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Commons Chamber

Volume 107: debated on Tuesday 31 July 1849

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House Of Commons

Tuesday, July 31, 1849.

MINUTES.] NEW MEMBER SWORN.—The Right Hon. Sir James Duke, for London.

PETITIONS PRESENTED. By Mr. James Marshall, from Leeds, for Universal Suffrage, &c.; also for Redress of Grievances affecting Poor Law Medical Officers.—By Mr. Ker Seymer, from Wincanton, against the Marriages Bill.—By Mr. Scott, from Glasgow, against the Transportation of Criminals to the Australian Colonies.—By Mr. Hume, from Proprietors of East India Stock, respecting the Seizure and Annexation of Sattara.—From the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee, for the Abolition of the Duty on Newspapers.—From several Places in Lincoln, for Agricultural Relief,—By Lord Dudley Stuart, from Marylebone, for Recognition of the Hungarian Republic.—By Mr. H. Berkeley, from Bristol, for Prohibition of Interment In Towns,—By Mr. Tufnell, from Devonport, respecting Assistant Surgeons in the Navy.—By Mr. C. Anstey, from London, for a General Amnesty for Political Offences.—By Mr. Baillie, from Cheltenham, for an Alteration of the Poor Law.—By Mr. Tennent, from Belfast, for the Protection of Women Bill.—By Mr. Roebuck, from Sheffield, respecting the Opening of Railway Parcels.—By Mr. Fuller, from Ticehurst, for an Alteration of the Sale of Beer Act—By Lord Robert Grosvenor, from Stoke Newington, for the Suppression of the Slave Trade.

Poor Relief (Ireland) Bill

Message from The Lords—That they

do agree to the Amendments made by this House to the Amendments made by the Lords to the Bill, intituled, "An Act to amend the Acts for more effectual Relief of the Destitute Poor in Ireland," and that their Lordships do not insist upon the Amendments made to the said Bill to which this House have disagreed.

The Newcastle Railways—Lords' Amendments

Motion made, that the Lords' Amendments be considered to the York, Newcastle, and Berwick Railway, and Maryport and Carlisle Railway (Lease and Amalgamation) Bill; and to the York, Newcastle, and Berwick Railway (Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Carlisle Railway Lease and Amalgamation) Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Amendments be now read a Second Time."

, after tracing the history of the progress of these Bills through both Houses of Parliament, moved that the Amendments of the Lords be taken into consideration that day three months. He reminded the House that at the' time when Railway Bills were introduced in considerable number, a Committee appointed to consider the subject of amalgamation had reported that, while the amalgamation of continuous lines might be of public advantage, the House should look with great jealousy upon any proposal to amalgamate lines running at right angles. These Bills were for that purpose; and they had passed through their stages without any opportunity being given for the introduction of clauses protective of the public interest; or for the proprietors of parallel lines to state their objections to the measure. Upon this principle the Commissioners of Railways had recommended the House of Lords to reject the Bills rather than pass them without protective clauses; but the clauses inserted for that purpose by the House of Lords were insufficient for the purpose, and now the commissioners were precluded by the Standing Orders from amending the Bill in any way so as to protect the public interests. It was the duty of the House to protect the public; and he thought that the circumstances warranted the rejection of the measure.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question, to add the words "upon this day three months."

contended, that after the Bill had run the gauntlet of Committees of both Houses, it ought not, except upon the very clearest grounds, to be rejected at this stage. To do so would be a great hardship upon the parties whose interests were concerned. At the last moment the Lords had introduced a compulsory audit clause in both Bills; but although that was very objectionable to the parties, they preferred having them with that clause to having no Bill at all. The measure had been fully considered by all the parties concerned, and he hoped that the House would not now concur in a proposal for its rejection on the application of its opponents.

