say much more, but we feel we have said enough 
to justify our humble prayer that Your Most Gracious Ma- 
jesty will be pleased to use your constitutional power for the 
protection of your petitioners in such manner as to Your 
Majesty may seem fit. 

And Your Majesty's humble petitioners, as in duty bound, 
will ever pray. 


To THE Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley, Her 
Majesty's Secretary of State for India in 

The Memorial of the undersigned members of the London 
Committee of Anglo-Indians for obtaining the with- 
drawal of the Indian Criminal Procedure Act Amend- 
ment Bill, 

Respectfully showeth, 

That your memorialists view with the deepest apprehen- 
sion and concern the Indian Criminal Procedure Act Amend- 
ment Bill, which has been introduced into the Council of the 
Governor-General of India for the purpose of conferring 
upon certain native magistrates and judges in the Mofussil 
criminal jurisdiction over European British subjects. Your 
memorialists — many of whom have spent the greater portion 
of their lives in India, and have filled positions in which 
their experience has been such as to enable them to speak 
with confidence of the merits of this proposal — unanimously 
believe that the measure is not justified by any necessity, 
either political or administrative ; they observe with regret 
that it has already aroused wide-spread excitement and 
agitation throughout India ; and they feel sure that its 
results, if it be passed into law, will be prejudicial to the 
peace and prosperity of the Indian Empire. 

2. Your memorialists desire respectfully to state their con- 
viction that the existing law — which has been arrived at 
after the fullest discussion at various times — admirably fulfils 
all the requirements of justice, with the least possible ad- 
ministrative inconvenience, and to the entire satisfaction of 

Memorial to the Secretary of State for India. 95 

those whose interests are affected by it. This fact seems to 
be amply proved by the consideration that, during the whole 
course of the protracted deliberations on the Criminal Pro- 
cedure Code — deliberations which lasted over several years, 
and were shared by all the Local Governments and by 
officials of all ranks in every province — it has never been 
alleged that there has been any miscarriage of justice, or any 
practical hardship to anyone, owing to the criminal jurisdic- 
tion over European British subjects in India having been 
confined to persons of the same race. Your memorialists 
are unable to see that the proposed measure can be regarded 
as in any way a continuation of the policy indicated in 
former legislation upon this subject ; for preceding enact- 
ments have been directed to the removal of real and 
substantial hardships, whereas the present Bill proposes to 
substitute, for a system which has given general satisfaction, 
one which is avowedly distasteful to the whole European 
population, and for which at the commencement there was 
no genuine demand on the part of the native community. 

3. With reference to the plea of administrative convenience, 
which has been alleged by the supporters of the Bill as a reason 
for the proposed alteration of the law, your memorialists 
desire to ask your lordship's consideration of the very im- 
portant fact that the Bill, if passed, will have a twofold 
effect — one qualifying or enabling, the other disqualifying or 
disenabling. On the one hand, it will extend, under certain 
conditions, criminal jurisdiction over European British sub- 
jects to four classes of Native magistrates — (i) Native 
covenanted civilians selected by competition in England ; 
(2) Native civilians appointed in India under 33 Victoria, 
c. 3 ; (3) and (4) Native assistant-commissioners in non- 
regulation Provinces and Native cantonment magistrates. 
This is the extent of the qualifying or enabling effect of the 
Bill. On the other hand, its disenabling operation will be 
very wide indeed. For the Government will be deprived by 
it of the services, in future appointments to the office of 
justice of the peace, of the whole European uncovenanted 
and non-official communities throughout the land. A refer- 
ence to the published lists of existing justices of the peace 
will show at a glance the sweeping character of this whole- 
sale disqualification ; and your memorialists are strongly of 
opinion that an enactment which deprives the Government 
of the valuable and approved aid of European planters, 
merchants, railway police officers, and other non-official and 
uncovenanted Europeans as justices of the peace, stands self- 

96 Memoinal to the Secretary of State for India. 

condemned, as one that may lead to something hke a dead- 
lock in the administration of justice in important planting 
and mining districts, and must cause serious administrative 
inconvenience in every province. 

4. Your memorialists would, therefore, venture to urge that 
the Bill, so far from removing administrative inconvenience, 
will create it. They entirely agree with the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal — whose authority on the point, indeed, 
is such as to need no confirmation — that no administrative 
inconvenience has arisen, or is at present likely to arise, out 
of the existing state of the law. Indeed, your memorialists 
would go further, and would express their conviction that 
the probability of any such inconvenience arising at any 
future time is extremely small. Even if the proportion of 
the Native members of the Civil Service should be eventually 
increased under the operation of 33 Victoria, c. 3, to one- 
sixth, as the Governor-General anticipates, your memorialists 
believe that, in these days of railways, no practical difficulty 
is likely to arise in dealing with the few cases of criminal 
offences committed by Europeans at places where there may 
be no European magistrate. The distances to which such 
cases will have to be transferred will generally not be great, 
nor will the journey occupy much time, or entail much expense 
if a moderate amount of discretion be observed in regard to 
the posting of Native magistrates and judges. But, as regards 
the present and the immediate future, the effect of the Bill will 
be the reverse of an administrative improvement. The class of 
covenanted civilians selected in England by competition is a 
very small one, and not likely to be increased, and only two 
members of it will be at once affected by the Bill. The class 
of Native civilians appointed in India under 33 Vict. c. 3, is 
a new and untried one, in regard to which it is impossible 
for any one to predict whether the experiment which has 
been made in instituting it will turn out well or ill ; but no 
member of it is likely for some years to exercise the juris- 
diction in question, so that in any case this class need not 
be taken into present account in considering the question 
of administrative convenience. There are no Native canton- 
ment magistrates, and it is understood that the Govern- 
ment has pledged itself not to appoint any. It is possible 
that a few of the Native assistant commissioners in non- 
regulation provinces will receive the extended jurisdiction. 
On the whole, however, it is obvious that the Bill, in disquali- 
fying the large classes of Europeans above-named for future 
appointment to the office of justice of the peace, must create 

Alemorial to the Secretary of State for India. 97 

an administrative inconvenience far greater than any that it 
removes under its enabling clauses. 

5. The facts adduced by your memorialists in the last 
paragraph have been used by the supporters of the Bill to 
minimise the importance of the proposed change. But those 
who are likely to be affected by legislation, which they believe 
to be in itself hurtful, justly look to the possibilities opened 
up by it, rather than to the extent of its immediate opera- 
tion. Moreover, in such a matter, in regard to which no one 
can say Avhether he liimself may not be the one sufferer 
from even the most limited application of the new law, the 
number of persons who will immediately acquire the extended 
jurisdiction, naturally seems, and is, a point of comparatively 
little importance to the class directly concerned ; though the 
insignificance of that number clearly disposes of the plea of 
a present administrative convenience. Your memorialists 
would further point out that nearly all the tea grown in 
India is produced in districts under the criminal jurisdiction 
•of assistant commissioners, who may now be Natives, and 
who, if the Bill be passed, might be invested with the power 
to try Europeans. The fact that the danger threatened to 
isolated Europeans in the Mofussil, under this Bjll, is a very 
real and serious one, and by no means the sentimental one it 
is sometimes represented to be, was frankly and forcibly 
admitted by the Hon. Sir Steuart Bayley in the debate of 
March 9. The hon. member then said : — *' There is another 
aspect to the case of the opposition, which, I think, deserves 
most attentive consideration, and this is the real danger 
which the isolated European, living in the Mofussil, runs 
from having false cases trumped up against him. It is right 
that I should state publicly that this danger is a very real 
and very serious one, for probably no member of this Council 
has had the same experience as I have of the lives led by 
planters in the Mofussil. My own experience has given me 
a strong feeling on this matter ; and any one who knows 
the extreme bitterness with which disputes about land are 
fought out in the Mofussil, and the unscrupulous methods to 
which recourse is had in conducting these disputes before the 
Court — methods to which a planter cannot have recourse — 
will understand how precarious his position may become, 
and how essential it is to him that the law should be well 
and wisely administered." The experience of your memorial- 
ists entirely coincides with that of Sir Steuart Bayley. 

6. It has been alleged that a slur is cast on the Native 
civilians, by a state of the law which prevents them from 


98 Memorial to the Secretary of State for India. 

exercising the special jurisdiction over European British 
subjects entrusted to their European colleagues. Your 
memorialists are unable to see how the denial of a right to 
try a particular class — a right which can hardly be considered 
to be inherent in any one — can be regarded as a slur. It is 
not considered a slur on the Lord Chief Justice of England 
that he is unable, unless he happens to be a peer, to sit in 
judgment on peers. But, however this may be, your 
memorialists believe that this argument of the supporters of 
the Bill is distinctly barred by the consideration that the 
privilege as to jurisdiction is the privilege of the prisoner, 
not the privilege of the judge. The question which is really 
at issue in this matter, is not whether a certain jurisdiction 
ought to be conferred upon certain public functionaries ; but 
whether the requirements of the administration of justice 
demand that a certain class of persons should be deprived 
of a privilege which they have long enjoyed, and which they 
greatly value. 

7. The argument in favour of the Bill, which is based 
on the "anomalous" character of the existing system, can 
hardly be regarded as a serious argument in a country and 
under an administration which are alike full of anomalies. 
It is almost unnecessary for your memorialists to point out 
that the anomalous privileges possessed and prized by 
various classes of Natives are not only numerous, but also, 
in many cases, far more open to objection than this pri- 
vilege of the European British subject. Some of these 
privileges are anomalies that seriously interfere with the due 
administration of justice ; and the abolition of them, if 
Europeans and Natives are to be made perfectly equal in 
the eyes of the law by such abolition, would cause far 
deeper resentment on the part of the latter than the pro- 
posed change of jurisdiction has among the former. Your 
memorialists allude to the privileged exemption from per- 
sonal appearance, as witnesses in courts of justice, of 
Native ladies, and of men of position, to whom such exemp- 
tion is granted by Government as a mark of exceptional 
respectability ; as well as to the serious hindrance to equit- 
able procedure in Courts, brought about by the objection on 
the part of Brahmins and other high caste Natives to the 
admittance within the precincts of the Courts of low caste 
people, whose touch, or even whose standing on the same 
carpet, is considered personal pollution by the former, and 
entails the immediate performance of expiatory religious 
ceremonies. For a parallel to the anomaly complained of 

Memorial to the Secretary of State for India. 99 

by the supporters of the Bill, your memorialists can point 
to the refusal of the Governments of all Western nations to 
submit to the trial of their subjects by Native Courts in 
Turkey, Egypt, China, and elsewhere. If it be argued that in 
British India there exists an equitable law to which all are 
alike amenable, your memorialists feel bound to assert 
that the just administration of a good law depends even more 
on its administrators than on the law itself ; and that the 
very slight and superficial acquaintance with the feelings, 
modes of thought, and customs of Europeans, possessed, or 
likely to be possessed, by Native civilians — until the break- 
down of the caste system in India and the introduction of 
female education into that country shall render possible 
intimate social relations between Natives and Europeans — 
must for many years render those to whom the extended 
jurisdiction is proposed to be given, ill-suited in most in- 
stances to judge in criminal cases where Europeans are con- 
cerned. If your memorialists are met with the argument 
that there are Native judges in the High Courts, and Native 
police magistrates in the Presidency towns, with whose 
administration of justice no fault has been found, your 
memorialists would point out the difference in circumstances, 
where these officials are controlled by the presence of learned 
European colleagues, of public opinion, a powerfuj European 
Press, and a competent Bar, and where, as in the Mofussil„ 
the Native magistrate must himself be judge and jury, pro- 
secutor and counsel for both accuser and accused, with a 
subservient staff, and no public opinion to hold him in check. 
As regards the Native judges of the High Courts, your 
memorialists would observe, that hitherto, as far as they are 
aware, there has never been an instance of a Native judge of 
a High Court presiding at the Criminal Sessions, and that 
when trying appeals in criminal cases the Native judge is in- 
variably associated with an English judge. In Ceylon, too, 
on the other hand, the circumstances of the non-official 
European community are almost exactly the same as those 
which obtain in the Presidency towns of India : within a 
very limited area there is a numerous, powerful, and highly- 
concentrated European population, possessing all those 
safeguards which are conspicuously wanting in the Indian 
Mofussil. Your memorialists would further point out, that 
when a Native of India has once entered the covenanted 
Civil Service, his promotion to the head of an office is 
virtually merely a matter of time ; and that the refusal of 
such promotion by the Local Government, possibly for very 

11 2 

lOO Memorial to the Secretary of State for India, 

valid reasons that might be incapable of exact legal de- 
monstration, would be impossible, without raising far more 
heart-burning on the part of the Native community, and far 
greater race-antipathy, than the present entirely unexpected 
action of the Government of India has aroused. Moreover, 
the present Bill does not by any means remove from the 
Code of Criminal Procedure all anomalies based upon dis- 
tinctions of race. If the Bill is passed, Natives of India will 
still be liable in certain cases to be tried and sentenced to 
very heavy penalties by English judges, who, notwithstand- 
ing their nationality, have no similar jurisdiction over Euro- 
pean British subjects. 

8. It has been strongly represented by the supporters of 
this Bill that the objection which is now urged to the exercise 
of Criminal jurisdiction by Natives over Europeans is exactly 
similar to that which was formerly urged to the exercise of 
Civil jurisdiction by Natives over Europeans, and that ex- 
perience has proved that none of the evil consequences which 
were anticipated in the latter case have been found to result. 
But your memorialists wish to point out that there is no 
parallel between the two cases. Civil suits are not used for 
mere purposes of revenge. Defeat in a civil suit involves no 
consequences similar to those which follow from conviction 
on a criminal charge, and if an unjust decision is ultimately 
reversed, even after years of litigation, the party who is 
ultimately successful is replaced in the exact position which 
he would have occupied if a right judgment had originally 
been passed. But no ultimate reversal of a conviction could 
ever undo the fatal injury which would be entailed upon an 
innocent man who had, even for a single week, been con- 
signed to gaol as a convicted criminal. 

9. Under the Bill, Englishwomen in India will be liable to 
be tried on criminal charges before Native magistrates. It is 
almost unnecessary for your memorialists to point out that 
the position of the female sex in the social system of India 
has not been appreciably affected by that contact with West- 
-ern ideas, which has done so much for India in other 
respects. That social system is still founded on polygamy, 
and on the strict seclusion of Avomen. Publicity of any kind 
is, in the case of any respectable Native female, an utterly 
infamous thing ; and it seems obvious that Native magis- 
trates, brought up under such a social system and living in it, 
rigorously secluding their own wives and daughters, whose 
faces may not be looked on, either in court or elsewhere, by 
the eye of any male stranger, are certainly not qualified 

Memorial to the Secretary of State for India, loi 

(however high may be their moral character or intellectual 
abilities) to sit in judgment on Englishwomen charged with 
criminal offences. Your memorialists believe it to be abso- 
lutely impossible for Native magistrates, so nurtured, so 
educated, and so circumstanced, adequately to appreciate the 
motives, or weigh the words and actions, of Englishwomen ; 
and the consequences of extending to them this jurisdiction 
might therefore prove most disastrous. And this point will 
be seen to be even more serious than it would otherwise be, 
from the fact that the law of India differs altogether from 
the law of England, in that it treats some offences against 
domestic morality as criminal offences. When regard is had 
to the isolated position of numbers of English families in 
India, especially among the poorer classes — to the dangers 
of trumped-up charges, so forcibly dwelt upon by Sir Steuart 
Bayley — to the obvious openings that might be afforded for 
extortion or even worse, by the increased chances of impunity 
in bringing such false charges, and by the humiliation and 
disgrace that might be inflicted on the victim even by an 
unsuccessful charge — it must be at once evident how im- 
portant, to the Englishwomen of India in particular, is that 
safeguard which has hitherto been secured to tjiem, in the 
right to be tried by their own countrymen, who are fully 
acquainted with their habits and modes of thought, and are 
able to judge what is, and what is not, compatible with 
innocence in their conduct. Your memorialists believe it to 
be unnecessary to consider further how far Native magis- 
trates may be qualified to try cases in which Englishmen are 
accused of criminal offences ; for their disqualification in 
cases in which Englishwomen are concerned seems to be 
incontestable, and ought (your memorialists respectfully 
submit) to be in itself decisive as to the fate of the Bill. 

lO. Attempts have been made, both in India and in 
England, to misrepresent the character of the opposition to 
the Bill, by ascribing it wholly to the resentment which 
settlers belonging to the conquering race in India feel 
at any and every attempt to place them on an equality 
with the Native population. The agitation raised in 
Calcutta against the so-called " Black Act of 1836," which 
took away the exclusive jurisdiction of English judges of the 
Supreme Court in civil suits between Englishmen and 
Hindoos, is referred to as a case in point ; and it has even 
been said that both official and non-official Englishmen in 
India have invariably shown a singular unanimity in resisting 
changes in the law intended to improve the condition of the 

I02 Meinorial to the Secretary of State for India. 

