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C. E. BUCKLAND, C. /. E., 


" The poBltion of the Lieutenant-Govemor of Bengal has become by 
much ttie most Important of any under the Supreme Government." 

Sir O. Chphnky, " Indtan Polity ;' p. !>2. 

'* The ftkct is that the Bensral Qovemment is in every way a orreat charsre 
-ftir the greatest Local Government in india." 

HiB G. Campbki.l, *'Mejiioin«, " Vol. 11. p. HH». 

In Two Volumks ; 

{With 14 lUustrations.) 

Vol. II. 


S. K. L A H I R I & C o., 

• - 





M. P., G. C. S. I., C. I. E., D. C, L., L. L. D., F. R. S. 


Previous Career — The Bengal- Bihar famine of 1873-74— Minutes— 
The Calcutta Market— Railways in North Bihar and elsewhere— 
Canals — Emigration to Burma— Drainage schemes — The Burdwan fever 
— Forest Policy, The Sundarbans and other areas — Development of 
the resources of the country through Science — The Botanic Garden — 
The Zoological Garden at Alipore — Re-arrangements of certain Commis- 
sionerships— Cyclone of 1 5th-i6th October 1874— The Calcutta-Howrah 
bridge — Gazetteer of Bengal — Primary Education — Technical Schools — 
Education — Art Gallery— Proposal for a separate University in Bengal — 
The Rent difficulties : agrarian disturbances — Indigo — Improvement of 
the substantive law for determination of Rent — Visit of His Royal High- 
ness the Prince of Wales to Calcutta— Bishop Milman — The Calcutta 
Mutiicipality— J/w/iwjtf/ Municipalities — Sikhim Tibet trade-route— The 
Excise policy — Intemperance among the Sonthals — Danger of their rising 
— Reformatories— Legislation — Powers of the Bengal Council — Civil 
Appeals and Appellate Benches — Economic Museum : Statistical Depart- 
ment and Reporter : proposed Industrial Survey — The Civil Service in 
Bengal : four new districts proposed : Natives in higher Executive 
posts — * The Fuller case' — removal of a Magistrate— the Cyclone and 
Stormwave of the 31st October 1876 in Backergunge and Noakhali — Mis- 
cellaneous — Assumption of the Imperial title by Her Majesty the Queen 
— Deputation to Madras and Bombay famine — Observations — Governor 
of Bombay — Subsequent Career ... ... ... Page 573. 




Previous Career — A Character Sketch— The Annual Administration 
Reports — Events of political significance and the famine— Result of the 
famine— Extension of the system of Provincial Finance — The Bengal 



License Act— Reconstitution of the Secretariat — Separation of the Civil 
Service into Executive and Judicial branches — Retirements of Civilians- 
Lotteries — The Order of the Indian Empire — Railways— The Darjeeling 
Steam Tramway — The Railways In 1881-82 — Relations between landlords 
and tenants in Northern Bihar — Indigo cultivation in Bihar — Proposed 
legislation to facilitate the realization of Rents — Rent Law Commission — 
A Landlord and Tenant Bill— Cinchona Febrifuge— Agriculture and 
Horticulture — Hospital management and Medical expenditure — Settle- 
ment Legislation — Education — The Engineering College ar Sibpur— 
Education of poorer classes— Jails — The Vernacular Press Acts 
of 1878 — Excise : the outstill system — The Army Commission -r- 
Changes in the Executive administration — Proposed Divisional Appellate 
Courts — Labour Emigration — Withdrawal of troops from outstations— 
Legislation: Presidency Magistrates* Act (IV df 1877) — Act I (B.C.) of 
1880, the Calaitta Tramways Act— .\ct VI (B.C.) of 1880, the Bengal 
Drainage Act— the Cess Act IX (B.C.) of 1880— Calcutta Municipal 
Act — Sanitary condition of villages— The Nadia fever Commission- 
Retirement of the Nawab Nazim of Bengal — The Orissa and other 
Canals — Attack on the temple of Jagannath in Puri by fanatics — 
The Census of 188 1— Public Works— New Bengal Secretariat, in Writers' 
Buildings — Provincial Finance : results of decentralization — Local Self- 
Government — Archaeology : Indian Marine : The Eden Hospital : The 
Lieutenant-Governor's Residence at Darjeeling — The Eden Sanita- 
rium at Darjeeling — Other measures — Town Hall meeting on Sir A. 
Eden's retirement — Observations — Unveiling of Statue — Speech by Lord 
Northbrook. ... ... ••• ... ... Page 688. 




Previous Career— Provincial Finance— Inland Labour Emigration, and 
from Bihar to Burma— The Indian Education Commission of 1882— 
The Ilbert Bill — The Subordinate Executive and Judicial Services — 
Opium Commission of 1883— Orissa Canals— Admission of females to 
the Calcutta Medical College— Jury System — English and Native journa- 
lism ^Judicial training of Civilians— Calcutta International Exhibition, 
1883-84— The Bengal Agricultural Department— Legislation : Tramways : 
Kidderpore Docks— Local Self-Government— The Municipal Act of 1884 
—The Bengal Tenancy Act, VIII of 1885— Muzaffarpur Experimental 
Survey— Calcutta Sanitary Commission of 1884-8$— Defences of the River 


and Port of Calcutta— Calcutta Municipal Legislation— Village Police — 
Divisional Appellate Benches— Mr. H. A. Cockerell, c s. i. Officiating 
Lieutenant-Governor— Floods— Orissa Storm- wave of 22nd Septem- 
ber i88$— £thnol(>gical Inquiry — The £xcise Comoiission—Rail- 
ways— Archaeology — Celebration of the] Queen Empress's Jubilee — 
Miscellaneous— Conclusion— Observations. ... ... Page 760. 


SIR STEUART COLVIN .BAYLEY, k.c.s.i., c.i.e. 


Previous Career — Provincial Finance — Cyclone of 25th. May 1887 • 
loss of two steamers — Frontier tribes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts — 
Lushai expedition — Sikhim affairs : Tibetan aggression and repulse 
— The Indian Public Service Commission— The Dacca Tornado of 7th. 
April 1888 — Excise — The Excise system and tea-gardens — Condition of 

• the lower classes— Emigration to Burma— Calcutta Municipal Act of 
- 1888— The Inland Emigrants' Health Act, 1889— Subordmate Executive 
-Service— District Boards — Surveys and Settlements— Railways — Honor- 
ary Magistrates— Famine and Flood relief— Visit of His Royal Highness 
Prince Albert Victor— Holidays — Comprehensive scheme of local 

• taxation proposed — The Pott of Calcutta — Police reforms — Miscellane- 
ous—Observations—Statue in Calcutta : its unveiling — Subsequent 

^^SFCCi* ••• «•• ••• ••• ••• ^^XC ^3' * 






Previous Career - Surveys and Settlements— Survey-Settlement pro- 
gramme for 1892-93 to 1896-97— The Cadastral Survey in North Bihar— 
-—Sir A. P. MacDonnell's Minute on the Bihar Cadastral survey 
—Employment of Patwaris-^The Maintenance of land records— 
Chief tracts under Survey and Settlement— Apportionment and re- 
covery of costs in North Bihar— Question of extending Survey and 
Settlement to South Bihar— Visit of the Cesarewitch— The Census of 1891 

CalcutU water-supply— Lushai affairs— Sikhim— Keonjhur— Pauperism 

among Europeans and Eurasians— Enlistment of Eurasians in British 


regiments — Ethnographic researches— Prosecution of the Banj^obasi — 
Village Police— The Regular Police— The Criminal Courts— Excise — 
Scarcity — Physical training — Welfare of students— The Civil Engineer- 
ing College, Sibpur — Primary Education generally— and in Municipalities 
—Spelling of vernacular names— Distinctive features of the Provincial 
Contracts of 1887 and 1892— First Financial Statement in the Legislative 
Council — Five years' Provincial Finance — Railways — Rural sanitation 
and water supply — Drainage and water-supply Conference — The Sanitary 
Drainage Act — Kidderpore Docks— Tours of Officers— The Bengal 
Legislative Council enlarged— Trial by Jury— Inland Emigration— Sir 
A. P. MacDonnell, Officiating Lieuteaant-Governor — Exchange Com- 
pensation — Anti-kine-killing agitation in Bihar— The Court language in 
Bihar— Hemp Drugs Commission — Employment of Natives in the Ser- 
vice—The Bengal Municipal Act, 1894— Maintenance of order at fes- 
tivals— Archaeology- -Orissa Canals— Labour Inquiry Commission — 
District and Local Boards— Legislation— Miscellaneous — Remarks— Re- 
tirement. ... ... ... ... ... Page 886. 




Previous Career — Tours of Officers— Settlement operations in Qrissa 
and Bihar- Recovery of costs of Survey and Settlement in North 
Bihar — South Lushai Hills — Sikhim — The Bengal Municipal Act of 
1896 — The Local Self- Government Bill — Disarmament of Backer- 
gunge— The Presidency General Hospital— Sanitation of Calcutta — 
Speech to the Calcutta Corporation — Calcutta Municipal Bill — Precau- 
tions against Plague — The Famine of 1896-97 — Importance of the winter 
rice in Bengal — Comparison of the Famines of 1873-74 and 1896-97 — 
Famine statistics — Canal projects in North Bihar — Reorganization of the 
Education Department — Sir A. Croft, Director of Public Instruction — 
The Kidderpore Docks — Provincial Contract of 1897— The Earthquake 
of 1 2th June 1897 in Bengal— Celebration of the Jubilee, 22nd June 
1897 — Sir C. C. Stevens, K. o. s. i., Officiating Lieutenant-Governor — 
Calcutta riots- Suppression of rain gambling — The Chota Nagpur Com- 
mutation Act — Partition Act— Amendment of the Bengal Tenancy 
Act— The Chittagong Cyclone of 24th October 1897 — Miscellaneous — 
Review ... ..% ... ... ... Page 971. 


Appendix I. Belveuerk ... ... ... 1012 

Appendix II. Lives of some of the le.vding Mahara- 
jas, Nawabs &c. in bengal in the period 

Raja Sir Radha Kanta Deb Bahadur, k.c.s.i. 1022 

Babu Ram Gopal Ghose ... ... 1023 

Babu Ramtanu Lahiri ... ... 1026 

Babu Prasanna Kumar Tagore, c. s. i. ... 1027 

Nawab Sir Khwaja Abdul Ghani Mia, 
K.C.S.I. and Nawab Sir Khwaja Ahsanullah 

Bahadur, K. c. t. £. ... 1028 

Maharaja Adhiraj Bahadur Mahtab Chand 

Rai of Burdwan ... ... 1030 

Pandit Isvar Chandra Vid)'asagar, c. i. e. ... 1032 

Maharshi Debendra Nath Tagore. ... 1035 

The Hon'ble Justice Dwarka Nath Mitra... 1037 

Babu Keshab Chandra Sen. ... ... 1039 

Raja Digambar Mitra, c. s. i.... ... 1042 

Babu Bhudeb Mukerji, c. i. e. ... 1044 

Babu Haris Chandra Mukerji ... 1047 

Maharaja Rama Nath Tagore, c. s. i. ... 1049 

Babu Joy Kishen Mukerji and Raja Piari 

Mohan Mukerji, c. s. i. ... ... 1050 

Maharaja Sir Jotindra Mohan Tagore 

Bahadur, k.c.s.i. ... ... 1052 

Nawab Sir Saiyad Hassan AH Khan Baha- 
dur of Murshidabad, o.c. i.e. ... 1054 

Rai Kristo Das Pal Bahadur, c. i. e. ... 1055 

Rsija Rajendra Lala Mitra, c. i. e. ... 1058 

Nawab Abdul Latif Bahadur, c. i. e.' ... 1060 

The Revd. Dr. K. M. Banerjee, ... 106 1 

The Maharani Svarnamayi, c.i.E. ... 1062 

Dr. Mahendra Lai Sircar, c.i.e., m.d.,d.l. 1065 

Raja Kali Krishna Deb Bahadur. ... 1067 

Maharaja Sir Lachmesvar Sing Bahadur of 

Darbhanga, K. c. I. E. ... ... 106S 

Michael Madhu Sudan Dutt. ... 1069 

Rai Hara Chandra Ghose Bahadur. ... 107 1 


Babu Piari Chand Mitra. ... ... 1073 

Babu Kisori Chand Mitra. ... ... 1075 

Rai Bankim Chandra Chatter ji Bahadur, 

B.A., B.L., C. I. E. ... ... 1077 

Raja Satya Charan Ghosal Bahadur of 

Bhukailas .., ... ... 1078 

Raja Pratap Chandra Sing Bahadur ... 1079 
The Revd. Lai Behari De. ... ... 1080 

Raja Sir Sourindro Mohun Tagore, Kt., 
CLE. (Mus. Doc. Oxen) ... ... io8t 

Appendix III. Lists of the Chief Justices and 

Judges, the Members of the Board of 
Revenue, and the Secretaries to the 
Government OF Bengal'... ... 1084 

Appendix IV. List of the Members of the Bengal 

Legislative Council ... ... 1090 

Appendix V. Glossary ... ... ... 1095 

Appendix VI. Books and works referred to and 

quoted ... ... ... 1098 





Bart,, M.P., G.C.S.I., c.i.E., d.c.l., l.l.d., f.r.s. lo face Page 573 

THE HON'BLE SIR ASHLEY EDEN, k. c. s. i. ... 688 



^•l.Jii. I.. ••• ... ... f\j\J 

SIR STEUART COLVIN BAYLEY, k. r. s. i., c. i. k. 837 

SIR CHARLES ALFRED ELLIOTT, k. c. s. i. ... 886 

SIR ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, k. c. s. i. ... 971 


: SOUTH VIEW ... ... loai 


In Volume I. 

Preface, Page iv, nineteenth \\ne,/or * beast,' read least. 

Introduction, last PaLge^/or xviii, read xxviii. 

Page 21, last line /or * canno,' read cannot. 

„ 32, fifteenth line, /or ' mast,' read must. 

»» 35> twelvth line, /or * thed ' read the. 

„ 59, ninth line from bottom, y2?r * far' read for. 

„ 64, first line, /or 1886 read 1856. 

„ 66, last line, /or ^ might ' read might. 

„ 130, eighth line, /or * Jalpaipuri ' read Jalpaiguri. 

„ 213, ninth line, /or * or' read of. 

„ 216, tenth line, /or * hat ' read that. 

„ 224, last line, for ' rwith ' read with, 

„ 238, seventh line, /or * njustice ' read injustice. 

„ 246, paragraph 24, and elsewhere, y^r niz read nij. 

„ 255, eleventh line from bottom, y2?r ' recommendation ' read re- 

„ 256, fourth line, parat ^i-^/or * ther' read their. 
In Volume II. 
P.ige 630, fifteenth line, read * of ' after Government. 

„ 636, eighteenth Xva^/or ^enchanced' read enhanced. 

„ 636, eighth line from the bottom, y5?r ' raiyats ' read riots. 
647, sixteenth \\Xi€^/or * warter-supply ' read water-supply. 
757, ninth line from bottom, y2?r * nothig' read nothing. 
779, thirteenth line, for * joint ' recid Joint. 

809, twelvth line,y^r ' Govsrnment' read Government. 

810, nineteenth line,yi?r * bieng ' read being. I 
821, last line,/ir/ a comma after * Cockerel I, ' and a full stop 

after * c ' i 

851, thirteenth line, for ' paralell ' read parallel. 
869, eighteenth line, one ^ of should be omitted. 
963, last line, last word, for * areas ' read acres. 

I02I, third \\n^/or * aritcle' read article. j 

1053, fourth line,yi?r * tittle' read title. 
„ 1082, heading, y^r * Soundra ' read Sourindro. 




I'hoio^ra'.iaT Sun-CTOlMndialhBcfS,CiJ™rt(i,Jajma.- 

G.C S.I,C1.E..D.CL.L.LD.FR S. 


The Right Hon'ble Sir RICHARD TEMPLE, Barl., m.p.g.c.s i., 

• \tmXm1S*»y Um\^»XJ»^ l^il^sU*} 1> iKaS*} 


Ample materials would be available for a full account of Sir 
R. Temple's distinguished career previous to his time in Bengal if 
it were my intention to give complete lives of all the Lieutenant 
Governors. The bare enumeration of his appointments is a 
' record' list of services, which no other Civilian has equalled. One 
or two brief allusions to his previous career must suffice. His first 
important work was as Secretary to the Lawrences in the Panjab. It 
was said of him that- he had ' made the Panjab ' by drawing the 
attention of the public to that province by his well-known administra- 
tion reports : and he was giventhe credit, even by an ill-natured critic, 
of having conveiiled the Central Provinces from a Urra incognita 
into one of the best-governed and most prosperous provinces 
in India, ^nd a reviewer* of his book ' The Story of my Life * 
wrote : ' He now in his retirement looks back with pardonable pride 
On a career distinguished by success, justly attributable to zealj 
loyalty, and capacity for using the heads and hands of other men, 
a constant readiness to do good, and a singular absence of ill- 
nature or vindictive passion." The autobiography just mentioned 
renders it unnecessary for me to do more than mention the appoint- 
ments held by him before 1873-74. 

Richard Temple, of the Nash, Kempsey, near Worcester was 
bom on the 8th March 1826; educated under Dr. 

Previous cweer. 

Arnold at Rugby, and at Haileybury ; arrived in 
India 8th January 1847, &s writer on the Bengal establishment ; was 
an Assistant to the Commissioner of Revenue, Delhi Division, 1847 > 

*(MtMtUx RevUw, January 1807. 

• •• 

574 /BnOjUh' l^NO^KR THJE {.^BUTKNANt- 


transferred to the Agra Division 1848; Assistant Magistrate-Collector 
of Muttra ; in 1850 Assistant to the Commissioner of Revenue, Alla- 
habad Division ; Magistrate and Collector of Allahabad: in 1851, 
transferred to the Panjab as Assistant Commissioner in the Trans- 
Sutlej Territory ; in 1853, Settlement Officer in the Lahore Division ; 
and from July 1854 Secretary to the Chief Commissioner of the 
Panjab : went on furlough in 1856, rejoining Sir J. Lawrence at Delhi,, 
in 1858, when he resumed the Commissionership of Lahore. In 
i860, he was Head Commissioner of Currency and Chief Assistant 
to the Financial Members of Council, (Mr. James Wilson and Mr. 
Samuel Laing) ; Member of the Bengal Indigo Commission and 
of the Military Finance Commission, President of the Civil Finance 
Commission, Member of the Commission for police organisation 
in India, and deputed to Arracan, Pegu and Tenasserim to report 
on the formation of a Chief Commissionership of Burma : he was 
also deputed to Hyderabad and elsewhere on special financial 
d^ty. In 1862 he was appointed Chief Commissioner of the 
Central Provinces, (where he " initiated good Government,") 
and was made a C. S. I in r866 : in 1867 Resident at 
Hyderabad and K; C. S. I. : in 1868 Foreign Secretary to the 
Gpve/nment of India : Financial Member of Council from April 
•1868 to April 1874, and took pirt with Sir W. Mansfield in advocat- 
ing a legal tender gold currency for India. In January 1874, he 
was appointed by Lord Northbfook to superintend the relief opera- 
tions in the famine-stricken districts of Bengal. He became Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of Bengal on the 9th April 1874. I was his Private 
Secretary throughout his time, except for 3 months in which 
Surgeon-Major F. P. Staples officiated for me. 

The famine so dominated Sir R. Temple's movements and 
absorbed so much of his time during the first few 

TheBengid- " 

uuiftr Famine of months of his Lieuienant-Govemorship that an 

1878-74. "^ 

account of it must necessarily take the first place 
here. His connection with the famine relief operations has to some 
extent been indicated in Sir George Campbell's narrative in the 
preceding Chapter. As Financial Member of Council he had beeii 
in charge (under the Viceroy) of the business relating to the famine 
which came before the Government of India. On the 21st January 
1874 he was, with the concurrence of Sir George Campbell, 

SIR RlCttARb rKHPLE. ' '575 

associated* by Lord Northbrook with the Government of Bengal 
and deputed to visit the distressed districts, with full powers to direct 
the relief operations under the rules laid down by the Governments 
of India and Bengal, reporting his proceedings to the Lieutenant 
Governor. Mr. G. Hart, of the Financial Department, and I were 
deputed to accompany him. The physical labour which Sir Richard 
Temple then endured, travelling, discussing, framing estimates, 
writing Minutes, was enormous, and the position of delegate from 
the Viceroy to the Local Government required much tact and 
discretion. The knowledge of the country and the officers thus 
acquired proved of the greatest use subsequently, so that, when he 
succeeded to the sole command, as Lieutenant Governor, he had 
little or nothing to learn in these respects. 