hoped that the House would permit him to make one observation personal to himself, before speaking on the question before the House. He had hardly ever thought it his duty to take any part in the conflicts of the adverse interests of competing railways in that House. He had never held, and did not now hold, a single share in any railway. He had therefore no personal interest whatever in the matter, and in the opinion he was about to give be was actuated solely by a sense of what was due to the public interests, particularly in that district in Cumberland with which he was more immediately connected. This was simply a matter of competition between two great parallel lines of communication between the metropolis and Edinburgh and Glasgow, one going eastward through Derby and Berwick, and the other westward by the Trent Valley to Glasgow. It was obviously for the public interest and for the promotion of competition, that the traffic on the line communicating between the two seas should be left to flow perfectly free, east or west, as public convenience might dictate, and that there should be no interruption by high rates and fares as regarded either passengers or goods between Newcastle and Carlisle, and the coal and the manufacturing districts. But if this power were placed in the hands of the directors of the eastern line, they could fix what rates and fares they chose on the Newcastle and Carlisle line, and thereby the traffic would be thrown into a circuitous route. It was highly important, therefore, that the Newcastle and Carlisle should be kept a perfectly independent line. Mr. Hudson had evidently thought that it would be highly advantageous to the line with which he was connected to get pos- session of the line which crossed it at right angles, for he had made a communication to the shareholders of the eastern line, when he proposed the amalgamation, which sufficiently disclosed the real object of this Bill, and showed the effect it was to have. The right hon. Baronet here read a passage from the document he referred to, and which was to the effect that "the directors were precluded by obvious considerations from giving publicity to all the details, and the various circumstances from which the conclusion must be drawn, that the control of these lines from Newcastle to Carlisle, and from Carlisle to Maryport, would be of vital importance to the York, Newcastle, and Berwick Company. The inclosed map showed how protective to the eastern route would be the possession of the line from Newcastle to Carlisle." Nothing could be more expressive and intelligible than this. It would enable the directors of the eastern line to obtain a complete monopoly, and debar the western line from all communication with Newcastle and the east. He found that the Railway Board had been desirous of inserting the necessary protective clauses, but that the railroad speed with which the promoters of the Bill proceeded, had deprived them of the opportunity, and before they could effect that object the Bill had passed. Under these circumstances, those who thought that the public interests on the western coast were at stake, were driven to a course which he admitted was unusual, that of rejecting the Lords' Amendments at the last moment. He would not now go into the question of the audit clause, as it would be a waste of time if the Amendments were rejected. He had formed the most distinct opinion that the public interest would be best consulted by the rejection of this Bill, and he should, therefore, support the Amendment.

said, that the opinions he was about to express were those of himself alone, and were not to be received as those of other Members of the Government. The inconvenience of transferring questions of this kind from Committees to the House at large, had been frequently urged, and his decided opinion was, that the precedent of that House taking upon itself to reverse the decision of its Committees, would be most dangerous. It must be a very clear and strong case indeed which could induce him to vote as a private Member of Parliament in a manner adverse to a previous opinion of a Committee of the House; and he could not give a better proof of his sincerity than by the vote he was about to give against his right hon. Friend and Colleague the Member for Perth. He had no doubt that had he been a Member of the Committee he should have voted against the Bill; but to set the Board of Railways as an authority above that House, was not placing that board in the position in which it ought to stand. It was the duty of the Railway Board to furnish the Committees of the House with details and information, and the decision of the Committees should be final. Therefore, although as a Commissioner of Railways he was against this Bill, much on the same grounds as those stated by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon, yet, upon the principle laid down as to the practice of the House not to reverse the decisions of its Committees, and also thinking that injustice would be done to the parties by the rejection of this Bill in its present stage, he should vote for agreeing to these Amendments.

asked whether it was not the intention of Earl Granville, on the part of the Railway Commissioners, to move two clauses—the equal rate and running clauses—and whether he was not prevented by the rapidity with which the measure was passed from moving those clauses, which, it seemed, could not now be added?

said, it was quite true that it was the intention of the Railway Commissioners to suggest some clauses—he did not say these two—which they thought would have been desirable, though not absolutely necessary.