Native population. Your memorialists are of opinion that 
no charge could be more unfounded. The essential difference 
of race, to which England owes the possession of her Indian 
Empire, cannot indeed be set aside without endangering the 
fabric which has been built upon it. The principle of English 
ascendancy penetrates the whole administration of India : 
it is recognized in the army and in every department of the 
Civil Service ; and the Native civilians who now complain 
that they are deprived of the prospective right- of exercising 
criminal jurisdiction over Europeans, might with as good 
reason, if their theory of equality were once admitted, demand 
that they should no longer be excluded from the highest 
positions in the Executive Government of the country, which 
are still reserved, and if British rule in India is to continue, 
must be reserved, for Englishmen. But, so far as the ad- 
ministration of the law is concerned, your memorialists main- 
tain that what is now proposed to be done by the Government 
of India has excited alarm, not because it offends the pre- 
judices and lessens the privileges of a dominant class, but 
because it would deprive Englishmen and Englishwomen in 
India of a safeguard to which they attach the highest value. 
Englishmen in India want nothing more than justice, and 
they will be satisfied with nothing less. They do not believe 
that Native magistrates and judges are competent to decide 
cases affecting the liberty of isolated Englishmen who may 
unconsciously have incurred the ill-will of their neighbours, 
and have thus exposed themselves to the risk of being 
arrested on false charges. This question is, as has been 
already shown, totally distinct from that of the transfer of 
civil jurisdiction, which affected rights of property only ; and 
it may also be pointed out that the agitation against the Black 
Act of 1836 was really the outcome of the long-standing feud 
between the servants of the East India Company and the 
private adventurers who had courts of law of their own, and 
that what happened then belonged to a state of Indian 
society which has long since disappeared. In more recent 
times, since the creation of the High Courts, Europeans in 
India have acquiesced cheerfully in any reasonable extensions 
of the powers of Native judicial officers. Not a word of re- 
monstrance has ever been uttered by them against the 
criminal jurisdiction over Europeans given to Native magis- 
trates in the Presidency towns, because in this instance they 
are well assured that they have adequate securities for the 
due administration of justice. When, therefore, they object to 
the grant of this jurisdiction to Native officials in districts 

Memorial to the Secj-etary of State foi^ India. 103 

outside the limits of the Presidency towns, they should get 
credit for the moderation they have hitherto displayed, and 
not be met with the unreasoning cry that their protests are 
prompted by race feeling. The non-official English class in 
India occupy a peculiar and exceptional position. Their 
capital, their enterprise, their labour have marvellously deve- 
loped the agricultural, the mineral, and the commercial 
resources of India, and converted that country into England's 
best customer. Their tried loyalty has made them respond 
zealously to the call of the Government of India to raise 
regiments of volunteers which might aid in the defence of 
the Empire ; and, as members of the various legislative 
councils, as honorary magistrates in country districts, and as 
members of municipalities in the great towns, they have 
given the Government much valuable and unbought help in 
carrying on the work of administration. They are shut out 
from all high public offices, which are reserved for the 
Covenanted Civil Servants appointed from England, and for 
Native nominees of the Government of India ; and such 
slight account is taken of the feelings of this important class 
of the population, among whom there is very little poverty 
or crime, that, on a measure so vitally affecting their interests 
as Mr. Ilbert's Bill, their opinion was not even sought by 
the Government before it determined to change the law. 
Surely, non-official Anglo-Indians do not expect too much 
when they claim from the Government they serve so well, 
freedom to carry on their business in India without being^ 
brought before Native magistrates, whom the all but unani- 
mous judgment of Anglo-Indian officials pronounces to be 
ill-suited to deal in a satisfactory manner with criminal 
charges against Europeans, What makes the argument 
against the Bill all the stronger is, that if it becomes law, 
it will hardly be likely to injure the wealthier and more 
influential Europeans, whom the Natives, at all events for 
the present, will be afraid to conspire against. The merchant, 
the lawyer, the planter may escape ; but the Bill will smite 
with terrible effect the unprotected planter's assistant and the 
skilled mechanic, who are the bone and sinew of English 
enterprise in India. 

II. Your memorialists have now set forth, they trust with- 
out passion or exaggeration, the reasons which l;ave induced 
them earnestly to entreat the Government to pause and re- 
trace its steps on the dangerous path on which it has entered. 
Although this Bill will more especially affect the non-official 
Englishman, and in particular the poorer members of that 

I04 Memorial to the Secretary of State for India. 

class, the opposition to it is not less strong on the part of 
the great body of Anglo-Indian officials, past and present. 
Of the signataries to this memorial, a large majority belong 
to the official class. Among them are men who have risen 
through all the grades of the Anglo-Indian official hierarchy, 
who have long been known to be actuated by the most kindly 
sentiments towards the natives of India, and to whom it can- 
not, with the slightest semblance of reason, be imputed that 
they are influenced by prejudices of race, or by any other 
motive than a sincere desire for the good government of the 
country in which they have passed the greater part of their 
lives. The opinions which your memorialists have formed, 
and the remarks which they have offered for your lordship's 
consideration, are the result of long experience and of careful 
observation of Indian life in all its varied phases, and they 
submit those opinions and those remarks with an earnest 
hope that a measure which they believe to be alike prejudicial 
to the best interests of the Natives of India, and dangerous 
to the safety of Her Majesty's dominion will not be passed 
into law ; for it is certain that this Bill, if it be persisted in, 
will keep alive in the future those mischievous race anti- 
pathies which its introduction has revived, and thereby will 
seriously add to the difficulties, already sufficiently great, of 
Indian administration. 

All which your memorialists would humbly submit to your 

A. J. Arbuthnot. R. V. Doyne. 

W. Agnew. R. Eardley-Wilmot. 

S. A. Apcar. J. Fergusson. 

H. Berners. T. Douglas Forsyth. 

C. S. Blair. S. S. Gladstone. 

J. A. Bourdillon. C. A. Gordon. 

J. H. A. Branson. E. Grey. 

C. J. Brookes. H. Hankey. 

C. T. Buckland. R. S. Hills. 

J. R. Bullen-Smith. H. Hopkinson. 

J. K. Bythell. W. H. Hudson. 

Orfeur Cavenagh. R. H. Keatinge. 

M. D. Chalmers. J. B. Knight. 

Hyde Clarke. G. St. P. Lawrence. 

R. Cockburn. A. Lawrie. 

A. Cotton. C. A. Lawson. 

J. Dacosta. Roper Lethbridge. 

A. C. C. De Renzy. S. P. Low. 

Memorial to the Secretary of State for India. 105 

Malcolm Low. 

J. M. Maclean. 

Melville Macnaghten. 

G. B. Malleson. 

J. D. Mayne. 

E. C. Melville. 

G. F. Mewburn. 

W. Moran. 

E. C. Morgan. 

C. W. Nightingale. 

A. T. Osmond. 

Charles Palliser. 

S. B. Partridge. 

J. Pitt-Kennedy. 

W. G. Probyn. 

C. Raikes. 

E. T. Roberts. 

A. Rogers. 

J. O'B. Saunders. 

C. Sanderson. 

W. ,S. Seton-Karr. 

R. A. Scoble. 

A. C. Silver. 

W. Smith. 

J. Stevenson. 

R. Steward. 

H. Stewart-Reid. 

H. H. Sutherland. 

W. Tayler. 

C. B. Templer. 

Ernest Tye. 

E. Tyrwhitt. 

A. J. Vibart. 

T. Prendergast Walsh. 

J. D. Ward. 

J. P. Watson. 

R. M. Westropp. 

J. Berry White. 

G. Williamson. 

For the London Committee, Anglo-Indian Association for 
obtaining the withdrawal of the Indian Criminal Pro- 
cedure Act Amendment Bill. 


— o — 

On the 26th July a deputation waited upon the Earl of Kim- 
berly, Seeretary of State for I?idia, and presented the 
foregoing Memorial. A^ early all the signataries to the 
Memorial were present on the oecasion. 

Mr. PUGH, M.P., in introducing the deputation said : My 
Lord, the deputation which I have the honour to introduce 
to your lordship is, I very much think, the most influential 
deputation that has ever been received between these walls. 
The deputation represents a committee consisting of 700 
members, and I have carefully analysed the composition of 
the commitee, but I am not going to weary your lordship 
with any details upon the subject. My intention was to point 
out how many men there were upon that Committee who 
were distinguished for their services in India, but I found the 
list so large that it would be impossible for me within any 
reasonable compass to make any individual mention of the 
more prominent of those members. But I would say this, 
that of the 700, somewhere about 250 only are non-official 
Europeans ; that leaves something over 450 men who have 
held service under Her Majesty in India, and many of 
these, my lord, are distinguished for services which they 
rendered to the country ; and they are distinguished very 
much in this respect, that many of them had long been, and 
will be, known for the earnest desire they had always shown 
for the advancement of the Natives of India. Now, the 
object of this deputation is to lay before your lordship their 
views upon the Bill now pending before the Council in India 
for the Amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code. I do 

Deputation to the Sec^^etary of State for hidia. 107 

not propose to enter myself into any argument upon the 
subject. I shall content myself with introducing the deputa- 
tion to your lordship, and the deputation will state tem- 
perately and yet fully, I have no doubt, their views upon the 
subject. And, my lord, the deputation are moved to take 
this measure owing very much to the repeated assurances 
given by Lord Ripon in his speech upon this Bill before the 
Legislative Council in Calcutta, of his desire to keep him- 
self clear from all controversy, so that he might give a full and 
impartial consideration to all the representations which might 
be made to him by the local governments or by the public 
with reference to the objection that they might feel to the 
Bill. Those assurances of Lord Ripon the deputation entirely 
accept, and for myself I will say that I have not the slightest 
doubt all those representations will receive from Lord Ripon 
the fullest and most careful consideration. The deputation 
being here in England, they have thought that the proper 
way to lay their views before the Government of India 
would be through this deputation which your lordship has 
kindly consented to receive. Now had it been, as has been 
stated more than once, the desire of those who oppose this 
Bill to attack the general policy of Lord Ripon J should not 
in any way for my own part have consented to ask your 
lordship to receive this deputation ; nor if they desired in 
any way to attack the Rent Bill of Lord Ripon, should I 
have consented to have anything to do with the deputation ; 
nor if they had proposed to come here in order to oppose 
any extension of local self-government in India, should I 
have in any way consented to have anything to do with it. 
But my views being in accordance with the views of the 
deputation with regard to this one particular Bill, I have had 
no hesitation in consenting to ask your lordship to receive 
this deputation. Now, the object of all those who study the 
welfare of India, I take it, must be to endeavour to adopt 
and to agree upon such measures as will conduce to the 
different races that inhabit the country acting together in 
greater harmony ; and I may say for myself, my lord, that 
during the twenty years in which I have known India, I 
believe the different races in India have been hitherto ap- 
proximating more and more closely towards each other, and 
I am sure it is the wish of every member of this deputation 
to see that approximation continue without let or hindrance. 
And it is because they do not think that this Bill is cal- 
culated to promote that approximation, but that it will have 
the directly contrary effect — it is on that account, and I 

io8 Dcpictatioii to the Sea^etary of State for India. 

believe on that account alone, that they wish to make public 
their views in reference to this measure. My lord, I shall 
not trouble you with any further remarks in introducing the 
deputation ; but Sir Alexander Arbuthnot will now address 
your lordship. He, as your lordship is aware, was formerly a 
member of the Supreme Council, and I may say also that he 
has been distinguished above all other things for his efforts in 
the cause of Native education, and the advancement of the 
Natives generally in the Presidency of Madras, and in fact 
throughout the rest of India. I trust that the views of the 
deputation will be such as to commend themselves to your 
lordship, and I trust also that when Lord Ripon enters upon 
that full consideration of the views of the various local 
governors in India, he will not fail also to consider the views 
which will have been laid before your lordship to-day by this 
deputation, and that the result of that consideration will 
be the withdrawal of this Bill. (Hear, hear.) I beg to in- 
troduce to your lordship Sir Alexander Arbuthnot. 

Sir Alexander Arbuthnot: My lord, I have been 
requested to present to your lordship this memorial on behalf 
of a large body of gentlemen, who either are or have been 
connected with India, praying, for reasons which are fully 
stated, that Her Majesty's Government will be pleased to 
order the withdrawal of the Indian Criminal Procedure Act 
Amendment Bill which is now pending before the Council of 
the Governor-General. I think that after all that has been said 
by Mr. Pugh it is not necessary for me to disclaim, as I should 
wish to disclaim in the most emphatic terms, the imputation 
that I or any of those who are associated with me in this 
movement, are actuated by hostile or illiberal feelings towards 
the Natives of India. (Hear, hear.) For my own part I 
think I may truly affirm that during my long Indian service 
one of the most prominent objects to which my time and 
attention were constantly given, was the moral and intellec- 
tual advancement of the people of the country, and the 
fulfilment of the pledges which had been given, and the 
prospects which had been held out to them by the most pro- 
minent Indian statesmen of former times. (Hear, hear.) 
In the memorial which I am about to present to your lord- 
ship there is a very full statement of the reasons which have 
led the opponents of this Bill to regard it as an uncalled-for 
measure, and as one which, while it is not demanded in the 
interests of the small section of the Native community 
which it will immediately affect, is calculated to be most 
prejudicial, in our opinion, to the best interests of Her 

Deptttation to the Secretary of State for India. 109 

Majesty's Empire in India. I will not attempt to go over 
those reasons, but there are a few points connected with this 
matter which I should like to urge upon your lordship's 
attention. In the first place, I am aware that it is thoug-ht 
by many persons, and even by some who have considered 
the introduction of this Bill' to have been unwise, that after 
the hopes and expectations which have been aroused in 
the Native mind, and after all the agitation which has taken 
place, it is now too late to withdraw the measure. This 
consideration, and the consideration that the Government 
of a great Empire, having once introduced such a measure as 
this, can hardly recede from it without some loss to its credit 
and reputation, are considerations which must naturally be 
weighed by Her Majesty's Government. We who are urging 
the withdrawal of this Bill, do not at all ignore the con- 
siderations to which I have referred ; but our contention is, 
that in this case, as in so many other cases which occur 
constantly in human affairs, the Government have a choice 
of difficulties, and that the real question is not whether 
there is a course which is absolutely free from objection, 
but which of two or three courses, all of them more or less 
open to question, is likely on the whole to be conducive to 
the welfare of the Indian Empire. (Hear, he^r.) Looking 
at the question from this point of view, as practical men, 
intimately acquainted with the Natives of India, appreciating 
their merits and knowing their defects, we are persuaded that 
the mischief of proceeding with this Bill will be far greater than 
the inconvenience of withdrawing it. We feel sure that this 
Bill, if it be persisted in, will be a permanent cause of anti- 
pathies of race, and we are convinced that if this Bill shall 
become law, certainly on a great many occasions, though not 
perhaps on every occasion, reclamations will be made in the 
Anglo-Indian newspapers, which will be followed by those 
denunciations of British rule and oi the English race which 
have lately been revived in the Native Press, and that a state 
of things will arise which cannot fail to be most prejudicial 
to the interests of India and to the security of our rule. 
And here I should like to observe that the agitation which 
has arisen upon this subject on the part of the Natives of 
India was originally a purely factitious agitation ; that, on the 
part of the great bulk of the Native community of India, 
there was no demand for this Bill — (hear, hear) — and that 
€ven now many — some, at all events, of the best men among 
the Natives deprecate the measure as one which was uncalled 
for in the interests of the Natives of India, and is certain to 

I lo Deputation to the Secret ary of State f 07" India. 

affect injuriously their relations with their English fellow 
subjects. Before I sit down, I should like to invite your 
special attention to the argument which is urged in the 
memorial as to the real nature of the question which is at 
issue in this case. We have submitted that the real question 
is not whether a certain jurisdiction should be conferred upon 
certain Native functionaries, but whether Englishmen in India 
should be deprived of a privilege which they have hitherto 
enjoyed, and to which they attach the greatest importance. 
Our contention is that the withdrawal of that privilege is not 
only undesirable on other grounds, but that it is certain to 
have a bad political effect in diminishing the prestige and 
impairing the authority of Englishmen in India ; and if proof 
be needed of the soundness of this contention I must ask 
your lordship to consider some incidents which have occurred 
at Calcutta within the last few weeks. When we hear of a 
Native servant of the lowest class attempting with brutal 
violence to dishonour an English lady — the wife of the Public 
Prosecutor at Calcutta, and of another Native servant, who 
had been recently discharged, entering the bedroom in which 
his late master and mistress were sleeping, and then proceed- 
ing to cut to pieces the lady's dresses and to cut off her hair ; 
when also we read of another somewhat similar outrage on 
an Eurasian woman, the wife of a railway employe in the 
neighbourhood of Calcutta ; and when we read of the editor 
of a Native newspaper urging the formation of an enormous 
national fund, to be raised by subscriptions in every village 
for the purpose of enabling the Natives of India to obtain 
Parliamentary institutions, for which they are notoriously 
unfit, and urging upon his audience " to kindle a fire upon 
the altar of their country, ^vhich all the water of the Ganges 
will not put out," I submit that it needs a very moderate 
clearness of political foresight to discern the evils which are 
certain to result from this Bill. It has been said, and still is 
said, by the supporters of this Bill, that its provisions are in 
accordance with the opinions held by the wisest and most 
eminent Indian statesmen of past times. The names which 
are most commonly mentioned are those of Sir Thomas 
Munro and Mr. Elphinstone ; but it is only by ignoring or 
suppressing important passages in the writings of those 
distinguished men that it is possible to arrive at the conclu- 
sion which the advocates of the new legislation seek to 
establish. One single sentence in the famous minute of Sir 
Thomas Munro on the Indian Press, where he says — " I 
cannot view the question of a free Press in this country with- 

Deputation to the Secretary of State for India, 1 1 1 

out feeling that the tenure with which we hold our power never 
has been, and never will be, the liberties of the people," 
is, I think, amply sufficient to show what the opinion of that 
distinguished statesman would have been on a question of 
depriving Englishmen in India of the privilege of being 
subject in criminal cases to the exclusive jurisdiction of their 
countrymen. (Hear, hear.) With these remarks, my lord, I 
now present to your lordship a copy of the memorial. 

