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'each Presidency and District in India, in such form as 'should hest exhibit the moral and material progress 'and condition of India in each such Presidency.' The value of these, and indeed of all other like Parliamentary requirements, must mainly depend upon the assiduity and vigilance of Parliament itself. Up to very recently, when appalling famines and financial embarrassments, necessitating large public loans from England, at last aroused public attention in the two Houses and in the country at large, there was no topic more certain to fall flat on the ears of the British Legislature than that of the Indian Budget or Indian affairs generally.
It has already been seen that the further Parliamentary requirement, contained in section 54 of the Act of 1858, relating to the communication to both Houses of Parliament, within a definite', time, of any order sent to India directing the actual commencement of hostilities by Her Majesty's forces in India, was proved in the Afghan war of 1878-79 to be without any avail for the purpose of securing Parliamentary discussion or concurrence. By the time that Parliament was formally acquainted with the fact of the order being sent for the commencement of hostilities, political and diplomatic steps of a most decisive character had long been taken which seemed to render retreat or pause almost impossible. The obvious course for Ministers was to defend all that had been done as being dictated by an over-bearing necessity, and to rely on a loyal Parliamentary majority to grant them condonation and indemnity.
The later amendments of the Act of 1858 have rather been in the direction of extending the Prerogative of the Crown than of supplying fresh safe-guards against its abuse, or fortifying the controlling influence Extension of tlie Prerogative in India. 401
of Parliament. The Act of 1865 (24 and 25 Victoria, cap. 67) enlarges the legislative functions of the Governor-General in Council so as to enable him 'to 'make laws and regulations for all British subjects of 'Her Majesty within the dominions of Princes and 'States in India in alliance with Her Majesty* whether 'in the service of the Government of India or other'wise.' By the Act of 1869 (32 and 33 Victoria, cap. 98) the legislative power of the Governor-General in Council has been similarly extended so as to reach to native Indian subjects of Her Majesty 'without and 'beyond as well as within the Indian territories under 'the dominion of Her Majesty.' An Act of the same year (32 and 33 Victoria, cap. 97) went some way towards impairing the securities for independence on the part of the Council of India which had been carefullv devised by the Act of 1858. Henceforth all vacancies were to be filled up by appointment of the Secretary of State. Members of the Council could only be appointed for the term of ten years, and, generally, were not reeligible. But by the third section of the Act the Secretary of State was enabled 'to re-appoint for a further 'period of five years any person whose term of office 'should have expired, provided such re-appointment be 'made for special reasons of public advantage, such 'reasons to be set forth in a Minute signed by the said 'Secretary of State, and laid before both Houses of 'Parliament.'
The transfer of the government of India from the Company to the Crown had, no doubt, the effect of abolishing the anomalous tripartite government of India by the Governor-General in Council in India, the Court of Directors in Leadenhall Street, and the Board of Control in Downing Street, and of substituting for it a better consolidated system of government and one more worthy of the dignity of both England and India. Parliament also was certainly in a better position than heretofore for exercising over the current administration of Indian affairs a scrutinising and incessant control of the most direct kind. But it may still be doubted whether, in practice, since the transfer, such a control has been exercised at all to the extent which would suffice to compensate for the loss of all the special ability and experience which was represented in the Court of Directors, and for the keen and vigilant interest of a personal kind which imparted an unfailing zeal to the Court of Proprietors. Any way, it has been scarcely possible for Parliament to take up towards the Crown and its Ministers the sort of chronic and healthful attitude of adversative and wary suspiciousness which, in relation to a private Company, was at once both imperative and decorous. The following language of the 51st section of the Act of 1833, by which Parliament resolutely guards itself against having its plenary rights of government in the minutest degree impaired through the simultaneous existence of a coordinate authority, could hardly find place in an Act passed since 1858, when the dependence on Parliament, of the Executive Government to which the government of India had been transferred was formally assumed, and statutory precautions could not be taken against abuses without confounding the customary relations of Parliament and the Crown, and introducing a constitutional solecism. The language of the 51st section alluded to is as follows: 'Nothing herein contained shall 'extend to affect in any way the right of Parliament t<» Government of Hudson's Bay. 403
'make laws for the said territories, and for all the in'habitants thereof; and it is expressly declared that a 'full, complete, and constantly existing right and power 'is intended to be reserved to Parliament to control,
* supersede, or prevent all proceedings and acts whatso
* ever of the said Governor-General in Council, and to
* repeal and alter at any time any law or regulation 'whatsoever made by the said Governor-General in 'Council, and in all respects to legislate for the said 'territories and all the inhabitants thereof in as full 'and ample a manner as if this Act had not been
* passed; and the better to enable Parliament to exer'cise at all times such right and power, all laws 'and regulations made by the said Governor-General in 'Council shall be transmitted to England, and laid 'before both Houses of Parliament, in the same manner 'as is now provided concerning the rules and regula'tions made by the several Governments of India.'
(ii.) The settlement or the annexation of the territories of British Columbia, the Fiji Islands, and the Transvaal in South Africa, affords instances of the sort of amicable co-operation by which Parliament and the Crown, while insisting on their respective rights and privileges and guarding against mutual encroachments, may yet combine towards the accomplishment of ends generally recognised as expedient and beneficent.
Owing to the large discoveries of gold which were made in 1858 in a portion of the Hudson's Bay territory, and a vast immigration of gold-diggers which resulted, it became necessary for the British Government to take measures for the protection of life and property and the maintenance of order. So far, the prerogative of the Crown was exerted; and the Secretary of State for the Colonies—then Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton—hestowed earnest attention upon the task of organising the new settlement as a British colony. The process was completed by an Act of Parliament (21 and 22 Vict., cap. 99). Vancouver's Island was added to British Columbia in 1866, and both were incorporated with the Dominion of Canada in 1871, upon the petition of the inhabitants.
The Fiji Islands were annexed in the year 1874. As far back as the year 1859 the reigning monarch, Thakombau, had, with consent of the leading chiefs, made his first offer of the sovereignty of those islands to the Crown of England; which offer the Government of that day declined to accept. For several years previous to the year 1874. a form of government existed in Fiji which bad been initiated and mainly carried on by the white settlers, principally for their own protection. A state of anarchy, however, succeeded. The settlers refused any longer to recognise the Government, or to be further taxed for its support; and threw themselves on the protection of the foreign consuls. The islands were again offered to Great Britain, with a debt of some 82,000i., contracted by the Government during the last two years. On the 17th July, 1874, Lord Carnarvon, Secretary of State for the Colonies, called attention to the subject in the House of Lords. He stated that, in 1872, Lord Kimberley had appointed two Commissioners to proceed to the Fiji Islands, in consequence of the appeal made to England and to other civilised countries, to take them under protection; and that, the report of the Commissioners being now presented, it became necessary to deal with the matter, and to decide whether, with the consent of the natives.