said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether the Indian Government intends to take action upon the Report of the Commissioners' Inquiry into the causes of the failure of the Old Bank of Bombay; and, with reference to the speech on the 27th March 1868 of the then Secretary of State for India, to ask the Under Secretary of State if he will now produce the Minutes recorded by Members of the Council of India relative to the failure of the Old Bank of Bombay?
Sir, my hon. Friend's principal Question appears to point to two kinds of action on the part of the Government—first, as to its policy with regard to the Presidency Banks; and, secondly, as to its policy with regard, to the misconduct of certain persons connected with the Old Bank of Bombay. As to the first of these kinds of action, I explained the policy of the Government in answer to a Question of my right hon. Friend the Member for North Devon (Sir Stafford Northcote), on the 17th of February last, and I can only repeat what I then said, namely—
As to the second kind of action, I regret that we have not seen, and do not see, our way to taking effective legal proceedings even against the persons most implicated in the unhappy transactions which led to the fall of the Old Bank of Bombay. We shall not oppose my hon. Friend if he thinks fit to move for the Papers about which he asks."The question for the Government now to consider is whether it should not withdraw from its position as a shareholder in the Presidency Banks, and we have asked the opinion of the Government of India on the whole matter, and especially as to the way in which it thinks our withdrawal could be effected with most advantage to the public and with least inconvenience to our fellow shareholders."—[3 Hansard, cxcix., 428.]