Mr. W. S. Seton-Karr (formerly Foreign Secretary to the 
Government of India) — My Lord : In the few remarks which 
I shall have the honour to address to your lordship, and which 
I wish to compress into the smallest space possible, I will not 
speculate whether the distrust as to this measure, which is avow- 
edly felt in India, proceeds from some deeper distrust of other 
measures of the administration which seem destined to break 
the continuity of tradition, and to impair the efficiency of the 
machinery of Government ; nor shall I, on the other hand, 
expatiate on the arguments and counter-arguments for or 
against the Bill which your lordship will find set forth in 
the memorial which we have this day the honour of presenting 
to you, and set forth in language, I trust, which it is not dis- 
respectful or unconstitutional for us to offer, and which it 
cannot be offensive to your lordship to receive. 'But I would 
briefly request your lordship's consideration to three points 
connected with the opposition to this Bill. Your lordship is 
probably aware, and your able officers who surround you 
will confirm my statement, that on many occasions, when im- 
portant measures have been under discussion which affected 
the welfare of the Natives of India, the non-official and the 
official world have been prominently divided into two camps. 
I can say from my own knowledge, and I shall be confirmed 
by others, that in past times it has fallen to the lot of many 
officials of Government to explain, or to defend, or to pro- 
mulgate those measures of Government which, with equal 
honesty of purpose and with equal sincerity of conviction, the 
non-official community have thought it their duty to oppose. 
I may remind you, I say, that in past times we, the officials 
of India, have had to carry through those measures, and we 
have been denounced for doing it, with that freedom of 
thought and that energy of language which with Englishmen 
everywhere is the very salt and breath of their political life. 
But on the present occasion all those divisions amongst 
English society have entirely disappeared. We are here met 
together, men of every variety of occupation and of every 
variety of experience, from ahnost every province of India, 

1 1 2 Deputation to the Seeretary of State for India. 

and I believe that from the non-official community, from 
merchants, from barristers, from civilians and military men, 
there never has been on any previous occasion such a remark- 
able unanimity of sentiment or such extraordinary consensus 
of opinion. That is one point to which I would earnestly 
request your lordship's clo'^e and careful attention. Secondly, 
I would ask your lordship to remember that we cannot be 
taxed with any selfish purposes in opposing this Bill. Many 
of us, as the chairman of our committee has reminded you, 
have taken a deep interest in the cause of Native progress 
and the advancement of Native civilization. I may say frankly 
that we owe everything we have in the world to India. India, 
with all its drawbacks, has given to most of us a career of 
which we are justly proud, and if we have attained, any one 
of us, any honour from the State, any esteem from the 
public, if in any shape whatever, either by commercial fit- 
ness, by forensic ability, or by official aptitude, we have 
achieved success or an independence in life, it is to India and 
its career that we owe it all — (hear, hear) ; and as our 
chairman has reminded you, there are many of us who would 
far sooner prefer to dwell on the many good points in the 
Native character-, on their touching acts of devotion, on their 
fidelity in service, on their readiness to follow where English- 
men lead — we would far rather, I say, at this distance of time 
and place, recall these features than aggravate antipathies of 
race by dwelling too long on well-known instances of Oriental 
turpitude and Asiatic treachery. We can none of us here, 
at this distance of time and place, be actuated by any other 
than the kindliest feelings towards the Natives of India. 
(Hear, hear.) Then, thirdly, there is another point to which 
I would call your lordship's attention. It has been said in 
many papers that the agitation against the Bill is factitious 
and temporary, and that the desire for the Bill is permanent 
and genuine. We have every reason to believe, from private 
correspondence, from our attentive study of the comments of 
the Press, and from our knowledge of India, that the very 
contrary is the case. (Hear, hear.) We believe, on the 
contrary, that the agitation for the Bill has been got up 
mainly by a few interested individuals. I would take the 
liberty of stating to your lordship that a journal accredited 
with some knowledge of India, and avowedly a supporter of 
your own Government, has maintained a silence on this im- 
portant subject which to me is more ominous and more 
eloquent than all the pleadings of a deputation ; and that 
journal has stated, and I doubt not on good authority, that 

DepiUation to the Secretary of State for India. 1 1 


90 per cent, of the so-called Nativqs of India have never 
heard of the Bill and do not care one farthing about it. 
(Hear, hear.) We believe, on the contrary, that the agitation 
which the Bill has evoked amongst the Anglo-Indian com- 
munity will not pass away quickly. As a proof of it, there 
is one circumstance hitherto unexampled in Indian history, 
and that is, that Englishwomen have for the first time thought 
it necessary to descend into the arena of controversy, and 
have sent forth a protest against the passing of this Bill. 
And although I do not anticipate for a moment that English- 
women resident in India w^ould furnish many examples of 
the criminal classes, yet at the same time I would avail my- 
self of this fact to illustrate what has been often said about 
anomalies and inequalities. Can there be a greater anomaly 
than the position of the Ranee or the Begum, whose seclusion 
in the Zenana is inviolate, practically, against the pursuit of 
justice and against the arm of the law, and the position of the 
English lady or the wife of the English employe, who lives 
openly in the light of day, who is amenable as a witness or 
defendant in every court, and who sheds about her, unlike 
her Aryan sister, that indescribable charm which the presence 
of a refined and energetic Englishwoman always ^heds in the 
social and domestic circle t (Hear, hear.) There was one 
occasion when, twenty years ago, the community of India was 
violently agitated regarding the passing of a measure which 
affected Native interests. That measure, as your lordship's 
advisers will tell yow, commanded the support of very high 
and noble-minded statesmen, including, amongst others, the 
late Lord Canning. Your eminent predecessor. Lord Halifax 
(then Sir Charles Wood), who at that time presided over the 
destinies of India, although the Bill had not only been intro- 
duced into the Council, but had actually been passed as a 
tentative measure for more than six months, intimated his 
disapproval of the measure. The agitation and the measure 
collapsed, and we have never heard one word of the subject 
since. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion, I will ask your lordship 
to remember that we, as representing the Anglo-Indian com- 
munity, do not for a moment ask that Englishmen or English- 
women should be set above the law. We do not even ask 
that any one. law or clause should be altered to their ad- 
vantage. We only ask that the law should remain as it is, 
and that they should enjoy the privilege upon which, as you 
have been told, they set so high a value, the privilege of being 
tried for any criminal offence before one of their own colour, 
race, and creed. In short, my lord, we can only submit to 


1 14 Deputation to the Secretary of State for India. 

your lordship's earnest consideration the fact that we re- 
present a large consensus of opinion on the part of the 
official community in India ; that we believe ourselves to be 
backed by the reasons and the arguments of those high 
authorities who, on a second consideration of this important 
measure, have, we believe, been led to disapprove of it ; and 
we earnestly entreat you to weigh our arguments in order 
that the Bill should not pass, for we believe it to be one 
which is not really compatible with the advancement of the 
best interests of the Natives, which will really shake the 
loyalty and the fidelity of the Anglo-Indian community, and 
which, in the end, cannot but tend to impair the stability and 
the permanence of that vast and magnificent dependency 
over which your lordship so worthily presides. (Hear, hear.) 
Mr. J. R. Bullen-Smith, C. S. I. (formerly member of 
the Legislative Council of the Governor-General of India) : 
My lord, I feel that so much has been already written 
and said upon this subject during the last few weeks 
that anything I could bring forward might almost appear 
to be a twice told tale ; but as having represented till I 
left India a few years ago, very large non-official interests 
in the Mofussil of Bengal, I cannot refuse the invitation 
which was addressed to me to join this deputation and 
say a few words, both to manifest my own extreme in- 
terest in the subject and the entire approval with which I 
regard the prayer contained in this memorial, and also to 
express the opinion which I know is strongly held by those 
who have succeeded in the management of those interests to 
which I have referred. My lord, I claim on behalf of those 
in India who are opposed to this Bill, and especially on behalf 
of my non-official countrymen, that notwithstanding all that 
is being said now to the contrary, they are reasonable men. 
I assert, and do it with full confidence, that they are deeply 
interested in the welfare of India, both for their own sakes 
and for the sake of its population, and that as a consequence 
they are deeply interested in its good government in every 
particular, anxious to advance it by every means in their 
power, and willing, if necessary, to make some sacrifice on 
its behalf, I would not wish to make this assertion rashly ; 
but I think in support of it I may very fairly refer to the 
legislation which took place on this subject in the year 1872. 
I, in common with my friend Mr. Stewart, whom I see now 
in this room, had the honour of a seat in the Legislative 
Council of the Viceroy at the time, and were members of the 
Select Committee which sat on the Bill connected with the 

Deputation to the Secretary of State for India. 115 

legislation to which I have referred. , He will bear me out in 
saying- that nothing was done then that was hasty ; it was 
a matter which met with the fullest consideration, and although, 
from the ver}^ nature of the case, the result which was arrived 
at could not be officially put forth to the world as being a 
compromise between different classes of the community and 
the Government, yet, nevertheless, he will support me, I am 
sure, in saying that it was understood to be a compromise. 
Mr. Justice Stephen, in a letter which he has lately addressed 
to the public of England on this subject, has asserted this in 
the fullest manner, and from the position which he held at 
the time, as the head of the legislative department in India, 
his testimony on the subject may be accepted as conclusive. 
And it is that fact which gives to the present action of the 
Government, what I am sure was unintentioned, a sort of 
appearance of breach of faith. It was felt at the time 
that the compromise then made would be held sacred, 
and would be acted upon until some strong necessity 
arose for entering upon a new course of action. (Hear, 
hear.) Let it not, my lord, for a moment be supposed 
that Englishmen in India held at that time the privilege for 
which we are now contending a whit less dear th^n they hold 
it now. They prized it then just as much as they do now, 
but they were willing to give up something when a definite 
reason why was put before them. They were reasonable men, 
and when it was explained to them that the retention of this 
privilege in all its length and breadth meant practically 
unpunished crime in the Mofussil, then, I say, they were 
willing to the extent demanded to give up their privilege. 
Now it seems to me, my lord, that the position now is this : 
that compromise having been entered into, the natural ques- 
tion is, what has occurred during the last ten or eleven years 
to cause the Government to enter upon a new line of action t 
I may safely say that up to this time — at any rate that is 
my opinion — absolutely nothing has occurred. It seems to 
me that only two reasons would have justified the Govern- 
ment in re-opening this subject. Those would be either 
that there was some administrative difficulty which rendered 
it impossible in the existing state of affairs to carry on the 
government of the country as it ought to be conducted, or 
that there was some strong demand for a new measure on 
the part of the inhabitants of India, which it would be 
impolitic and inexpedient to resist. Now, my lord, with 
regard to the first of these — the administrative difficulty — it 
certainly was broached at first in the debate in the Legislative 

I 2 

1 1 6 Deputation to the Secretary of State for India, 

Council, but, as far as I can see, it very f^radually diminished, 
and at all events I can tell your lordship this : that the 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, speaking with all the weight 
of his high and responsible position, ruling over the territories 
in which are to be found more of the class which would be 
particularly affected by this Bill than in all the rest of India 
put together — Mr. Rivers Thompson was able, from his place 
in the Legislative Council, to say that there existed no 
administrative difficulty whatever in the territories under his 
charge, and that assertion he would be prepared to prove 
whenever it was denied. Then as to the second reason : can 
it be said that there has been on the part of the Native com- 
munity a strong demand for this measure } For ten years, 
from the date which I have spoken of up till last year, 
when the Criminal Procedure Code was passed, I never 
remember the subject to have been mentioned at all ; and 
is it not a curious thing that we should find in the Legis- 
lative Council itself, when this subject is brought forward, 
that the support given to it by Native members is of 
such a half-hearted and lukewarm description ? The Native 
members in the Council at the time this Bill was brought in, 
were two. One of them is well known to myself; he is a 
shrewd merchant, who has long lived and been respected in 
Calcutta, and held his own with any and every one there in 
his own walks of life ; it would have been too much to ex- 
pect that he should have voted against such a proposition as 
this ; but assuredly, those who read his few remarks will find 
no great warmth in the assenting vote which he gave. I 
believe that both he and his colleague, who said that while 
his head approved of the measure his heart voted against it, 
v/ould have been far better pleased had this subject never 
been brought forward. (Hear, hear.) My lord, I cannot too 
strongly endeavour to impress upon your lordship this fact — 
that the people of India, as such, those whose opinion is 
worth having, care nothing about this matter. It seems to 
them nothing strange whatever that Englishmen should pos- 
sess this privilege. They see privileges all around them, and 
not only do they see nothing strange in our possessing this 
privilege of being tried by one of our own countrymen, but, as 
I said just now, I never knew a Native yet who would not, if the 
choice were given him, rather go before the English gentleman 
than before the Babu. It therefore comes to this, that the 
cause of this new procedure which it is sought to enter upon, 
is to be found in the now prospective disability of a few. 
This, perhaps, is scarcely the place for me to speak of what I 

Dcpittation to the Secretary of State for India. 1 17 

think ought to be the attitude of these few ; but I will say this 
much, that I think that attitude ought not to be the forward 
one which they are now assuming. I think that — looking to 
the fact that they are now in the Civil Service at all, a posi- 
tion which ten years ago they could never look forward to — it 
is hardly becoming of these young gentlemen, in advance of 
any felt injustice, in advance of any actual disability, to endea- 
vour to force the hand of the Government in this matter. It 
would have been more becoming of them to have waited till 
the evil was actually felt, and then to have asked ,for that 
relief which the whole dealings of the Government with the 
people of Lower Bengal entitled them to believe they would 
have readily granted. (Hear, hear.) There only remains 
for me now to mention one other reason which seems to 
me strongly to show that the status quo of 1872 should be 
maintained, and that is this : through the large extension of 
railways, mills, and other works of the kind, we every year 
import into India a large proportion of mechanics, engineers, 
artizans of different kinds — the very men upon whom in the 
Mofussil this Bill will most hardly and severely press. Now 
Ave cannot do without these men ; if we wished we cannot 
deport them, as in olden times ; their presence is very mate- 
rial, I may say absolutely necessary, to the wealth and 
material prosperity of India, which we all so much desire ; and 
what I feel strongly is this, that while on the one hand we 
must take every means to see that their treatment of the 
Natives is what it should be, we, on the other hand, should 
not, unless there existed an absolute necessity, drive them 
to courts in which they have no confidence. (Hear, hear.) 

Mr. J. M. Maclean (late editor of the Bombay Gazette) : 
My lord, I have been asked to support the prayer of this 
memorial, because, having conducted for a great number of 
years one of the principal daily papers of India, I have had 
perhaps exceptional opportunities of becoming familiar with 
the sentiments of the representatives of English commerce 
and industry in India— of those men whom in the days of the 
East India Company it was the fashion to speak of as English 
adventurers. It is generally admitted, I think, that this Bill 
is exceedingly distasteful to this class, whom I may call the 
most valuable element of the population of India. Where- 
ever independent Englishmen settle in that country, whether 
as merchants, as planters, as professional men, or as skilled 
mechanics, they are a leaven of loyalty, of intelligence, and 
of fruitful enterprise, which leavens the whole inert mass of 
Indian society. I may say further, that this class are, as a 

1 18 Deputation to the Seci'etary of State for India. 

body, remarkably free from crime. The High Court Judges 
of Allahabad pointed out the other day that during the last 
ten years not more than 800 cases had occurred in which 
Europeans were concerned that were brought before all the 
courts of India, and that of those a very large majority were 
cases arising in the presidency towns, where it is proposed 
not to make any change in the law. It is therefore clear 
that this Bill will only affect a score or two of cases at the 
outside every year, which would have to be tried by up-country 
magistrates and judges, and as it is settled that the propor- 
tion of Natives in the Civil Service is not to exceed one-sixth,, 
it is obvious that the chance is very remote indeed of any 
Native having the privilege of trying a European up-country. 
This result is of course based on the supposition that crime 
would not increase, and it shows how infinitesimal and shadowy 
is the grievance that the Government of India proposes to 
redress. But what non-official Europeans have too much 
cause to fear, what they are really alarmed about, is that the 
number of cases of alleged crime will be fearfully multiplied 
if this change in the law is carried into effect. As a class,, 
we non-officials have never grudged or opposed the advance- 
ment of Natives to positions which they are well qualified to 
fill. We do not do so now. It is not sought to change the 
law which gives Native magistrates in the Presidency towns 
full powers to try both Europeans and Natives, but we feel 
sure that if similar powers are entrusted to Native magistrates 
up-country the fortunes and liberties of Englishmen scattered 
about India Avill be exposed to terrible peril. (Hear, hear.) 
We conceive that we have the right to claim the special pro- 
tection of the Government of India, because we are a small 
and scattered minority, living in the only part of HerMajesty's 
wide dominions in which an independent Englishman is shut 
out from any hope of ever having a share in the Executive 
Government of the country. And that which we claim — I 
don't call it a privilege, but I call it a right — is one, the pos- 
session of which can give no just cause of offence to any 
human being. There is only one more point I would like to 
say a word about. It has been said that the Government of 
India cannot withdraw this Bill for fear of disappointing the 
Natives ; but is it possible for the Government to satisfy the 
expectations that they have raised if they persevere with this 
Bill } Do we not see from the language of the Native Press 
that Native agitators will not be satisfied with this Bill 
alone 1 They regard it, as they say, as only a small instalment 
of the justice that is due to them, and they will never cease 

Deputation to the Secretary of State for India. 1 19 

to demand fresh concessions, the end of which could only be 
either to destroy the ascendency of the English in India or 
to compel us (which would be almost equally disastrous) to 
put forth such efforts to restore our authority as were needed 
in the crisis of 1857. It is on these grounds that I join in 
the appeal to your lordship to withhold the consent, of Her 
Majesty's Government to a measure which cannot fail to offend 
and to injure every Englishman in India, and which holds 
out no prospect of effectually conciliating the Natives of the 
country. (Hear, hear.) 