On the 14th April, only a few days after assuming charge, he 
went up to Bihar again for famine inspections and conferences, and 
then for some months made his head quarters at the Karanchaura 
house, Monghyr, an excellent situation as a base of operations, bemg 
central, within easy reach of the worst localities, and removed from 
the distraction of the routine work of Government. When the 
rains commenced and the rivers had risen, Sir Richard moved about 
constantly in the Rhoias wherever his presence was required for 
famine work, or for other purposes, — such' as meeting Lord North- 
brook at Dacca. (The Government of India did not move to Simla 

.- 1 1 

* NolificcUion. — *' The accoun to which the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 
has commanicated to the Viceroy of the present condition of parts of Bihar, 
make it, in His Excellency's opinion, essential that some high officer should 
he present on the spot, with full power to direct and control the operations 
in connection with the relief of. scarcity and distress under the general 
instructions which have been issued hy the Government of India, and the 
Laeutenant-Govemor of Bengal. 

As it is impossible, under the existing circumstances that the Lieutenant- 
Governor should himself proceed to Bihar, the Viceroy has agreed to 
associate with His Honor, for the above purposes, the Hon'ble Sir Richard 
Temple, who will first visit Bihar, and afterwards other parte of the country 
where distress may exist, with full authority, to be delegated to him by the 
Government of Bengal, jto direct the relief operations. 

It has been arranged that the Lieutenant'Governor will give the necessary 
orders to all officera concerned. 

Sir Richard Temple will report his proceedings from time to time to tht 
Gbvemment of Bengal'.'* ; . t.. 


1111874). He haa given his own account of these months on the 

" I went on board the Rhotas on the 15th of June on 
the Granges within the limits of Bihar, lived in her for 3} 
months, that is, till the beginning of October, and disembarked 
from her with regret. She was a barge towed by a steamer 
the Sir William Peely named after the Naval Commander who 
did such good service in the war of the Mutinies; and she 

belonged to a class of vessels called ''flats.'' Ty^t Rhotas 

then a was barge with a large clear deck, at the end of which was a 
dining saloon. Below deck she had a series of cabins for the 
Lieutenant-Governor, his suite and guests. Steamer and barge 
together made up a floating and movable Government House. As 
the principal stations and towns are on the banks of the rivers, the 
Lieutenant-Governor thus steamed at a quick rate from place to 
place, 7 miles an hour against stream, and at a much quicker 
rate with it. Indeed when the Brahmaputra was in flood and the 
Rhotas was steaming full speed down stream, she would for several 
hours cover the same distance as a railway train. But she must 
always cast her anchor at sunset, and could hardly weigh it before 
sunrise. Thus, arriving at a stafion the Lieutenant-Governor would 
not only entertain, on board, the -European community of tne place, 
but also hold a ceremonial reception (** darhar '') for t|ie Native 
chiefs and gentry on the deck. Under several successive Lieutenant- 
Governors on this very deck Proclamations ha\e bepn read to the 
Natives, titles conferred, rewards declared, honors awarded." 

Sir R. Temple's health suffered somewhat from the grea^ 
strain and exposure of the hot weather ' and rains, but was rapidly 
restored by the climate of Darjeeling, where he wrote his final 
famine Minutes in October. These were 3 in number. The prin- 
cipal one was the general Report. The second was a record of the 
services of officers arranged under special categories. . The third 
acknowledged the services rendered by zamindars, landholders and 
other native gentlemen, as well as by European non-official gentle- 
men, indigo-planters, landholders and others. They were unusually 
full and gave general satisfaction. Throughout the whole of the 
year Mr. (now Sir) C. £. Bernard was the special Famine Secretary, 
and on his leaving Bengal, in February 1875, after 4 years* service 


iD^ the province, his ability, unwearying energy and fidelity were 
specially acknowledged by the Government of Bengal. Some para- 
graphs of the Report of the Famine Commission of 1878-80 com- 
piled from the official records, (including Sir R. Temple's final 
Minute), will, with some additions, present an adequate account of 
the action of Government from the beginning to the end of the 
operations. The condensed account of the famine above quoted 
was supplemented by the Famine Commission by a more detailed 
narrative. The following passages may be extracted from the 
" Brief History". 

Earliest Objective of the Local Government, — On the 22nd October, 
the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir G. Campbell, sent his first letter of 
warning to the Government, of India : in Bihar and North Bengal 
the rains, late in coming, had been so heavy as to do great injury 
to the hhadoi c^op, and they had stopped so prematurely that the 
winter rice was almost all lost, and there was great fear that the 
ground would be too dry to admit of the rahi being sown. In East 
and Central Bengal the crops would be poor, but not extremely so : 
in Orissa alone they were good. He asked that he might receive 
authority, (i) to commence relief-works at once, (2), to make such 
importations as are '' possible and not likely to be affected by pri- 
vate enterprise," ani (3) that exportation of rice from India to 
foreign countries might be stopped. With regarj to the manage- 
ment of relief-works. Sir G. CampbeH's view was that — " to render 
effectual aid to the people, it is of all things most necessary that 
work should be offered in good time, so that the existence of public 
works may be knoWn to the people at large, and those who stand 
in need of work may find their way to the work and be suitably 
provided fOr, before the greatest stress comes. All experience shows 
that work is wanted to avert starvation rather than to save people 
already half-starved and unfit for work, and that it takes time to 
draw to public works people who are not accustomed to labour for 
hire. In this view, iri'case of reasonable apprehension of scarcity, 
we can hardly begin too soon. * * * • There can be no surer test 
of the state of the country — no barometer, as it were, by which the 
condition of the people can be belter gauged— than the degree to 
which they seek employment on public works. As such works are 
found more and more to attract classes usually self-supporting, so 


we may judge that there is a want in the country ; that is, provided 
that this test is established in sufficient time. 

Principles of Relief prescribed by Supreme Government, -^Qn 
the 7th November the Government of India published a Resolution 
setting forth the principles on which it was proposed to administer 
measures of relief to the distressed. The request for the pro- 
ihibition of exportation was disallowed, but on the other 2 points 
the desired authority was given, and certain large works were men- 
tioned — thie Sone Canal, the Gandak embankment, and the Northern 
Bengal State Railway — as suitable works for the employment, of 
labour. ... .. ; 

Grain was to be purchased only for the food of the labourers 
•engaged on these works ; it was not meant to '' undertake the general 
purchase and distribution of grain throughout large tracts of 
country, or to regulate in any manner the prices of it in the 
market. The justification of the principle adopted was thus stated. 
Considerable bodies of men will be congregated, on 6c jnear 
the works at a distance from their homes, and often in localities, re- 
mote .from, the established markets. It will be necessary, therefore, 
that sufficient supplies of food be collected ; for. their sustenance. 
If the accumulation of such supplies be left to the ordinary course 
of commerce, special pressure will be put on the grain-trade in certain 
localities at the very time when all its resources are being taxed for 
general supply of the province or district,. And if the wages were 
•to be paid in cash to so large an aggregate of labourers, an extra- 
ordinary rise of prices would be created by the action of Govern- 
ment, thereby aggravating the crisis in districts already placed in 
critical circumstances, and so far counteracting the benefit which 
the works were intended to secure, namely, the mitigsction of the 
effect of the scarcity. 

Now in regard to those public works carried on under the 
orders either of the Supreme Government or of the Local Govern- 
ment, the State will be in the position of an employer of labour 
on an unusually large scale, and is justified in doing that which all 
other employers do, namely, selecting the mode of remunerating 
its workpeople most acceptable to them and most suitable to the 
surrounding circumstances. Such mode of remuneration will gener- 
ally be payment in kind, that is, in food-(;rain. For this particular 


purpose, then, sufficient supplies of grain will be purchased and laid 
in both by the Government of India and by the Local Government 
for the public works under their charge respectively. These supplies 
will be obtained in such a manner as to interfere as little as . 
possible with the trade in grain and with the supplies of food ordi*. 
narily available for consumption in the neighbourhood of the works,, 
or within the area of the distressed districts. ■ 

Advanees a.lso were to be given to landlords or tenants for 
public improvement, and at sowing time for seed grain, and to non- 
official gentlemen, zamindars, planters, traders, &c , who would 
undertake the provision and distribution of grain in localities where, 
from the difficulties of transport, the absence of traders or other 
local circumstances, food cannot during the period of scarcity be 
obtained by the people. • The railways were directed to lowe.r their 
rate of freight on food grains by half, fixing it at i /8 of a pie 
per maund (^li of a penny, or a little more than a farthing per ton) 
per mile, compensation being paid them for the difference. Emigrai- 
tipn was to be encouraged to the tea districts of A^sam and to British 
Burn\a. Should the distress become severe, a Central Relief Com- 
mittee would be formed in Calcutta and Local Relief Committees in 
the districts, to be assisted by Government. The Committees should 
organise a system of relief for those who may be threatened with 
death or disease for want of food, by the distribution to them of 
cash, grain, or cooked food, according to circumstances. Informa-. 
tion should be published periodically and at short intervals regarding 
t)ie state and prospects of the crops, the stock of food, the public 
works in progress, the relief operations, and other circumstances 
relating to the scarcity. 

Earliest instructions as to Relief Measures: — On the 17th 
November the Lieutenant-Governor issued a circular of instructions 
to his officers. He defined the famine tract as consisting of — 

(i) All 7 districts of the Patna Division. 

(2) All districts of the Bhagalpur Division except the Sonthal 

(3) The districts of Dinajpur, Rangpur, and Bogra, and part 
of Rajshahi, Malda and Murshidabad, in the Rajshahi 

In this area it was anticipated that the total outturn of food 


in the year would be only 3/8 of an average crop, unless copious 
ram should fall at an early date ; in other parts of Central Bengal 
the outturn was expected to be half the average. He then recapi- 
tulated the main heads of relief measures laid down by the Govern- 
ment of India; dividing them into 5 classes. The first contained 
the principles about private trade and advances to assist importation. 
The second >\'as relief-works. Besides the large schemes already 
mentioned, relief works were to be commenced wherever required, 
paying the ordinary wages of the country ; earthwork on roads was 
mentioned as the most suitalDle kind of work. Third, with regard to 
laying in supplies of grain to pay the labourers with on these works, 
the rules laid down were — (i) that Government officers must, as far 
as possible, operate through the trade ; (2) that they must get 
grain from a distance; (3) that they must only store grain where 
the local supply cannot be depended on to suffice for the wants of 
the labourers. But these are to be paid in cash as long as food is 
cheap : when prices come to something like famine rates (fall below, 
say, 10 seers per rupee), then food should be supplied by Govern- 
ment^. Every effort must be strained to get ready store-houses and 
provide transport for this grain. Fourthly, if events become un- 
favourable, it may be necessary to distribute charitable relief to 
the old, to children, to persons in reduced health, and to others 
who may be unable to do a full day*s work. To do this would be the 
charge of the Relief Committees : Government would give a grant 
equal to the amount they raised by private subscription and may 
when distress goes very far be still more liberal. Fifthly, loans would 
be given to municipalities and landlords with which to carry on 


public improvements of works beneficial to villages ; and in the case 
of petty village works which directly improve the water-supply, or 
are of direct advantage * to the general public. Government would 
pay one third of the cost. In conclusion, weekly reports were to 
be submitted by each district and the heads of the reports were 

TAe Period of Preparation. — During the month of December the 

(1) This was afterwards relaxed to some extent at the instance of the 
Government of India, especially as regards Barma '* cargo" rice, which 
was found to contain mach husk and was allowed to be sold cheaper than 
Bengal rice. 


fears regarding the winter rice crop in Bengal and Bihar were 
realised. The rahi crops however sprang up much better than had 
been expected, and in the end of January and beginning of February 
the lohg-wished-for rain fell in such abundance as to secure a good 
harvesti and considerably to contract the area and the degree of 
extreme distress. Inquiry was pushed on regarding the deficiency 
of supplies and the anticipations of famine ; information was collected 
as to the extent and population of the parts where it would 
be intense; and estimates were framed of the number of people likely 
to need relief and of the food-grain which would have to be placed 
in the country in order to provide relief. 

The great anxiety of the Government now was to throw as much 
grain and as early aa possible into the famine tract, so as to be 
beforehand with the distress when it should break out, to take 
advantage of the favourable weather before fodder and water became 
scarce ; and to be free to act with vigour in case the rabi crops 
should fail and the prospects of famine become more grievous. The 
slowness of the progress made in transporting the grain caused con- 
siderable anxiety. Out ol iZi lakhs oi maunds (or about 70,000 
tons) which it was proposed to place in the distressed tracts by the 
end of January, on the 3rd January only about 6 had been despatched 
by railway from Calcutta and the North- Western Provinces, and only 
3 or 4 lakhs had started from the railway stations for the interior, 
very little of which had arrived. 

At last in the end of January, the time having come when it was 
expected that distress would be actively and keenly felt. Sir R. 
Temple was sent to Bihar (he being then designated as successor in 
the Lieutenant-Governorship to Sir G. Campbell, whose health was 
so seriously affected that he was compelled to retire) to take charge 
of all relief organisations; his principal duty being to frame in 
communication with the local officers careful estimates of the 
number of persons in each district likely to come on relief, of the 
quantity of grain required for their food, and of the best meaiis of 
providing transport for it into the interior of the district. About the 
same time a Central Relief Committee was appointed and a public 
meeting held (4th February) ; instructions were issued for the 
guidance of the local Relief Committees, and gratuitous relief was 
started all over the famine tract. By this time the numbers on 


relief-works lUtd risen to 113,000; but hardly any gratuitous relief 
ivas given before February. 

Import and Transport Operations, — The early part of this middle 
peripd witnessed an immense increase of activity in the importation 
and .transport of food. During the whole of February Sir R, Temple 
was on tour in the famine tract, and, after visiting each district, he 
framed estimates, in communication with the local officers (though 
not always in agreement with them, for his estimates generally 
exceeded theirs) of the numbers likely to require relief in any form, 
whether in payment of wages, in gratuitously given food, in the shape 
of advances of grain to be repaid afterwards, or the sale of grain 
necessary. From Sir G. Campbell's first tentative estimate of 70,000 
tons, subsequently raised to 150,000, the amount required now 
mounted up to 404,000 tons, or, including reserves, 480,000 tons. To 
carry this quantity from up-country and from Calcutta to the railway 
stations of Bihar and Bengal taxed severely, but did not surpass, the 
resources of the Railway Company, but to transport it from the rail- 
way. stations to the interior of the counrry, and especially to the north 
of the Bihar and Bhagalpur Divisions, before the rains should set' in 
in June and make the roads impassable, was a Herculean task, which 
nothing but immense energy* and gigantic preparations could have 
surmounted. Water routes were used wherever it was possible, but 
the dryness of the season impeded navigation. Steam ferries were 
established to cross the grain over to the north of the Ganges, and 
steamers were bought or built in the country, and ordered from 
England; altogether 41 steamers and about 7,000 country boats and 
canoes were employed on the ferries and the water routes. A tempo- 
rary railway, which was constructed to Darbhanga, at the rate of one 
mile a day, and at a cost of /"s 30,000, (of which /"i 4 5,000, was 
ultimately charged as the excess cost due to hurried execution on 
account of the famine), was opened on April 17th, and it alone 
carried 31,213 tons of grain, and 8,031 of fodder, before it hacf to 
be taken up in consequence of the fioodsiin the second week of June. 
But the chief reliance had to be placed on country carts, and it was 
found necessary to abandon the system of hiring these direct from 
the cartowners, and to give contracts, at enormously enhanced rates, 
for the conveyance of large quantities. These contracts were mostly 
taken by companies of indigo-planters. For fear of these arrange* 


ments breaking d6wn, a reserve transport train was organised at 
Allahabad and sent down under the command of military officers^ 
and, in case an epidemic should break out among the cattle, a quan- 
tity of camels, mules, and ponies were purchased from all parts of 
Northern India. About 100,000 carts and 230,000 draught or pack 
animals were at work' in March. Altogether the casualties of the 
season amounted to 14,000 carts and 28,000 bullocks; a loss which 
might have seriously crippled the operations, had it not been for the 
Reserve Train, the whole of which was in effect brought into action 
as soon as it was got together and! arrived on the scene. Altogether 
34C,uoo tons were carried from the north bank of the Ganges to the 
interior, by the middle of June. 

Increase 0/ numbers in March. — Early in March there was a 
sudden rush of vast numbers on to the relief-works in the Darbhanga 
and Madhubani sub-divisions. About 400,000 persons came troop^ 
ing in from the villages around and settled down on certain lines of 
relief roads. Almost all were in destitution, most- were in very poor 
strength and co.n,dition, many were emaciated, and some were near 
starvation The rush was so sudden that the local officers were 
taken by surprise and for a time the crowds defied all discipline and 
management. Sir G. Campbell recorded in his Minute of March 
28th that up to that time there had been no such lack of food as had 
been dreaded.. Active private import was going on^ and food, though 
dear, had not reached extreme famine prices. The bazars were well 
supplied with grain, principally pulses, rice being scarce and dear. 
The time had not come for sales to the public, but he directed that 
the stores should be opened for the relief labourers, and rice sold 
them at 10 seers per rupee : it could not be sold cheaper (at 12 seers, 
as had been proposed) without deranging a still active private trade. 

Close of Sir G. CamphelVs tenure of Office.-^On the 8th April, 
Sir G. Campbell made over the office of Lieutenant Governor to 
Sir R. Temple. In the last letter written during his tenure of 
that post, dated April 6th, the following description of the pros- 
pects of the season is given. '* The present season so far promises 
very well. There has been a beneficial fall of rain in Northern 
Bengal, and if the ensuing months are showery the Lieutenant- 
Governor would hope that, after the provision which has been made 
for supplying the distressed districts and maintaining a reserve, the 


condition of the people in the greater part of Bengal Proper may 
not be greatly changed for the worse. 

*' In the parts of Bihar where the rabi harvest hs^s for some weeks 
given employment to the people, we must expect a large accession 
to the numbers for whom employment and relief provision must be 
made between the end of the rd^i' harvest and the rains. But if the 
unusual drought is followed by early rains, as is frequently the case 
that period will not be very Ipng ; and when good rains commence, 
we may expect that, in all districts not reduced in an extreme degree, 
the people will of their own accord betake themselves to agricultural 

April esiimafe of the requirements of relief, — In April, sufficient 
knowledge having been gained regarding the state of the country, 
Sir R. Temple framed the following estimate of the area of suffering 
and the amount of relief required : — 


Area in 


to require 

relief at 
the worst 



(in tons) 
of grain 

Very distressed 
tract ... 

Partly distressed 







Total ... 






This quantity was exclusive of the reserve which the Government 
of India desired to maintain at Calcutta, to meet possible contin- 
gencies : the total quantity including the reserve was 480,000 tons. 
The very distressed tract contained a large portion of the Districts 
of Saran, Champaran, Tirhut, Bhagalpur, Pumea, Dinajpur, Rangpur 
and Bogra : the partly distressed tract contained portions of Shaha- 
bad, Gaya, Monghyr, Sonthalia, Malda, Rajshahi, Pabna, Murshida- 
bad, Jalpaiguri, Bardwan, Birbhum, Bankura and Manbhum. 

Condition of the country in April, — The following passage shows 
Sir R. Temple's view of the condition and prospects of the country 
in the middle of April, shortly after he assumed the reins of govern- 


ment " There yras, on the whole, every reason to fear that the larger 
portion of the people in the worst tracts would be forced to look to 
the State for assistance, more or less until August. The official 
investigation had penetrated to every village. It was proved that 
the class of destitute poor and beggars, ordinarily supported by 
private charity, could no longer be sustained by these means, the 
donors of such alms being themselves in straits. It was found that 
the non-agricultural classes — ^weavers, workers in metal of all kinds, 
carpenters, artizans of all sorts, fishermen, menials and others- 
had nothing to eat, and|were wholly out of work ; that the extensive 
class next above these, namely, the field labourers, and the small 
cultivators who occupy some land and eke out their livelihood by 
working on the land of others, had eaten up their little stores and 
were bereft of employment. It was further apparent that destitution 
was gradually creeping over other classes, such as the cultivators 
generally (with the exception only of the occupancy tenure-holders) 
and such as the Brahmans, whose habits and notions unfitted them 
for active work. Although the distress had been successively checked 
in most places, the cases of starvation being very rare, yet in some 
places distress was discovered to have reach^ a critically dangerous 
degree, relief arriving only just in time to restore the emaciated, 
to resusciate the fainting^ and to avert considerable mortality." 

It was then decided that all gratuitous relijef should be given, and 
all relief wages paid, in grain, and that sales to the public might 
be much more generally authorised. 

Close of famine. — In Bihar the rains began early in June and 
fell in a very favourable manner, and the numbers on relief-works, 
which had reached their climax in the first half of June, fell rapidly 
in June and July as the people dispersed to agriculture. An un- 
usually large area was sown with the early crops, millets, &c., which 
ripen in August and yield the speediest return. The number on 
charitable relief, however, went on increasing, '^ because distress is 
extending over those of the lowest classes who cannot work, and 
upwards among those ordinarily above work, and because the whole 
class of professional beggars is thrown on the hands of Govern- 
ment." The men labouring on relief-works had also supported 
infirm dependents with their surplus wages, and when they dispersed 
to agriculture they left these people to be supported by Government, 


In August the numbers of these classes also began to diminish, 
and in September relief was almost at an end. In Lower Bengal, 
however, the case was slightly different, for there a second failure 
•f rain was threatened, none having fallen in August. But the 
destruction of the winter rice was averted by a timely downpour 
after the first week of September. During this time of suspense 
the numbers on relief mounted up rapidly, but they declined again 
when the rain fell and relief was administered with somewhat greater 
stringency. By the end of October, the special establishments and 
the large organisation collected together for the relief measures, 
were broken up ; all but the accountants and auditors who were still 
busy in settling and posting the accounts. 