said, that he had been, almost from the commencement of that undertaking, interested in the London and North-Western Railway, and he had also the honour of representing the interests of the town of Liverpool. In referring to the manner in which the Bill had been carried through the other House, he considered that after the powerful manner in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Perth had stated the merits of the case, it would be unnecessary for him to enter into any further details; but having the honour to represent there no inconsiderable portion of those interests on the western side of the island, he had a right to protest against their—under shelter of a mere technical error—interfering to consign the link between the eastern and western sides of the island to one party without the benefit of equal running clauses, and thereby, for the mere sake of a technical objection, building up a wall stronger than a wall of brass between the free communication between the port of Newcastle and the port of Liverpool.

said, there was a considerable degree of principle involved in the course the House was about to adopt; and although he felt he should incur some unpopularity by his vote, he felt bound to resist the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Perth. The right hon. Gentleman's arguments would be good upon the second or the third reading; but after the promoters had gone to enormous expense, he objected to advantage being taken, at the close of the Session, of a ground of opposition which had failed before. Let the Amendments be considered one by one; but to throw out the Bill upon its merits at this stage, was a step he should be sorry to see the House take.

explained that if it had been practicable for him to have taken the Amendments in detail, he would have done so; but there were technical objections which compelled him to adopt the course he had.

inquired if the two clauses referred to were necessary in consequence of the Amendments made in the Bill by the Lords; if so, the House ought to support the view of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon; but, if not, he did not think they would be justified in reversing the decision of the Committees of both Houses.

replied in the negative, adding that the running clauses could have been advantageously introduced if the Bill had been unaltered.

, as an ordinary rule, thought the decisions of Committees ought to be supported by the House; but where an amalgamation had taken place, by which a monopoly might, as had been shown, be created without running clauses and equal rate clauses being inserted, the case was otherwise. The best course would be to throw out the Bill, for the House had no right to inflict injury upon third parties.

explained, in reference to his answer to the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, that equal running clauses had frequently, but not universally, been introduced into Railway Bills.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 42; Noes 61: Majority 19.

Words added; Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Further consideration of Amendments put off for three months.

Bankrupt Law Consolidation Bill

On the Question for considering the Lords' Amendments to this Bill.

said, that these Amendments amounted virtually to only two. The first was in the eighth section, where power was given to the commissioners to meet together and to make rules with the sanction of the Lord Chancellor; and the Lords had added the words in the part of the clause where the meeting of the commissioners was mentioned, "Of which the senior commissioner shall be one." There could be objection to that Amendment. The other was the insertion of the word "not," which his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sheffield had complained of, as having been accidentally omitted. With regard to that omission, it was right, however, to say that it was perfectly immaterial, as the context of the clause would show the object with sufficient distinctness. A complaint had been made elsewhere that the Committee by whom this Bill had been considered, had not a just proportion of equity lawyers upon it, and that it consisted principally of eminent merchants belonging to the House. As, however, the interference with the Bill complained of related not to technical points on which the assistance of legal Members might be necessary, but to clauses affecting matters of trade, it was clear that mercantile men were those best qualified to give an opinion upon such matters. It was also alleged that the Committee had not examined legal witnesses; but they had the benefit of the evidence of Vice-Chancellor Knight Bruce; and as the other learned personages had been examined before the Committee of the House of Lords, and as the printed evidence had been laid before the Commons' Committee, it was unnecessary to examine them over again. He begged leave to add that he considered great credit was due to the noble Lord who had charge originally of this Bill, and he was sure they all felt most grateful to his Lordship for his labours in this matter.

said, that he had on a previous occasion complained of the blunder committed in the Irish Bankruptcy Bill; but he attributed no blame to his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General on the matter, as he had far too much to do to be expected to read through these Bills.