Major-General HOPKINSON, C.S.I, (late Chief Commissioner 
of Assam, and Agent to the Governor-General North-East 
Frontier) : My Lord, I have been invited to represent Assam, 
and especially the tea interest on this deputation, because 
I once had the honour of being Commissioner of that 
province. Now, my lord, I have been asked by some of my 
native friends, in reference to my taking the side of the ques- 
tion represented by the deputation, whether I should not 
think it very absurd if the Irishmen now in England were 
to clamour to be tried only by their own countrymen, when 
charged with the commission of criminal offences, and I have 
answered, " Yes, without doubt it would be very absurd." But I 
have added : " Suppose the successful cultivation of some of the 
most important agricultural products of England depended 
upon Irish superintendence ; that our chief manufacturing 
industries were managed by Irishmen ; that we owed to them 
the introduction and maintenance of our systems of steam 
navigation and railways ; that we had to thank Irishmen for 
our code of national education ; that we enjoyed through 
them, for the first time in our history, a tolerable mea- 
sure of security for our persons and our property, protection 
from anarchy within and from foreign enemies without ; and 
that the continuance of all these benefits depended upon 
their stay among us, I should then say that we could not do 
too much to make it acceptable to them, and that even as a 
mere matter of sentiment, we should be glad to show our 
gratitude, by conceding to them the privileges of being tried 
by their own countrymen, if they desired it, and much less 
seek to deprive them of it, if they had long enjoyed it." 
(Hear, hear.) But, my lord, I am not content to argue 
against the Ilbert Bill on sentimental grounds ; I make to it 
the very practical objection that it provides for the setting in 
authority over British European subjects, in remote provinces 
of India like Assam, as judges and administrators, officers 
whom I cannot regard as qualified by their ability for such 

I20 Deputation to the Secretary of State for India. 

responsible positions. When I say, "■ qualified by their abil- 
ity," I do not mean the abihty to acquire this or that parti- 
cular science ; I do not mean an extraordinary aptitude for 
mathematics, nor a wonderful gift of tongues, I mean the 
ability which depends upon the possession of certain moral 
qualities, which are beyond the reach of competitiv^e examin- 
ations to discover, but are the most important of all qualities 
in an administrator. We are taught by history that English- 
men, Irishmen, and Scotchmen, as a rule, do possess these in- 
dispensable moral qualities in a very great degree, and so we 
may assume for any one of them an average share of what 
is possessed by the mass ; and if, therefore, he shows himself 
superior in those subjects which can be tested, we may con- 
clude that so far we have the best man v/hen we take him ; 
but I make bold to affirm that history equally teaches that 
there are races in India which do not possess the indispen- 
sable moral qualities I have in view, and it most unfortu- 
nately happens that the races which least possess them are the 
races who are most nimble witted and apt in the subjects to 
which the competitive test can be applied. It follows, there- 
fore, that the test which may be fairly adapted for a native 
of Great Britain will by no means justify the same conclu- 
sions when applied to a Native of India. If mere educa- 
tional or knowledge tests were of universal application to 
prove universal fitness, we might have " a sweet girl grad- 
uate " from Girton appointed on the strength of a successful 
examination to a seat on the Bench of Metropolitan Magis- 
trates, or sent to take charge of a disturbed district in Ire- 
land. She certainly would not be more out of place there 
than a Native gentleman from Bengal would be who was 
appointed to officiate as a deputy commissioner in a frontier 
district of Assam. P'^or it is from Bengal only that Native 
members of the Covenanted Civil Service would be likely to 
be available for employment in Assam, and I should not 
expect a Native gentleman from Bengal to show much confi- 
dence in himself or inspire confidence in others in such a 
position. If his fears, as Rajah Shiva Prasad says, would 
prompt him to unjust acquittals, it is certain there would be 
cases where they would make him convict unjustly ; and 
when both sides were European, he would incline to the 
stronger side. Let it be remembered also that the efficiency 
of a deputy commissioner or a district magistrate is less 
severely tested by his judicial capacity than by the discharge 
of his executive functions, where power of will, force of char- 
acter, tact, temper, and judgment (and for Assam I might 

Deputation to the Secretary of State for India. 1 2 i 

fairly add physical courage) are required. It is, I am con- 
vinced, quite a mistake to suppose that the planters of Assam 
are animated by the spirit of what a member of the Indian 
Council calls " spread eagleism " in their opposition to the 
Ilbert Bill ; they do not care whether their rulers and judges 
are black or white, or where they are born, so long as they 
get even-handed justice and have their public business ad- 
ministered honestly and firmly ; and it is the result of their 
actual experience that makes them doubt whether these 
would follow under the Ilbert Bill. The enormous cost of 
European superintendence is one of the greatest hindrances 
to the profitable cultivation of tea in Assam, and accordingly, 
in one concern after another, in plantation after plantation, 
the experiment of Native managers, chosen from the very 
classes that have furnished successful competitors for the 
Civil Service, has been tried, and I am assured that no case 
can be cited in which it has been found to answer. The 
Native managers have usually proved deficient in the neces- 
sary administrative qualifications, and hence the planters 
have come to the conclusion that if they cannot find Natives 
who can manage their gardens for them, the Government are 
not likely to be able to find Natives competent to manage them. 
There are yet a few remarks, my lord, that with your per- 
mission I should like to make on that other provision in the 
Ilbert Bill, which restricts the Government from appointing 
European-British subjects to be justices of the peace, and, a 
foi'tiori, we may assume that henceforth they will not be 
appointed honorary magistrates to try Natives,i for it would 
be opposed to the very spirit in which the Bill is conceived 
to admit such a class distinction. Now I will not dwell on 
the sentimental side of the question ; that is, the slight 
implied by the provision that no non-official European, what- 
ever his antecedents, his birth, his education, his social posi- 
tion, nay, possibly, his tried capacity as an administrator in 
some vast industrial enterprise, shall be deemed eligible to 
serve on the Commission of the Peace. Here there seems 
surely a class distinction of the most invidious kind ; but I 
pass that over. My lord, I insist on the impolicy of the 
restriction, as it will affect the local governments in Assam, 
Cachar, Darjeeling, and elsewhere, by depriving them of an 
unpaid but material help to the maintenance of law and order. 
The institution of honorary magistrates and justices of the 
peace served that purpose in m^any ways. It fostered a spirit 
of loyalty, or at least of goodwill, towards the Government, and 
a desire to be of service to it. It interested the planters in the 

122 Deputation to the Secretary of Stale for India. 

administration of the country, and made them more conside- 
rate towards the Natives ; and for a very trifling expenditure 
in the way of salaries to clerks it placed a number of magis- 
trates — the pick of the planting community — at the disposal 
of Government for employment in parts of the country 
which practically were not reached by the district magistrates 
proper, and who were vested with precisely the powers that 
were required to keep the peace on the tea plantations and 
make any necessary preliminary investigation in cases of 
serious crime. I will not further trespass, my lord, on your 
patience. As a Liberal in politics I fully recognize that our 
mission to India is to educate the Natives to the manage- 
ment of their own affairs, and fit them for the largest mea- 
sure of independence and equality ; but I think we are a 
long way yet from the completion of this education, and that 
in the meanwhile the differences which must exist between 
the teacher and the taught should be fairly admitted. I 
object to the Ilbert Bill, inasmuch as it disregards this diffe- 
rence, and that it pretends not only to put the master and 
pupil on equal terms, but actually to place the rod in the 
hands of the pupil. (Cheers.) 

Colonel Malleson (late guardian of H.H. the Maharajah 
of Mysore) : My lord, I think that no stronger argument 
can be adduced to bear upon any question than the argu- 
ment of practical experience, and if I should be able to show 
to your lordship that an experiment very similar to that 
which has been put forward by the Government of India has 
been introduced into one of the provinces of India and has 
failed in that province, there will be good ground for asking 
the Government of India to abandon such a measure. My 
lord, I spent seven years in the country of Mysore. When 
I arrived in that country Mr. Lewin Bowring was the chief 
commissioner of that province. Mr. Bowring had served 
with much distinction under very able masters ; he had been 
brought up by Sir Henry and Sir John Lawrence in the 
Punjab, and had served as private secretary to Lord 
Canning during the most tumultuous time of that noble 
lord's career in India. Mr. Bowring was sent by Lord 
Canning to administer the country of Mysore, and Mr. 
Bowring, who had at heart the welfare of the Natives as 
much as any gentleman with whom it has been my good 
fortune to be associated in India, endeavoured to give them 
in the province the fullest power of internal administration. 
Unfortunately Mr. Bowring is not able to be present this 
afternoon ; he is detained by illness at Torquay ; but he has 

Deputation to the Secretary of State for India. 123 

written to me his views on the subject, and with your lord- 
ship's permission I will read an extract from his letter. He 
says:— ''I should like to take this opportunity of saying 
that I have regarded with grave distrust and anxiety the 
recent measures of the Government of India. . . . There 
is no disguising the fact that we hold India by the strong 
hand, and that the time has not come when we can trust to 
moral force to govern the Natives. I have no faith whatever 
in their capacity for self-government independently of Euro- 
pean control, nor could I place any confidence in Native 
judges or magistrates who were removed from English super- 
intendence. It is a notable fact that on the rendition of 
Mysore, although it was a Native State, it was found ad- 
visable and necessary to nominate an English officer to the 
district where the coffee planters reside, so that the Govern- 
ment of India itself showed a becoming distrust of Native 
district officers. What I feel regarding the Ilbert Bill and 
other recent measures of the Government of India, is that 
they tend to unsettle our rule, and to excite hopes in the 
Native mind which will never be realized in our time. I am 
sure that no one who had to administer an Indian province 
was more anxious than I was to advance qualified Natives 
to high posts ; but although the experiment I made in nomi- 
nating Mr. Krishniengar to be a district officer answered 
thoroughly, the second Native whom I appointed to a similar 
post proved a dismal failure. Ability and experience were 
not wanting, but strict impartiality, combined with that un- 
flagging energy which one finds in Englishmen, was not 
forthcoming. There are a thousand and one influences at 
work to deter a Native who wishes to be upright from follow- 
ing a straightforward course — social ties and prejudices, caste 
fears, religious feelings, and other motives, which hardly 
present themselves to the mind of the European, but which 
are all potent to the Native. So much is this the case, that 
I am almost surprised that any Native official should wish to- 
have jurisdiction over Englishmen. Lord Canning, my old 
master, had a true insight into the genuine way of main- 
taining our rule, for he saw that the mass of the people, 
whose position we had done so much to elevate and improve^ 
were supine or helpless in a time of convulsion, and he learnt 
that it was to the allegiance of the great chiefs that we must 
look in case of need. I shall always remember with pleasure 
the small help that I was able to give him in those days. I 
happen also to have known Lord Lawrence well, and I am 
quite sure, from what I saw of him, that anxious as he was to 

124 Deputation to the Secretary of State for India. 

better the condition of the ryots and to protect them from 
oppression, and desirous as he was to foster municipal action, 
he would never have dreamt of putting Native officials in a 
quasi independent position and of giving them authority 
over Europeans." I trust, my lord, that I shall be pardoned 
for expressing what are the views of one of the most 
experienced officials and administrators we have ever had in 
India. (Hear, hear.) 


The Earl of KiMBERLEY : Gentlemen, I have had the ad- 
vantage of reading the memorial which has been presented 
to me, for Mr. Pugh was good enough to give me a copy, 
and I need scarcely say that I shall make a point of trans- 
mitting it without delay to Lord Ripon. With regard to the 
arguments which I have heard, you, no doubt, will remember 
that upon the occasion of Lord Lytton's motion in the 
House of Lords, I myself and two of my colleagues stated 
very fully the arguments which had induced the Government 
to arrive at a conclusion favourable to the measure which you 
have referred to to-day. I think it would be quite unneces- 
sary and, indeed, probably unwise that I should now repean to the position 
of the judge. It was urged that it was a great hardship to 
the Native Indian judge, who had worked through the stages 
of the Civil Service, and who had taken the trouble to 
acquire legal knowledge, that he should have no jurisdiction 
oyer Europeans in India. (Hear, hear.) But it seemed to 
him that the man they had to think about more particularly, 
was the prisoner. (Loud cheers.) It might be just as well main- 
tained that because the judges in this country did not like to 
try cases of murder, because everybody knew that they were 

Meeting at Lzmehouse. 133 

very disagreeable, those cases should be handed over to 
an inferior judge. In matters of ' this kind we thought 
always of the prisoner ; and with regard to the situation 
in India, it was felt that the prisoner and his wife and 
family ought to have the best justice that English liberality 
and fair play could procure. (Hear, hear.) The second 
theory which was relied upon in favour of the Bill was that 
of sweeping away all race distinctions in India ; it was 
said that a beginning was to be made in the work of sweep- 
ing away all those distinctions— (hear, hear)— and he 
did not think that this view of the case could have been 
more strongly put than it was the previous day by a 
native speaker, Mr. Lalmohun Ghose, who had addressed the 
meeting at Willis's Rooms. That gentleman had said that 
in India there was still one law for Europeans and another 
for Natives — (shame) — and that the criminal code was full of 
invidious distinctions of race. Well, this was quite true, and 
for a reason which he would at once indicate. When in a 
case going on before a tribunal in India an Englishwoman 
was obliged to go and give evidence she could be brought 
there by compulsion, she could be forced to answer every 
question that every cross-examining counsel could put to her, 
but a native woman could refuse to go to the c^urt. (Hear, 
hear.) An exceptional law protected the native woman ; 
her prejudices and the feelings of her countrymen were 
respected, and she was not compelled to come into court. 
(Question.) If he were asked what this had to do with the 
question, he must say that it seemed to him to be the very 
vital essence of it. (Cheers.) There were undoubtedly 
distinctions between race. We protected the Native women 
of India in the court of law, we protected the idols of the 
people of India, we protected the temples of the people of 
India, and we protected the other customs and feelings of the 
people of India, and in every possible way we respected the 
races, the castes, and the religions of the natives of India 
throughout the whole of that country. (Cheers.) In sum- 
ming up this part of the case, what he had to say to them 
was this ; that if they were going to carry out the principle 
for which Mr. Lalmohun Ghose contended, they would have 
to sweep away a hundred distinctions in favour of the Native 
for one in favour of the l^^uropean. (Hear, hear.) However, 
he would pass from this point, because neither in India nor 
in this country were we governed by pure theory. We were 
governed by practical considerations. If we were going to 
look into it very critically we should know perfectly well that 

1-34 Meeting at LivieJio^tse. 

our whole Government in India was one of the greatest 
anomahes in the whole world, and that of all the difficult 
and intricate questions with which the Government had to, 
deal, the most delicate and intricate was that of the relations 
between Englishmen and Natives. He would venture to say- 
that when any legislation was proposed in this country or in 
India which in any way affected relations between English- 
men and Natives in India, we ought to hold fast to two 
cardinal considerations, which to his own mind ought to 
influence us in the most important degree. The first of these 
Avas that we must secure the safety of our dominion in India, 
and he did not think that any one had put this point more 
forcibly than a Go\^enior-General whose name was entitled 
to the highest respect in every assembly of Englishmen — the 
late Lord Lawrence. (Cheers.) Lord Lawrence had said 
that the truest kindness to the natives of India was to take 
steps to secure the continuance and the strength of our rule. 
(Hear, hear.) As for his second cardinal condition, it was 
that they ought, in dealing with any such intricate and 
delicate question as that to which he had alluded, pay the 
greatest possible regard to the feelings and knowledge of 
those Anglo-Indians who had had experience in India. 
Those Anglo-Indians possessed a knowledge of the customs 
and of the prejudices of the people of India which no other 
person could have, however much they might read about 
India and in that way study the country. Well, he would 
ask them whether in this particular case the feelings, know- 
ledge, and experience of Anglo-Indians had been appealed 
to for a single moment \\\ support of the Bill. ('' No.") He 
might go further and say — and this was a point which had 
been brought very prominently forward during the last few 
days — that there was not the smallest evidence that any 
demand existed on the part of the Natives for any such Bill 
as that which was now before the Government of India. 
(Hear, hear.) He held in his hand a letter w^ritten by a 
Native inhabitant of India which put the case with so very 
much force that they would permit him to read two or three 
sentences from it. The Native said " that Mr. Ilbert's pro- 
posal to extend the jurisdiction over European British 
subjects by Natives was certainly impolitic and ill-timed. It 
was calculated to do more harm than good to the furtherance 
of Native interests. It might satisfy ideal claims of justice, 
but, on the other hand, it would excite race feeling and 
widen the gulf which unhappily existed between Europeans 
and Natives." (Hear, hear.) And then he went on to say, 

Meeting at Lime house. 135 

" Legislative measures like the one under consideration should 
consult the wishes and feelings of those whom they concern. 
The European community is averse to it, and the Native 
community has not demanded it. Why, then, introduce a 
measure which will do no practical good, but incalculable 
harm, by generating friction between the two races — a de- 
plorable result, in my humble opinion ? " (Cheers.) Well, 
who had been consulted in this matter .? They all knew 
that the class of Englishmen in India who were not officials 
had never been consulted at all. They knew perfectly well 
what the result of appeals to the official Englishmen had 
been. Originally the Local Governments were consulted, 
and they sent back answers to the proposal of Lord Ripon 
which were taken by Lord Ripon to imply some adhesion to 
the principle for which he contended, and thereupon he in- 
troduced the Bill. He had sent round the Bill to the Local 
Governments. We had not yet got their opinions In this 
country, but what we heard beyond any reasonable doubt 
was this, that the Local Governments in India were almost 
unanimously opposed to it. (Cheers.) And one of the 
things of which he must complain was this, that while they 
sent home from India a telegram soon enough to explain in 
their own language, and as he ventured to say, entirely con- 
trary to the facts that were before them, the debate that 
took place In the Indian Council, because they thought It 
would tell In favour of the Bill, they were abstaining day by 
day from sending the answers of the Local Governments ; 
and when they got them he supposed it would be in the sarne 
sort of form that they got the debate in the Indian Council. 
(Hear, hear.) He must say that the Anglo-Indian com- 
munity had been treated most cruelly, when they were told 
yesterday at a meeting in Willis's Rooms that It was open to 
them to go the House of Commons and to submit a motion 
condemning the Bill. He thought he had never heard a more 
unfair observation, because they knew perfectly well the 
reason why no motion had been submitted. He might say 
for himself that the reason why he had submitted no motion 
to the House of Commons had been. In the first place, 
because he had been most rigidly careful up to the present 
time not to make it in the smallest degree a question between 
parties in this country. (Cheers, and interruption.) Until 
the meeting of Wednesday, it had never been a question 
between pakies. (Hear, hear.) In the second place he had 
desired above all things to do what the supporters of this Bill 
had always urged them to do — he had desired to wait as long 

136 Meeting at LiiJiekouse. 

as he could in order that the fullest information might be 
before the country, and that Lord Ripon himself might have 
the fullest opportunity of considering the opinions that had 
been expressed. (Cheers.) But there was another party 
that had been consulted — the judges of the High Court ; and 
the judges of the High Court, who were specially qualified 
to express an opinion upon this subject of jurisdiction, had 
pronounced against this Bill in a paper which, he thought,, 
would long be remembered as one of the ablest State papers 
ever sent to this country. It seemed therefore to be this, 
that in the opinion of all those, or almost every one of those,, 
most qualified to judge from their knowledge of the country, 
and from the experience that they had of the feelings and 
prejudices of the Natives, it appeared to be felt and admitted 
that this Bill would not do the smallest atom of good to the 
Natives of India, and that it might do enormous mischief to 
the true interests and to the future of India. (Cheers.) He 
should venture to say in concluding the remarks which he 
had ventured to submit, that if they desired at that moment, 
sitting in that room, to take steps for securing the stability 
of their rule in India, then ask that this Bill might be 
dropped. (Hear, hear.) If they desired to develop the true 
interests of India, and to extend into the remotest parts of 
the country the application of English capital to industrial 
undertakings, which were calculated to do enormous good to 
the country, then demand that this policy might be reversed. 
(Cheers.) And if above all they desired that the difficulties 
and animosities between races should be gradually and 
speedily got rid of, and that both Englishmen and Natives 
should endeavour to be amicably united for the common 
purpose of promoting the interests of the Empire, then insist 
upon the withdrawal of the Ilbert Bill. (Cheers.) 