Calculations as to numbers relieved at different times. — The 
number of persons who were receiving assistance from Government 
on the 15th June were thus calculated : — 

'' In order to make the estimate we have the following data to 
form a basis: — 

Total number of relief labourers ... 1770,732 

Total number pf persons on charitable 

relief ... ... ... 401,959 

Total grain expenditure, in maunds, of first 

half of June ... ... ... , 843,000 

Thus we have 2,172,691 persons receiving relief, quite irrespective 
of those who are living on advances or purchases of Government 
grain. The amount of Government grain disposed of during the 
fortnight would give three-fourths of a seer a day to 3,401900 
persons for a fort-night. But among the people who consumed 
Government grain were all the persons on charitable relief, and a 
large portion of the labourers. The district narratives 3how that, 
by the end of the first fortnight of June, the practice of paying all 
labourers in grain, though largely introduced, had hot been fully 
carried out. The Bhagalpur return is the one which best distinguishes 
between sales to the public and those to labourers; and that 
shows 98,228 maunds sold to the public, as against 25,628 maunds 
sold to the labourers. All the district narratives show that the. non- 
labouring public are the chief customers at our granaries. 

" It would therefore be probably within the truth to take one-half 


of the persons supt>orted by Government grain as being outside 
the relief labour and charitable relief lists. By this reckoning, the 
total numbers receiving assistance in one shape or other would be — 

Labourers and paupers as above ... 2 , 1 7 2 ,60 r 

One-half the consumers of- Government 
grain ... ... ... 1,700,950 

Total ... 3,873,641 
" The best estimate that we can now frame shows that the number 
at the worst period was 3,900,000 persons receiving assistance of 
some sort. 

" As stated at the time, this statement, though very large, may 
have been slightly under the truth, certainly not above it. It appar- 
ently agrees, as nearly as could be expected, with the estimated 
numbers given at the beginning of April. The general percentage 
of this number on the population affected was seen to be 26 
per cent in the most distressed districts and ii^ in those 
less distressed. The ratio of course varied considerably, being in 
many places less than that above stated, but in the worst tracts of 
North Bihar it stood as high as from 50 to 70 per cent. 

" But there wins a further mode whereby assistance was rendered 
by Government which could hardly be included in any particular 
statement presented at that ^time, namely, the cash advances made 
by Government to individuals, European planters, native traders, 
and others for the importation of grain ; and to landholders and 
zamindars for agricultural improvement. These advances of cash 
went on month by month, till they reached the sum of 46 lakHs of 
iiipees, or close upon half* a million pounds sterling. How many 
persons virtually derived their subsistence from this source it is 
impossible to say. But the sum was enough for feeding 500,000 
persons for 7 months, and that number ought at least to be 
added to the 3,900,000 given in the above statement. On the whole, 
then, nearly four and a half millions of souls must have been 
receiving assistance directly or indirectly from the State at the worst 
period. Under this view of the case, it must be admitted that the 
actual distress did exceed the estimate. But, in reference to the 
uncertainties of the case, the difference between the estimate and 
the probable actual is not great." 


A similar estimate was made for the numbers on relief on the 
15th August — 

Labourers on relief-works ... ... 426,738 

Persons in receipt of charitable relief ... 647,550 

Persons living on purchases of Government grain, 
being the number of people that would be 
supported for one month by the grain sold 
between the 15th July and 15th August, at the 
rate of | of a seer per day per head ... 1,282,464 

Persons living on advances of Government grain, 
being the number of people that would be 
supported for one month by the grain advanced 
between the 15th July and 15th August ... 1,697,936 

Add for persons still deriving support from ad- 
vances of money made to zamindars and other 
residents ... ... ... 200,000 

Total ... 4,249,688 

At the end of October about 150,000 were in receipt of Govern- 
ment assisance, and these were principally in the Burdwan Division. 

*' The only district north of the Ganges which' ^ows any appre- 
ciable number of such persons is Saran. This most fortunate 
decline has occurred from the middle of September onwards at a 
quicker rate than was anticipated when the estimates of distress were 
first formed. Those estimates provided for 520,000 persons needing 
assistance during October, and 316,000 in November. Experience 
on former occasions showed that considerable distress occurred in 
the autumn. It seemed proper to assume that the same thing would 
happen on this occasion. In many of the worst districts the autumn 
crops were known to be small in ordinary years. It was therefore 
feared that such tracts would not receive a new supply in sufficient 
quantity till December. As it has happened, however, the distress 
at this season has proved very slight in most districts, and has so far 
most agreeably disappointed expectation. The cause is to be found 
partly in the administration of relief which had been going on 
during the previous months, which maintained the people in fair 
condition during the crisis, and so facilitated their discharge towards 
the end, but chiefly in the abundant produce of the early autumn 



crops, which, as already described, had been sown over so much 
larger an area than in ordinary years." 

The cost incurred in the famine relief operations was computed 
by the Famine Commission of 1878-80 as follows. 

Siaiisiical Summary of Expenditure and Relief, — The following 
statement shows the cost of the famine according to the figures 
drawn up by Sir R. Temple on the 31st October 1874, and a 
columns have been added to compare therewith the estimates which 
were made at 2 intermediate periods. It is instructive to observe 
how the expenditure increased as the principles of relief relaxed 
and the measures adopted grew in liberality and breadth. The 
figures in the column for actuals are taken from the Budget State- 
ment of 1875-76, except those for advances recovered. The 
Budget Statement takes no notice of advances on either side of the 
account, but notes that about half a million further was expended 
out of Provincial or Local Funds. 




Sir R. 



of 4th 

of 18th 


(M far as 






Special establish- 



. Rs. 

ments ••• 





Promotion of pri- 

vate grain trade 

1 5,oo,ocx> 




Relief-works ... 





Relief-works ex- 

cluded from 

local or private 






Grants in aid of 

private works... 





Darbhanga State 







Government grain 






Government grain 






Government re- 

serve transport 






Charitable relief 





Advances to za- 

mindars^ tra- 

ders, &c. 






1 5,00,000 


• *• 


Total expenditure 







590 bingal undkr the libutinant-govkrnors. 




Sir R. 



of 4th 

of 18th 


(as far as 





Sales of grain to 



labourers and 

the public 



Sales of grain to 

Relief Commit- 



) i,5o,oo,ooo(| 




Sales of reserve 


c , 


grain in Calcutta 


Sales of surplus 

^ 37,8o,oDO 


grain in the in- 


t 30|00,ooo; 


/ v 


Recoveries of cash 

advances to tra- 

ders, samimiarsy 


• •• 




Recoveries o f 


price of grain 

advanced t o 





• .. 

Miscellaneous ... 


• .• 



Increased Rail- 

'way profits ... 

. «• 




Total receipts ••• 


; 3»52»5o*<»o 



Net expenditure 






At this cost 735,000 labourers were employed for 9 months : 
452,000 were gratuitously fed for 6 months; 118,000 tons were 
sold during a period of 7 months (April to October) ; and assum- 
ing that each person bought i^ lbs. a day or 315 lbs. during 
the 7 months, this quantity would supply 870,000 persons with 
food. If, again, a quarter of the labourers on relief-works were pur- 
chasers, there were about 700,000 of the public who benefited 
by the sale of Government grain at } of the cost price. The 
number who received advances of grain has been estimated at 
about 400,000 cultivators, or, including their families, 3,000,000 
souls ; and the number who benefited by the advances of cash to 
zamindarst tradersi &c., was roughly estimated at 500,000. The 
following, therefore, is the number who in one form or another 
received relief : — 


Number Period 

By relief-works 73 5,ooo 9 months. 

„ gratuitous relief 452,060 6 ,, 

„ sales of grain 700,000 7 ., 

,, advances of grain . . . 2,000,000 

„ „ cash 500,000 7 „ 

ToUl 4,387,000 

or about 35 per cent, of the population of the famine tract, as esti- 

The Government of India reviewed the Famine reports in a Reso- 
lution dated the i8th. February 1875 ^^^^ recorded their conclusions 
for the guidance of future famine administrators from the experience 
gained in 1874. It is hardly worthwhile to state their conclusions 
as, so far as they have .been superseded, they would be of compara- 
tively little interest, whereas those which have survived have been 
incorporated in the Famine Codes. But a few paragraphs may be 
quoted as containing statements of importance and of permanent 

4. On November the 7th. 1873, ^he Secretary of State was informed 
that "Her Majesty's Governmsnt might rely upon the Government of 
India using every available means, at whatever cost, to prevent, as far as 
they could, any loss of the lives of Her Majesty's subjects in consequence 
of the calamity which threatened Bengal." The result has shown that 
the resources of the country and the energy of those who were entrusted 
with the conduct of the relief operations have been sufficient, by the 
blessing of God, to secure success. 

5. The measures that have been taken have not only prevented the 
extensive mortality which must otherwise have occurred, but the general 
productive power of the country has not been allowed to deteriorate, 
and there is no reason to believe that any demoralization has followed 
from the relief operations. The strongest assurances of the gratitude of 
the people have been received, and it may confidently be expected that 
the assistance which has been given by the State during a time of 
calamity will be long remembered and appreciated, not only on the scene 
of the distress, but throughout the whole of Her Majesty's Indian 

6. The cost of the relief operations cannot as yet be accurately 
stated ; but it may safely be assumed that the total net cost will not 


exceed the sum of ;^6,5oo,ooo, which was the estimate given in the 
Budget for the current year. 

1 8. It will be seen from Sir Richard Temple's Minute that a balance 
of about 100,000 tons of rice remained after the relief operations had 
been concluded. To this extent the measures taken have been in excess 
of the requirements of the case. The responsibility for this excess rests 
entirely with the Government of India. Having to deal with so vast a 
population, whose support depended upon many uncertain contingencies, 
it would have been imprudent not to have been prepared to meet larger 
demands than those which were actually made upon the Government. If 
a substantial reserve had not been provided, the success of the relief 
operations would properly have been attributed rather to good fortune 
than to foresight. 

The experience of last year shows the necessity of such a reserve. In 
the beginning of September 1874 very great apprehensions were felt that 
the scarcity would be prolonged. This was only averted by a fall of rain 
at the very last moment when it could have been of use to allow the 
winter crops to be sown ; and, if the rain had not then fallen, the rice in 
reserve would have been urgently required. It must not be forgotten that 
on previous occasions it has occurred that a second year of drought has 
followed the first. 

19. The food-supplies of India, including British Burma, proved amply 
sufficient to meet the demand occasioned by the failure of the rice crop. 
Out of the total quantity of grain purchased by the Government, which 
amounted to 479,696 tons, only 54,300 tons were obtained from beyond 
British India. The rice exported from British Burma in the year 1874 
amounted to about 815,000 tons. Of this quantity about 290,000 tDns 
were sent tp Bengal, and about 470,000 tons to Europe, — the exports to 
Europe have been only 33,000 tons less than in the previous year. The 
import of food-grains by railway from the North-Western Provinces and 
the Panjab is calculated by Lieutenant- Colonel Taylor to have amounted 
to 289,000 tons. This large export from Upper India did not greatly 
affect prices in the producing districts. The total quantity of food-grain 
carried into the distressed districts can hardly have been mich less than 
1,000^000 tons. *♦*♦♦♦ 

30. The Government of. India desire, in conclusion, to convey to Sir 
Richard Temple their recognition of the distinguished services which he 
has rendered to the people of Bengal and Bihar during the time of 
difficulty through which the Province has passed. As a Member of the 
Council of the Governor-General, Sir Richard Temple was from the first 
intimately associated with the policy adopted by the Government of India 


in respect to the scarcity. He took a prominent part in carrying that 
policy into effect under Sir George Campbeirs administration : and, since 
he assumed the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal in April last, he 
has unremittinPy devoted himself to the personal direction and superin- 
tendence of the relief operations, which owe their complete success 
mainly to his exertions. 

The ' Times ' summing up the famine operations, wrote : '* The 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal may take all credit to himself for 
hard work, faithfully done, and so may district and famine officers, 
while to Lord Northbrook will belong the high honour of com- 
manding in one of the purest and noblest campaigns ever fought in 

The Famine Commission of 1878-80 recorded the fact that 
'' there was absolutely no mortality from starvation:" " at the outside 
not more than 22 deaths could be said to have even been accelerated 
by hunger. Another point which may be noticed with satisfaction 
is that there seems to have been no permanent evil effect left on the 
minds and habits of the people.'' At the same time they did not 
conceal their opinion that the means employed were disproportioned 
to the end : in other words, that the forecast of the famine was 
erroneous, its extent and degree overrated : and that the new 
principles adopted in giving relief were mistaken. 

Some years after, in 1882, Sir R. Temple wrote a brief account of 
this famine ('' Men and Events of my Time in India,'' pages 399- 
408) which sums up its whole history : — 

** On entering the Northern part of Bihar at the end of January 
1874, 1 was struck by the difficulties affecting the transport of grain 
in large quantities during the dry season, which had already begun 
and would become drier still as the' months rolled on. The traffic 
of the country was ordinarily carried by boats on the many navigable 
streams which flow from the Himalayas to join the Ganges ; but 
these streams were now almost devoid of water. Wheeled carriage 
for commercial purposes did^ not exist in any considerable quantity, 
and thus trade was for a time paralyzed. The only persons, possess- 
ing carts and draught bullocks in large numbers, were the European 
indigo planters who used these vehicles for their manufacturing work. 
Their business was so slack, partly by reason of the famine, that they 
could spare their carts, which were accordingly hired by tens of 


thousands, and the transport of the Government grain was so far 
secured. The organization of this enormoua amount of hired trans- 
port was placed under Colonel (now Sir Charles) Macgregor of the 
Quartermaster-Gene ral's department, a public servant of high capa- 
city and unsurpassed energy^ with a large staff of military officers. 
But, as the security of the transport was vital, it ^as decided to con- 
struct a temporary railway from the Ganges to one of the points 
where distress threatened most. This work was. under the vigorous 
supervision of Captain Stanton of the Engineers, constructed at the 
rate of a mile* a day. Further, a special transport train, consisting 
of carts, bullocks, mules and ponies, was obtained from northern 
India, and organized by Mr. Harry Rivett Carnac, of the Civil Service 
with much promptitude and ability. Thus the several hundred 
thousand tons of Government grain were, despite the burning 
heat and the dust- laden tracks, conveyed to the remote villages 
with absolute punctuality and without failure even in a single 

At this time special correspondents deputed by some of the 
London newspapers had begun to arrive upon the scene. First and 
foremost among these was Mr. Archibald Forbes, on the part of the 
Daily News, who spared no effort of mind or body to probe the 
reality of the distress and to understand the measures adopted for 
its relief. He pourtrayed with graphic force and* absolute fidelity, 
for the information of the English public, the mortal peril to which 
the people were exposed, and from which they could be rescued only 
by the utmost exertions of the Government. He discharged his 
professional duties with signal success, and also rendered much ser- 
vice to the general administration. 

The transport for the Government grain having been secured, my 
object was to observe personally the physical condition of the people. 
For this purpose the able-bodied employed on relief works, and the 
infirm receiving gratuitous relief, were mustered at convenient spots 
for inspection. Thus tens and hundred^ of thousands of poor people 
. at different times and places, passed under observation, whereby a 
check was imposed on idleness or imposture. Often too, when 

* Thia railway, from Champta ghat to Darbhanga, was commenced on the 
23rd Febrnary, and the first train ran through on the 17th April : 53 miles 
OQnstniote4 in 53 days. 


inarching through a village we would assemble all the men, women 
and children in it, so as to note any signs of emaciation or of dis- 
tress. In short, no pains were intermitted to ascertain from personal 
observation 111 particulars regarding the physical condition of the 

A system then was organized whereby, as the famine became 
worse, a visitation should be periodically, instituted from house to 
house in every village, so that no case of individual distress could 
possibly escape observation. The >¥hole country having been parcell- 
ed out into groups of villages, a relief centre and field-hospital were 
established in each group. 

I had been in constant communication with the Lieutenant- 
Governor, Sir George Campbell, in conjunction with whom I was 
working in Bihar, but I was now obliged to proceed on similar duty to 
northern Bengal. As the famine in Bihar was coming on apace, 
Campbell himself proceeded thither after my departure, despite his 
failing health, and supervised the details of the relief operations.* 

Having studied on the spot the condition of all the distressed 
districts, I transmitted to Campbell an estimate of the financial cost 
of the proposed relief operations on the assumption that the rains 
would fall propitiously in the coming season, also of the reserve 
stocks of grain to be provided in event of the rains again failing. 
He forwarded this to Lord Northbrook, who after a time required us 
both to revise it by the latest information. 

In April Sir George Campbell proceeded to England, and I 
received charge of the Government of Bengal. The first step was 
for me to submit to Lord Northbrook my final estimate of the cost 
of the relief operations, before I quitted my head-quarters and pro- 
ceeded to the field to personally superintend all the work. This 
estimate amounted in round numbers to 9 millions sterling in the 
gross, but then there were to be large recoveries consisting chiefly 
of the proceeds from the sale of Government grain to the people 
in the distressed districts, so that the net cost would be only 6^ 
millions. Even this amount was seriously large and I was thankful 
for the opportunity thus afforded of obtaining sanction for the esti- 
mate from the highest authority. I knew that, even if under Pro- 
vidence these great operations should be blessed with success and 
should fulfil the hums^ne purpose for which they were designed. 


critics would cavil at the cost and perhaps demand inquiry. In that 
case it would be a source of satisfaction to know that the expense 
had been thoroughly considered beforehand in each and all of its 
bearings. Afterwards, when this affair had ended with a success exceed- 
ing our most sanguine hopes, and exception was taken to the outlay, 
we congratulated ourselves on having followed the financial maxim 
of undertaking nothing without an estimate beforehand. In fact we 
managed to keep the ultimate expenditure just within the estimate. 

The month of May had now set in, and the famine bad thorough- 
ly declared itself. Employment, agricultural and other, was at a 
standstill, and there were no wages for the poor to earn. No sup- 
plies of grain were brought out and the corn markets were all closed. 
The Government, before opening its stores, waited to the latest safe 
day, in order to afford every possible chance to the trade. Its 
officers were however obliged to sell their grain in vast quantities, 
the prices being fixed at what were •regarded as famine rates. Still 
starvation stared the people in the face, unless the Government 
should give them employment and pay their wages in grain. Accord- 
ingly many hundred thousand persons were thus employed and paid ; 
their employment consisting chiefly of road making. Those who 
could not work were fed gratuitously, and search was made in every 
village, house to house, for the infirm and helpless, so that no deser\'- 
ing person should fail tQ receive succour. The strain in this contest 
for life or death became more and more intense as week after week 
rolled wearily on — ^as in certain battles it has been said that the struggle 
is even, and it remains to be seen which side has the stiffest back — till 
the middle of June, when the rain fell with a propitiousness beyond 
our hopes. A change for the better was felt at once, and tens of 
thousands of relief labourers went off to their fields. Still the famine 
must continue for some weeks till the new grain should begin to 
come in, and the majority of the poor people thus remained on our 
hands. Soon, too, the authorities found that those who had gone to 
till the fields had not the means of sustaining themselves when there, 
until the new harvest should begin to come in. So it was necessary 
to make large advances of grain to them on their engagement to 
pay for it after the next harvest. The value of the grain thus ad- 
vanced was duly recovered after the termination of the famine 
when plenty had returned. 


The rains, having begun well, became suspended for a time, 
and the worst fears for the future were resuscitated. At the eleventh 
hour they again descended favourably, before any irreparable harm 
had been done by their temporar}- suspension, and hereafter conti- 
nued propitiously till in the autumn a good harvest was reaped. 
Thus week after week the poor people who had been for several 
months on the hands of the Government were discharged, till by 
the middle of October few of them were left. 

The recipients of charitable relief from Government had been 
chiefly persons who in ordinary times subsist on the private 
charity of the village folk. The charity, which is thus dispensed 
in years of average prosperity, redounds to the honour of the Native 
community. But it is unavoidably suspended during famine, and 
the many thousands who depend on it must perish unless sustained 
by Government. These poor people had accordingly been thrown 
on the hands of the relief offices for several months. But now 
with returning plenty after the autumn harvest they were sent back 
in some hundred thousands to their villages, where they began once 
more to receive charitable support as formerly. 

The greater part of the grain procured by Government was 
used, but a considerable portion remained unused. This was the 
reserve which had been provided in event of the rains failing for 
the second time, a failure which, though at one time apparently 
imminent, had been mercifully averted. The reserve grain then 
had to be sold, and as by that time the new harvest was coming 
in abundantly, the sale proceeds proved to be but a small recovery 
as against the cost which had been incurred. 

