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only mode of providing for the government of newly acquired territory was by annexing it to one of the three presidencies. Under this system of annexations the Presidency of Bengal had grown to unwieldy dimensions. Some provision had been made for the relief of its government by the constitution of a separate lieutenant-governorship for the North-Western Provinces in 1836. The Act of 1853 had provided for the constitution of a second lieutenant-governorship, and, if necessary, of a fourth presidency. These powers were, however, not found sufficient, and it was necessary to provide for the administration of territories which it might not be advisable to include in any presidency of lieutenantgovernorship 1.
This provision was made by the Act of 1854, which empowered the Governor-General of India in Council, with the sanction of the Court of Directors and the Board of Control, to take by proclamation under his immediate authority and management any part of the territories for the time being in the possession or under the government of the East India Company, and thereupon to give all necessary orders and directions respecting the administration of that part, or otherwise provide for its administration?. The mode in which this power has been practically exercised has been by the appointment of chief commissioners, to whom the Governor-General in Council delegates such powers as need not be reserved to the Central Government. In this way chief commissionerships were established for Assam", the Central Provinces, Burma 3, and other parts of India. But the title of chief commissioner was not directly recognized by Act of Parliament 4, and the territories under the administration of chief commissioners are technically under the immediate authority
See preamble to Act of 1854.
See Digest, s. 56. * Assam has now been amalgamated with Eastern Bengal under a Lieutenant-Governor, and Burma has been constituted a lieutenant-governorship.
· It has since been recognized by the Act of 1870 (33 Vict. c. 3), ss. 1, 3.
and management' of the Governor-General in Council within the meaning of the Act of 1854.
The same Act empowered the Government of India, with the sanction of the Home authorities, to define the limits of the several provinces in India ; expressly vested in the Governor-General in Council all the residuary authority not transferred to the local Governments of the provinces into which the old Presidency of Bengal had been divided ; and directed that the governor-general was no longer to bear
the title of governor of that presidency. The
The Mutiny of 1857 gave the death-blow to the system Govern
of “double government,' with its division of powers and ment of India Act, responsibilities. In February, 1858, Lord Palmerston intro1858.
duced a Bill for transferring the government of India to the Crown. Under his scheme the home administration was to be conducted by a president with the assistance of a council of eight persons. The members of the council were to be nominated by the Crown, were to be qualified either by having been directors of the Company or by service or residence in India, and were to hold office for eight years, two retiring by rotation in each year. In other respects the scheme did not differ materially from that eventually adopted. The cause of the East India Company was pleaded by John Stuart Mill in a weighty State paper, but the second reading of the Bill was carried by a large majority.
Shortly afterwards, however, Lord Palmerston was turned out of office on the Conspiracy to Murder Bill, and was succeeded by Lord Derby, with Mr. Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord Ellenborough as President of the Board of Control. The Chancellor of the Exchequer promptly introduced a new Bill for the government of India, of which the most remarkable feature was a council consisting partly of nominees of the Crown and partly of persons elected on a complicated and elaborate system, by citizens of Manchester and other large towns, holders of East India stock, and others. This scheme died of ridicule, and when the House assembled after the Easter recess no one could be found to defend it 1. Mr. Disraeli grasped eagerly at a suggestion by Lord John Russell that the Bill should be laid aside, to be succeeded by another based on resolutions of the House. In the meantime Lord Ellenborough had been compelled to resign in consequence of disapproval of his dispatch censuring Lord Canning's Oudh proclamation, and had been succeeded by Lord Stanley, on whom devolved the charge of introducing and piloting through the House the measure which eventually became law as the Act for the better government of India ?.
This Act declared that India was to be governed directly by and in the name of the Crown, acting through a Secretary of State, to whom were to be transferred the powers formerly exercised either by the Court of Directors or by the Board of Control. Power was given to appoint a fifth principal Secretary of State for this purpose.