Sir A. Arbuthnot said that the objections to this 
Bill had been very fully stated by Mr. Stanhope in the 
admirable speech to which they had just listened. As,, 
however, he had spent the greater part of his life in India, 
he might perhaps submit for their consideration a few points 
connected with this measure. In the first place he should 
like to remind them of the vast extent of our Indian Empire.. 
India was not only a very great country in the extent of its 
area, but it was also a very populous country, containing a 
population of 250,000,000. (Hear.) And this vast country,, 
with its teeming population, was ruled by a small body of 
Englishmen — a small handful, he might say, in comparison 
with the millions of Asiatics, who, side by side with a few 

Meeting at Lime house. 137 

thousands of Englishmen, inhabited that great country. 
(Cheers, and an exclamation of " ShAme ! " from one corner 
of the room.) A gentleman had called out *' Shame," 
when he referred to the fact that India was ruled by a hand- 
ful of Englishmen. He could not believe that this sentiment 
was shared by that meeting, or by any other assembly of 
Englishmen ; for the more he studied the history of the 
conquest and government of India, the more was he im- 
pressed by the beneficence of English rule in India ; and he 
did not believe that in the history of the world there was 
another instance of a Government having so thoroughly 
devoted itself, both in intention and in act, to the task of 
benefiting a subject people. (Cheers.) It was not, how- 
ever, necessary for him on this occasion to defend the justice 
and benevolence of British Indian administration. They 
could readily imagine that the government of this great 
country, and of its vast population, by a small body of men 
of an alien race, was by no means an easy task ; that it was 
a task which needed great judgment and discretion, and 
that one of the most important matters to keep in view 
was that the Natives of the country should look up to and 
respect their English rulers ; that while we governed them 
with justice and benevolence, while we endeavoiiVed to give 
them peace and prosperity, while we imparted to them the 
advantages of the discoveries of modern science, while, by 
improving the communications and developing the irrigation 
works, we did all that was in our power to avert that great 
calamity of famine, to which, at all times and under all 
Governments, India had been subject ; while we did all we 
could to educate the Natives and to give them a share in the 
government of their country : at the same time we should be 
most careful to do nothing that might weaken our credit as 
a powerful nation, or that might sow the seeds of ill-feeling 
between the English and the Native inhabitants of India, or 
in any way imperil the safety of the Englishmen and 
Englishwomen who were scattereci over that vast continent. 
One of the things which had been considered by the wisest 
statesmen to be necessary, in order to maintain the respect 
which the Natives of India entertained for Englishmen, and 
to ensure that the latter should pursue their avocations in 
safety, was that Englishmen and Englishwomen, when 
charged with criminal offences in the districts away from the 
Presidency towns, should be invariably tried by Englishmen. 
It had "been felt that the retention of this privilege in favour 
of Englishmen and Englishwomen was perfectly compatible 

138 Meeting at Limehouse. 

with the Hberal policy — hberal not in a poHtical or party 
sense, but in the sense of governing India for the benefit of 
the Natives of the country, and of promoting their moral 
and intellectual advancement, and also their political 
advancement, so far as was consistent with the supremacy of 
British rule — which had been avowed by successive Govern- 
ments of India and successive English ministries. And here 
he must remind them that, in the words of Lord Lawrence, 
that great administrator to whom Mr. Stanhope had already 
referred, the supremacy of British rule was " essential to the 
well-being of the people of India." For many years English- 
men in India, when charged with criminal offences, could 
only be tried by the Supreme Courts, now the High Courts, 
in the Presidency towns ; but this was found to be incon- 
venient, as with the extension of our Empire the number of 
Englishmen in India had increased, and the distances over 
which prosecutors and witnesses and prisoners had to travel 
were greater than they used to be. (A voice, *' A denial of 
justice.") Yes, in some few cases there had been, owing to 
this cause, a practical denial of justice ; and accordingly 
eleven years ago a law was passed which g-ave jurisdiction 
to the English Judges and Magistrates in the Provinces to 
try and sentence Englishmen for certain offences, excluding 
those of the most heinous kind. On that occasion it was 
deliberately considered and discussed in the Council of the 
Governor-General of India whether similar powers should be 
conferred upon Native Magistrates and Judges, when those 
offices should be held by Natives, as was likely to be the 
case to a limited extent at no very distant date ; but after 
full discussion it was settled that it was not expedient or 
politic, and that, in the interests of the administration of 
justice, it was not necessary, that the privilege of being tried 
by their own countrymen, which Englishmen in India had 
always enjoyed, should be withdrawn from them ; and this 
decision was accepted both by Natives and by Englishmen 
as a perfectly fair and just decision. It was this settlement — 
a wise settlement of the question, as he thought — which the 
Ilbert Bill proposed to undo. Mr. Bright had said at the 
meeting of the previous day that the Ilbert Bill was a very 
small Bill. (At the mention of Mr. Bright's name there 
were loud and prolonged cheers from some persons who had 
joined the meeting, and from that time the harmony of the 
meeting came to an end.) After a pause Sir Alexander 
Arbuthnot went on to say that Mr. Bright had called the 
Bill a very small Bill, and that this was true as regards the 

Meeting at Limehouse. 139 

present time ; but that in course of time the number of 
Natives who would exercise the new jurisdiction, if the Bill 
passed, would considerably increase. 

There were several reasons why the proposed change in 
the law was inexpedient. In the first place it was not 
necessary for administrative reasons ; for the number of 
Englishmen in India, though larger than it used to be, was 
never likely to be so great as to necessitate the withdrawal 
of the present privilege, in order that justice might be pro- 
perly administered. In the next place there had been no 
genuine demand for a change in the law on the part of the 
great body of the Native community. A noisy section were 
urging the change, now that it had been put into their 
heads ; but the demand was, in fact, a factitious demand for 
a privilege which nobody cared about a few months ago, 
and not a genuine demand for the removal of a real griev- 
ance. In the third place the measure was most distasteful 
to the great body of Englishmen and Englishwomen in India, 
and might be a source of danger to many of them. The 
difference in the habits and modes of life of Englishmen 
and Asiatics was so great that a Native of India, however 
intelligent and however anxious to do justice, would hardly, 
as a rule, be deemed competent to try an Englishman for 
a criminal offence. Of late years there had been a very 
great improvement in the qualifications of the Native Judges, 
and in ordinary times cases of positive injustice would prob- 
ably be rare ; still it was to be feared that in times of excite- 
ment, whether religious or political, such cases would not 
unfrequently occur. He would leave it to some of the 
speakers who would follow him, to explain how specially 
unfitting it was that Englishzvomeii in India should be sub- 
jected to the criminal jurisdiction of Native Magistrates or 

Lastly, the proposal to withdraw the privilege to which he 
had referred, had aroused, and, if carried out would, he 
feared, perpetuate those antipathies of race, which we had 
heard of before in India. Within the last week or two we 
had read of painful incidents in the metropolis of India, of 
a kind which never occur except in times of grave religious 
or political excitement. We had heard of insults to English 
ladies in Calcutta, and of outrages which would never have 
been ventured upon in ordinary times. He did not wish to 
be misunderstood. He did not mean for a moment to imply 
that the class of Native officials who would exercise the 
jurisdiction which the Bill created, would have the slightest 

140 Meeting at Limehouse, 

sympathy with such outrages. He was proud to reckon 
among Natives of that class several valued friends, who would 
regard such outrages with not less detestation than that with 
which we regarded them. What he wished to show was, 
that situated as the English were situated in India, it was 
very dangerous to introduce measures which m.ight produce 
race antagonism, or in any way diminish the consideration in 
which Englishmen and Englishwomen are held by the 
Natives of India. (Hear, hear.) 

Before he sat down he would refer to another remark 
made by Mr. Bright on the previous day. Mr. Bright had 
said a good deal about an Act of Parliament which was 
passed just fifty years ago, and which contained a clause 
enacting that no Native of India should be disqualified for 
any office by reason of his creed, colour, or caste. Now he 
(Sir Alexander) wished to say that in opposing this Bill, he 
and his friends were not in any way seeking to exclude a 
Native of India from any office. The objections which they 
urged were not directed against the appointment of a Native 
to the office of Magistrate or Judge, but simply against the 
withdrawal from Englishmen of the privilege of being tried 
for criminal offences by their own countrymen ; and the 
retention of this privilege was not incompatible with the 
advancement of Natives to the offices which he had named. 
(Hear, hear.) He must also draw attention to a remarkable 
observation made by Mr. Forster at the same meeting, to the 
effect that the opposition to the Ilbert Bill had not arisen 
until after Lord Ripon's Local Self-Government Resolution 
had been published, the fact being that the intention to 
pass the Ilbert Bill was not made public until early in 
the present year, while the Local Self-Government Reso- 
lution had been issued so far back as May, 1882. (Hear, 
hear.) There was one sentence in Mr. Forster's speech with 
which he agreed, viz., where he spoke of the importance of 
the Local Self-Government Resolution ; but he (Sir Alex- 
ander) used the word " importance," as applied to that 
Resolution, in a very different sense from that in which it 
was used by Mr. Forster, and in connection with the Resolu- 
tion alluded to he would conclude by reading to the meet- 
ing a passage in a letter which he had received some time 
ago from one of the most eminent Native officials in India : — 

" I am afraid the measure is at least half a century in 
advance of its time. I only hope, if introduced, it will not 
throw back the cause. It is strange, too, that the Government 
should seek to commence at the wrong end. Why not first 

Me2ting at Lzmehotise. 141 

enlarge the legislative councils and give them more powers ? 
The Education Commission, too, I fear is another blunder. 
It is setting missionaries and natives by the ears. We are 
never satisfied with what we have, but must do things by- 
leaps and jumps. I begin to feel that a five years' tenure of 
power is a terrible temptation to a man to do something 
which should be essentially his own." (Cheers.) 

Mr. Roper Lethbridge, CLE., said that his only 
claim to say a few words in support of the resolution was 
that he had spent many years of his life in India, that 
he had learned to love that country and its people, and 
that he felt certain that this iniquitous Bill, if persevered 
in, would prove the ruin, not only of the English in India, 
but of India itself. He wished first to denounce with the 
utmost indignation the imputation that had been made upon 
Anglo-Indians that they opposed the Bill from the base 
motive of jealousy of the natives. They desired to see the 
natives educated and enlightened, they desired to see them 
largely and usefully employed by the Indian Government ; 
but for the sake of the natives themselves, as well as for the 
sake of the Empire at large, they did not desire to see them 
placed in positions for which they were entirely disqualified, 
however high their character and education, by reason of their 
social customs. When native magistrates broke through the 
shackles of caste — under which the poor low-caste man was 
not allowed to stand on the same carpet with the Brahmin, 
even in a Court of Justice — when they learnt to look upon 
women as the equals of men, when they married one woman 
only and respected her as their equal ; then, but not till then, 
would he and those who agreed with him be prepared to 
hear of their sitting in judgment on Englishwomen. In the 
next place, the people directly afi"ected by this measure were 
the ^Qw native magistrates who would obtain this jurisdiction 
on the one side, and whole body of Englishmen and English- 
women residing in the rural districts, on the other side. The 
vast bulk of the natives neither knew nor cared about it ; 
whilst the most liberal and most intelligent section of the 
native community deplored it, as surely causing hatred be- 
tween the Native and the Englishman. A renowned orator 
had uttered an unworthy sneer against them on the previous 
day, because in their memorial to the Secretary of State they 
stated that the Englishmen and Englishwomen who would 
be affected by the Bill belonged almost entirely to the poorer 
classes ; but he challenged Mr. Bright and every one of the 
supporters of the Ilbert Bill to disprove the statement. It 

142 Meeting at Limchoiise. 

was not the wealthy planter or the influential official who 
had anything to fear, at least for the present, from the Bill. 
But in the rural districts that would come under the opera- 
tion of the Bill, there were thousands of industrious, intelli- 
gent English working men, who were the very bone and 
sinew of the commercial enterprise of the country, who 
worked the railways which have proved such a boon to India, 
and whose skill and intelligence guided the manual labour of 
native workmen, and it was against those men that false 
charges would be brought, whose wives and daughters would 
be subject to intimidation and extortion, and who would ulti- 
mately be driven out of the country, to the ruin of its com- 
merce and to the disgrace of the English name. The assertion 
that only a few English men and women would be touched 
by the Bill was used as an argument in its favour, but even 
were the number few, which he denied, he contended that by 
driving them out of the country they would entirely destroy 
the great nascent industries of India, for no capitalists would 
invest capital in a country where their employes were not 
secure. (Hear, hear.) It was urged by the supporters of 
the Bill that justice must be done, even if the whole of the 
commerce of India and of England were destroyed ; that il 
the native magistrates were qualified to exercise jurisdiction, 
the power should be given to them, even at the risk of lower- 
ing every workman's wages in India and in England. To 
that he assented without the smallest hesitation. But he 
would ask any one who had read the petition, which was 
signed by nearly every Englishwoman in India, and which 
Avas in the hands of many present that evening, whether it 
could be said that native magistrates, however high their 
character and ability, were qualified to judge of the actions 
and motives of Englishwomen. It was an undeniable fact 
that native magistrates had been brought up under a social 
system that held women to be distinctly inferior to men, and 
under such circumstances it w^ould'be a monstrous thing that 
they should deliberately change the law of the land in order 
to render Englishwomen liable to be dragged up for trial, 
perhaps on the most humiliating charges, before magistrate;: 
who were entirely unable to understand or to appreciate their 
actions or their motives. (Cheers.) 


{Formerly Chief Justice of Bengal) 

Sir, — Judges neither in India nor elsewhere are measure- 
able by their jurisdiction, but by their merit. A peremptory 
challenge to a juror may proceed solely from the defendant's 
distrust. The allowance of it by the law is in favoreni vitce, 
and implies no disesteem of jurors or juror. I entertain no 
distrust whatever nor fear of miscarriage by native Judges, 
if well selected. I, therefore, if a defendant, should challenge 
none ; but if my co-defendant did, why should I seek to 
deprive him of his peremptory challenge ? This remnant of 
the law, whatever you call it — privilege, or by whatever 
other name — is virtually in the nature of a peremptory 
challenge. Nobody would have offended me by objecting 
to my being summoned on the Judicial Committee on an 
appeal in a given case merely because I was not a native 
Judge, supposing such a ground of challenge had been 
tenable. If a Hindoo, or Mahomedan, or other native 
Judge is taught to confound extent of jurisdiction with 
judicial fitness, he will so far have been led astray and made 
to imbibe false notions of his office and dignity. Nobody in 
truth can degrade him but himself Why should any one 
suppose the trial of a European more difficult to try in India 
than that of a native ^ The challenger may be ignorant, preju- 
diced, or stupid ; the challenged eminently in all things his 
superior. Is, then, the challenged self-abased or generally 
lowered by the allowance of a peremptory challenge } Insults 
to Judges and comparative estimates of Judges do not seem 
elements in this inquiry. Suppose it were proposed in England 
to try all criminals by a Judge without jury. Would any one 

144 ^^^^ Laurence PeeVs Letter. 

by sug-g-esting that the Judge would probably try them 
better, calm the ferment of men's minds at the bare proposal ? 
The reality and strength of sentiments, and not their abstract 
reasonableness, generally determine questions of expediency 
as to overpowering or yielding to them. This particular 
privilege has no connection whatever with dominion or high 
hand ; it came in originally by concession from native 
power, grew and prevailed where no lex loci existed, and is 
as completely the result of the force of circumstances, usage, 
and custom as any law of any kind that exists in India. To 
make it now seem offensive to natives and derogatory to 
native Judges, is simply giving a bad name and executing on 
the misnomer. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, your obedient servant, 

Laurence Peel. 


At a time when so much controversy rages around what is 
known as the "Ilbert Bill," a little information about it may 
not be out of place. 

The parties to the controversy are the Viceroy of India 
and Her Majesty's European British subjects in that 

Though few in numbers, the latter claim a hearing for two 

The first is that the Viceroy is the aggressor, and wishes 
against their will to bind them as they were never bound 

The second is that the proposed Act against which they 
protest, is aimed at them exclusively ; and that the whole of 
those whom it will affect are united in protest. 

What does the Viceroy propose doing ? It is, in a few 
words, to bind, for the first time in history, the European 
British subjects of Her Majesty in the interior of India to 
submit to be tried on criminal charges by a Native of the 
country, provided he belong to the Covenanted Civil Service^ 
and get the power from Government. Europeans criminally 
accused have hitherto been able to claim a trial by one of 
their own countrymen. The right of making this claim is to 
be taken away. 

Now, it is a wholesome English maxim that to invade any 
man's freedom, to bind him where he was not bound, is an 
evil in itself, justifiable only to remedy some greater evil. 
When this proposal was made thus to bind the Europeans 
under his care, it was the Viceroy's duty at once to inquire 
what was the existing evil to be remedied. 

It might have been that there were not enough of Courts. 


146 A Plain Statement about the Ilbc7't Bill. 

But, even if Lord Ripon's prophecy that, many years hence, 
the Natives in the Civil Service would be one-sixth of the 
whole, were to come true, there would still be one European 
member of the Service for every five or six European 
families in the part of the country to be affected by the Bill. 
All those who ought to know say that it will never be 
difficult to get a European man or woman tried by a Euro- 
pean. In this very Bill, too, provision is made for gradually 
abolishing many good and efficient Courts — those presided 
over by Europeans outside the Civil Service. 

It might have been that Europeans are unruly and un- 
manageable. There is the Viceroy's own testimony that 
they are orderly and law-abiding. It does not fall to one 
qualified magistrate out of five or six to try a case against 
a European once a year. They are well in hand, and it is 
not suggested that the control of Natives will improve them. 

These two considerations, viz., that there are plenty of 
Courts, and that Europeans are doing well as they are, ought 
to have proved to the Viceroy that the Bill was not needed, 
that there was no evil to be remedied. 

But the Bill is to remedy injustice. Injustice to whom t 
It is said that for want of having Europeans bound to submit 
to trial by them, three or four Natives now, and three or four 
score hereafter, will not be able to get promotion. It might 
be answered, '' What if their promotion is stopped t Is an 
evil to be inflicted on many thousands, in order to remove an 
obstacle in the path of a iQ\N already fortunate ones } " But 
there is another answer. The want of this bond will not 
hinder their promotion. They can get the same pay, rank, 
and work, whether the Bill is passed or not. The trial of a 
European is so unusual an occurrence that it can easily be 
arranged for otherwise. 