Some angry criticism soon arose upon the fact of this grain thus 
having to be sold, as proving that, from some faults in the original 
calculations, there had been an excess provision. It was imme- 
diately shewn that there had been no error whatever, but that as a 
matter of deliberate policy a reserve had been proyided. This 
reserve, indeed, was not wanted owing to the happy course which 
events had taken. But if any objections were urged against the 
policy of adopting this essential precaution, in a case where the 
lives of millions of people where at stake, they were hardly 
deserving of refutation. 

The people, in the mass, behaved well throughout these critical 


trials. They proved themselves to be neither demoralised nor 
pauperized by the receipt of relief. Their zeal and anxiety never 
slackened for restoring the cultivation and making the most of even 
momentary opportunities which might offer. Patient courage, 
unflinching endurance, self-help in exremity, were the honourable 
characteristics of their general conduct. 

In most of these arduous operations for the relief of famine the 
chief executive officer was Mr. (now Sir Steuart) Bayley, the Com- 
missioner of Bihar, who admirably discharged his difficult duties, 
and next after him in honour and responsibility was Mr. C. T. 
Metcalfe. The Secretary to the Government 6i ■ Bengal in the 
Famine Department was Mr. C. E. Bernard (a nephew of John 
Lawrence) ; and from him I derived most valuable assistance. The 
local officers on whom the brunt of the work fell most heavily were 
Mr. A. P. MacDonnell and Mr. C. F. Magrath. All the officers 
mentioned above were members gf the Covenanted Civil Service. 

Many European officers of the Army were employed in this work 
with the utmost advantage. Native officers also were selected and 
placed at our disposal by the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Napier of 
Magdala, in order that they might render aid in the administration 
of relief. Their military discipline and training rendered them 
extraordinarily apt in this work. After the conclusion of the opera- 
tions, their good conduct was acknowledged publicly. 

It became my pleasant duty to prepare a long list of the' names 
of those non* official gentlemen, European and Native, landlords or 
residents of the distressed districts, who by charitable munificence 
or unrewarded labours had contributed essentially to the relief of 

Conspicuous service was rendered by tbe servants of the East 
India Railway Company ; indeed without that railway the Govern- 
ment grain could hardly have been conveyed to its destination in 
time ; a more signal instance could scarcely be afforded of the value 
of Railways to India. 

Thus the famine of 1874 was over; the deaths from starvation 
were so few compared to th^ many millions concerned that practi- 
cally there had been no loss of life. The health of the people had 
been sustained, agriculture was unimpaired, the sources of the 
country remained uninjured, even the revenues w^re nearly all 


realized. But there had been a large expenditure, which however 
had been exactly foreseen, and to which the Government had made 
up its mind beforehand. 

But when the immunity from loss of life is chronicled it mustbe 
thankfully remembered that there was no epidemic of cholera, 
small-pox, fever, or the like. Indeed throughout this trying time the 
public health was remarkably good. This is very unlike the experi- 
ence of other famines, when these fell diseases have come to aggra- 
vate the misery arising from want. Such freedom from collateral 
or concomitant calamity cannot be wholly explained by any known 
circumstances. <Dne fortunate cause however was this, that in Bihar 
the streams rising in the lower ranges of the Himalayas, while no 
longer navigable, had yet a good supply of drinking water. The 
fact, that in time of drought the water supply often becomes impure 
is one reason why cholera prevails usually during famine. 

Despite success which, owing to the mercy of Providence, had 
been unique in the history of Indian famines, and exceeded any 
hopes we ever dared to entertain, there emanated from some quarters 
an unaccountably bitter criticism, directed chiefly against the expense. 
By an irony of fate it-was actually argued that the danger of famine 
could not have been extremely urgent because it had been success- 
fully overcome. This argument was hardly worth considering in the 
face of the patent, indeed the notorious, facts of the time as known 
to a host of witnesses. It were bootless perhaps to divine the 
reasons of that hostility ; the criticism possibly arose from the dis- 
appointment felt by some traders who thought that if the Govern- 
ment had not interposed so effectually some further opportunities 
might have presented themselves to trade. In fact, however, the 
Government had offered every chance to trade, and had interfered 
only when, under the peculiar circumstances of the threatened or 
distressed country, the commercial resources were demonstrably 
insufficient or wholly impotent. It was observable also that, during 
this time, trade had been extraordinarily active in all the districts 
which it could reach, and where, but for it, there would have been 
scarcity. It was indeed most unfortunate that the drought visited in 
its worst form the densely peopled tracts which were far away from 
the nearest railway. These tracts depended for their communication 
upon the very water carriage which from the nature of the Qase ws^s 


cut off on this dire occasion. Thus it happened that the trade 
became powerless and Government was obliged to supply the need- 
ful. The lesson to be learnt therefrom was this, that such tracts 
must not be left without communication by rail. Had a railway 
existed in Bihar and northern Bengal in 1874, countless cares and 
labours . would have been avoided, and a large part of the relief 
expenditure saved. The lesson has indeed been learnt with effect, 
for those tracts of country now (1882) have their railways, which 
advantages, they doubtless owe to the famine of 1874. 

Afterwards in 1880, when the Indian Famine Commission was 
sitting, the evidence shewed that had railways existed there in 1874, 
offering due facilities to trade, perhaps half of the total expenditure 
incurred by Government on that occasion might. have been obviated. 

It may indeed be conceded to the critics that the relief given to 
the distressed was liberal and unstinted, that the object was to secure 
effectually the preservation of life, and that for the complete attain- 
ment of this object neither labour nor expense was spared. This 
was. the policy which, to the best of our understanding, we were 
ordered to pursue and which we unhesitatingly pursued. The object, 
then, was absolutely attained ; a contest with famine was undertaken 
and was won conclusively. Whether any lesser resistance to so dread 
an enemy as famine would have sufficed is doubtful ; and the doubts 
which teight be felt on this point will have been increased by subse- 
quent experience. Whatever may be the merits or demerits of 
particular measures it must be acknowledged that in some other 
instances large expenditure has been humanely allowed by the State 
and yet there has been loss of life. In this instance the money was 
liberally spent indeed, but then all the lives were saved. If there 
are to be great expenses, it is well to make sure of success for the 
sSike not only of the material results^ but also of the moral advan- 
tages. Not only were the lives of the people saved, but also their 
lasting thankfulness was earned. Such national gratitude must add 
fresh stability to the foundations of British rule. 

The manifestation of their gratitude by the people was conspicu- 
ous in various ways. The Native press, both English and vernacular, 
teemed with commendations of the policy prescribed by the Govern- 
ment and of the proceedings taken by its officers during the famine 
from first to last At every place I ever visited in the provinces 


under the Government of Bengal during the year of the famine, or 
in subsequent years, whether within or beyond the area which was 
then distressed — there were addresses presented which included, 
among many other things, strongly worded allusions to the measures 
adopted for averting the consequences of famine. Too much stress 
must not indeed be laid on such addresses, but, inasmuch as they 
contained remarlics on local topics, — which topics varied in each locality 
and consequently in each address — the fact of the happy prevention 
of famine being the one and only constant theme proved that it was 
uppermost in the popular thoughts. On my return to Calcutta after 
the conclusion of relief operations, the Native chiefs and gentry of 
Bihar presented a congratulatory address specifically alluding to each 
step which had been taken and every measure adopted. If it were 
supposed that Bihar Native gentlemen were naturally disposed to 
entertain and express favourable sentiments on the policy which 
Government had followed, still that supposition cannot apply to the 
British India Association which represents the zamindars or landlords 
of Bengal. These Bengali Native gentlemen are notoriously out- 
spoken and independent in their utterances, so much so that they 
have often been blamed for evincing an undue willingness to criticise 
the Government^and its officers. Yet they also presented an address 
declaring in the strongest and warmest terms their gratitude on 
behalf of the Natives, their belief in the necessity of what had been 
done and their appreciation of the manner in which it had been 

While the famine relief operations were in progress, Sir R. 

Temple's time was so much absorbed by them that 
he could do little in the direction of developing the 
province in other matters. It was his custom to record Minutes on 
every subject which, in his opinion, called for the personal attention 
of the Lieutenant-Governor. There lie before me 2 volumes con- 
taining 184 of these Minutes dated from the 26th of May 1874 to the 
loth of January 1877. Two of this number were the summaries pre- 
fixed to the Provincial Administration Reports of 1874-75 and 1875-76. 
Only 1 1 of these Minutes were recorded during the progress of the 
famine, and some of the 1 1 were connected with it. He began by 
taking up the threads of the administration as Sir G. Campbell 
left them, and called for the papers on a number of pending subjects. 


It has indeed been said that it was fortunate for Bengal that Sir 
G. Campbell was succeeded by another Lieutenant-Governor who, 
like him, had not served in the Lower Provinces, so that a fair 
chance was given to Sir G. Campbell's innovations to take root 
and come to maturity where they deserved to succeed, instead of 
their being ruthlessly cancelled as they might have been if the suc- 
cessor had been an officer of the old Bengal school. When a further 
period had elapsed, the innovations had shown their value, or the 
contrary, so that they had to be maintained or could more properly 
be set aside. From these volumes of Minutes then, as well as from 
the Annual Reports, it will he possible to give extracts which will 
present an adequate view of the main features of Sir R. Tepiple's 
work in Bengal* 

And Sir R. Temple himself (Men and Events &c. p. 440) has 
briefly enumerated the other chief official matters of his time as 
follows :— During these years the various things relating to the ad- 
ministration had been claiming attention — the progress of canals 
already under construction and the elaboration of new projects for 
irrigation — the preparation of plans for branch railways — the repair of 
embankments — the execution of drainage works — the designs for 
the reclamation of swamps — the assessment and levy of cesses al- 
ready authorized by law for roads and schools — the founding of new 
colleges, the opening of additional medical schools and the develop- 
ment of primary education — the legislation regarding the land, the 
partition of joint undivided estates, the registration of possessory 
titles, the determination of agrarian disputes — ^the extension of the 
forest laws to many hundred square miles of woods and jungle — ^the 
organization of the rural post— the improvement of the village police 
— the development of the statistical department — the constitution of 
the Municipality at the Capital on the basis of the elective franchise — 
the modification of the procedure in the department of civil justice — 
and the limitation of the license of appeal by providing new appel- 
late courts in the interior of the^ country with power of deciding 

By Act VIII (B. C.) of 1871 the Justices of the Peace for 
The dOeutta Calcutta had been enabled to purchase a plot of 

Market. ground near the site of the. old Dharmtolla Market, 

and carry on a market there themselves for the benefit of the rate- 


payers^ besides better supervising and regulating all the markets of 
Calcutta. It was however ascertained that, on the true construction of 
the Act of 1 87 1, th» powers of the Justices were limited to the 
establishment of a market, and did not extend to its management 
on behalf of the public. Doubts were raised as to the power of 
the Justices to spend money from their revenues for the purpose, and 
it was found that, in order to give the new market a fair chance of 
success, it would be necessary for the Justices to acquire the existing 
Dharmtolla market. To give them power to legally carry . on the 
business of the new market, and to indemnify the Chairman in 
respect of certain sums which he had expended with this object^ a 
brief Act was passed, II (B. C.) of 1874, conferring the requisite 
powers and authorizing the Justices to borrow a further. sum of 7 
lakhs of rupees to pay for the old Dharmtolla market. By the begin- 
ning of 1874 the southern block was completed and opened to 
the public. The whole subject created some temporary excitement. 
One lesson learnt from the famine of 1873-74 was the importance 

of .railway communication on the north of the 

RallwaTB in 

North BUiar and Ganges. The Government of India desired to be put 

elsewhere. ^ 

in possession as soon as possible of Sir R. Tem- 
ple's views, so that he was unable to wait for complete information : 
but with the personal knowledge that he had acquired by travelling 
over the country he was in a position to formulate his views in a 
Minute dated the 9th July 1874. He recommended 5 projects in 
the order of their importance as they appeared to him. 

1. A line leaving the Ganges at Hajipur opposite Patna, and 
passing through Tajpur and Darbhanga to Supaul (no miles) with a 
branch from Darbhanga to Sitamarhi (45 miles). 

2. A line crossing the Gandak from Hajipur, and proceeding 
through the district of Saran by Cbapra and Sewan to Mirpur {§0 

3. A line from the Ganges opposite Mokameh to Tajpur and 
Muzaifarpur, and thence through the district of Champaran to Moti- 
hari, Segowlie and Bettia (150 miles). 

It was roughly estimated that the cost of these lines would be 
about 2\ millions sterling. 

The principal point Sir R. Temple had in view was the con* 
nection of MuzafiEarpur and Darbhanga, the principal trade centres 


in Tirhut, with the Ganges. He pointed out that the best line of 
railway for Tirhut should start from Hajipur, on the other side of 
the Ganges opposite Patna. The question was whether this line 
should be taken via Taj pur to Darbhanga, or whether it should not 
run from Hajipur to Muzaffarpur, and thence to Darbhanga. The 
Government of India were not prepared to contemplate the construc- 
tion of 2 lines through Tirhut to the Ganges, and the relative 
advantages of the Mokameh line or the Hajipur line were therefore 
to be considered. 

The Government of India was also inclined to consider that it 
was premature to discuss any plans for the extension of railways 
beyond Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga, or for a line of railway from 
Hajipur through the district of Saran. The one point upon which^ 
orders were passed by the Supreme Government was ^the connection 
of Muzaffarpur and the Ganges at one point ; and surveys of the 
country with this object were sanctioned, and estimates were prepared 
for the best lines to connect Muzaffarpur with the river and the main 
line of the East Indian Railway. During the year 1875, ^^^ li^c to 
Darbhanga was made permanent and an extension from Samastipur 
to Muzaffarpur was sanctioned by the Government of India. This 
was only one of the several schemes whtch Sir R. Temple pro- 
posed as temporary measures to meet the scarcity that was expected 
at the end of the year. Those schemes were as follows : — 

I. From Darbhanga via Mudhapore to Gopal 

^Atf/ on the river Tiljuga 32 

II. From Samastipur on the Boor Gandak 

to Muzaffarpur 30 

III. From Muzaffarpur to a point close to Sahib- 

ganj near the old bank of the Gandak 25 

IV. From Darbhanga to Sitamarhi ^ 25 

Total ... 122 

The project of a light railway from Bankipur to Gaya also came 
under discussion. It was contemplated that Government might con- 
tribute a certain sum yearly to the payment of interest on capital if 
the District Road Fund Committees of Patna and Gaya would under- 


take to pay the remainder. The application for the project was 
refused by the Government of India on the ground that the traffic 
returns were not likely to be large enough by themselves to make the 
outlay remunerative. In the same year also Sir R. Temple was asked 
by the Government of India to give his opinion regarding possible 
lines of light branch railways in these provinces, the construction 
of which might be arranged by the help of local or provincial re« 
sources. He found that there were no lines to be recommended in 
eastern or south-western Bengal, or in Orissa; but in Central and 
Northern Bengal he suggested the following projects for considera- 
tion, as being branches to the trunk lines of railway already existing. 
In Central Bengal, — lines to be arranged by local or provincial 

resources : — 

From Kanaghat, on the Eastern Bengal Railway, vid 

Krishnagar and Murshidabad, to Bhagwangola on 

the Ganges ... ..• ... ••• ... 86 

Chakdaha, on the Eastern Bengal Railway, to Jessore ... 50 

Barrackpore to Barasat 8 

Sealdah (Calcutta) to Diamond Harbour ... ... 30 

Rajbari (near the Goalundo terminus of the Eastern 

Bengal Railway) to Faridpur r 19 

Total i 93 
Lines in Northern Bengal, proposed to be undertaken 

by the State Railway Department : — 

Rangpur to a point opposite Goalpara, in Assam 99 

Parbatipur, on the Northern Bengal State Railway, to 

Dinajpur ... ... ... ... ... ... 20 

To be arranged from local or provincial resources : — 
From Nator, on the Northern Bengal State Railway, via 

Rampur Boalia, to a point opposite Bhagwangola ... 50 
Siiltanpur, on the Northern Bengal State Railway, to 

JjUkI <1 ... *«* ... .1. ... ... ... 2\/ 

From Jalpaiguri, on the Northern Bengal State Railway, 

vH Kuch Bihar,. to meet extension towards Assam ... 55 

From Purnea to Karagola, on the Ganges, opposite 

Sahibganj, on the East India Railway .... ... 28 

Total ... 159 



A line from Raniganj (on the East India line) to Sambalpur to 
join the line projected eastwards from Nagpur, and so to produce 
a straight line of railway between Calcutta and Bombay, had come 
to be regarded as a matter of special interest. 

A line from Ranaghat in the direction of Murshidabad was 
actually commenced and some length of embankment thrown up, but 
the scheme was subsequently abandoned. Before Sir R. Temple 
left Bengal, he was able in November 1876 to traverse the line of 
the Northern Bengal Railway, then under construction and complete 
(with the exception of 4 bridges) from Sara to Jalpaiguri, and it was 
expected to be open to traffic in the following year. 

In connection with the same subject, that is, the importance 

of protecting the country from a recurrence of 
the troubles of 1866-67 and 1873-74, Sir R* 
Temple locally examined the question of constructing irrigation 
canals from the river Gandak. Of the 2 places where it was 
considered possible to make a weir or headwork across that river, 
namely Tribeni ghai and Butsura (near Bagaha) 34 miles lower 
down the river, the latter was selected as the most favourable. Sir 
R. Temple recommended the scheme in the following order, stating 
the probable cost so far as could be ascertained without complete 
estimates : — 

Miles. Cost. 

I. Weir on the Gandak at Butsura... £ 41 1,800 

IL High Level Canal from Butsura 

to the Bhagirathi ... 105^ £ 11524,315 

III. Extension from the Bhagirathi to 

the Kamla ... ... 50 £ 566,225 

IV. Canal from Butsura vid Sureya to 

Muzaffarpur ... ... 75 £ • 497,887 

V. Navigable branch from Muzaffar- 
pur to Hajipur ... 37 £ 187,831 

Total ... 267A £ 3,1880,58 

He wrote also — **Iii my judgment all these works are very 
desirable, if the Government of India can afford means for their 


execution ; and it is difficult to say that one part is more important 
than another. But if the whole cannot be taken in hand at once, and 
one part must be selected for precedence, then I distinctly recom- 
mend the High Level Canal with extension to the Kamla. From the 
foregoing abstract it will be seen that the length of this piece would 
amount to 155I miles of main canal, exclusive of distributaries, with a 
probable cost (including the Butsura weir and distributaries) of 
^"2 ,803,3 40. I ^^st ^^^ ^^is ^^^^ appear as moderate a proposition 
as could be made. In round numbers, it is proposed to irrigate all 
North and Norh-West Tirhut at a cost of 2 J millions. This seems 
to be a minimum recommendation, if anything is to be recommend- 
ed at all.'' At the same time a system of irrigation schemes in the 
Saran district was suggested. The project was to take off a supply 
of water from the proposed weir at Butsura, and turn it into certain 
old channels through the old branch of the Gandak. Much progress 
was made in working up these projects : Sir R. Temple, foreseeing 
that all the schemes put forward could not be accepted for want of 
money, specially recommended : — 
(i) A High Level Canal in North Champaran from 
Butsura on the Gandak, to the Kamla in North 
Tirhut, with weir and distributaries, probable 

cost ... ... ... ... ... .../" 2,500,000 

(2) A Railway from Hajipur, in South Tirhut, 
through Darbhanga, East Tirhut, to Supaul in North 
Bhagalpur ... ... ... ... /* 66o,ooc 

Total... £ 3,160,000 
In Orissa also Sir R. Temple recommended the extension 
and completion of the canal system at a total outlay of nearly 264 
lakhs of rupees, or of certain works to cost nearly 1 96 lakhs. The 
measures were expected to fairly protect the Cuttack district, and 
part of Balasore, in the event of famine ; at the saine time establish- 
ing through canal navigation between Cuttack and the Hooghly 
below Calcutta. . As the Government of India deferred the project 
of the weir across the Gandak at Butsura and the High Level Canal 
in Champaran, and the irrigation schemes put forward for North Bihar 
were definitely abandoned as being too expensive, Sir R. Temple 
continued to press the minor schemes of irrigation to utilize the 


existing numerous small rivers and drainage channels in North 
Champaran, and the minor projects of irrigation from the streams 
of North Tirhut and Saran. 

Surveys were sanctioned, to be undertaken with a view to propos- 
ing (i) inundation channels from the Gandak in Saran and 
Champaran in connection with the Gandak embankments, (2) the 
construction of minor irrigation works in Ramnagar and Madhubani, 
(3) further investigations of facilities for minor irrigation works in 
districts most exposed to future danger. When the winter rice 
harvest failed in 1875-76 in the Sitamarhi and Madhubani sub- 
divisions of North Tirhut, Sir R. Temple urged the commencement 
of earth work on the Bhagmati and Kamla projects. 