said, it had been stated by a noble and learned Lord in another place, that the only lawyers on the Committee had been the Attorney General and the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst. But his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General, the hon. Member for Leominster, the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, and himself, who were also Members of the Committee, had all been bred up to the law. The noble and learned Lord had also been represented to have complained that the Bill contained 367 clauses when sent down to this House, and that it came back with only 278 clauses—no less than 89 clauses having been struck out. But it was right the public should know that the clauses struck out had reference to salaries, and, he would add, increased salaries in some cases, and to retiring allowances and pensions, and other matters that they thought ought not to be included in the Bill. There were only two matters of importance with regard to which the clauses had been struck out. These were the "secret transfer "clauses, and the" execution" clauses. He considered that the secret transfer clauses, if they had passed into a law, would have been a greater blow to credit than had ever before been inflicted. The 106th Clause provided that every secret transfer should be in itself an act of bankruptcy; while the 107th Clause provided that all transfers and dealings with property by the bankrupt for two months prior to his bankruptcy, should be deemed a secret transfer and an act of bankruptcy. He had himself put the question to the noble and learned Lord, "Supposing a bankrupt had property mortgaged for 2,000l., and that he should pay off that mortgage, and redeem the property for the benefit of his assignees, would not the effect of these clauses be that the unfortunate mortgagee would be liable to have his money taken from him?" And the answer of the noble and learned Lord was, "Upon my word I believe that would be the effect of them." Another clause, known as the clergyman's clause, had been introduced from the Insolvent Debtors Act by a blunder. With regard to the execution clauses, he had an interview with the noble and learned Lord the night before the Bill passed, and the noble and learned Lord then gave his most unqualified assent to these clauses being struck out. He begged to add on behalf of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin, that he was extremely grieved to think that he had inadvertently prevented the Attorney General from looking into the Irish Bankruptcy Bill, to which allusion had been made, by having assured him, on the faith of the parties who had forwarded it from Dublin, that the clauses were all correct, which was afterwards found not to be the case.

said, as one of the mercantile Members of the Committee, he begged to state that he thought that body had been badly treated by a noble and learned Lord in another place. The great offence of the Committee was, that they had not passed the secret transfer clause; but he, for one, was as anxious as any man to prevent secret and fraudulent transfers, but the difficulty which the Committee could not surmount was, how that object could be carried safely into practical effect.

Lords' Amendments agreed to.