But it is said that if Europeans are not bound to submit 
to trial by them, a " slur " will be cast on them, and, through 
them, on all the people of India. What has that to do with 
it } No Native ever had this dignity, and there can there- 
fore be little slur in refusing it now to a few Natives. The 
highest authorities are constantly declaring that there would 
be no slur. But if there be any slur, it does not lie in the 
mouth of the authors of this Bill to use it as an argument 
for the Bill. The same Bill which is to soothe the feelings 
of three or four Natives now, and three or four score in the 
future, by declaring them eligible for appointment to try 
Europeans, insults (if there be any question of slur) the 
whole European community outside the Civil Service, by 

A Plain Statement about the Ilbert Bill. 147 

declaring its members for the first time ineligible, and retains 
the slur upon all the Native communities in India, except 
these few persons. The Bill is declared a final measure, so 
the slur on all, Europeans and Natives, outside the Civil 
Service, is designed to be permanent. No one talked of 
" slur " in connection with this matter before ; but now the 
blot has been seen, and recognized, and is to be allowed to 

But is not a Native who is fit to try a Native fit also to try 
a European } The Viceroy himself answers " No," for he 
permanently disqualifies numbers of Native magistrates 
trusted to try Natives. The Europeans tried to avoid the 
question by saying that, even if they were fit, their services 
are not needed. But if further pressed, they may answer 
that the fitness from one work does not follow from fitness 
for the other ; they are utterly different. Then the question 
is asked " Europeans try Natives ; why not Natives Euro- 
peans t " The Europeans might reasonably say that they 
prefer Europeans to Natives, and Europeans are available. 
They might say that there are 250,000,000 Natives and not 
half as many thousand Europeans. Somebody must try the 
former, and Europeans are found to do it as well ^as Natives 
with efficiency. The latter are so few in number and cases 
against them so few that the Europeans need no help. But 
further, a European magistrate trying a Native has in his 
Court Native ministerial officers, a Native bar. Native police, 
and a Native crowd. He is in the midst of Native manners 
and customs. The Court language is the vernacular of the 
place. He has a long and varied experience of Natives. 
The Native magistrate trying a European has all these 
Native surroundings which are strange to the European 
accused. The latter is probably utterly alone, disturbed in 
mind, and in trouble about nearly everything. The Native 
magistrate is not familiar to him. The Native magistrate 
has probably not been to England, and has not seen one 
European, for every hundred thousand Natives the European 
magistrate has seen. The Native has no knowledge of 
Europeans, and little means of gaining it. Granted equal 
intelligence, the European magistrate trying a Native has 
enormous advantage over the Native trying a European. 
With all this. Native agitators say the European cannot try 
the Native properly. With what force can they say that the 
Native can try a European "i 

It was anticipated by the Viceroy, when the Bill was first 
introduced, that it would meet with no opposition. That 

L 2 

148 A Plain Statement about the Ilbert Bill. 

was a mistake, and that the opposition was not factious per- 
haps reason has been given above to show. In order, how- 
ever, that the dispute may not be conducted as in a debating 
society where nothing depends on the result, let the reader 
remember that this controversy is likely to affect the fortunes 
and lives of many good and honest men and women. Un- 
fortunately if harm is done it is .not likely to be sensational, 
so it will be all the worse to remedy. 

Take, for instance, John Smith and his wife Jane. John 
is not a travelling M.P., or a sportsman out for the winter's 
shooting, or a great official on high pay. He is earning an 
honest living as a tea or coffee or indigo planter's assistant, 
a merchant's agent, a trader, or manufacturer, a driver, guard, 
or way-inspector on the railwav, a tester or mechanic in a 

They have a prospect of many years of hard work before 
them, and cannot do much more than make both ends meet. 
John's duties take them out to live at a place far away from 
the Presidency towns, out of reach of European neighbours, 
European barristers, newspapers, High Court. They have 
none but people of the country around them, it may be 
Burmese, Bengalis, Mahrattas, or others. These are in 
thousands. John does business with them ; perhaps Jane 
keeps a stock of medicine and doctors them, and John 
decides their little disputes. 

But John gives offence to some one, in one of hundreds of 
ways. It may be a neighbour with whom he has a land dis- 
pute, or who wants to get him out of the country as Shylock 
did Antonio ; it may be a clerk whom he has caught em- 
bezzling, or a servant who has been stealing the horse's food, 
or carelessly giving bad water to him or Jane to drink (which 
means cholera), or a hand who has carelessly broken valuable 

The offended person lays a plot. There are hundreds of 
persons available as witnesses, and, as is done every day by 
Natives against Natives, a criminal case is concocted, made 
as plausible as possible, and probably rehearsed in action, 
both the act to be charged and the scene in Court, magis- 
trate, witness, and bar all being represented. The complaint 
is laid, and John is summoned. If it is his busiest time, so 
much the better. The Court is not at his door. He has to 
go ten or twenty miles to Court. He will find no hotel, no 
lodgings, no suitable food or drink. He must take his food 
with him ; and, anxious about his work and his wife, whom 
he has to leave unprotected, he has to set out. When he 

A Plain State7nent about the Ilbert Bill. 149 

arrives at Court he finds Natives everywhere, all the under- 
strappers, the police, the bar, and the crowd of idlers. He 
is a stranger, and alone. Perhaps there is great delay before 
his case is called, and he has to wait on a hot day in May, 
or a dripping wet day in the rains, hour after hour. Perhaps 
he employs some one of the Native lawyers of the place, but 
they, though ingenious enough, don't understand a European. 

The case is called. Prosecutor and witnesses stand up, 
confident and well-coached (unfortunately, as nearly all 
witnesses, true or false, are coached up, it is not easy to 
distinguish), and he is called on to cross-examine. John is 
no better lawyer than his countrymen in general, and it is 
doubtful whether his questions, or the ingenious but ignorant 
questions of his lawyer, would do most harm. He may want 
to call his wife as a witness ; and, if they are allowed, the 
other side will try to break her credit in cross-examination 
with questions which no modest woman will face. Then 
there is the judgment after more or less delay. If John is 
convicted, he is punished ; if he is not convicted, he is 
punished. It has been loss enough to have to leave work 
and home, to risk illness and dawdle away his time and 
money in the stuffy court. It is nothing to the Natives on 
the other side, who are possibly paid for their outing, and 
even if not, probably enjoy it. 

Now, here John is on the defensive, and cannot retaliate 
in kind. Being a law-abiding, orderly man, he is not likely 
to retaliate by violence. He needs the utmost protection 
that the law can give him. He cannot afford a wily de- 
tective to expose the plot ; without the independent press, 
and bar, and public ; with no adviser but perhaps Jane ; with 
no appeal (how could the Court of Appeal upset a plausible 
decision on plausible evidence .?), or resort, John is in a bad 

At every stage in the case he takes comfort from the fact 
that the magistrate who will try him if accused will be a 
European whom he trusts, because he feels a European will 
understand him. Before any case is instituted, he knows 
that his enemies will not be so bold in alleging crimes against 
him of which he is innocent, when they know that the case 
will pass through the hands of one with some knowledge of 
the European character. You can persuade a man who 
knows nothing about them that turnips groW on trees, but 
ten thousand witnesses will not make one who knows believe 
it. Then the European magistrate will see that there is no 
undue delay in taking up and disposing of the case ; will not 

150 A Plain Statement about the Ilbert Bill. 

fancy insult where none is meant, and will perhaps be more 
patient with petulance caused by grief of mind. He will be 
able to understand in all its points the story of the accused, 
and take the allusions to customs and facts which a Native 
would not understand. He will be able to clear up doubtful 
points by a few questions put to the witness, which John for 
want of skill, and the Native pleader for want of knowledge, 
would not think of putting. If Jane comes into the box as 
a witness, he will be able to understand her feelings and stop 
all attempt to give her unnecessary pain in a way that a 
Native, who has quite a different idea of womanhood, would 
perhaps, from thoughtlessness, not think of doing. He could 
strip a false or exaggerated charge of much falsehood or ex- 
aggeration as a Native, from ignorance of European habits 
and customs, could not ; and would have much greater cer- 
tainty in attributing its proper weight and significance to 
each word or action. If he convicted, he would be better 
able to tell what would be the proper punishment to give. 

John and Jane are able with this assurance to walk about 
as freely and fearlessly in India as at home, though they 
have no public round them, no press, no European neigh- 
bours, and cannot get an English lawyer to defend them if 
they are attacked. They feel that without the safeguard of 
a European tribunal, even should they never come before it, 
they must go about like a crab without its shell, shrinking at 
every touch, yielding to every one, sneaking into holes. What 
the public, the press, the bar, and the Court are to a law- 
abiding, law-loving citizen at home, all these the European 
tribunal is to honest, homely John and Jane in the lonely 
places of that far-off Eastern land. With all respect to the 
Native proteges of Government, they do not feel that these 
can possibly be a proper substitute. So, if Lord Ripon 
insists on saying his Native proteges (so very few there are of 
them) will do as well, John and Jane will have to go about 
shrinking and trembling for the rest of their time in India, 
because they do not agree with him, and he, having a giant's 
power, insists on using it as a giant. 






Sir Alexander J. Arbuthnot, K.C.S.I., CLE., late Madras Civil Service, 
late Member of Council at Madras, and Member of the Supreme Council of 


Abbott, General;., C.B., R.A. (Bengal). 

Abbott, Major-General Saunders, late Commissioner of Lucknow. 

Adam, R. M. , late Deputy-Commissioner of Salt Revenue, Madras. 

Adley, Surgeon-General W. PL, late Sanitary Commissioner of Assam. 

Agnew, Major-General W., late Judicial Commissioner of Assam. 

Alexander, General Sir James E., K.C.B., F. R.S. E. 

Alexander, Major-General W., R.E., Retired List, Bengal. 

Allan, A., of Calcutta. 

Allan, James, of Calcutta. 

Allan, T. Plenry, late of Madras. 

Allen, Emmanuel M., Inst.. C.E., late Engineer East Indian and Punjab 

Allen, W. J., late Bengal Civil Service, Senior Member of the Bengal Board of 

Anderson, R. S., late of Calicut. 

Anderson, Lieut. -General W. W., late Political Agent, Kattywar, Bombay. 
Anderson, Beresford, late Chief Engineer, Madras Railway. 
Anderson, J., Magistrate and Collector, second grade, Bengal. 
Anderson,}. P. C, late Superintending Engineer, Punjab. 

Anderson, Major-General R. P., late Commandant 34th Regiment, Bengal N.I. 
Anderson, T. W,, Merchant, Calcutta. 
Angelo, E. (late of Calcutta), Merchant. 
Angelo, W. N., ditto. 
Angus, Major-General T. A., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

152 List of Me7)ibers. 

Apcar, S. A., firm of Apcar & Co., Calcutta. 

Arbuthnot, Sir Alexander J., K.C.S.I., C.I.E., late Member of Council at 

Madras and Member of the Supreme Council of India. 
Arbuthnot, W. R., late Member Legislative Council, Madras. 
Archibald, E. D., M.A. Oxon, late Professor, Patna College. 
Ashburner, Major-General G. E., Bombay Army, retired. 
Aspinwall, J. H., Cochin, Malabar Coast, Merchant. 
Aston, Lieut.-Colonel H., late Bombay Army, late Political Agent, Kathiawar. 

Babington, Major-General R. C, late Madras Army. 

Badgley, Lieut--Colonel W. F., Survey of India. 

Ball, v., F.R.S., late of the Geological Survey of India. 

Banbury, George, late Madras Civil Service, and Member Board of Revenue. 

Barclay, G. W., M.A., late Editor, EtiglisJunaii, Calcutta. 

Bardin, Major-General George, late Madras Army. 

Barker, W. R., Landed Proprietor, Jubbulpore District. 
Barlow, Captain A. P. 

Barnes, J. S., Zemindar in Behar, 

Barrow, Major-General De S., late Madras Staff Corps, and Inspector-General 
of Police in Oudh, 

Barlow, Colonel C, late loth Foot. 

Barras, Colonel Julius, late Bombay Army. 

Batten, Lieut. -General S. J., Madras Army. 

Basden, Major-General Ch. B., Bengal Staff Corps. 

Battye, Colonel A. F., late Bombay Staff Corps, and commanding 7th Regi- 
ment N.I. 

Bayley, Vernon, B. F. 

Beaman, Surgeon-General A. H., late Madras Army. 

Bean, Major-General J. W. F., retired B.S.C 

Beaufort, W. M., late Bengal Civil Service, and late Judge. 

Beresford, Major-General Le Poer., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Berthon, Major-General J. T., late Bombay Staff Corps. 

Bettington, A., late Bombay Civil Service. 

Beatson, Surgeon-General J. Fullarton, C.I.E., late Chief, Bengal Medical De- 

Beckley, Lieut.-Colonel T., Royal (late Madras) Engineers. 

Beckwith, J., late High Sheriff of Calcutta. 

Beddy, Lieut.-Colonel E., Bengal Staff Corps. 

Beerbohm, J. E. 

Bergman, Conrad, Tea Broker, late of Nazira, Assam. 

Bell, Surgeon-Major G. C, late Bombay Army. 

Berners, Henry, of Amgoorie Tea Estate, Assam. 

Berners, W. T., late of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Best, A. V. Dunlop, Merchant of Madras. 

Beverley, H,, Bengal Civil Service, late Registrar General of Bengal. 

Beynon, Major-General W. H., late Political Agent, Rajputana. 

Bird, Paul, late of Calcutta, Merchant and Estate Proprietor of Assam. 

Bird, S., late of Calcutta, Merchant and Estate Proprietor of Assam. 

Birney, Colonel John, R.E., retired. 

Bishop, Major-General W, D., formerly Cantonment Magistrate in India. 

Black, Major-General James, late Political Agent, Mahi Kaunta, Bombay. 

Blair, Major C. R. 

Blair, Colonel C. S., late Deputy Commissioner, Mysore. 

Blair, Colonel G. F., retired. Royal (late Madras) Artillery. 

Blair, J. Hunter, late Madras Civil Service. ' 

Blake, General H. W., late Madras Army. 

Blake, G. W., of Tirhoot, Bengal. 

Blake, H., Chetwand School, Bengal. 

Blount, Major W., late Madras Army. 

Boileau, Colonel T. T. 

List of Monbers. 153 

Bond, Major-General F, W., late Madras Army. 

Bonnor, Colonel R. M., late Bombay Staff Corpsi 

Booth, Dr. B. S., lateof Behar. 

Borradaile, John. 

Botler, (J. B., Kinacoorie Estate, Nilgiri Hills. 

Boulderson, Colonel S. S., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

Boulderson, A., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Bourdillon, J. A., Bengal Civil Service, Registrar General. 

Bowring, Lewin, C.S.I., late Chief Commissioner of Mysore. 

Boyle, R. J., Jorehaut Tea Estates, Assam. 

Bramwell, Captain G., late Bombay Staff Corps. 

Branson, J. H. A., Barrister-at-Law, late of Calcutta. 

Brereton, W. H. 

Britten, Major-General T. E., late Bombay Staff Corps. 

Brddribb, W. A. 

Brown, Sir J. Campbell, K.C.B., late Surgeon-General, Bengal Army. 

Broughton, Colonel W. E., Bengal Infantry. 

Brookes, C. J., Hon. Magistrate of Calcutta. 

Brown, General W. Tod, C.B., late Bengal Army. 

Brown, Colonel C. R. , Bengal Army, retired, late Commissioner of Delhi. 

Brown, G. F. H., Bombay Medical Service, retired. 

Brown, Major-General G. R., late R.H.A., Bengal. 

Brown, Colonel E., late loist Royal Bengal Fusiliers. 

Browne, W. J. 

Browne, Lieut. -Colonel E. F. J., late Bengal Army. 

Buchanan, Major-General J. 

Buckland, C. T., Bengal Civil Service, late Member Board of Revenue, Calcutta 

BuUen-Smith, J. R,, C.S.I., late Member Legislative Council of India. 

Bunbury, Captain W. Douglas. 

Burke, G. J., M.I.C.E., late Executive Engineer, P.W.D. 

Burkinyoung, W., Tea Planter, Assam. 

Bushe, Colonel H. K., Bombay Army. 

Cadell, Colonel B. W., Retired List B.S.C. 
Caithness, J. E., Bengal Legislative Council. 
Cameron, Major T. M., late Bengal Army. 
Campbell, Lieut. -Colonel W. M.', R.E. 
Campbell, R., Manager National Bank of India. 
Campbell, R. O. , late Member Legislative Council, Madras. 
Carey, General T. A., late Bengal Staff Corps. 
Carleton, Colonel, late Madras Artillery. 
Carnegie, R. G., late of Bengal. 
Carstairs, R., Bengal Civil Service. 

Carter. Surgeon-Major F., retired, formerly Civil Surgeon in Gudh. 
Castell, Colonel J. H. 
Cavan, James, M.A. Oxon. 

Cavenagh, Sir Orfeur, K.C.S.I., late Governor of the Straits Settlements. 
Cavendish, R. F., Dibrugarh, Assam. 
Cavendish, R. R. F., Tea Planter, Assam. 
Chalmers, Colonel H. B., late Bengal Staff Corps. 
Chalmers, M. D., Barrister, late Bengal Civil Service. 
Chalmers, Patrick. 

Channer, Colonel G. G., late Bengal Artillery. 
Chapman, Captain H. W., late Bengal Army. 
Charrington, M. V. , of Mysore. 
Chester, Charles, late Bengal Civil Service. 
Childs, J., late lI.E.I.C. Bengal Marine. 

Clarke, Hyde, formerly Agent for Darjeeling for the Planters' Association, 
Northern India, late Chairman of the Indian Section of the Society of Arts. 
Clay, Major-General A. D., late Madras Army. 

154 Li^^ of Members. 

Clay, Colonel C. IL, Bombay Staff Corps. 

Clementson, W., late Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, Bengal. 
Clerk, Major-General H. 
Cleveland, Henry. 

Cockburn, Surgeon-General R., Bengal, retired. 
Coildington, J. G. T., late Executive Engineer, P.W.D. 

Coke, Major-General Sir John, K.C.B., retired, Bengal Army, formerly Com- 
manding Punjab Frontier Force. 
Coleman, J. R., late Member Legislative Council, Madras. 
Collingridge, F., of Doudpore, Tirhoot, Bengal. 
Collis-Sandes, F., late Administrator-General of Bengal. 
Collis, S. E., J. P., Solicitor, Calcutta. 
Colvin, J.C., Bengal Civil Service, retired. 
Comber, Colonel A. K., Bengal Staff Corps. 
Cookson, Major-General J. G., Madras Cavalry. 
Cookworthy, Major-General C, late Royal (Bengal) Artillery. 
Cooney, J. E., late Bengal Medical Department. 
Cooper, Lieut. -Colonel Richard. 

Cornell, W., late Bengal Civil Service, Judge of Midnapore. 
Corbyn, Deputy-Surgeon-Genei'al J. O. (retired), Bengal Army. 
Cotton, General Sir Arthur, K.C.S.I., R.E. (Madras). 
Cotton, Major-General Y. C, C.S.L, late Madras Engineers. 
Cotton, R. R., late Madras Civil Service and Judge of Madura. 
Couchman, Lieut. -Colonel W. D., late Bengal Artillery. 
Couper, J. C. 

Cower, George E., late Judge Small Cause Court, Madras. 
Cowie, T. H., Q.C., late Advocate-General of Bengal. 
Cowper, Colonel T. A. 

Cox, W. S. H., of Charambody, Ootacamund. 