State emigration from the distressed tracts of Bengal to British 
Emigmtton Burma was undertaken in 1874, partly as a means 

"^™*' of alleviating the effects of the scarcity and partly 

to promote the cultivation of the waste lands in that province. The 
year was deemed peculiarly favourable for the experiment, not only 
by reason of the greater willingness on the part of the population 
to emigrate on account of the scarcity, but also because the transport 
of the emigrants could be readily arranged by the vessels employed 
in importing rice from Burma to Bengal : a Superintendent of State 
Emigration to Burma was appointed, and an allotment sanctioned 
towards the furtherance of the project. Favoiirable terms as to 
wages were guaranteed for 3 years to the emigrants. The total 
number of emigrants up'_to the close of November 1874 was 5,389 : 
a small number comparatively, but it was hoped that the experiment 
would prove advantageous to British Burma, where the demand for 
labour and colonists was yearly increasing. 

The subject of the drainage of the country was fully examined 
Drainage ^V Sir R. Temple, as some of his long Minutes 

schemes. show. He wrote in one of them : — " The drainage 

of land in Bengal, and the law relating thereto, next claim notice. 
The protection of cultivated or culturable lands from injury by 
water, and the control "of floods in the rainy season, have always 
been objects of solicitude to the Government and to the people in 
these provinces. In Bengal the embankments constructed in old 
times, and maintained for many years either by Government or 
under State control, cover a length of 1,176 miles» In Bihar the 


course of the Gandak for 130 miles presents a remarkable instance 
of embanking on both banks. In Orissa there are extensive em- 
bankments on the sides of the rivers Mahanadi and Brahmini. Of 
late years the inquiries which ensued upon the breaking out of the 
destructive fever in Burdwan caused attention to be further drawn 
to the advantages of draining and embanking, all which has resulted 
in the preparation of several schemes. 

By Act V (B. C.) of 1 871, it was laid down in regard to certain 
specified works in two districts — Burdwan and Hoogbly — that a moiety 
of the proprietors of the lands concerned might assent to the drain- 
age works, whereon the whole proprietary body would be obliged 
to combine to cause execution of the works, to obtain the necessary 
advance of money from Government, and to apportion among them- 
selves the liability for the recovery of the advance. In fact, however, 
two thirds of the proprietors assented, and the project (Dankuni) was 
accordingly executed. The works are now in successful operation ; 
swamps covering an area of 27 square miles, of which 10 square 
miles had never been cultivated, have been thoroughly drained and 
are under cultivation. 

This principle was carried still further in the Embankment Act 
(B. C.) VI of 1873, ^^^ provisions of which Act are so framed as to 
comprise drainage works of all sorts. By that Act power is given to 
the land revenue authorities of causing the execution, from Govern- * 
ment funds, of works necessary for the protection of lands from 
injury by water, and of recovering the cost from the landowners and 
tenureholders of the lands benefited or protected by the works. It 
would be preferable that the people should themselves come forward 
and ask the Government to advance the funds on the security of the 
lands to be benefited, and to cause the necessary works to be execut- 
ed. If the landholders generally of any neighbourhood should 
desire the execution, on these terms, of any projected drainage or 
embankment, and if the revenue authorities should agree in its expe- 
diency, it would not be in the power of any individual, or any 
minority among them, to effectually object in the present state of 

the law^. 

Again, drainage falls within the scope of the Land Improvement 
Act, XXVI of 1871, according to which any landlord or tenant may, 
on giving security, obtain from Government an advance of money 


for this purpose. The people, however, have but little availed them- 
selves of this provision. 

As already seen, one drainage project on the right bank of the 

'Hooghly (known as the Dankuni project) has been carried out with 

great advantage. It has been proposed that 3 similar projects 

(formed some time ago) on the right bank of the Hooghly, near the 

confluence of the Damodar, should be taken in hand. These are 


known as the Rajapur, the Amta, and the Howrah projects. I have 
ordered the project for the drainage in the Midnapore district to be 
proceeded with, a part of the cost being chargeable to Government, 
in proportion to the benefit accruing to the canals, and the 
remainder to the zamindari estates, in proportion to the benefits 
accruing to them. We hope also to be able to undertake a project 
near Calcutta (known as the Bulli project), whereby the^area of a 
large State property, about eight and a quarter square miles, may be 
rendered productive, instead of being, as it is now, not only 
valueless, but positively noxious. 

The drainage of land in Bengal is certainly one of those pro- 
blems nearly affecting the physical and material welfare of the 
people. Representations in various shapes are constantly made in 
respect to malarious swamps formed by the silting up of streams, 
the natural drainage of the country being stopped, old beds of 
* rivers becoming receptacles for stagnant water, hollows in the 
surface of the country being filled with drainage that cannot escape. 
In central Bengal, the tracts traversed by the rivers Bhagirathi, 
Jalangi, and Mathabhanga, are year by year subjected to destructive 
inundations. The official flood map shows the whole area oT these 
tracts as liable to submergence more or less at one time or other. 
These and other cognate circumstances must injure the health and 
strength of the Bengali population. And it is to be remembered 
that the numerous swamps which remain undrained, breeding fever, 
might not only be drained for the benefit of health, but might also 
be reclaimed for the spread of cultivation. In a province under 
permanent settlement, the Government can seldom undertake such 
work at its own charge. It can indeed advance funds to the owners 
on the security of the lands to be benefited, and it can give pro- 
fessional and engineering aid. It can also, in cases where the 
combined action of many proprietors is necessar}', compel the 


minority to contribute towards a scheme which the majority desire 
and the authorities approve. For all this ample provision has been 
made, and considerable results will hereupon accrue in course of 
time. But the active and universal co-operation of the classes 
Interested in the land is still wanting." 

The Government of India accepted the principles so strongly 
advocated by Sir R. Temple that drainage schemes, when 
there was no doubt as to their immediately remunerative character, 
should be fostered and extended by the advance of funds from 
Government, as was done in the case of the Dankuni project. 
Accordingly plans and estimates were prepared for the projects at 
Rajapur, Howrah and Amta in the Howrah district, and the Beel 
Bulli project ^ear Calcutta. The result of the Dankuni drainage 
works, which were finished In 1873-4, proved to be excellent both 
as regards cultivation and ^nitatton. Much complaint having been 
made to Sir R. Temple by Raja DIgambar Mitra and other 
well-informed native gentlemen regarding the disastrous fever 
frequently prevalent in the districts round Calcutta and aitributed 
by them to the obstruction caused to the natural drainage of the 
country by the construction of railways and roads, he appointed 
a special Committee to examine the localities specified and 
any other fever-stricken villages which the complainants might indi- 

The report of the Committee submitted to Sir Ashley Eden left 
matters exactly in the position where they were. The inquiry 
showed that the artificial obstructions to which the Raja referred 
had little connection with the outbreak of fever in those localities. 
On the other hand the Committee could not dispute the position 
that the saturation of the subsoil in the deltaic districts of Bengal 
was one chief cause of fever, or that this saturation might have 
been aggra\'ated of late years by both natural and artificial changes. 
But even, were the measures which Government ought to adopt 
clear and indisputable, the financial condition of the province pre- 
vented it from undertaking anything like a general system of district 
drainage at the cost of the public revenues. The attention Qf district 
officers and municipalities was directed to the laws which provided 
the means of improving the drainage of towns and village sites. 

The Burdwan fever, which had so long prevailed, necessarily 


came under Sir R. Temple's observation. When it was at its 
TbeBiirdwan height in 1 873 an opinion was expressed to the 
fever. effect that the prevalence of the disease was in part 

due to the physical depression of the people by reason of insuffi- 
ciency of food. An inquiry was ordered by the Government of 
India: the reports received did not support the theory. Sir R. 
Temple recorded his views as follows :-- 

" The BurdiNran fever, which is so painfully remembered, has 
for the most part ceased. After afflicting or desolating large tracts 
of country for several years, it seems to have worn itself out; and 
it has left us, after much scientific and professional inquiry, still 
ignorant of its causes. Nothing could exceed the zeal and devotion 
of the local authorities during these years in coping with the unseen 
visitant. There seems to have been nothing peculiar in the form 
of the disease. It was the ordinary f^ver of the country. The 
peculiarity consisted in its extent, severity, and persistency. The 
lower classes in that part of the country are more than ordinarily 
poor, but poverty could hardly have been the cause of the extraordi- 
nary prevalence of this fever ; for the victim^ were found in all 
classes — the affluent, the well-to-do, the workers, and the paupers. 
It is hard, too, to argue that hunger, or physical depression from 
want of food, could have been the causes ; for when the scarcity 
began in 1873, ^^^ fever, instead of becoming worse, became better, 
and further improved during 1874. No doubt the population in 
those localities is remarkably dense for the food-producing area ; 
but then the people have markets for their labour close at hand, and 
ample granaries filled with surplus produce of* other districts whence 
to buy food with their wages. Defects in drainage will naturally 
suggest themselves as causes, but then the fever prevailed in the high 
and dry lands as well as in the swampy tracts. If, however, defective 
drainage be an element in the causation, as I suspect it is, though 
there is not clear proof, then that will be advantageously affected in 
future by the several drainage schemes which have been set on 

Apart from such schemes and such general remedies as improving 
the condition of the peasantry by good laws, — irrigation projects, — vil- 
lage sanitation — Sir R. Temple could propose nothing that had not been 
thouq^ht of during the many years this fever had afflicted the country. 


The Forest Department was greatly developed in Bengal by Sir 

R. Temple. His policy was first declared in dealing 
Tbe8undart>uis With the Sundarbans. Revised rules for the 

and other areftii 

sale of waste lands had been issued in February 
1874, but, with the formation of the Chief Commissionership of 
Assam, the districts in which the chief transactions in waste 
lands occurred passed out of the Lieutenant-Governor's control. 
A question soon arose regarding leases of lands in the Sun- 
darbans, as the sale rules were found to be inoperative, the terms 
of sale being such as to prevent purchasers from coming for- 
ward. Sir R. Temple visited the Sundarbans, and examined the 
physical character and natural productions of this tract, and con- 
sidered its relation to the surrounding districts and to the country 
at large. He found himself unable to accept the view that it neces- 
sarily was, or should be, a public object to get the whole of the 
Sundarbans gradually reclaimed and brought under cultivation. In 
his opinion the public interest might be supposed to lie in the very 
opposite direction as regards a very large part of this tract. *' The 
Sundarbans include not only a mass of sundri trees of comparatively 
higher growth^ but also masses of trees and shrubs of lower growth. 
The former are used for carpentry and timber work ; the latter for 
fuel. The area of both is very considerable. The relation of the 
tract to the surrounding districts also was not to be lost sight of. The 
sundri forests supply wood for boat-building to the z^-Parganas, to 
Jessore, to Backergunge, to Noakhali, and to other districts, and also 
furnish wood for many purposes of domestic architecture.'' An ex- 
periment was also being tried for employing the sundri \Amhtx in the 
manufacture of railway sleepers. The other, or lower trees, supplied 
fire-wood and fuel to Calcutta and to many other towns. The needs 
could hardly be supplied otherwise than by the Sundarbans. Thus 
the country at large had the strongest interest in the Sun- 
darbans being preserved as a source of timber, wood, and fuel 
for the use of southern Bengal, so that reclamation, as such, 
was not Wanted there. In some parts of this tract the substitution of 
rice-fields or jungle might be desirable ; but in most parts of the tract 
the ground already bore produce which was more valuable to Bengal 
than rice. 

Sir R. Temple wished to restrict reclamation until it could 


be established by adequate inquiry whether the Sundarbans could 
meet these wants and still afford room for reclamation. It was 
admitted that in every tract some portions must be cleared in order 
to render the remainder accessible to man and available for his use. 
Whatever reclamation might be permitted or encouraged in the 
Sundarbans should, in Sir R. Temple's opinion, be arranged solely 
with the above view, and to this end the selection of patches of 
ground should be carefully made. 

Already much of the Sundarbans had been reclaimed, and Sir 
R. Temple thought that the time had come when the position 
should be reconsidered. Complaints were made to him in the 
Backergunge district that sundri logs of the best quality were more 
rarely seen in the market than formerly. There was not sufRcient 
security against the best kind of j«;i(/r/ trees being cut down in the 
same reckless and wasteful manner as that which \\'as known to have 
prevailed in many parts of India before the institution of the 
forest system. Holding these views, therefore, he considered that 
the public interests required that no new negotiations of any kind 
should be opened for disposing of unclaimed land in the Sun- 
darbans till it was decided by what rules Government could 
best maintain the principle that reclamation in this tract must 
be subordinate to forest conservation and he deputed the Con- 
ser\'ator of Forests (Dr. Schlich) to proceed to the spot and make 

The cessation of the famine enabled Sir R. Temple to devote 
more attention to the working of the Forest Department than 
he had previously been able to give to the subject, and his 
efforts for its improvement were effectively seconded by the Conser- 
vator and subordinate officers of the department. The result vfzs 
that, at the close of the year 1874-75, there were 5 forest divisions, 
Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Palamau, the Sundarbans, and Chittagong ; 
and 2 more in course of formation, vis,, Saranda and the Sonthal 
Parganas, Additions, amounting to 1,347 square miles, were made 
during the year to the reserved area, bringing up the total to 1,467 
square miles. Of these additions, 115 square miles were in Jalpai- 
guri, 885 square miles in the Sundarbans, and 347 square miles in 
Chittagong. Besides these, 151 square miles of forests in Palamau 
.were selected as reserves. Further progress was made in 1B75-76 in 


the formation of reserved State forests. Their area in square miles 

was thus tabulated : — 


At the beginning 


I during 

Total at the end 

mJ I V I9I\/I19« 




























Total ... 1,467 1,118 2,585 

Thus two new divisions —Palamau and Singbhum — were formed in 
the course of the year, and the reserved area was increased by 1,118 
square miles. These figures did not include the Shahabad and Son- 
thai Pflrganas reserves, which were gazetted after the year had closed. 

The area of the reserved forests which remained to Bengal in 
Kuch Bihar and Chittagong after the separation of Assam had been 
120 square miles. During Sir R. Temple's Lieutenant-Govern- 
norship the reserved forest area was thus increased to above 2,585 
square miles in 6 forest divisions. Five of these divisions were 
being worked at a good profit on the expenditure, and in future years 
a still larger surplus was confidently expected. But the immediate 
pecuniary returns were regarded as of small importance, compared 
with the permanent benefit w^hich thete provinces would derive from 
the judicious protection of their principal forest areas. The primary 
work of the department was to afford this protection, and thereby to 
ensure a continuous supply of timber and other forest produce, which 
would speedily be destroyed if the consumption of it were altogether 

Besides these great additions to the Government reserved forest 
area. Sir R. Temple concerned himself in the conservation of 
the forests in Sikhim which had come under his notice. He 
caused the Sikhim Darhar to be addressed, and when touring in that 
State personally communicated with ihe Sikhim authorities. He 
similarly initiated proposals for bringing some private forests in the 
Chota Nagpur province under Government management for the 
benefit of the proprietors, the object-being, not to make any profit 


for Government, but to preserve a sufficient number of trees for re- 
production in order that the timber supply might be permanently 

Apart from his forest policy Sir R. Temple aimed at de- 
Devoiopment of ^cloping the resources of the country by scien- 
thJcJSJ^Tro^h tific methods. He regarded the real need of the 
acionce. ^^y ^^ y^^ ^^^ gradual education of the rising genera- 

ration in all that relates to scientific agriculture, agricultural chemis- 
try and the like. '* It had been found necessary, " he wrote, " to close 
theseveral model farms which had been temporarily established in 
Bengal because |it was found that success could not be attained with- 
out scientific means and appliances much beyond any resources which 
we have at our command. The aim was to introduce new and 
foreign staples which may or may not prove suitable to this climate — 
a very difficult task, for the successful accomplishment of which the 
best talent procurable from Europe would be needed. But another 
object more immediately important seems to me to be this — to 
examine scientifically and botanically the physiological characteris- 
tics of all our principal indigenous staples, and the chemical 
properties of our soils, with a view to improving the fertility 
of our fields and the yield of our produce. In this, of 
course, the sciences of physiological botany and agricultural 
chemistry are concerned. Experiments in regard to these matters, 
in order to be at all conclusive, must be conducted and continuously 
watched by men of high scientific aquirements. With our limited 
resources this can be done only in a few selected areas. The lands 
belonging to the abolished Stud department at Pusa, in Tirhut, and 
a part of the large area belonging to the Botanic Gardens at 
Calcutta, are suitable for such a purpose, and in each case some 
trained scientific officers could be employed." 

The Pusa estate was retained in the hands of Government for 
the undertaking of experiments in the raising and curing of tobacco, 
and possibly also for the establishment of an Agricultural college 
for Bihar. The latter scheme was in abeyance, as an Industrial 
school had been opened at Patna. In the same spirit he sanctioned 
expenditure for the improvement of 'the Royal Botanic Garden at 
Sibpur, Howrah, and for the formation of a Botanic Garden at 
Rangarun near Darjeeling : the intention was to have trees and 


plants suitable to the Eastern Himalayas cultivated there for the 
advancement of practical science and for the public benefit. The 
soil and climate of Rangarun being found to be unsuited for such 
a garden, the project was abandoned. In its place a branch Botanic 
Garden was established at Darjeeling, where a good site was secured 
by Sir A. Eden through the liberality of a private gentleman (Mr. 
W. Lloyd) and where many useful experiments could be undertaken, 
more especially in connection with the proposal of the Home 
Government to grow in India as many as possible of the drugs used 
in medicine and imported from England at great expense. Similarly, 
in support of systematic botany, Sir R. Temple encouraged the 
collection of specimens for the Herbarium at the Botanic Garden, 
by exchanges with other institutions and visits to other parts of India 
at the same time he indicated the direction which inquiries and ex- 
periments in the physiological branch of botany should take. The 
experiments which had been instituted for the purpose of discovering 
some preparation of the medical alkaloids of cinchona bark were 
also pressed on, with the object of substituting a cheap febrifuge 
for the expensive quinine alone available previously. The cinchona 
plantations near Darjeeling were extended and it was at fir^t 
intended that the bark should be sent to Calcutta for manufacture, 
but subsequently a factory was erected at the plantations. In 
all these matters Sir R. Temple had the invaluable aid of 
Dr. King, Superintendent of the Botanic Garden. When 
he, (then Sir George King, k. c. i. e.) retired from the public 
service in March 1898, the excellent work he, " one of its most dis- 
tinguished and valued servants," had done for Bengal and India 
was highly appreciated by Government in a farewell notice. ** Sir 
G. King's labours in the fields of morphological and systematic 
boUny have greatly extended our knowledge of tbe flora of India 
and the Malay Archipelago, and have established his reputation as a 
botanist throughout the scientific world. Nor was he less successful 
as a practical administrator. The striking improvements that have 
been effected during the past 25 years in the BoUnic Garden at 
Sibpur are due to his business capacity and his talent for landscape 
gardening. By developing the Sikhim cinchona plantations and 
introducing the manufacture of quinine by a cheap process he render- 
ed it possible to introduce and extend throughout the province and in 


Other parts of India the system of selling quinine by the dose, and 
thus placed within the reach of the poorest peasant a remedy for the 
malarial fever that prevails in so many districts." 

The Botanic Garden at Sibpur, Howrah, opposite Calcutta, had 
Tho BoUnic Suffered greatly from the destruction of its large 

Gardon. t^ccs in the cyclones of 1864 and 1867. Sir R. 

Temple sanctioned a very liberal grant towards the improvement of 
the garden, to be expended in adding to the number of plant houses; 
in levelling and turfing the eastern portion of the garden ; in laying 
out and paving some of the new roads, of which the earthwork had 
been previously done : in removing the labourers* huts to the 
northern part of the garden, and in improving the condition of the 
several pieces of water. At the same time he thought it would be a 
mistake to treat the garden only or principally as a pleasure-ground, 
or a mere ornamental specimen of landscape gardening. The main- 
tenance of the garden as a centre of Botanic Science in Bengal was 
the first object to be carried out ; and with this view he contemplated 
increasing the number of plant-houses, and if possible allowing the 
Superintendent the temporary assistance of a Botanic collector, who 
might be deputed to localities in the interior of the country to collect 
plants of scientific interest. Special attention was to be paid at the 
garden to the culture of herbaceous plants in the conservatories, 
and to the collection of orchids and flowering plants. Sir R. 
Temple thought the Botanic Garden should be and might be made, 
not only a place of economic value and scientific importance, but 
also an ornament in the suburbs of Calcutta. 

Sir R. Temple also did something for the' science of Zoology, 
loirioai though more for the amusement of the public. 
Garden of Aiipore. by the establishment of the Zoological Garden 
at Calcutta. This has sometimes been spoken of as one of the most 
enduring results of his Lieutenant-Governorship. He wrote thus in 
September 1875 • — 

'* It is not necessary to set forth in any detail the reasons which 
render it desirable to establish a Zoological Garden at Calcutta, the 
capital city of Bengal. There are great advantages for maintaining 
such an institution in Bengal, as very many varieties of animals are 
procurable readily and inexpensively. The natives of Bengal have 
a taste and aptitude for natural history^ the teaching of which science 


is manifestly facilitated by the display of living specimens. A per- 
manent exhibition of this sort will have, therefore, a good educa- 
tional effect. 

'' A particular difficulty, however, has alwiays been felt in respect 
to the selection of a site, for which a considerable area of ground is 
required, in a situation, |on the one hand, not so near to the populous 
part of the city as to cause inconvenience, on the other hand, suffi- 
ciently near to afford due facility for popular resort. 