The Sattara Territory

said, the Motion which he had to bring forward on this occasion with regard to the conduct of the East India Company, in connexion with Sattara and the family of the late Rajah, was one more intimately connected with the principle of religious liberty than perhaps any which the House had had to deal with during the present Session, and in bringing it forward he had very great difficulties to deal with. On the 1st of March last he had moved for papers connected with the subject of this robbery and violation of religious liberty; but though they might easily have been furnished in twenty-four hours, they had not yet been laid on the table of the House. He also felt the disadvantage of not having much chance of an audience on this occasion. He wished to protest against the downright robbery inflicted by the East India Company in this case, without entering at all into the injustice with which they had treated the late Rajah. Her Majesty's President of the Board of Control had again and again declared that due attention should be paid to the rights of the heirs of the late Rajah; and it was because he thought that justice required this to be done, and because he had a strong feeling with regard to the injury which the character of the East India Company would receive by joining with robbers and plunderers, that he now asked the House to agree to the resolutions of which he had given notice. It was a source of deep regret to him to see the East India Company influenced by such a downright greed for the acquisition of now territory. The hon. Member read an extract from a letter of Mr. Mountstuart Elphinstone, stating that he had never given it as his opinion that the treaty with the late Rajah had lapsed, or that his heir had no just claim, and that he attached the ordinary meaning to the word "perpetuity" in the treaty that was held in all Indian treaties. But there had been also a violation of the religious rights of the natives in this case. They had such another interference with the Budhist worship in Ceylon lately which had led to the destruction of human life, of which the House would hear more next Session; and this interference was the more to be regretted, as in past times the East India Company had always carefully abstained from interfering with the religious worship of the natives. He was now merely putting the question in a train for the next Session. He was putting the Government in possession of the ground upon which he meant, at an early period of the next Session of Parliament, to move for an inquiry. He should, therefore, not go into the question at any length, nor lay before the House the proofs that he had prepared. He should merely say briefly that he had then a copy of a minute signed by an hon. director who was a Member of that House, and by nine other directors, which stated that there was no collateral heir to the property of the late Rajah, and that, therefore, the Company was entitled to assume the property. But the fact was that there were family heirs to the number of thirty in existence. And what did Mr. Frere, who was the Resident at Sattara when the late Rajah died, say? Why that he knew of no heirs but by adoption. And he added, that the Hindoo law was, that an heir by adoption, an heir adopted by a dying Rajah, caused all collateral heirs to be set aside. That was a religious custom of the Hindoos, and to set it aside was an infringement upon their religious liberty.[Sir J. C. HOBHOUSE: NO, no!] Yes; he repeated it was. But there were hon. and right hon. Gentlemen in that House who would say anything, or deny anything, to serve their ends. There was the evidence of Mr. Tucker, the most experienced of any of the officers. He said that the words of the treaty made by Mr. Mountstuart Elphinstone confirmed the property and sovereignty of Sattara to the regent and his offspring or heirs, so that to assume the sovereignty and property whilst there were living heirs, was a breach of the treaty, and a violation of the law. Mr. Shepherd took the same view. Yet the very last mail brought, he believed, papers that announced the proclamation, declaring the sovereignty annexed to the East India government—a proclamation which damned for ever the Court of East India Directors. It was an act worthy only of the barbarians of the north. It was the triumph of might over right to seize that which they had themselves secured by treaty to the possession of those from whom they now took it. Major Oliphant, Colonel Caulfield, and Sir Henry Willoughby were all against such a spoliation, and he was confident that success could not attend such acts. He would remind the House that there were Acts of Parliament on the Statute-book which strictly prohibited in the strongest manner such acts of spoliation. The 21st George III. provided for the observance of the Hindoo law in all matters, whereby the property of families was secured to the heirs who were heirs according to the custom of the country. The 33rd George III., was still more explicit upon the subject. Yet a greater violation of Acts of Parliament, or a greater act of injustice was never perpetrated, than this seizure of property of the Rajah of Sattara. Upon these grounds he protested against the proceeding. He should move the resolutions of which he had given notice, leaving the House to deal with them as they thought fit, and early next Session he would bring the whole question forward, in the hope of being able to shame those robbers, spoliators, and violators of the rights of property.[Sir J. W. HOGG: Hear, hear!] Yes, he saw one of the robbers before him—a robber of the property and a violator of the religion of the Indian people. And what was the great object of thus seizing upon a little revenue of some 120,000l. or 130,000l. a year to a Company possessing a revenue of above 20,000,000l. annually? He did not know how much more had lapsed to them lately by war, but they had 20,000,000l. a year before. They were like the rich man in the Scripture, who, not content with all his vast possessions, should seize upon the one little lamb which was all that his poor neighbour had.

Motion made, and Question proposed—

"That it appears from the Papers laid before this House, that, by the Law and usage of India, as recognised by the British Government, and distinctly expressed in a Minute of Sir Charles Metcalf, Lieutenant Governor of the North Western Provinces of India, and dated the 28th day of October, 1837, that Hindoo Princes, in failure of heirs male of their body, have a right to adopt, to the exclusion of collateral heirs, and of any supposed reversionary right of the paramount Power; and that the British Government is bound to acknowledge the adoption, provided that it be regular and not in violation of Hindoo Law:
"That the East India Company, by a treaty concluded on the 25th day of September, 1819, ceded the territory of Sattara to the Rajah of Sattara, his heirs and successors, in perpetual sovereignty, which treaty was confirmed on the 4th day of September, 1839, when his brother and successor was raised to the Throne:
"That both the Rajahs died, leaving heirs by adoption, heirs by blood, and collateral heirs:
"That the East India Company nevertheless (without giving an opportunity to any claimants of stating their claims) have set aside the Hindoo law of succession, and have ordered the Sattara territory to be annexed to the British Dominions, on the plea that it has lapsed by failure of heirs:
"That such a proceeding being in violation of national faith, and against the recognised rights of all the Sovereign Princes of India, it is the opinion of this House, that the orders for annexing the Sattara territory should be suspended, until those members of the family who have the right to claim to be heirs to the throne have been heard, and their rights determined."

