asked the Under-Secretary of State for India, considering that the effect of Section 98 and Schedule III of the Government of India Act is to confer not a right but only aspes successionis to the appointments reserved to the Indian Civil Service, and as that expectation might be defeated by the abolition of these appointments, as has, in fact, been proposed by the legislative councils in certain provinces, will the Secretary of State for India consider the desirability of legislation, not only validating the covenant, but reserving to the Indian Civil Service a fixed proportion of appointments above the time scale?
I find some difficulty in understanding the exact nature of the legislation which my hon. and gallant Friend desires to suggest, but if his suggestion be that the Secretary of State in Council should deprive himself by law of the power of abolishing or reducing the number of high appointments at present available to members of the Indian Civil Service, however desirable or necessary such a step might be, I fear that is hardly a practicable proposal.
Will the Noble Lord uphold the covenant of the Indian civil servants, or are they to suffer in connection with the Montagu reforms?
That question does not in the least arise on this question The hon. and gallant Gentleman asks a specific question about certain appointments which I have endeavoured to answer.