" In order to select the best available site, I appointed a Commit- 
tee and their attention was drawn to the several situations from which 
apparently a selection might be made. After considering all the 
alternative sites, they chose the site which lies to the left bank of 
Tolly's naia close to the Zeerut Bridge, In this choice I fully 
concur, after having carefully examined the spot in reference to the 
special purpose of a Zoological Garden. From this point of view, 
indeed, the ground seems to me to possess a remarkable combination 
of advantages, as regards accessibility, water-supply, shade from 
trees, and other necessaries. 

'' Further, it happens that this ground is at present occupied by 
a large village which is in a very insanitary condition, and in which 
sanitation after long trial is pronounced to be extremely difficult. 
On sanitary and municipal grounds it had been decided to clear 
this locality on an early opportunity, and to use the land for some 
public purpose. Afterwards the project of a Zoological Garden 
presented itself as a most fitting object. Irrespectively of this 
project, however, the clearance of this ground had long been desir- 
ed as constituting a considerable public improvement. 

•' Thereupon orders were given to take up the land for public 
purposes, with the award of compensation under the law. 

" Complete and general plans and estimates will be deliberately 
prepared for the whole garden, on the understanding that the work 
must be undertaken in the simplest and most economical manner, 
and must be designed so that it can be gradually executed, piece by 
piece, according as funds shall be available. 

'' It is probable that in the first instance we shall be able to lay 
out only a part of the grounds, and to erect only a few cheap aud 
temporary structures for the reception of the animals. I will sanction 
an amount of Rs. 5000 for this immediate purpose^ For this a 


special estimate should be taken in hand under the] direction of the 
Chief Engineer. 

" The present time is specially suitable for opening the garden, 
inasmuch as we shalLhave a handsome collection to begin with by 
reason of the munificence of Mr. Schwendler, who has been so good 
as to place his numerous and interesting specimens at the disposal of 
the Government of Bengal, thereby conferring a benefit on the public 
which will, I am sure, deserve and receive general appreciation. We 
hope also to obtain specimens from other quarters and to add to the 
collection from time to time. 

" If, as I hope, we shall succeed in opening the garden by an 
early date, there is hope that some support may be received from the 
public in the shape of subscriptions or donations. Admission fees will 
hereafter be charged, and if the visitors, European and Native, shall 
be as numerous as we hope, the moneys thus received will -help in 
defraying the cost of maintaining the institution/' 

Subsequently a Committee of management was appointed, under 
the Commissioner of the Presidency Division, assisted by selected 
officials ; large subscriptions were obtained from the native nobility 
and gentry, and Europeans ; and the garden was sufficiently advanced 
by December 1875 ^o admit of H. R. H. the Prince of Wales being 
asked to inaugurate it on the occasion of his visit to Calcutta. Sir 
Ashley Eden recorded that ** these gardens have been most successful. 
A foul insanitary native village has been replaced by a much appre- 
ciated place of public amusement and instruction.'' 

The transfer ot certain districts from Bengal to the new Chief 

Commissionership of Assam rendered it necessary 


of certain Com- to readjust scvcral of the Civil Divisions of Bengal. 


Sir R. Temple accordingly carried out the following 
changes. The district of Tippera was transferred from the 
Chittagong to the Dacca Division: the Chittagong Commissioner 
was reduced to the rank and salary of a Non-Regulation Commis- 
sionership, with powers as a Judge : the Kuch Bihar Division was 
abolished, and its remaining districts placed in the Rajshahi Division : 
Murshidabad was transferred from the latter to the Presidency 
Division. About the same time the district of Tirhut, with 4^ 
millions of inhabitants, was divided nearly equally into the 2 districts 
of Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga. In 1880 the former status of the 


Commissioner oC Chittagongf was revived and a separate Judge was 
reappointed. Tippera was also restored to the Division. 

The violent cyclone which occurred on 1 5th- 1 6th October 1874 

cydone of isth- Selected the Burdwan Division as one of the princi- 

16th October 1874. ^^^ scenes of its devastation. • It seems to have 

been formed in the Bay of Bengal ; it raged from noon to midnight 
of the 15th in the north of Balasore, desolating the country : a storm- 
wave came ashore not far from Contai, on the Midnapore coast, and 
the storm travelled with the usual rotatory motion along a course 
from about S. W. to N. £. across the district of Midnapore with a 
diameter of about 20 miles, so that the whole country coming under 
its influence was wrecked, its intensity far exceeding that of the 
cyclone of 1864. The station of Midnapore was very severely injur- 
ed ; the loss of life in the to^n was great, and in the whole district 
amounted to 3,049, while 17,500 cattle perished. From Midnapore 
the storm passed over Ghatal and Jahanabad to the station of 
Burdwan, where it raged with great violence and committed an 
amount of destruction among the trees and houses which was very 
alarming, but by no means equal to the injury done at Midnapore. The 
Church tower was blown down at Burdwan, and the down-passenger 
railway-train was blown over near the Khana Junction. The 
Burdwan district suffered severely: more than 21,000 houses were 
destroyed. In the Hooghly district 9 deaths were reported, 29 from 
Burdwan, 27 in the Murshidabad district, 7 in Nadia, 4 in Rajshahi. 
The effects of the cyclone were also felt to a slight degree in 
the districts of Bankura and Birbhum. At the stjition of Suri, in 
2 or 3 places, isolated groups of trees were attacked and blown 
down, as if they had come under the effects of a cannonade, whilst 
other groups of trees them were uninjured. The rainfall was 
extraordinary : namely, 10 inches in Midnapore, 16 at Murshidabad ; 
at Burdwan 74 3 ; during the storm, at Berhampore 6, and at Rangpur 
7. The cyclone was at its highest in the Murshidabad district 
between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the i6th, crossed the Ganges, and spent 
itself in the Rajshahi district. A large number of boats, with their 
cargoes, were more or less injured on the river Hooghly. While 
3392 persons were reported to have been killed on land the actual 
number of deaths was probably far more numerous. The Calcutta 
Central Committee sent a iakA of rupees for the relief of the sufferers, 


The construction of the Calcutta-Howrah floating bridge over 
The Calcutta, the Hooghly was completed in 1 874 under the super- 
dge- vision of Mr. (Sir) Bradford* Leslie, c.k. (k.c.i.e.). 
An unfortunate accident, by which 2 sections of the bridge were 
destroyed, occurred on the 20th March 1874. The steamer Egtria 
broke from her moorings in the river, and came into collision with 
the bridge, damaging and sinking 3 pontoons and completely 
destroying 200 feet of the superstructure of the. bridge, especially 
the main truss-girders, which were twisted and torn to pieces. The 
sunken pontoons were recovered ; but a good deal of expenditure 
was incurred in clearing the wreck, and great delay was caused. 
Altogether the cost of repairing the damages caused by this accident 
was estimated to have been over Rs. 80,000. Had not this accident 
happened, and much valuable time been lost owing to materials 
not being supplied within contract dates, the bridge would have 
been completed between ist January 1873 and June 1874. It was, 
however, opened for traffic on the 17th of October, and after that 
date proved to be a work of great utility, some 40,000 or 50,000 
foot passengers crossing it daily. It was described at the time as 
a structure of much novelty and originality in its design. Its length 
was stated to be 1528 feet between abutments, and its cost to have 
amounted to about £220,000. The Port Commissioners accepted 
the duty of collecting the tolls and maintaining the bridge in repairs. 
Sir R. Temple wrote of it : — 

"I am advised that the bridge is very strong, and probably 
strong enough to stand even a severe pressure from cyclones and 
storm-waves. Its strength, indeed, has been calculated and fixed 
with this view. I apprehend, however, that a guarantee cannot be 
absolutely afforded as to the bridge withstanding the utmost pressure 
that might be reasonably conceived as arising from such physical 

*'But if, on the occurrence of such a cyclone and storm-wave, 
or from the force of an extraordinary tidal wave, the ships in the 
Port were to break away from their moorings and to be driven against 
the bridge, the structure must give way. And although a portion 
of the materials might be saved and be put together again, the 
temporary destruction of this fine bridge would be added to the 
list of casualties which must occur on such a grave occasion.'' 


He urged therefore that every precaution should be taken in 
strengthening the moorings and the ships' chains. After some 
years the lev}' of tolls on the bridge was stopped. 

Mention has previously been made of the inception of the 
Gasetteer of Gazetteer and Statistical Account of Bengal by 
'^*^- Sir W. W. Hunter. Late in the year 1874, the 

Government of India inquired into the present condition of the 
work and the Lieutenant-Governor's views as to the future conduct 
of the operations. Seventeen districts had already been printed off 
in 6 volumes and 30 districts remained to be completed. To 
expedite the progress of the work, Sir R. Temple arranged that 
5 junior Civil Servants should be appointed as Assistants to Sir 
W. W. Hunter in the Bengal branch of his work for a period of 
15 months from January 1875 to April 1876. Several of the districts 
were allotted to each officer, the remaining number, with the super- 
vision and responsibility for the whole, being retained in the hands 
of Sir W. W, Hunter. He was to direct the conduct of the work, 
receive and pass the manuscript, and be responsible for its final form, 
literar}' execution, and the whole technical details connected with 
printing and publication. By these means, local knowledge and 
practical efficiency were combined with uniformity of execution, and 
thei work was finished in the shortest time compatible with its 
satisfactory execution. 

The work was to be completed in England within 23 months, 
and it was wholly in type within the time, in 20 volumes. The 
thanks of the Government of Bengal were offered as emphati- 
cally due to Sir W. W. Hunter for the vigour and energy with 
which he accomplished the collection of such diverse and varied 
information, and for the ability and literary skill uniformly dis- 
played in dealing with the materials supplied to him from 
many quarters. The Statistical Account of Bengal has always 
been regarded as a standard work of reference, redounding to 
the credit and reputation of its distinguished author. The statis- 
tics have necessarily been superseded in many respects by more recent 

Early in 1875, Sir R. Temple stated his general views on 

Pri Bduca- ^^^ subjcct of Primary Education, in which term he 

**«"• included the village schools designated depart- 


mentally the **E. Schools," and the village schoolmasters styled 
locally as ^' gurumahashays ", *' abadhans ", and other names. He 
entirely shared the views of his predecessors regarding the extreme 
importance of fostering this part of the national education. During 
his time the impulse given by Sir G. Campbell to primary instruc- 
tion in Bengal was maintained strenuously, yet steadily. He 
thought that the local management of primary schools by the 
district authorities was essential to their success, and preferable to 
their more symmetrical control by the Education department. He 
wrote as follows — '' Our aim has been not only to augment the 
quantity of this instruction in vast fields as yet imperfectly occupied, 
but also to improve its quality without making it too high for the 
purpose in view. At the outset large numbers of pupils in old village 
schools were brought under Government inspection, and appeared 
for the first time in the public returns. Hence it was remarked by 
some critics that the change was more apparent than real. Neverthe- 
less there was a reality from the first, which, if unavoidably weak at 
the very commencement, is becoming stronger year by year. The 
inspecting machinery is gradually organised more and more, and 
the continuance of State aid is made with increasing strictness 
conditional upon the results of the inspection. The present curri- 
culum, reading without any, even the simplest, book, rude writing, 
and rudimentary arithmetic, is the lowest possible. Even this is a 
gain to many classes of the people. Even though all the poor and 
humble who are now learning by this lowest standard were to be 
advanced to a somewhat higher standard (as I hope indeed they may 
be), yet that lowest standard should be continued for the sake of 
scholars poorer and humbler still. The analogy of a constantly 
widening circle seems to be applicable to this case. That which is 
now the outer circumference, represented by the lowest standard, will 
soon be occupied by something better ; then the lowest standard 
will be pushed out to an additional circumference, embracing more 
thousands of scholars ; that circumference will hereafter yield to a 
better standard ; once more the lowest standard will, be moved 
onwards to a new circumference, until at last the circle of education 
comprises the entire mass of the poorest classes. 

With a view to enforcing some improvement in ttie curriculum 
of some at least of the primary schools, I have ordered the standard 


of the examination for the primary schofarships to be raised to the 
following points : — 

(i) Writing the vernacular of the district and reading it in 
printed books as well as in manuscript ; 

(2) Arithmetic up to the first 4 rules, simple and compound ; 

(3) Bazar and zamindari accounts, and simple mensuration; 
it is to be remembered that the primary instruction is entirely in the 

By the end of 1875-6 there were 15,960 schools (with 495,585 
pupils) aided and inspected under Sir G. Campbell's scheme, and 
of this number 376 schools were added during that year. 

While mindful of the wants of Primary Education, Sir R. 
Temple attached no less importance to making a 

Technical Schools. * ^ 

commencement with the work of Technical instruc- 
tion. It seemed to him that the rapid expansion of the field of 
employment in the various mechanical arts and the want of natives 
qualified for this employment, so remunerative to the employes 
themselves and «o valuable to the country, afforded a good opportu- 
nity for such an experiment. He contemplated the establishment 
in Calcutta of a Government institution to be called a Mechanical 
School and Factorv, for natives onlv, in immediate connection with 
the Public Works Department, and he appointed a Committee to 
report on the project. It does not appear that any special institution 
was established immediately — but Technical education was advanced 
by the foundation of Survey Schools at Hooghly, Dacca, Patna and 
Cuttack with 123 pupils; by assistance given to public associations 
in Calcutta viz., the Science Association, and the Technical School 
of the Indian "League; and by the opening of a Fine Arts Gallery 
in connection with the School of Art. It was hoped that the Survey 
Schools would prove a preliminary step towards the establishment 
of a system of Technical instruction and that they would be supple- 
mented by the foundation throughout Bengal of Industrial Schools 
for the teaching of handicrafts and for the improvement of the several 
forms of manual industry existing in the country. On the occasion 
of the visit of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to Bankipore 
in January 1876, the Native Chiefs and gentlemen of Bihar formed 
a scheme, in commemoration of that event, for the advancement of 
education in practical Science in the province. ^ Subscriptions 


amounting to 2 lakhs of rupees were promised of which it was 
proposed to allot half a lakh to the construction of a building for the 
institution and the remainder to the endowment thereof. Govern- 
ment promised an annual grant-in-aid equal to the interest on the 
invested capital, and a site for the building ^^'as granted by Govern- 
ment. A School was opened in March 1879, but was closed after a 
short period. ^ 

Sir R. Temple also encouraged the introduction of Science 
into the educational curriculum as far as possible. He had been 
struck by the overcrowding of the 2 professions of the Public 
Service and the Law. " Many find/' he wrote, " that they cannot 
obtain either practice or places. They are by nature diligent, 
anxious to work for themselves and for their families, with which 
even young men in this country are surrounded. They look back 
on all the mental toil they have endured, and they are chagrined at 
discovering that in but too many instances it leads to nothing. This 
accounts mainly for the discontent and restlessness which are per- 
ceptible in the rising generation. The cause is partly this, that too 
many direct their studies to literature and philosophy, and too few to 
practical Science. The great problem is, as it seems to me, to guide 
a large portion of the educated youth into other walks of life besides 
the learned professions. Such new lines of employment can be 
opened out in many directions under the present circumstances of 
Bengal. It is .sad to reflect that very rhany estimable men who are 
pining and languishing at the bar or in public departments, for lack of 
employment or promotion, might, if otherwise educated, have been 
land surveyors, or civil engineers, or trained mechanics, or mining 
engineers, or geological surveyors, or veterinary practitioners, or 
practical botanists, or foresters, or scientific gardeners, or engravers, 
or lithographers, or architects, or chemists, or medical men, for 
each and all of which capacities there is now a field in Bengal." 

Thus, besides the assistance given to native Associations for the 
cultivation of Science, he improved and enlarged the means of 
practical instruction in Chemistry at the Medical College, Calcutta ; 
and, apart from education, he advocated the utilisation of the Pusa 
Farm and of the Botanic Garden, Calcutu, for scientific experi- 
ments connected with Physiological Botany and Agricultural 
Chemistry under officers of Scientific Departments. 


The whole subject of Education was indeed a principal feature 
,, , in Sir R. Temple's administration. He recorded 


numerous Minutes on every question that arose 
ill the Department of Public Instruction. I find, for instance, 
the following subjects that came before him for decision : — the posi- 
tion of the District Committees ; the establishments in Government 
schools ; Scholarships for vernacular education and the encourage- 
ment (through Scholarships) of elementary Natural Philosophy and 
Physical Science ; the appointment of Deputy Inspectors and Sub- 
Inspectors of Schools ip the districts : the establishment of authorized 
hostels or lodging-houses for students at Government Colleges and 
Higher English schools : the revision of grants-in-aid to unsuccess- 
ful schools : the backward condition of education in Bihar ; normal 
• schools for vernacular instruction : provision for additional Colleges 
and high schools for Rajshahi, Rangpur, Ranchi and Chittagong 
by private resources aided by Government : new medical schools' 
at Dacca and Cuttack : instruction at m<idrasas : the selection of 
text books' : encouragement of female education : foundation of 
intermediate schools between those of the primary and middle 
classes kc, kc. 

In addition to all these matters of principle and detail of educa- 
tion under the department. Sir R. Temple examined carefully 
the question of the education of children of poor Europeans and 
East Indians in Calcutta and the tnu/assal. Assistance wa» freely 
given on the grant-in-aid system, both to the formation of 
new schools and to the development of previously existing institu- 
tions. Sir R. Temple believed that these classes enjoyed fully 
as large a share of Government aid towards the education of 
their children as the State could reasonably be expected to give for 
this object. It was no doubt true that much remained to be done. 
An educational census of European and East Indian families in 
Calcutta and the suburbs, with incomes not exceeding Rs.3oo/-a 
month, which was taken in September 1876 by the Commissioner 
of Police, showed that between 800 to 900 children belonging to 
this class of society were being allowed to grow up in ignorance. 
But it was the opinion of the best authorities that there was school- 
accommodation in Calcutta sufficient for the requirements of all, 
and that, if children were untaught, it was because their parents 



were unwilling or unable to send them to school. Sir R. 
Temple gave such assistance as it was in his power to grant, and 
left what was still wanting to be supplied by those agencies to which 
he had already appealed — the societies interested in education, the 
clergy of the several denominations, and the benevolence of the 
general European community. As regards education in the interior 
of the country, schemes were considered for reorganizing and 
enlarging the schools at Cuttack, Hooghly and Jamalpur. 

The Art Gallery has been mentioned in connection with techni- 
cal education. Measures were taken by Sir R. 
Temple to establish this Gallery in connection with 
the School of Art. As an amateur painter for many years he enter- 
ed into this project with much pleasure and conviction. He wrote, — 
'' in such a place as Calcutta the establishment of an Art Gallery 
must be interesting from any and every point of view. But the 
Interest is heightened when the Gallery can be the means of daily 
instruction; will become a lecture-room for classes of native 
students ; may impart additional vigour to an institution designed 
to elevate the taste, refine the skill and enlighten the ideas of the 
native youth who are learning art as a means of livelihood ; and 
may thus serve an important educational purpose.'' The object was 
to obtain original pictures, if not too costly, or comparatively 
inexpensive copies of pictures of merit in Europe. It was con- 
templated to collect plan-drawings of great engineering works in 
all parts of the world, as calculated to improve the minds of native 
youth. Specimens of statuary and casts of antique works were to be 
specially included. A site was found for the Art Gallery in Bow 
Bazar and it was opened by Lord Northhrook, himself a connoisseur 


in art and the owner of valuable pictures. 

In one of his final Minutes Sir R. Temple, — having noticed 
Proposal for a '^^ ^^^ Gazette of India that the Panjab University 
■®^Sty Yn *' - College was to be raised to the status of an Uni- 

Bengai. versity under the Government of the Panjab — made 

a similar claim on behalf of Bengal in the interest of high education. 
It seemed to him that the time had arrived for adopting this measure. 
•The rapid advance which Bengal had made in the progress of high 
education rendered it necessary that the course of studies at the 
University should be adapted to that high standard, instead of being 


regulated by the requirements of less advanced provinces, and 
justice seemed to him to demand that Bengal should not be retarded 
in the progress of high education, because other provinces were not 
sufficiently advanced to pursue a course of studies for which the 
educated mind of Bengal was ripe. Though the claim thus advanc- 
ed met with no success, the principles on which it was based were 
of abiding interest and the Minute may therefore be quoted. *The 
circumstances of Bengal are in many respects widely different from 
the circumstances of other provinces ; and it is most essential that 
the Local Government should be able to adapt the Univer- 
sity machinery to the growing requirements of the province. 
The introduction and cultivation of practical science in the schools 
and Colleges of Bengal is a subject to which I attach the greatest 
importance ; but practical Science is not sufficiently recognized 
by the University, and it is afmost needless to observe that no Science 
which is not adequately recognized by the University can in the 
schools be cultivated with success. At present the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal, beyond being a member of the Senate, has 
not a potential voice in the management or direction of the one 
highest educational institution of his provinee. The Governing 
body of the University is appointed by the Government of India, 
and not by the Government of Bengal. It comprises men of the 
highest attainments in all sorts of subjects, and represents an 
amount of learning, genius, and acquirements which justly excites 
our national pride. It is regarded everywhere with the utmost 
deference. I mean not the least disparagement to that eminent and 
distinguished body when I say that they cannot be expected to 
have that cognizance of the peculiar requirements of Bengal as 
separate from the requirements of other provinces, which would 
natdrally be possessed by a body chosen and selected from the 
province, and feeling itself specially charged to direct the course 
and foster the progress of education in Bengal. Under such a 
body a closer union would arise between the University of Calcutta 
and the Government of Bengal than at present exists. That a 
closer union should exist is desirable for many reasons. Take, for 
instance, the case oi legal education. The qualification for ad- 
mission to the Bar of Bengal is the University degree of B. L. ; 
but the standard of excellence required for this degree is not fixed 


with reference to the standard of legal knowledge possessed by. 
the Bar of Bengal, but with reference to the state of legal knowledge 
in other provinces of the empire. In Bengal the Bar is much over- 
crowded and it is possible that the standard for the B. L. degree, 
though suited to other provinces, might with advantage be raised 
for Bengal. But closely as the Government of Bengal is interested 
in this question, it is a subject over which at present it can exercise, 
neither directly nor indirectly^ any adequate control. 