said, that if his hon. Friend had had a right to make any complaint of the manner in which he had been treated, he (Sir J. C. Hobhouse) had also some right to complain. The act to which his hon. Friend had alluded, and of which he complained, which declared that the sovereignty of Sattara should be assumed by the East India Company, was an order of the Court of Directors, dated so far back as the 24th day of January last. His hon. Friend, and those who acted with him, had full knowledge of the fact; and if anything effectual was to have been done, it should have been done at or immediately after the meeting of Parliament, which took place on the 1st of February. There were, however, several occasions afterwards on which he might have brought it forward, when he (Sir J. C. Hobhouse) was in his place ready to answer any question, or to disprove the statements of his hon. Friend, so that it was no fault of his if the question—of which he was surprised his hon. Friend was not completely tired, as for his part he certainly was—had not been brought forward before. As his hon. Friend had not entered at large into the question, he would not do so upon the present occasion; but he could not avoid replying to one or two observations of his hon. Friend—assertions for which there was so little foundation, in truth or fact that he was surprised how any hon. Gentleman could, by any possibility, have fallen into such errors. His hon. Friend had said, that the assumption of the property of the Rajah of Sattara was an interference with the religious liberty of India. Now, he was perfectly aware that the custom of India was, that an adopted son and heir took the property of the deceased, but certainly not the sovereignty where there was a paramount State. His hon. Friend and those who acted with him in this matter, seemed entirely to forget that the British power in India was paramount; that it had succeeded to the power which it had crushed; and that those parties could not by adoption make heirs to their sovereignties, as well as to their personal property, without the sanction and permission of the paramount State. He had never heard the doctrine that they could do so broached until that discussion. He well recollected that when the hon. Gentleman, with several others, came to him as a deputation upon the subject, neither his hon. Friend nor any one of the deputation adverted to the point, although it was just the very point on which the whole question turned. He had there quotation upon quotation from the best authorities which entirely disproved such an assertion. Mr. Mountstuart Elphinstone gave no opinion upon the point. He expressly reserved it. He admitted the right of adopting an heir so far as the personal property was concerned; but he expressly reserved the question so far as the sovereignty was involved. Next, as regarded the treaty by which the Rajah received the sovereignty from the British. They had crushed the real master of the Mahratta empire, the Peishwah; and the question they had next to consider was, whether or not they would put up a smaller sovereign subordinate to themselves, and they did set up such a sovereign. The deposed Rajah at Benares himself said, that he was only the creation of the British power. When the question came before him (Sir J. C. Hobhouse) as President of the Board of Control, he had to consider the law and the opinions sent to him. He found the Earl of Auckland, the Earl of Dalhousie, the Government of Bombay, with the single exception of Mr. Clarke, the Court of Directors of the East India Company, with the exception of only five out of twenty- four, all in favour of annexing the principality to the British Government of India. Next came the Court of Proprietors, and they affirmed the decision of the Court of Directors by a majority of 297 to 96. What was he to do? In this country everything was done by majorities, from the Houses of Parliament to the humblest meeting. What did his hon. Friend want to have done? He talked about having the order of the Directors suspended. Why, it was too late—the thing was done. It was done on the 24th January last. And supposing that by any accident the House of Commons were to pass a resolution to suspend or rescind that act of the East India Company, did his hon. Friend think that it would have the least effect? It certainly would not have the least effect upon the proceedings of the East India Company, or upon the Government of India. So long as the Court of Directors and those parties to whom the Government of India was entrusted existed, and held their power, those under consideration were the very acts which should be left to their discretion and responsibility. As to the paper at which his hon. Friend had expressed his surprise, which was drawn up by the hon. Member for Guildford, he could only say, that if he had not known the powers of that Gentleman, he would have been surprised at such a masterly performance. It was a most complete answer to his hon. Friend's case. It showed that there was not the least shadow of a pretence to say that the British had violated any treaty or law by their act of annexation. Having all the authorities and all the majorities upon one side, what was he to do? [Mr. HUME: Do justice.] Yes; it was very easy to say, "do justice." But what was justice? Were they to acknowledge the collateral heirs, or the adopted heirs? If they acknowledged the adopted Benares boy, they would disgust and dissatisfy every one of the five dissentient directors, for there was not one of them who supported his case. Appa Sahib, the late Rajah, when he heard of the adoption of the Benares boy, asked how it could be done without the consent of the British Government; thereby showing that he did not consider that the sovereignty could be given away without the consent of the paramount Power. But if they gave the sovereignty to the adopted son of Appa Sahib, they would dissatisfy the adherents of the deposed Rajah, both in India and England; whilst if they favoured any one of the thirty collateral families, they must dissatisfy the friends of the two deceased Rajahs. But the whole claim originated in the treaty made with Mr. Mountstuart Elphinstone, in 1819, and no family claims could be admitted that were traced farther hack, it being then that the principality itself was created. Under all the circumstances the Court of Directors were bound to act according to the opinion of the majority, and they had done so. He would not go into a refutation of the very hard language and the strong terms applied by his hon. Friend. There was one hon. Gentleman, the hon. Member for Honiton, whom his hon. Friend had designated as one of the robbers and spoliators. The Earl of Dalhousie and the Earl of Auckland, the nineteen directors, and the 297 proprietors of East India Stock, were others of the robbers and spoliators. Such strong language only showed that his hon. Friend was very much in earnest; so much so, indeed, as to be hardly prepared to weigh the merits of the case fairly.