Coxhead, T. E., Bengal C.S., Magistrate and Collector of Dinajpur, Bengal. 
Crane, H. P., C.E., late Assistant-Engineer, Bengal, P.W.D. 
Crawford, T. A., late Bengal Civil Service, and Collector of Customs, Calcutta. 
Crawford, D. R., Indigo Planter, Tirhoot. 
Crommelin, A. N., late Superintending-Engineer, P.W.D. 
Crooke, F. J., late of Calcutta, Merchant. 
Crooke, Henry, late of Calcutta, Merchant. 
Ci-ozier, F. H., late Madras Civil Service. 
Cunliffe, Major-General G. G., late Indian Staff Corps. 
Currie, S., C.B., late Principal Medical Officer H.M.'s Forces, India. 

Dacosta, J., late of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Dalrymple, J. W., late Bengal Civil Service, and Commissioner of the Bhagul- 
pore Division. 

Dance, Major-General E. W., R.A. 

Dandridge, Major-General C. C, late Indian Army. 

Daniel, Major-General, late Madras Staff Corps. 

Daniell, p. C, of Calcutta. 

Davidson, James, Tea Planter, Debrooghur, Assam. 

Davidson, Major-General R., late Bengal Army, and Deputy-Commissary- 
General of Bengal. 

Davidson, R. B., M.D., Tea Planter, Cachar. 

Davidson, J., Puttarea, Sylhet, Bengal. 

Davidson, S. C, Lebong Tea Estates, Cachar, Bengal. 

Davis, F. W., Locomotive Department, Rajputana Malwa Railway, Ajmere. 

Davis, Lieut. -Colonel A. H. 

Davies, Major-General H. N. G., Bengal Staff Corps, retired, and late 
Secretary to the Local Government, and Deputy-Commissioner British 

Dawson, Major-General J., late Indian Army. 

Dayrell. Lieut. -Colonel T., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

List of Members. i 


Dennis, Major-General J. B., late R.A. 

De Renzy, vSurgeon- General A. C. C, C.B., late vSanitary Commissioner of 

Assam, and of the Punjab. 
De Winton, W. B., Executive Engineer, Madras, P.W.D. 
Dick, Major-General W. A., late Political Superintendent, Sind Frontier. 
Dickinson, B., Tea Planter, Darjeeling. 

D'Oyly, Major-General Sir C. W., Bart., late Bengal Staff Corps. 
Doran, J. C, late Tutor to H.H. the Nawab of Bahawalpur. 
Douglas, General C, R.A., late Director-General of Telegraphs. 
Doyne, R. V., part Proprietor of Amgoorie Tea Gardens in Assam, Rampore 

Gardens, Cachar, 
Dunbar-Kilburn, E., late of Calcutta, Meixhant. 

Dunn, W. H., C.E., late Executive Engineer, P.W.D. , British Burmah. 
Dunn, Y. M., late Executive Engineer, P.W.D., British Burmah. 
Dunsford, General H. F., C.B., Bengal Staff Corps, formerly commanding in 


Eardley-Wilmot, Lieut. -Colonel R., 14th Bengal Lancers. 

Earle, Major-General W. H. S., late District Superintendent of Police, 

Edwards, J. N., late of Calcutta. 

Edwards, R. M., late Bengal Civil Service, Commissioner of Rohilcund. 
Eliot, Major-General John, Royal (late Bengal) Artillery. 

Elliot, Sir Walter, K.C.S.I., late Madras Cwil Service, and Member of Council. 
Elliot, Thomas, of Bor Sapori Tea Estate, Assam. 
Elliot, Captain E.L., 1st Bengal Lancers. 
Elliot, W. T. 
Elphinstone, Alex. 

Elphinstone, Colonel P. A. , late Bombay Staff Corps. 
Elphinstone-Dalrymple, H., late Police Magistrate, Madras. • 
Emerson, Major-General J. (retired), formerly Cantonment Magistrate of 


Fahie, W. J., C.E., late Executive Engineer, P.W.D., Bengal. 

Fane, E., late Madras Civil Service, and Member of Board of Revenue. 

Fane, H. B., late Bengal Civil Service, formerly Judge of Mirzapore. 

Farmer, H. A. S. 

Farquharson, Major-General G. M-B., late Bombay Staff Corps. 

Farrer, Colonel A., late Hyderabad Commission. 

Fawcett, E. B., M.A. Cantab. 

Fawcett, Lieut. -Colonel R. PL, late D.A.A.G., Bellary. 

Fcnner, H. A. S., Executive Engineer, Punjab. 

Fenwick, Major G.R., late Editor, Englishman, Calcutta, Civil and Military 

Gazette, Lahore. 
Fergusson, James-, CLE. 

Fergusson, F. J.,, High Court, Calcutta. 
Ferris, Lieut. -Colonel W. S., late Bengal Army. 
Fisher, Colonel G. B., Bengal Army. 
Fisher, W., late Madras Civil Service, Political Resident in Travancore and 

Fitzgerald, Surgeon-General P. Gerald, late Madras Army. 
Foley, The Rev. J., Missionary, Bengal. 

Foord, E. B., late Madras Civil Service and District Judge, Chingleput. 
Forbes, H., late Madras Civil Service, Member of Legislative Council, India. 
Forbes, Louis, late Madras Civil Service, Member of Legislative Council, India. 
Forrest, R. E., M.I.C.E., late P.W.D. 
Forrest, Captain R. H., 2nd Punjab Cavalry. 

Forsyth, Sir T. Douglas, K.C.S.I., C.B., late Commissioner, Punjab. 
Forsyth, Major-General A. G., late Bengal Staff Corps, formerly Cantonment 

Magistrate, Cawnpore. 

156 List of Members, 

Fothergill-Smith, Dr. R. G., M.D. 

Fowle, F. C, late Bengal Civil Service, late Judge of Tipperah. 

Fox, Colonel E. S., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

Fraser, Colonel G. W,, Bengal Staff Corps. 

Freeth, Lieut. -Colonel W., late Madras Army. 

Fulton, Lieut. -Colonel J., Bengal Army, retired. 

Fulton, Major-General G. A., Madras Infantiy. 

Gabb, Lieut. -Colonel, late Madras Staff Corps. 

Gaitskell, Major-General F., C.B. (retired). 

Gaitskell, Lieut. -Colonel J. G., Bengal Army (retired). 

Gale, J., late Indigo Planter at Tirhoot, Bengal. 

Garrett, John, late Director of Public Instruction, Mysore and Coorg. 

Germaine, R. A. 

Gill, Lieut. -Colonel C, late Madras Army. 

Gillespie, Lieut. -Colonel Alex., late Bengal Artillery. 

Gladstone, S. S., E.I. Merchant, late of Calcutta. 

Gladwin, Rev. Charles, M.A., Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment. 

Glazebrook, W. A., Merchant. 

Goad, G. S., of Nazira, Assam. 

Goddard, Major-General R. E. 

Godwin-Austin, Lieut. -Colonel H. H., late Bengal Staff Corps, late Survey 

Dept., Assam. 
Goodhall, Henry B., Barrister, late Deputy-Magistrate and J. P., India. 
Gordon, Surgeon-General C. A., C.B., late Principal Medical Officer British 

Forces, Madras. 
Graham, Major-General J. M., late Deputy-Commissioner, Lakhimpur, Assam. 
Grant, Thomas, Zemindar, Bhaugulpore, Bengal. 
Grant, G. H., Zemindar, Bhaugulpore, Bengal. 
Grant, A., CLE., late Chief Engineer, P.W.D., India. 
Grant, J. R. 

Grant, W, M., Bhaugulpore, Bengal, Zemind. 
Grant, W., Barrister, Madras. 
Gray, Major-General W. 

Gray, Lieut. -General W. J., R.A., Bengal, retired. 
Greene, Colonel G. T., C.B., Retired List, Bengal. 
Gregg, IL, late of Burkhold, Cachar, Bengal. 
Grey, Edward, late Bengal Civil Service. 
Griffiths, L. E., late of Calcutta Merchant. 

Hackett, Major-General J., late Commandant of H.M's 76th Regiment. 

Hailes, Major-General J. C, late Bombay R. A. 

Hall, Arthur, late Madras Civil Service, Member of Board of Revenue. 

Hall, Major-General L. A., late R.A. 

Hall-Stephenson, Major J. T. S. 

Hamilton, T. F., Merchant, Calcutta. 

Hamilton, Claud H., formerly an additional Member of the Council of the 

Governor-General of India. 
Ilankey, H., Bengal Civil Service, late Inspector General of Police, N.W.P. 
Hankin, Colonel G. C, Bengal Staff Corps. 
Harrison. Lewis, late of Calcutta. 
Harriden, J., of Calcutta. 

Harris, Major-General J. T., late Bengal Staff Corps. 
Harris, Deputy-Surgeon-General W. H., late Professor Madras Medical 

Hastings, Surgeon-General T., Bengal, retired. 
Hatch, Major-General G. C, Bengal Staff Corps. 
Havelock, Lieut.-Colonel A. C, Madras Staff Corps. 
Haydm, J., of Calcutta. 

List of AI embers. 157 

Hefferman, wSurgeon-Major, J. J., late Madras Army. 

Hellard, Commander S. B., late Indian Navy. • 

Henderson, C. P., Henderson & Co., Calcutta. 

Henderson, W., late Officiating Superintending Engineer, and Engineer-in-Chief. 

Hennessey, J. , Zemindar Maldah, Bengal. 

Henry, James, ^^roprietor, Tea Estates, Assam. 

Hill, T. N. 

Hill, R H., Indigo Planter, Chumparum, Bengal. 

Hills, Major-GeneralSir J., K.C.B., V.C. 

Hills, R. S., late of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Hilliard, Major-General G. T., Madras, retired. 

Hodgson, Major-General F. G., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Hodgson, H. P., Craigmore Estate, Nilgiri Hills. 

Hodgson, Major-General H. N., late Bengal Army. 

Hogg, Sir Stuart, late Bengal Civil Service, and Commissioner of Police, 

Plogg, Captain Hardinge C, 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry. 

Hoggan, Major-General W. C, late Bengal Army. 

Plolland, Colonel G. H., formerly Qr.-Master-General, Bombay, and Chairman 
G. I. P. Railway. 

Holland, Major-General H. W., C.B., retired Bombay Staff Corps. 

Holland, Major-General T. W. 

Holland, Major W. T., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

Holroyd, Major-General C. (retired), late Deputy-Commissioner, Assam. 

Holroyd, Major-General G., Bengal Staff Corps. 

Plopkinson, Major-General H., C.S.I. , late Chief Commissioner of Assafh, and 

Agent to the Governor-General North-East Frontier. 
Hosack, D. D. F., Tea Planter, Assam. 

Houchen, Major G. A. F., Retired List. « 

Houghton, Colonel W. R , Bombay vStaff Corps. • >* 

Hudleston, Colonel W., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Hudleston,W., C.S.I., late Madras Civil Service, and Member of Council, Madras. 
Hudson, Cunningham, of Calcutta, Merchant. 
Hudson, H. W., Indigo Planter, Chumparun. 
Hudson, W. H., Bengal Civil Service. 
Hull, E. C. P., Merchant, formerly of Madras. 
Hume-Williams, W. E., Barrister-at-Law. 
Hussey, Captain L. J. W. 
Hutchinson, Major-General G., C.B., CS.I. 
Hutchison, Colonel L. R. de M., late Madras Army 
Hutton, James, late Editor Calcutta Englishman. 

Ingham, Brevet-Lieut. -Colonel R. B. 
Ironside, W., late of Calcutta. 

Jack, Evan A., late of Calcutta, Merchant. 

James, A. G. F. Eliot. 

James, John, Executive Engineer, P.W.D. 

Jephson, Colonel H. J., late commanding 102nd Fusiliers. 

Jenkins, Colonel E. G., late Bombay Staff Corps. 

Jenkins, H. L., late Hon. Magistrate of Sibsagar, Assam. 

Jennings, S., late Financial Department, Government of India. 

Jermyn, Lieut. R. F., late Indian Navy. 

Jones, H. M., late of Calcutta. 

Jopp, Lieut. -Colonel Keith, late Bombay Staff Corps. 

Johnson, Major-General Sir C. C, K.C.B., late Quarter-Master-General of the 

Bengal Army. 
Johnston, C. E. 

158 List of Mefnbers. 

Johnston, Surgeon-General W., late Indian Army. 
Johnstone, Major-General H. C, C.B., Bengal Retired List. 
Joynt, Surgeon-General F. G., Indian Medical Department. 

Keatinge, Colonel R. H,, V. C., C.S.I., late Chief Commissioner of Assam. 

Kennedy, S. C, Merchant, Calcutta. 

Kennion, Lieut. -Colonel T. E., late Bengal Artillery. 

Kerans, Lieutenant P. G. , Cantonment Magistrate, Punjab. 

Kernot, Dr. C. N., of Calcutta. 

King-Harman, Major M. J., Bengal Staff Corps. 

King, J., late Superintendent Presidency Gaol, J. P., Calcutta, Member of 

Knio-ht, J. B., CLE., late Member Bengal Legislative Council. 

Lambart, Major-General W. E., Bombay Retired List. 

Lance, C E., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Landale, D. G. , of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Lander, General J. E., Bengal Establishment. 

Lane, W. G. L., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Lang'ford-Locke, R., C.E., late Executive Engineer, P.W.D. 

Law, Colonel S. C. 

Lawder, J. Ormsby, Executive Engineer, N.W.P. 

Lawrence, G. H., late Bengal Civil Service, and Judge of Aligarh, N.W.P. 

Lawrence' General Sir George St. P., K.C.S.I., C.B., Bengal, Retired. 

Lawrie, Alex., of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Lawson, C A., Editor, Madras Mail. 

Leckie, P. C, of Cachar. 

Leitch, H. J., Merchant, of Calcutta, and Proprietor of Tea Estates. 

Leigh-Lye, Venerable C. H., late Archdeacon of Bombay. 

Lei'ghton, G. R., late Bombay Civil Service. 

Lepage, R. C, late of Calcutta. 

Leslie, P., late of Cochin, Madras, 

Lester, Major-General W. C, late Bengal StafiCorps. 

Lethbridge, Roper, CLE., late Press Commissioner of India. 

Liddell, W. B., Ootacamund, Madras. 

Lindsay, Colonel Alex. , late Madras Army, formerly a Magistrate in Mysore 

Livingstone-Learmonth, A. , late 3rd Madras L. 1. 

Llewhellin, E. S., of Tirhoot, Bengal. 

Llewhellin, G. W., of Tirhoot, Bengal. 

Loch, John C, late Member of Legislative Council, Madras. 

Lock'wood, Colonel J. C, late Indian Cavalry. 

Longley, C. T., late Madras Civil Service, and Member of the Board of 

Lord R. G., late Deputy-Surgeon-General Bombay Medical Department. 
Louis, A. H., late of the Bombay Bar. 
Low, Malcolm, late Bengal Civil Service. 
Low, G. J., District Superintendent of Police, Oudh. 
Low! S. P. (of Messrs. Grindlayand Co.) 
Lucas, Lieut. -General A. W., C.B., Bombay Army. 
Lushington, H., late Bengal Civil Service, Judge of Allahabad. 
Lyell, Robert, late of Assam. 
Lyons-Montgomery, Major-General C, Bengal Staff Corps. 

McAlpine, Kenneth, of Yellagode Estate, Bangalore. 

McAlpine, Francis, of Calcutta. 

MacAndrew, Colonel R. C, Bengal Staff Corps. 

McGillivray, Lieut. -Colonel S. F., late Bombay Staff Corps. 

MacDonakl, J. M., Indigo Planter, Bengal. 

Macdougall, Lieut. -Colonel A., Bengal, retired list. 

List of Members, 159 

Macfadyen, P., late Member Legislative Council, Madras. 

MacGreG:or, Atholl, late Madras Civil Service ancl Political Resident in Travan- 
core and Cochin. 

McKellar, Deputy-Surgeon-General E., Bengal, retired. 

Mackenzie, J. F., Indigo Planter, Tirhoot. 

Macintire, General A. W. , late Madras Artillery. 

Macintyre, Lieut. -General J. 

Macintyre, Major-General D., V.C, Bengal. 

Mackian, J. D., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Mackintosh, A. B., M.Q., of Calcutta. 

Maclean, J. M., late Editor Bombay Gazette. 

Maclintosh, John, of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Macgrath, Colonel J. R., Madras Artillery, late Assistant to the Director-General 
of Telegraphs in India. 

Macnaghten, Melville, of Nischindapur, Bengal. 

Macnamara, Surgeon-Major F. N., Bengal Medical Service, retired, late Pro- 
fessor Calcutta Medical College. 

Macbean, Colonel G. S., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

Macbean, Lieut. -Colonel Forbes. 

Macrae, Deputy-Inspector-General of Hospitals A.C., late Bengal Army, Pro- 
fessor Medical College, Calcutta. 

Magor, R. B., of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Mainwaring, Major-General R. R., Bengal Staff Corps. 

Mainwaring, Colonel W. 

Maitland-Heriot, W. , of Howrah. 

Malleson, Colonel G. B., C.S.I., late Guardian H.H. the Maharajah of Mysore. 

Mallins, Surgeon H., Indian Medical Service, retired. 

Maltby, E., late Madras Civil Service, and Member of Council. 

Man, Lieut. -General, late Civil Employ, British Burmah. 

Mangles, H. A., late Bengal Civil Service. • 

Mardall, Major-General F., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Marsh, Colonel E. N. 

Martin, James A. N., Tea Planter. 

Martin, Major-General, J. P., retired. 

Massey, M., late of Calcutta. 

Master, R. E., late Madras Civil Service, Member of Board of Revenue. 

Maude, Colonel C, Bombay Staff Corps. 

Mayne, J. D., late Advocate-General of Madras. 

Mayne, Colonel A. G., late Cantonment Magistrate, Morar, Mhow, and Secun- 

M'Cleverty, General W. A., formerly Commander-in-Chief, Madras. 

M'Mahon, Major-Cieneral A. R., late Deputy-Commissioner, British Burmah. 

Melville, S., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Melville, J. E. C, late Madras Civil Service. 

Mewburn, G. F., late Member of the Legislative Council of India. 

Myles-Sandys, Lieut. -Colonel T., late 2nd Punjab Infantry. 

Mills, Major-General H., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

Miller, Surgeon-Cieneral J. R., M.D., Bombay Army. 

Michael, Colonel J., C.S.I., late Secretary to Government of Madras, Military 

Monson, Major-General D., R. E. 

Money, Colonel G. Noel, C.B., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

Money, Lieut. -Colonel E., Tea Planter. 

Money, E. M., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Montgomery, Major-General C. L., Bengal Staff Corps. 

Moore, W. P., Madras Civil Service. 