'' I will take only another instance. University degrees are for 
the most part sought for as a means of obtaining Government 
employ. In Bengal appointments in the Subordinate Executive 
Service are offered to public competition, but these competitive 
examinations are conducted, not by the University, but by a separate 
body of examiners. Now, if a closer union existed between the 
Government Bengal and the University of Calcutta, it would be 
possible to dispense with these separate examinations; and, 
what would then be far more perferable, an University degree, 
or an University examination in certain, subjects, would then 
be taken as the sole and necessary qualification for Government 

" It is however unnecessary to enter into further details. The 
short and simple ground upon which I ask that Bengal should have 
an University of its own is this, that it is impossible that the edu- 
cation of a particular province, which differs in its circumstances 
from other provinces, can be properly cared for by a body which 
does not consider itself specially charged with the cause of education 
in Bengal, but which is equally bound to consider the requirements 
of other provinces which have not attained that educational develop- 
ment which Bengal has attained. 

*' The territories under the Government of Madras and those 
under the Government of Bombay have in each case an University 
for their own. Whatever arguments exist for this arrangement there 
might be adduced with even greater force in favor of a similar 
arrangement in Bengal. Indeed, Bengal deserves to have an Univer- 
sity of its own as much as any province in British India ; and I am 
sure that, if this concession were to be made, k would give a new 
impulse to high education. 

" If this were to be conceded the existing University of Calcutta 


might still remain as an University for all India. This, however, is 
a very interesting topic, on which I need not enter." 

The matters in dispute between zamindars and raiyats, which 

had assumed so great a prominence in 1873-73, 
cuitim i^'ftgmrian became less noticeable under the shadow of the 

larger questions connected with the famine of 
1873-4. Things were siill unsettled, but there was 
singularly little of agitation and complaint in the native press and 
elsewhere. Probably a good many cases were after all privately 
compromised. The public peace was not again at once glaringly 
disturbed. The scene of the struggle was transferred to the Civil 
Courts, and some of the points in dispute were gradually being settled 
by leading and final decisions of the Courts. In the Pabna district, 
a very large number of cases were instituted in the Munsif s Courts, 
but there were no other outward .manifestations of ill-will between 
the parties. The raiyais^ it was said^ found the registration of estates 
and tenures under the Road Cess Act a very great protection, and 
almost always secured themselves with a copy of their zamindars^ 
return as soon as it was filed, and refused to pay anything whatever 
beyond the rental therein entered. The Act in consequence became 
very popular among the cultivating classes. It was in the 'districts 
of the Dacca Division that indications of the unsatisfactorv relations 
between landlords and tenants mostly manifested themselves on the 
question of rent. Early in January 1875 agrarian ti^ouble actually 
began to occur in the eastern portion of the Dacca district. A 
dispute regarding rent broke out between the zamindars and the 
raiyais and threatened to lead to breaches of the peace. The Commis- 
sioner was immediately instructed to warn all parties concerned of 
the consequences of such a breach, and to invite them to settle their 
differences by private arbitration. 

Sir R. Temple examined the whole question in a series of 
Minutes, from which the following extracts may be made : — 

*' In parts of Eastern Bengal there seems to be a disposition 
among the raiyais to combine in something like leagues and unions. 
The object of such combinations may be various. If any success 
were obtained by these means there is always a chance that the 
ratals might begin to combine in refusing to pay rent, whereon the 
zamindars .might try to collect by force. The consequences of a 


combination with this object would be serious in the present state of 
Bengal. It may be hoped that things will not, under any circum- 
stances, come to this pass. Still we should guard against the possibi- 
lity of such contingencies arising. 

As yet no trouble has actually broken out since 1873, but as just 
seen something of the kind was very nearly breaking out quite 
recently, and despite our efforts may yet break out, and the appre- 
hension of similar occurrences elsewhere in Bengal is, I believe, 
present to many thoughtful minds. It may be therefore well to con- 
sider what measures the local Government can take in the existing 
state of the law for doing justice to both parties, and for preventing 
agrarian trouble. 

In such event it could take steps for causing the disputed 
matters to be speedily determined by appointing additional Native 
Judges, Munsifs and others, if necessary, under the supervision of 
a special European Judge. It cou'd station extra police to maintain 
order, and ensure that the judicial inquiries should be carried out 
quietly. If the zamindars should attempt to act contrary to the 
judicial awards, it could easily apply a remedy. If the ratyais should 
refuse compliance with the judicial decisions, and if necessity arose 
to execute decrees in large numbers, it could doubtless help in that 
process. But beyond and above all the things abovementioned, 
it could use its influence to jlrevent either party from resorting to 
violence, and to induce them to submit to private arbitration. 

These resources taken together are not inconsiderable ; and, if 
we cannot get more or better resources, we must make the best of 
them, and \vith them we must essay and strive to prevent agrarian 
troubles in Bengal.' But in these resources there are, I think,, several 
defects which might be easily remedied. 

It will be seen presently that among the disputed cases the most 
important class will relate to economic and agricultural questions, 
with which civil Courts are not well fitted to deal. Yet the procedure 
above described is entirely that of the ordinary civil Courts. Suits must 
be formally brought before anything is done; the cases must be carried 
through the regular stages; matters pertaining to the profits of cultiva- 
tion, the value of produce, the customar)* rents, and the like, will be 
argued out by opposing Counsel ; appeals may be laid, and decisions 
can be enforced only by the formal process of execution. However 


prompt the Courts might be, all these proceedings must take time ; 
meanwhile excitement might be growing over the whole districts. 
Moreover, the Courts could not well travel beyond the evidence 
'adduced, and might not be able to enter upon economic considera- 
tions, notwithstanding that such considerations might have an import- 
ant bearing upon the cases. 

That the main questions at issue are economic and agricultural 
will be apparent thus. There will seldom be any serious dispute 
between the tenants-at-will and the zamindars. The really serious 
disputes arise between the zamindars and the raiyats having right of 
occupancy — ^mainly men who have been i % years and upwards in 
possession — ^ class who are constantly growing in numbers, and 
representing larger and larger proportions of the aggregate of raiyats 
and who probably are already the most important section of the 
raiyats. In some places the zamindars apparently allege that these 
occupancy raiyats are paying *very low rents, and consequently claim 
some enhancement. The occupancy raiyats apparently allege that 
they ought not to be required to pay more than the old-established 
rates of their part of the country. If the zamindars persist in their 
demands they cannot eject the occupancy raiyats^ but they can sue 
them under section 18 of Act VIII (B. C.) of 1869, which I will here 
quote in extenso .•— - 

^ 18. — No raiyats having a right of Tkrcupancy shall be liable to an 
enhancement of the rent previously paid by him, except on some one 
of the following grounds, namely : — 

'* That the rate of rent paid by such raiyats is below the prevailing 
rate payable by the same class of raiyats for land of a similar descrip- 
tion, and with similar advantages in the places adjacent . 

" That the value of the produce, or the productive powers of the 
land, have been increased otherwise than by the agency or at the 
expense of the raiyats, 

'^ That the quantity of laqd held by the raiyats has been proved by 
measurement to be greater than the quantity for which rent has been 
previously paid by him." 

I do not enter into any question as to the fitness or otherwise 
dt the Civil Courts to decide these matters in individual disputes 
in times of quiet. I only say that the Courts cannot be so well fitted 
as the land revenue officers to decide these matters affecting large 
numbers of excitable people on both sides in times of disquiet In 


these matters of urgency my desire is to obtain power by law to do 
through the land revenue officers, that is, the Commissioners, the 
Collectors, and the Deputy-Collectors under the supervision of the 
Board of Revenue — that which in these cases is needful for the* 
peace and good Government of the country, without proposing any 
general change of the existing rent law. 

By the present rent law (VIII (B.C.) of 1869,) the suits regard- 
ing rent are heard by the Civil Courts. They used to be heard by 
the land revenue authorities, but they were by this Act transferred 
to the Civil Courts. Many authorities consider that this transfer 
was not expedient. The zamindars (as I understand) generally 
dislike the change that was then made, and would desire to see these 
suits transferred to the revenue authorities. It is difficult to gauge 
the opinion of the raiyats in regard to the transfer of these suits to 
the Civil Courts ; I evidence, however, that they dislike it. 
I believe that the Civil Courts have done the work well according 
to the existing law, and have at least endeavoured to do substantial 
justice. Still, my own 'opinion inclines to be against the transfer 
that was made in 1869. I apprehend that the speedy and judicious 
decision of suits between landlord and tenant is very important 
to the future tranquillity of Bengal, and that the land revenue autho- 
rities are much better fitted than the Civil Courts can be to decide 
these suits to the advantage of i)oth parties concerned. As, however, 
the law was passed in 1869, I am not disposed to move for its 
being essentially altered ; although, if the general wish should here- 
after prove to be favourable to such alteration, I for 'one should not 
be able to object to consider the question. 

But I recommend that the Local Government should have the 
power, upon good cause shown, of appointing the Collector or other 
officer, to settle authoritatively disputes of the nature above des- 
cribed, and to enforce awards. There need not be any power taken 
to interfere unduly between landlord and tenant, but only when the 
parties might apply for our interposition, and when such interposi- 
tion might appear necessary for peace and good Government. There 
would be no necessity for giving more power to the Collector in 
fixing rents and rent-rates than that which is given by the existing 
rent law to the Courts of Justice. There would be nothing of a 
one-sided character in the matter. The zamifidars might make 


application, so might the raiyats. Sometimes one of the 2 parties 
might avail itself of this advantage, sometimes the other. The inter- 
position need not extend beyond certain limits, and would be limited 
'to matters of rent and its rates, and the measurement of land as 
affecting such rents. Within the declared area of interference, and 
during the period of its duration (all which would be determined by 
the Local Government), the Collector would, after due inquiry and 
after hearing both parties, fix the rates of rent according to the 
circumstances, and with such guidance as the existing laws might 
afford him, and decide suits ior rent, both current dues and arrears. 
The Collector should also have the power of fixing the disputed 
rents for a short term of years, so that there might be no chance of 
need arising for again exercising interposition within a reasonable 
period. The matters thus decided would not be open to revision 
by the Civil Courts, but appeals would lie to the Commissioner and 
to the Boa(d. It might be thought that the parties, zamindars and 
raiyais^ or either party as the local Government might direct, might be 
charged w^ith the expenses incurred by the State by these proceedings ; 
I do not, however, recommend this. The Collectors and the Deputy 


Collectors, in fact the existing establishment, would be able to do 
the work, which would not be of constant occurrence. For these 
objects I have prepared a draft Bill which I should be glad to intro- 
duce into the local legislature of Qpngal. If this Bill, with such 
modifications or improvements as might be made tluring its passage 
through Council, should become law with the assent of the Governor- 
General, then for all ordinary times and occasions the Acts (VIII 
(B.C.) of 1869 and X of 1859) would remain in force as the rent 
law of Bengal. The difference between the present and proposed 
practice would be this that we should have the legal power, which 
we have not now, of dealing effectively with agrarian troubles 
through the agency of the land revenue authorities. It is only 
by such agency that the occurrence of these troubles is or 
can be prevented in Bengal. At present such prevention is 
effected at the best in a precarious and uncertain way : perhaps 
it may not always be effected. But, if the proposed Bill were 
to become law, the land revenue authorities would have power 
to prevent such trouble breaking out, and would be under 
responsibility for such prevention, which responsibility they would, 


I believe, be able to discharge to the satisfaction of Govern- 

The foregoing remarks are meant to apply to Bengal mainly : 
they are however, equally applicable to Bihar. They apply, however, 
in a less degree to Orissa, to the Chota Nagpur province, and to 
Jalpaiguri and the Western Duars, to which territories the Act VIII 
(B. C.) of 1869 was not extended, and where rent suits are tried by 
the land revenue officers under Act X of 1859. In these districts the 
Local Government has far better means of preventing agrarian trouble 
than in Bengal and Bihar. Still its bands would be strengthened 
even in Orissa and Chota Nagpur by the passing of the proposed 
Bill. I would extend the measure to all the territories under the 
Government of Bengal." 

Sir R. Temple discussed the subject with many persons possess- 
ing local knowledge, and in August 1875 recorded the following 
conclusions : — ♦ 

I St. — ^that there are larger disputes pending between zamindars 
and raiyais regarding the degree in which rent may be enchanced by 
reason of the increase, during recent years, in the value of the pro- 
duce of the land : 

2nd. — that when these disputes become embittered, then, besides 
the question of enhancement, other questions become involved, such 
as the levy of * certain cesses, the payment of alleged arrears, the past 
rates of rent, the area of actual holdings ; the end of all this being 
that the payment of rent altogether in some places is likely to be 
held in abeyance for some time : 

3rd. — ^that, under such circumstances, zamindars have sometimes 
attempted, or may attempt, to collect rents by force, which attempts 
are forcibly resisted, the result being breaches of the peace : 

4th. — that as yet there has been no serious nor general trouble 
since the agrarian raiyats in the Pabna district in 1872-73 : 

5th. — that this cessation is mainly due, however, to the action of 
the executive authorities in repressing the tendency to disturbance ; 
that nevertheless there is a risk of trouble breaking out, which might 
spread to the districts of Dacca, Faridpur, Tippera and Backergunge ; 
and that, if executive jnterposition were now withdrawn, such trouble 
would soon break out : 

6th.--that the particular disputes in the Dacca district, whi«h the 


Commissioner^nd the Collector have been trying to settle by arbitra- 
tion, are not yet settled, despite the exertions of those concerned fn 
the settlement." 

Meanwhile a Bill for the determination by the revenue authorities 
of agrarian disputes was introduced into the Bengal Legislative 
Council, its main object being for the revenue authorities to assume 
the jurisdiction for the settlement of the questions at issue between 
the parties, and for the ordinary action of the Civil Courts being 
barred in such cases. While the Bill was in Council the Advocate- 
General raised an objection to the effect that it would be ultra vires 
for the Bengal Legislative Council to pass the measure, and that it 
could only be passed by the Governor-General's Council. Sir 
R. Temple accordingly had 2 Bills prepared : the first, the 
major measure, conferring the full jurisdiction on the revenue 
authorities and making the decisions of the Special Courts constitut- 
ed by the Bill final and conclusive, ancl the second, the minor 
measure, conferring on the local revenue authorities a provisional 
jurisdiction, only subject to revision by the Civil Courts : i. e. giving 
force to orders and adjudications of the Collector only until modified 
in due. course of law. With the sanction of the Government, of 
India the major measure was proceeded with. The Bill became Act 
VI (B. C.) on the loth July 1876. Jt was intended to afford a speedy 
and effectual means for the settlement of disputes regarding rent. 
The cardinal point of the .\ct was that, upon the receipt of instruc- 
tions from Government to inquire into any specified matters, the 
Collector, and not the Civil Court, was empowered to try all suits 
relating to a particular tract of country, of the nature of those speci- 
fied in section 23 of Act X of 1859. It contained certain rules for 
the determination of the rates of rent in enhancement suits to assist 
the Collector in arriving at a correct conclusion. The Act was 
to remain in force only for 3 years. On the passing of the Act Sir 
R. Temple wrote : — 

*' Now that the Act has passed, there will be no difficulty in taking 
prompt and effective action, should any more disputes spring up. 
Chi the one hand while the peace is absolutely kept by Magisterial 
force, on the other hand the merits of the question involved will be 
calmly investigated and authoritatively decided. As yet, however, no 
more disputes have arisen, nor are there signs of any rising. It is 


ver>' possible that the knowledge that this Act is on the statute-book, 
and that there is ready at hand a power of bringing the whole 
question to judgment, may deter the disputants on either side — 
landlord or tenant — from provoking or challenging a final issue. 
Perhaps each party is for the moment disposed to concede something 
to the other rather than enter on a contest which will not be allowed 
to drag its length from one Court to another, but will be imme- 
diately investigated and will soon be brought to a complete and 
final decision. Nothing fosters disputes so much as uncer- 
tainty as to how or when a decision can be had. The Act may 
therefore have a very sedative effect, although it has seldom to be put 
in force. At all events, it arms the Government with full power to 
prevent agrarian trouble and the importance of this can hardly be 
overestimated. Under the agrarian and rural circumstances of the 
country, moreover, the materials for such disputes are unfortunately 
so abundant that many well-informed observers think that, notwith- 
standing the outward calm which now prevails, there are questions 
growing inwardly between landlords and tenants which must sooner 
or later burst forth in the shape of extensive quarrels, unless some 
rules more definite than any which now exist shall be framed for the 
guidance of the authorities in the determination of rents." 

Before the Bill giving power to deal with agrarian disturbances 
was passed some anxiety was felt also in Bihar in respect of the 
partial failure of the crops at the end of 1875, ^^^ demands for 
arrears of rent and the question of tenant right. Sir R. Temple 
was of opinion that in Bihar the exercise by the landlord of the 
power of distraining the raiyais' crops was carried to a degree clear- 
ly beyond the letter and spirit of the law, and beyond the actual prac- 
tice in Bengal. He therefore caused the district officers to warn the 
landlords from time to time, as opportunity arose, that the law of dis- 
traint imposed conditions which could not be safely disregarded, even 
though deviations might have, in the course of years, grown up into 
a sort of usage in Bihar. 

The relations between indigo planters and raiyais in Bihar 

continued to cause anxiety to Government. From 

time to time, troublesome cases were reported. 

Although there was no manifestation of widespread discontent in 

regard jt.o indigo-planting, there were signs which required watching 


in the shape of occasional complaints, disputes and affrays. The 
Commissioner of the Division recommended that a formal Com- 
mission should be appointed to investigate the whole matter like 
that which sat in Bengal in i860. But Sir R. Temple declined 
to accede to this recommendation, on the ground that it would 
create a considerable disturbance, excite feelings which would not 
readily subside, shake vested interests, place capital in jeopardy, and 
bring proprietar}' status and occupancy rights into uncertainty for a 
time. He preferred to trust to the existing law and its enforcement. 
He refrained therefore from making general inquiries and issuing 
general instructions which might be liable to be misunderstood and 
to bring about the very disturbances they were intended to prevent. 
He contented himself with warning the officers to deal very strictly 
and firmly with each case that might come under their cognizance^ 
trusting to the example thus illustrated producing its unmistakeable 
effect on the community, and reminding all concerned of the several 
means which the laws already afforded for the administration of 
justice — such as the recognition of the occupancy status ; the assump- 
tion by the revenue authorities of jurisdiction for preventing agrarian 
disturbStnces ; the limitation of the power of distraint ; the institution 
of patwaris or village-accountants in Bihar, together with their village 
records ; the quartering of police upon turbulent localities ; the pro- 
tection of the cultivators against forcible compulsion and of the 
planter against rioting. 

In April 1876, Sir R. Temple formulated some definite pro- 
im TOTement posals for the declaration of principles whereby 

uw*for*dJtoTOina. ^^ '^"^ ^^ ^^ P**^^ '^^ ^^^ rji>(i/ to the zamindar 
tionof rent. should be ascertained and determined. He wrote ; — 

*' Our consideration may be narrowed to the occupancy raiya/s, 
who have now become a very large section of the tenantry in Bengal ; 
regarding the remainder, who have no occupancy rights and may be 
called non-occupjincy raiyais, it does not seem to be anywhere alleged 
that any alteration of the law is needed. By occupancy raiycUs are 
meant those raiyais who, under. Act X of 1859 and Act VIH (B. C) 
of 1 869, cannot be ejected so long as they pay a fair and equitable 
rent, which rent, in event of dispute, can be determined only by a 
Court of Justice. 

" It may be well at the outset to call to remembrance that by 



section i8 of Act VIII of 1869 ^^ no raiyais having a right of occupancy 
shall be liable to an enhancement of the rent previously paid by him, 
except on some one of the following grounds (see above page 633). 