asked whether the promised money had as yet been paid to the Ranee?

said, that the money had not as yet been paid to the Ranee, or widow, because she refused to give a receipt for it. It had been repeatedly offered, but she would not give a receipt. In reference to this part of the subject, he must say that Purtaub Sing was reputed to have left a considerable sum behind him.

could have no doubt, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control, that important principles affecting the government of India were involved in the present question. The right hon. Gentleman held it to be a new doctrine that Hindoo princes had a right to adopt heirs, and identified himself with opinions expressed in India, especially by the Earl of Dalhousie, which seemed to strike at the root of the rights of Hindoo princes, namely, that Hindoo princes had no power to adopt heirs, without the consent of the British Government, as the successor of the sovereigns who were lords paramount of India. But the British Government had no right with reference to those princes except what they obtained by actual cession, or could spell out from treaties. What was the opinion of Sir C. Metcalfe?—

"Those who are sovereign princes in their own right, and of the Hindoo religion, have by Hindoo law a right to adopt to the exclusion of collateral heirs or of the supposed reversionary right of the paramount Power."
Independently of the present question altogether, he would, in the next Session of Parliament, submit to the House a Motion on the rights of Indian princes; but with respect to the terms in which the Indian Government "ceded the perpetual sovereignty" of Sattara to the Rajah and his successors, he must be permitted to remark that the construction attempted to be put upon the treaty by the Government was at variance with the public law both of Europe and of India.

said, the assertion that the British authority in India was not the paramount power there, was to him a perfectly novel doctrine. Sir C. Metcalfe's opinion did not interfere with that question. What Sir C. Metcalfe said was, that—

"There is a wide distinction between sovereign princes and jagheerdars, between those who are in the position of hereditary sovereigns in their own right, and those who hold grants of land or public revenue by the gift of the sovereign or the paramount authority."
The Rajah of Sattara stood exactly in the position of the latter class.

wished it to be understood, with reference to a statement made by the hon. Member for Montrose, that the whole of the religious rites had been performed in this case, and that under these the boy inherited the personal property.

Notice taken, that forty Members were not present; House counted; and forty Members not being present,

The House was adjourned at a quarter after Four o'clock.