Moore, Major-General T. M., late Bengal European Cavalry. 

Moran, S., partner William Moran & Co., Calcutta. 

Moran, W., Planter, Motiharee, Chumparun, and Broker (William Moran & Co.), 

i6o List of Members, 

Morgan, E. C, late Member of the Legislative Council of India. 

Morgan, Major-General W. D,, Bengal Staff Corps. 

Morland, E. H., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Morris, H., late Madras Civil Service. 

Morris, George Gordon, late Bengal Civil Service, Judge of the Supreme Court 

of Calcutta. 
Morton, Major-General W. E., R.E., late Bengal. 
Muller, B. 

Murdoch, A. W., late of Serajgunge, Bengal. 
Murdoch, H. H., late of Calcutta. 
Murray, Major-General W., Madras (retired). 
Murray, Brigade- Surgeon J., late Madras Army. 

Murray, Surgeon-General J., formerly Chief, Bengal Medical Department. 
Mylne, J., Beheea, Shahabad, Bengal. 
Mylne, D. H., Beheea, Shahabad, Bengal. 

Nassau-Lees, Colonel W., late Principal Mohammedan College, Calcutta. 

Nelson, Major-General J., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Nelson, J., M.D., Lvdiacherra, Cachar, Bengal. 

Newton, Lieut. R. C, 12th Royal Lancers. 

Nicholetts, Colonel C. H., late ist Bengal European Light Cavalry. 

Nicholls, Rev. W. W., Chaplain, Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment. 

Nicoll, Lieut. -General H., Bengal Staff Corps. 

Nightingale, Lieut. -Colonel C. W., late Superintending Engineer, Punjab. 

Nonnan, J. H., late of Calcutta, Secretary of the Sind, Punjab, and Delhi 

Nuttall, Major-General J. M., C.B., formerly Commanding at Dibrugarh, 


Oakshott, Eugene. 

O'Connell, Major-General P., late Madras Engineers. 

Ogbourne, C. H. , Underwriter of Calcutta. 

Ogilvie, Lieut -Colonel A. J., late R.A. 

Ogilvy, John F., East India Merchant. 

Ord, Lieut. -Col. A. W., late 20th Regiment. 

Orr, Major A. P. 

Orr, Robert G. , of Madras. 

Osborn, Colonel H. R., Bengal Staff Corps, retired. 

Osmand, A. T., late of Macintosh, Burn & Co., Calcutta. 

Onslow, A. P. , late Madras Civil Service. 

Outram, Sir Francis B., Bart., Bengal Civil Service, retired. 

Paget, Major-General, late 5th Punjab Cavalry. 
Pakenham, Captain G. D. , late Bengal Light Cavalry. 

Palliser, Major-General Sir C. H., K.C.B., late Bengal Staff Corps, and Com- 
manding at Sialkot. 
Palmer, Surgeon-General W. J., M.D., late Bengal. 
Parker, the Hon. Sidney, of Dibrugarh, Assam. 
Parker, J. L., late P.W.D., India. 

Partridge, Depuly-Surgeon-General S. B., Bengal Army, retired. 
Partridge, E. F., Proprietor Tea Estates. 
Paske, Colonel E. H. 

Paske, Major-General W., late B.S.C. in Civil Employ, Punjab. 
Paterson, Major-General A. 
Payne, A. J., Calcutta. 
Payne, J. H. 

Pearse, Major-General J. L., late Commissioner, Mysore. 
Pellew, Fleetwood H., Bengal Civil Service, Commissioner of Dacca. 
Perkins, Major-General J., late Oudh Commission. 

List of Members. i6i 

Perkins, Major-General E. N., late Bengal Staff jCorps. 

Phelps, Lieut. -Colonel A. D., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Phillips, Major-General W. C, Retired List. 

Pincott, Frederick, Member of the Anjuman-i-Punjab. 

Pitt-Kennedy, J., late Member of the Legislative Council of India. 

Platts, J. T., Inspector of Schools in the N. W. Provinces and the Central 

Playfair, P., Merchant, Calcutta. 

Ponsonby- Watts, Major-General J., Madras Staff Corps. 

Porcelli, V. F., late Opium Department. 

Porter, Colonel J. F., Planter, Bangalore. 

Porter, G. M., Coppa, Mysore, India. 

Povv^er, Major-General E. H., Barrister-at-Law, late Deputy-Judge-Advocate- 
General of the Madras Army. 

Powles, L. D. 

Powney, E. Penton, late Madras Civil Service, Secretary to Government and 
Judge of the Sudder Adawlut. 

Praed, W. Mackworth. 

Prendergast, T., late Madras Civil Service. 

Price, Major-General R. H., Bengal, retired. 

Pringle, R. K., late Bombay Civil Service and Commissioner in Sind. 

Probyn, W. G., late Bengal Civil Service and Judge of Saharanpore. 

Randell, Lieut. -Colonel G., retired Madras Army. 

Raverty, Major H. G., Bombay Army (retired), late Political Agent. 

Rawlins, Major-General J. S., late Colonel Commanding 1st Goorkha Light 

Raikes, C, C.S.I., formerly Judge of the Suddur Court, N.W.P., Agra. 
Ray, Surgeon-General G. H., late Bengal Army. 
Reade, E. A., C.B., late Bengal Civil Service and Member of the Board of 

Revenue, N.W.P. 
Refrie, Robert, late of Bombay. 
Reid, H. Stev^art, late Bengal Civil Service and Member of the Board of Revenue, 

Reid, Major-General G. R. A. N., late Bengal Army. 
Remfry, John, late Hon. Magistrate, Calcutta. 
Riach, Major-General W. A., Madras Staff Corps. 
Riach, W. A. 

Rice, Major-General W., late Bombay Staff Corps. 
Richards, Lieut. -General S., Bengal Staff Corps. 

Richardson, Robert John, late Bengal Civil Service; Judge of Tirhoot. 
Ricketts, George, C.B., late Bengal Civil Service, Member Board of Revenue, 

Riddell, J., Proprietor Tea Estates, Assam. 
Riddell, W., Singhia Factory, Tirhoot, Bengal. 
Rideout, Colonel J. W., Madras Staff Corps. 
Ridges, E. B., late of Calcutta. 

Rigby, W., late Deputy-Conservator of Forests, Punjab. 
Ringer, Deputy-Surgeon-General T., Bengal Amiy (retired), 
Roberts, Clarence A., late Madras Civil Service, Judge of Chittoor. 
Roberts, W., Proprietor of Tea Gardens. 
Roberts, E. T., Barrister, late of Calcutta. 
Robertson, General H. L. 

Robinson, Phil., late Professor, Agra College, N.W.P. 
Robinson, P. W., of Calcutta. 
Robinson, Sir W. Rose, K. C.S.I. , late Madras Civil Service and Member of 

Robinson, Lieut. -General A. 
Robinson, G. P., Exchange Broker of Bombay. 


1 62 List of Members. 

Rogers, H. M., late Bengal Civil Service. 

Rogers, A., late Bombay Civil Service, Member of Council, Bombay. 

Rogers, Arch., Attorney of the High Court, Calcutta. 

Rose, Lieut. -Colonel R. Ily., late 2nd Queen's. 

Ross, A., late Judge, High Court, N.W.P. 

Ross, Surgeon-General J. T. C, CLE., Bengal (retired). 

Roupell, J. B., late Madras Civil Service, Judge of Coimbatore. 

Ruble, J. F. 

Ruddiman, Captain T., late Madras Army. 

Ryrie, R. 

Ryrie, W. D., late of Calcutta. 

Ryves, H. 

Ryves, Lieut. -Colonel H. E., i8th Bengal Lancers. 

Sampson, Lieut. -Colonel D., late Indian Army. 

Sanderson, Brigade-Surgeon A., Madras Army. 

Sanderson, Charles, late Solicitor to the Government of India, Calcutta. 

Sandwith, Major-General J. P., late Bombay Staff Corps. 

Sandys, Teignmouth, late Judge of Bhagalpoor, Bengal. 

Saunders, J. O'B., Ym^xx^Xox Englishman, Calcutta. 

Saunders, R. F., late Bengal Civil Service, and Judge, N.W. Provinces. 

Scoble, A. R., Barrister, Q.C., late Advocate-General, Bombay. 

Seton, George,, late of Calcutta. 

Seton, G., Merchant, of Calcutta. 

Seton-Karr, W. S., late Bengal Civil Service, and Foreign Secretary, Govern- 
ment of India. 

Shaw, Colonel E. W., late Indian Army. 

Shearin, E., late Merchant, Calcutta. 

Sherer, Major-General J. F., late Deputy-Commissioner, Assam. 

Shewell, Major-General H., late Judge- Advocate-General, Bombay. 

Silver, Lieut. -General A. C, late Secretary to Government in the Military 
Department, Madras. 

Sim, J. D., C.S.I., retired Madras Civil Service, late Member of Council, 

Simon, F., C.E., late Executive Engineer, Bengal Irrigation Department. 

Simpson, C. F. R., of Tirhoot, Bengal. 

Simpson, Clement, late of Madras. 

Skinner, C. B., late Skinner and Co., Calcutta. 

Skinner, R. M., late Bengal Civil Service, and Judge Kishnaghur, Bengal. 

Smallman, H. F., Executive Engineer, P.W.D., Punjab. 

Smallwood, A., Merchant, of Calcutta, and Proprietor of Tea Estates. 

Smith, J. G. (Ritchie, Stewart and Co.), Bombay. 

Smith, William, C.E., late Superintending Engineer, P.W.D., J.P., and Hon. 
Magistrate, Calcutta. 

Smithe, J. Doyle, late H.M.T.S. 

Smyly, Major-General J. B., late Bengal Staff Corps, and Deputy Commissioner, 

Snow, Lieut.-Colonel P. F., late Madras Army. 

Spink, T. W., of Calcutta. 

Spink, W., late Member Legislative Council of Bengal. 

Stafford, Major-General J. F., late Bengal Staff Corps. 

Stafford, Colonel P. P. L., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Stafford, Major-General W. J. F., C.B., late Bengal Staff Corps, formerly com- 
manding in Assam. 

Stanford, A. L., late of Calcutta. 

Stanford, G., late Hon. Magistrate and J. P., Calcutta. 

Steele, Robert, of Calcutta, Merchant. 

Stevens, P., Madras, Banker, retired. 

Stevenson, John, of Midnapore, Bengal, 

Steward, John, Member of the firm of Jardine, Skinner, and Co., Calcutta. 

List of Members. 163 

Stewart, Lieut. -General C. T., Royal Bengal Engineers. 

Stewart, Robert, late Member of Legislative Council of India. 

Stewart, Lieut. -Colonel J. 

Stewart, Major A. H., late 6th Dragoons. 

Stone, A. F., formerly Tea Planter, Assam. 

Studd, E. J. C, of Dhuli, Tirhoot. 

Studd, H. M., of Dhuli, Tirhoot. 

Sutherland, H. H., late Member of Legislative Council of India. 

Sutton, Major R. N., late 8th Hussars, Rawul Pindi. 

Sweet, Colonel T., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Swiney, Major-General George, retired, B.S.C. 

Tait, J. M., F.S.S., F.R.G.S., late of Calcutta. 

Tayler, W., late Bengal Civil Service and Commissioner of Patna. 

Taylor, J. S., Tea and Indigo Planter. 

Taylor, Ralph N., late Madras Staff Corps. 

Taylor, Lieut.-Colonel J. B., Madras Staff Corps, Cantonment Magistrate, St. 

Thomas's Mount. 
Taylor, Major-General H. D., retired. 

Taylor, Commander A. D., late Superintendent Marine Surveys, Calcutta. 
Taylor, Andrew, Uncov. Civil Service. 
Templer, Lieut. C. B,, late Indian Navy. 
Ternan, Major-General A., Bengal Staff Corps and late Deputy Commissioner, 

Jaloun, N.W.P. 
Theobald, Surgeon-General J. R., Retired List, Madras. 
Thomas, Major-General G. E., late Bombay Staff Corps. 
Thomas, E. B., late Madras Civil Service. 

Thomas, G. P., Civil Engineer on Staff of East Indian Railway. 
Thomas, E. C. G., Madras Civil Service, Retired. 
Thomas, Theodore, Barrister-at-Law, Lucknow. 

Thompson, F., Bengal Civil Service, retired, late Judge N.W. Provinces. 
Thompson, Lieut-General T., late Madras Staff Corps. 
Thompson, Major-General G. H., late Bengal Staff Corps. 
Thompson, Major-General D., R.E. 
Thomson, Colonel G. C, late Bengal Staff Corps. 
Thomson, J., Chairman, Agra Bank. 
Thomson, W., late of Madras. 

Thomson, Walter, Zemindar Beheea, Shahabad, Behar. 
Thorburn, E. A., late of Thomas and Co., Calcutta. 
Thorp, wSurgeon-General E. C, retired, formerly Civil Surgeon in Assam. 
Thorp, H., Indigo Planter, Moorla Valley, Segowlie, Chumparum, Bengal. 
Tickell, Lieut.-Colonel J., late Indian Army. 
Tod, E. P., Tea Planter, Terai. 
Todd, J. E., Melang Estate, Upper Assam. 
Todd, Lieut.-Colonel F. W., Madras Army (retired). 
Tottenham, C. 

Touch, Colonel J. G., Madras Staff Corps. 
Trench, P. Chenevix, late Bengal Civil Service. 
Trimnel, G. F., Deputy Surgeon-General. 
Tronson, Captain J., Indian Navy. 
Trotter, C, late Bengal Civil Service. 
Tulloch, Major-General A., Retired List. 
Tulloh, Major R. H. D., Bengal Army, retired. 
Turner, A. M. (Turner, Morrison, & Co.), Calcutta. 
Turner, H. J. C, of Grindlay & Co., Calcutta. 
Turner-Jones, Colonel G., Bengal Infantry. 
Turner, W. C., late Bengal Civil Service, and Judge of Agra. 
Twynam, Major-General E. S. L., late BengafStaff Corps. 
Tye, Ernest, of Budderpore, Cachar, late Hon. Magistrate and J. P. 

164 List of Members. 

Tyrwhitt, Major-General Edmund, Bengal Army (retired), late Inspector-General 
of Police, N.W.P. and Oudh. 

Urmston, Colonel H. B., late Deputy Commissioner, Punjab. 

Vaillant, L. A., late of Assam. 

Van Gelder, J., late of Calcutta. 

Vibart, Colonel A. J., late Bombay Army. 

Vibart, Lieut. -Colonel H.M., R.E. (Madras). 

Voss, C. W., Messrs. Young and Voss, Parla Kimidi, Ganjam District, Madras 

Voysey, Chas., B.A. 

Vyse, Captain C. F., Bengal Staff Corps. 
Vyse, Griffin W,, late Field Engineer in Afghanistan. 

Waddington, Major-General H. F., Bengal, retired, late Deputy Commissioner, 

Central Provinces. 
Walker, Colonel R. J., Bengal Retired List. 

Waller, Dr. Walter K., late of Calcutta, Fellow of the Calcutta University. 
Wallich, G. C. 

Wallich, Surgeon-Major, M.D. 
Wallis, C. F., of Calcutta. 
Wallis, H. A., of Calcutta. 
Wallis, W. R., late of Calcutta. 
Walsh^ Colonel T. P. B., late Cantonment Magistrate of Ahmednagar, and J. P., 

Walter, General J. M. 

Ward, J. D., late Bengal Civil Service, formerly Judge at Chittagong. 
Warden, A. B., late Judge of H.M. High Court of Judicature, Bombay, and 

Bombay Civil Service. 
Warren, James, late Hon. Magistrate, Assam. 
Waters, Chas., late Principal Bangalore Central College. 
Watkins, J. F., late of Calcutta. 
Watson, J. P., Bombay. 
Watson, W. L., late of Calcutta, Merchant. 
Watson, Major-General J. T., Staff Corps. 
Weston, H. J., Bengal Ice Manufacturing Co., Limited. 
Westropp, Major-General R. M., late Bengal Army. 
Wheeler, Colonel H. J., late Bengal Staff Corps 
White, Lieut. F. J., Madras Retired List, late Deputy Assistant Commissary, 

White, Brigade Surgeon J. Berry, Bengal Ret., late Civil Surgeon, Assam. 
Whitmore, C. Algernon. 

Whittaker, Colonel B. R., late Bombay Army. 
Wigram, Percy, late Bengal Civil Service. 
Wilcox, Colonel G. R. C, late Bengal Army. 
Wilkins, General St. Clair, R.E. 

Wilkins, G. D., late Bengal Civil Service and Circuit Judge, Calcutta, 
Wilkinson, Captain C. J., late P. & O. Superintendent, Calcutta. 
Wilkinson, F. G., of Tirhoot, Bengal. 
Wilkinson, M. C, late Merchant, Bombay. 
Williams, J., late Assistant to the General Superintendent for the suppression of 

Thuggee and Dacoity. 
Williams, Colonel J. M., retired B.S.C. 
Williamson, C, late of Calcutta. 
Williamson, C. E,, late of Seleng, Assam. 
Williamson, Geo., late of Calcutta. 
Wilmot, C. W., late Deputy Commissioner, Bengal. 
Wilson, James, Proprietor and late Editor I7idia7t Daily Ncivs, Calcutta, 

List of Members. 165 

Wintle, Major-General E. H. C, late Magistate aud Judge, Small Cause Court, 

Dum Dum, near Calcutta. 
Wiseman, James. 
Wood, W. C. 

Wood, Major-General J. C, retired Bengal Staff Corps. 
Woodhouse, Major-General R.R. 
Woodhouse, Colonel H. A., Bombay Staff Corps. 
Wordie, J. C, Proprietor of Tea Estates. 
Worke, L., Merchant, Calcutta. 
Wright, T. H., Assistant Engineer, P.W.D., N.W.P. 
Wright, Surgeon-Major D., Retired List, late of the Residency, Nipal, 
Wright, H. G., late Collector of Salt Revenue, Punjab. 
Wright, Surgeon F. W., 33rd Regiment, Bengal Native Infantry. 
Wyatt, G. Neville, Indigo Planter, Tirhoot. 
Wyllie, James, East India Merchant. 
Wyndowe, Deputy Surgeon-General S. J., Madras, retired. 

Yeld, Surgeon H. P., 15th Bengal Cavalry. 
Young, Major-Genei-al, C.B., R.E., Bengal, retired. 

Yule, Sir G. U., K.C.S.I., C.B., late Bengal Civil Service, and Member of the 
Supreme Council of India. 

WooDFALL & KiNDEK, Printers, Milford Lane, Strand, London, W.C