The Secretary of State was to be aided by a council of fifteen members, of whom eight were to be appointed by the Crown and seven elected by the directors of the East India Company. The major part both of the appointed and of the elected members were to be persons who had served or resided in India for ten years, and, with certain exceptions, who had not left India more than ten years before their appointment. Future appointments or elections were to be so made that nine at least of the members of the council should hold these qualifications. The power of filling vacancies was vested in the Crown as to Crown appointments, and in the council itself as to others. The members of the council were to hold office during good behaviour, but to be removable on an address by both Houses of Parliament, and were not to be capable of sitting or voting in Parliamento.
It was to this Bill that Lord Palmerston applied the Spanish boy's remark about Don Quixote, and said that whenever a man was to be seen laughing in the streets he was sure to have been discussing the Government of India Bill.
2 21 & 22 Vict. c. 108.
3 These provisions have been modified by subsequent legislation. See Digest, s. 4.
The council was charged with the duty of conducting, under the direction of the Secretary of State, the business transacted in the United Kingdom in relation to the government of India and the correspondence with India. The Secretary of State was to be the president of the council, with power to overrule in case of difference of opinion, and to send, without reference to the council, any dispatches which might under the former practice have been sent through the secret committee 1.
The officers on the home establishment both of the Company and of the Board of Control were to form the establishment of the new Secretary of State in Council, and a scheme for a permanent establishment was to be submitted.
The patronage of the more important appointments in India was vested either in the Crown or in the Secretary of State in Council. Lieutenant-governors were to be appointed by the governor-general subject to the approval of the Crown.
As under the Act of 1853, admission to the covenanted civil service was to be open to all natural-born subjects of Her Majesty, and was to be granted in accordance with the results of an examination held under rules to be made by the Secretary of State in Council with the assistance of the Civil Service Commissioners.
The patronage to military cadetships was to be divided between the Secretary of State and his council.
The property of the Company was transferred to the Crown. The expenditure of the revenues of India was to be under the control of the Secretary of State in Council, but was to be charged with a dividend on the Company's stock and with their debts, and the Indian revenues remitted to Great Britain were to be paid to the Secretary of State in Council and applied for Indian purposes. Provision was made for the appointment of a special auditor of the accounts of the Secretary of State in Council 2 · Digest, ss. 6–14.
2 Ibid. 22, 30.
The Board of Control was formally abolished. With respect to contracts and legal proceedings, the Secretary of State in Council was given a quasi-corporate character for the purpose of enabling him to assert the rights and discharge the liabilities devolving upon him as successor to the East India Company 1. It has been seen that under the authority given by various The
Indian Acts the Company raised and maintained separate military Army. forces of their own. The troops belonging to these forces, whilst in India, were governed by a separate Mutiny Act, perpetual in duration, though re-enacted from time to time with amendments 2. The Company also had a small naval force, once known as the Bombay Marine, but after 1829 as the Indian Navy.
The Act of 1858 transferred to the service of the Crown all the naval and military forces of the Company, retaining, however, their separate local character, with the same liability to local service and the same pay and privileges as if they were in the service of the Company. Many of the European troops refused to acknowledge the authority of Parliament to make this transfer. They demanded re-engagement and bounty as a condition of the transfer of their services 3, and, failing to get these terms, were offered their discharge.
In 1860 the existence of European troops as a separate force was put an end to by an Act (23 & 24 Vict. c. 100) which, after reciting that it is not expedient that a separate European force should be continued for the local service of Her Majesty in India, formally repealed the enactments by which the Secretary of State in Council was authorized to give directions for raising such forces.
In 1861 the officers and soldiers formerly belonging to the Company's European forces were invited to join, and many
Digest, s. 35. ? The first of these Acts was an Act of 1753 (27 Geo. II, c. 9), and the last was an Act of 1857 (20 & 21 Vict. c. 66), which was repealed in 1863 (26 & 27 Vict. c. 48).
3 In 1859 they made a demonstration' which, from the small stature of the recruits enlisted during the Indian Mutiny, was sometimes called the ' Dumpy Mutiny.' Pritchard, Administration of India, i. 36.