" Now this section so far as it goes, is excellent. No man will 
have his rent enhanced on account of improvements which he himself 
has made. If he is holding land in excess of the quantity for which 
he is paying rent, of course he is assessed to rent on the difference. 
So also, if he is paying at rates less than those paid by his neigh- 
bours under corresponding circumstances, he is justly liable to 
enhancement Still, the section leaves untouched the deeper, the 
broader question as to what, in reason and justice, ought to be the 
prevailing rate for occupancy raiyais in any district or division of a 
district ; nor is any test afforded in any part of the law for the 
decision of this question. Yet this is the question which agitates 
the thoughts both of zamindar and raiyai throughout the country. 
All that can be gathered from the language of the law is that the 
rent is to be fair and equitable ; but the question remains as to what 
are the principles on which a fair and equitable rent is to be ascer- 
tained and determined. 

" Thus, though the law imposes on the Courts of Justice the res- 
ponsibility of determining a fair and equitable rent in case of dispute, it 
affords no specific rule, whereby such determination 6iay be arrived at." 

His proposals were subsequently summarized thus : — ^* ist. — 
that a Bill be introduced as supplementary to Ad VIII (B. C.) of 
1 869, for the further laying down of principles whereby rents should 
be decided between the land-lords and the occupancy ratvais^ as 
defined by the Act ; 

2nd. — ^that this supplementary legislation be confined to occu- 
pancy raiyais (who now form a large portion, perhaps the majority 
of raiyais)^ leaving non-occupancy raiyais, or tenants-at-will, to the 
operation of the existing law. 

3rd — that in cases of dispute the rent of the occupancy raiyai 
should be fixed at rates less by at least 25 per cent than the rates 
ordinarily paid by non-occupancy raiyais in the neighbourhood or in 
the district. 

4th. — ^that even more favourable rates should be allowed to old 
occupancy raiyais who had (either of themselves or by those from 
whom they inherited) held their lands 30 years and more. 


5tb. — that the ordinary rates payable by non-occupancy raiyais 
should be ascertained by evidence in the usual way, but that, if from* 
any cause this ascertainment should be found impracticable, then 
the Collector should be directed to ascertain ; or, if he failed, then 
the rent of a non-occupancy raxyat should be calculated at one-fifth 
(20 per cent) of the value of the gross produce as the basis for 
determining the rent of an occupancy raxyat the result of which 
would be that an occupancy raiyafs rent, calculated on that basis, 
and being at least 25 per cent less, would be 15 per cent of the value 
of the gross produce." 

After further considering the criticisms offered on the above 
proposals, Sir R. Temple contemplated introducing a Bill, in 
Continuation of, or supplementary to the existing rent law of Bengal, 
Acts X of 1859 ^^^ ^11^ (B.C.) of 1869 to provide specifically for 
the following matters : — 

1st. — In cases where an occupancy ratya/ is liable to enhancement 
of rent under section 18 of Act VIII (B. C.) of 1869, such enhance- 
ment is either to be regulated by the principle that his rent should 
be less than the ordinary rent of a non-occupancy raxyat by a certain 
percentage from 20 to 25 per cent, or else be calculated on a 
certain proportion of the value of the gross produce, from 15 to 25 
per cent, provided always that no occupancy raivat shall be entitled 
to claim under the foregoing rule any abatement from the rent which 
he has heretofore paid. 

2nd. — The definition of an occupancy raiyat as given in section 
6 of Act VIII (B. C.) of 1868, to be somewhat extended so as to 
include raiyais cultivating under other raiyais in certain classes of 

3rd. — The right and interest of an occupancy raiyat to be rendered 
liable to sale for default in paying rent, and also transferable by 
private agreemenc. 

4th — The process for realizing arrears of rent in undisputed 
cases to be simplified by the Court or other deciding authority — 
Collector or other — being empowered, on application from the 
landlord, to issue a notice to the raxyaf requiring him either to pay 
or to appear and show cause to the contrary ; in the event of the 
raiyai neither paying nor appearing, the Court to order attachment 
sale of the defaulter's property. 


5th. — The rents payable by tenure-KoIders or others possessing 
'a permanent transferable interest in land, intermediate between the 
proprietor of an estate and the raiyat — when not fixed by special 
agreement or by the circumstances of the tenure — to be determined 
according to a standard similar to that of the occupancy r^fV^/f, but 
more favourable by 10 per cent. 

On the question of enhancement,^he expressed his opinions as 
follows : — 

" Now, there are many persons who think that the best way is to 
leave things alone — to let landlords and tenants fight it out, and that 
the result probably would be that rents would remain absolutely 
unchanged. The Lieutenant-Governor must say definitely that he 
entirely dissents from that view. It is impossible to prevent cases 
arising regarding enhancement of rent. That such enhancement of 
rents should be possible is distinctly contemplated by the existing 
law of Bengal, which lays down precise provisions with the view of 
what shall happen when such a thing takes place. Therefore it is 
too late to say that enhancement of rent should be out of the 
question. Sir Richard Temple desires and hopes to see a contented 
and prosperous peasantry, the raiyais having heritable tenures handed 
-down from generation to generation with proper equitable rents 
which cannot be enhanced, except by the decision of a Court of 
Justice, and with full security of enjoying the fruits of their labour 
and a full share of the general advantages which arise from a secure 
and settled Government. But, on the other hand, it never was 
contemplated that there should be no such thing as enhancement 
of rent. However much it may be stated in the permanent settle- 
ment that the rights of undertenures should be protected, it never 
was asserted that there should be a special and perpetual sub- 
settlement with iht raiyais. Nor was it ever suggested that the old 
pargana rent-rates, though taken as a guide, should not be open to 
alteration or to augmentation as time went on. What these pargana 
rates ought to be was never settled. If the intention had been to 
make such a settlement, the Government of the time would have 
provided for^jit ; and it could only have been done by a regular 
settlement of rents throughout the country. If the value of land is 
to increase with the rise of prices and the improvement of produce, it 
seems to follow that there must be a gradual, though moderate. 


augmentation of rent throughout the country from time to time — 
enough to satisfy the demands of the landlord, while leaving a clear' 
and liberal margin of profit to the raiya/.*' 

A Bill was accordingly published on the 13th December 1876, 
but Sir R. Temple left Bengal before it could be passed into 
law. In his last Minute on the subject he advocated the early 
passing of at least the procedure portion of the Bill, to enable the 
Z'lidindars to realise rents admittedly due, without delay and expense, 
(the more difficult and intricate question of the enhancement of rent 
being postponed) : he thought the zamindars fairly entitled to ask for 
a simple measure to facilitate the collection of rent. A Bill to 
provide a more summary procedure for the recovery of arrears of 
uncontested rent was referred by Sir A. Eden to the Government 
of India for introduction into the Govemor-Generars Legislative 

During his tour in India, His Royal Highness the Prince of 

Wales spent several days in Calcutta at the end of 
Royfti Highnewi 1 875 and beginning of 1876. From Madras he 

the Prtnoe of 1 . . • r. . 1 

Wniea to Came up the river m the Serapts^ and was met near 


Diamond Harbour by Sir R. Temple on the even- 
ing of the a and December. The next day he landed at Prinsep's 
ghai, was welcomed by the Viceroy, all the officials, Native Chiefs, 
and the public, with every demonstration of loyalty, received an 
address at the ghai from the City of Calcutta, and was conducted in 
grand procession by the Ellenborough course, the road being lined 
with troops and crowded with spectators, to Government House, as 
the guest of the Viceroy (Lord Northbrook). A series of cere- 
monies and festivities in honor of the Prince ensued, such as — 
Addresses, State Banquets, a State Ball, reception^ of the principal 
Chiefs and return visits, a Levee, a Ball at the Town Hall given by 
European Society, a native entertainment at Belgachia, visits to 
Barrackpore and Chandernagore and the Botanic Garden, Horse-races, 
visits to Hospitals, Garden party and Dinner at Belvedere, inaugura- 
tion of the Zoological Garden, Chapter of the Order of the Star of 
India (the Prince acting as High Commissioner), the unveiling of 
Lord Mayo's statue, a polo match between Calcutta and Manipuri 
players, illuminations, fireworks, a State night at the Theatre (to see 
Mr. Charles Mathews, the Comedian), native horsemdnship, investi- 


ture of the Prince with the Degree of 'Doctor in Law at the Unt* 
versity of Calcutta, a visit to a native gentleman's house &c. &c., 
On Christmas Day the Prince attended Divine Service at the Cathedral. 
All cutcherries and offices were closed throughout Bengal from the 
23rd December to 3rd January ; on the latter date the Prince left 
Calcutta, and was received the next morning at Bankipore by Sir 
R. Temple, the local officers, the Railway Volunteers, and an escort 
of Volunteer Cavalry. A levee was held, at a camp pitched on the 
tnaidan there, when all the officials and non-officials, European and 
Native, especially those who had distinguished themselves; in the 
Famine, were presented to His Royal Highness. A breakfast given 
by Sir R. Temple followed, at which loyal toasts were proposed. 
After inspecting the gifts of the Bihar Maharajas and a procession 
of nearly 400 elephants magnificently caparisoned, the Prince received 
addresses and some presents of Indian work, and left for Benares 
to continue his tour. On leaving Bombay in Xh^ Sirapts on the 
13th March, His Royal Highness addressed a letter (which was 
published) to Lord Northbrook expressing the sincere pleasure and 
the deep interest with which he had visited this great and wonderful 
country, his gratification at his reception, and his thanks for the 
hospitalities tendered to him. 

The death of the Lord Bishop of Calcutta, the Right Reverend 
Robert Milman, d. d. at Rawalpindi in the Panjab, 

Bishop Milman. "^ "' 

on the 15th March 1876, was a painful shock to 
all who had seen him lately in apparently good health. He had been 
in Calcutta during the Prince of Wales' visit and had proceeded on 
one of his episcopal tours. In the 8 years of his episcopate (he 
succeeded Bishop Cotton in 1867) he had, by hard work and his 
personal qualities, made his reputation, though he hardly rose to the 
eminence attained by some of his predecessors. He had been 
a working parish clergyman for 28 years before he became a Bishop. 
He was bom in 1816, educated at Westminster and Oxford, or- 
dained in 1839, Curate of Winwick for 2 years, Vicar of Chaddle- 
worth for 10 years, of Lambourne for 1 1 years, and of Great Marlow 
from 1862 to 1867 : always a worker of no common vigor and 
earnestness. By far the larger portion of his time in India was spent 
in visiting the various parts of his enormous and widespread diocese, 
often under circumstances of great physical strain and mental 


ezeitioD. Humanly speaking his death was caused by the great 
chr4nges of temperature ar.d exposure to wet and fatigue which he 
went through after leaving Calcutta on his last tour. It was said that 
within a year of his arrival he had preached intelligibly in the verna- 
cular to a native congregation. As a public speaker he was always 
welcome, as he had on such occasions scope for the free play of his 
natural sense of humour. There were traditions about him (which 
did not diminish his popularity) that as a young man he had been 
interested in sport, and that in one of his parishes he had acquired 
considerable knowledge of the points of a horse. His personal 
geniality, kindness, and humour, were united with energy, earnestness, 
unbounded liberality, " a generous temperament which never failed 
him, '' imselfishness and single-mindedness, and such liberal views 
that, " with none but noble aims, he inspired Natives, who were not 
his co-religionists, with profound respect." He was altogether an 
estimable and popular head of the Church and was ably assisted by 
his sister in the hospitalities at the Palace. He belonged to the High 
Church party. A Government Notification, after stating that the 
intelligence of the Bishop's death had been received with the deep- 
est regret, added, '^ The Governor-General in Council desires to 
place on record the sense which he entertains of the late Bishop 
Milman's indefatigable energy in the discharge of the high functions 
of his office ; — of his charity and munificence ; — of his zeal in pro- 
moting all good works — especially the education of the poorer 
classes of Europeans in India — and of his broad and benevolent 
sympatiiy with all classes of the community. The Bishop has 
devoted his health and strength to the conscientious fulfilment of 
his ordinary duties in ministering to the spiritual and temporal wel- 
fare of his diocese ; and he has now died in the midst of his labours, 
doubtless in consequence of them. 

" The Governor-General in Council is sure that Bishop Milman's 
untimely death will be felt as a personal loss, and that his memory 
will be affectionately cherished by Her Majesty's subjects in India.*' 

On the nth April 1876 a public meeting was held at the Town 
Hall, the Viceroy (Lord Northbrook) presiding, to promote a fund 
in memory of Bishop Milman ; when, on the motion of the Lieute- 
nant-Governor (Sir R. Temple), a Resolution was carried " that, as 
being the most useful injitself, and the main desire of the late Bishop 



Milman, there can be no fitter memorial than the establishment of 

an additional Bishopric in Northern India/' The late Bishop 

had been about to take leave to England for the purpose, among 

others, of arranging for the establishment of a Bishopric at Lahore. 

Sir George Campbell had expressed the opinion that the Calcutta 

The caicutte Municipality should be radically reformed but had 

Municipality. ^^^ jj^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^p ^j^^ project. The necessity of 

consolidating the number of Acts, not always consistent with each 
other, relating to the municipal affairs of Calcutta impressed itself 
on Sir R. Temple. Accordingly, on the 2nd of January 1875, 
a Bill was introduced into the Council by Sir Stuart Hogg to con- 
solidate and amend the law. T)uring the passage of the Bill through 
Council, the constitution of the Corporation was materially altered. 
The old Corporation consisted (so Sir R. Temple wrote) " of 
Justices of the Peace, 129 in number, partly official and partly non- 
official, some being European gentlemen, the majority, however, 
being Native gentlemen of rank and position. (The numbers were 
elsewhere stated to be 98 Europeans, 46 Native gentlemen, and 9 
of other nationalities, total 153). Notwithstanding the high character 
borne by the Justices and the good services rendered by them during 
many years, it was felt that the Corporation did not sufficiently 
represent various classes in the community, who, by their growing 
wealth, their improved education, their increasing claims to consider- 
ation, were entitled to a definite voice in the management of the 
city. I therefore deemed it my duty to propose to the local legisla- 
ture a new Municipal constitution and a Corporation, to consist of 
72 Commissioners, of whom two-thirds should be elected and 
one-third appointed by Government. A.t the same time, a power 
of control, considered necessary in the case of a new and untried 
body, was reserved to the Government. The Commissioners were 
still to have power to execute all the works necessary for the well- 
being of the city, and to fix all the establishments, with the exception 
of the Police, the strength of which was to be determined by the 
Government, and to raise the necessary taxes. In the event, 
however, of their failing to execute works of proved necessity for 
the health and safety of the place, there was to be a power vested 
in the Government, after inquiry duly and formally made, to cause 
authoritatively the required proceedings to be taken. The sections 



relating to control were not indeed new, but were mainly taken from 
eiiher the Madras or Bombay Act.'' Various memorials having 
been submitted objecting in some shape or other to the degree of 
control reserved to Government when the Bill was before the 
Council, the controlling sections were referred specially to a Select 
Committee of the Council, who were empowered to hear the 
arguments of learned Counsel or delegates on behalf of the 
memorialists. This was accordingly done, and certain modifications 
of the control proposed were accepted by Sir R. Temple and 
embodied in the Bill. Various objections were still urged at 
the passing of the Bill on the 25th of March 1876 by the Hon'ble 
Kristo Das Pal, such as, for instance, that Government retained 
too much power in its hands : but these were over- ruled. Apart 
from the changes in the constitution, the Bill made considerable 
improvements in the substantive Municipal law. It provided, for 
instance, for the extension of the warter-supply, the raising of the 
water-rate, and an increase in the lighting rate, and introduced the 
hasii provisions, giving power to Government to appoint a Com- 
mission and act upon its report in case the Corporation failed to 
carry out the Act in respect of any block of huts which through their 
insanitary conditions involved risk of disease to the inhabitants of 
the neighbourhood. The town was divided into 18 wards, 6 of 
them to return 2 and 12 to return 3 representatives each. When the 
first elections were held, a considerable portion of the body of 
qualified electors voted and a body of Commissioners was returned, 
fairly representing the wealth and intelligence of the native com- 
munity. Sir R. Temple wrote : — ** Among many classes there 
was apathy respecting these proceedings. By some influential 
sections of the educated classes an animated interest was felt. The 
number of European gentlemen elected being small, I have appoint- 
ed persons belonging to this important section of the community to 
be Commissioners and have so endeavoured to make up the desired 
proportion of Europeans at the Board of Commissioners." 

The Bill became Act IV (B.C.) on the 6th April 1876. The 
materia] improvements effected by the late Corporation of the Justices 
during the 12 years of its existence were thus summarized, and will 
give some idea of the measures which had combined to gain for 
Calcutta a reputation among the natives as a * health-resort.' 


" First in importance are the new drainage works. The complete 
scheme provides for 39 miles of brick sewers and about 137 miles 
of pipe sewers, and up to the end of 1875 ^^^ ^^^^ Corporation had 
completed about 38 miles of brick and 37 miles of pipe sewers. 
Those who know what the old drainage used to be, or who now see 
what the drains are which yet remain to be taken in hand, can alone 
appreciate the magnitude and significance of the improvement. The 
mechanical power and appliances, whereby the vast volume of liquid 
sewage is daily carried off to the Salt Lake, several miles distant, 
are upon an imposing scale. 

*' These works, so important to the health and convenience of 
the inhabitants, have already cost 67 /akhs or rupees (say £^70,000)^ 
and it is estimated that a further sum of 22 lakhs (£ttOyOOo) will 
be required to complete them. 

. " Closely connected with the drainage works was the question 
of a diffused and regular supply of pure water for drinking and 
other purposes. When the Justices first assumed office, the supply 
could be obtained only from tanks, of which the water was generally 
impure, often deleterious, and never sufficic^nt in quantity. The 
reform of the arrangements for supplying water was undertaken by 
the Justices, who have, with the support and approval of Government, 
provided Calcutta with a daily supply of 7,000,000 gallons of pure 
filtered water, at a cost of about 62 lakhs of rupees (say ;^6 20,000). 
On this supply (large though it was) being found insufficient, the 
Justices at once devised and carried out a supplementary scheme, 
by which about 1,500,000 gallons of unfiltered water is daily sup- 
plied for street watering and conservancy purposes. This additional 
scheme cost upwards of 2^ lakhs of rupees (£ 25,000).. 

'' The lighting of the town by gas had been taken in hand before 
the appointment of the Justices as a Municipal Corporation, but the 
lighting under their administration has been greatly extended. There 
are now about 105 miles of streets thus lit. 

*' To the Justices also the city is indebted * for the establishment 
of thoroughly clean and healthy slaughter-houses, and more espe- 
cially for the construction of a really beautiful and commodious 
market place for the European quarter of the place. 

'' The sanitary arrangements of the Municipality have also received 
the careful attention of the late Corporation, who at a considerable 


cost constructed a line of nul about 1 1 miles in length for the daily 
removal of the street sweepings. The ventilation and improvement 
of the citj have also been greatly improved by the opening out of 
some new streets of adequate breadth, by the widening 'of other 
streets, and by the converting of neglected and insalubrious areas 
into spacious squares, and gardens/' 

It was in 1876, when Dr. A. J. Payne became Health Officer of 
Calcutta, that, during his incumbency and at his instance, the first 
real steps were taken towards the improvement of the sanitary 
condition of the town. Calcutta it has been said, " is a remarkably 
difficult administrative charge. In the first place, it lies on a dead 
level, a feature that renders drainage and water-service matters of 
the utmost expense and trouble. Then again it includes numerous 
plots of land which are let out by their proprietors as sites for 
collections of huts, huddled together regardless of sanitation and 
with strong rights against municipal action. Finally, it is surrounded 
by suburbs, which the Census showed to be increasing at a greater 
rate than the City proper." 

Sir G. Campbeirs endeavour to legislate in 1872 was vetoed, it 
Mnfiu$(U Muni- ^^^^ ^ remembered, by Lord North brook, mainly 
cipautiot. Qu jjjg grounds that the legislation proposed would 

comprehend many classes of people not prepared for it and would 
lead to a sensible increase of local taxation. In 1875 Sir R. Temple 
undertook the task of consolidating the law relating to mufassal 
Municipalities, which was contained in a number of Acts. The new 
Bill aimed at avoiding the general objection taken to the measure 
vetoed on the ground that its tendency would be to increase muni- 
cipal taxation, and at adoptihg those taxes only which were familiar 
and already in force in difiFerent places. As regards the principal 
tax which would provide most of the funds in the Municipalities, 
each was allowed to elect whether it would have a tax upon the value 
of holdings, or a tax upon persons according to the circumstances 
and property to be protected of those liable to be taxed. In regard 
to other matters^ the Act of 1876 generally reproduced the existing 
provisions of the law. 

After his tour in Sikhim in the cold weather of 1873-74 Sir J. Edgar 

stkhim Tibet Submitted a Report of great interest, full of informa- 

tndo-nmte. y^n regarding that .country* The most important 


subject which came immediately before Government was the question 
of the best route for the development of commercial transactions 
with Tibet from our territories. An opinion had been expressed that 
the .line to be encouraged would be the route through Sikhim from 
Darjeeling, in connection with the Northern Bengal Railway (then 
being undertaken). While all attempts for the exploration of the 
routes into Tibet from the Bhutan Duars and the Assam valley had 
hitherto failed, and a passage through the Nepalese districts to the 
west would have to be secured through foreign and semi-civilised 
territory, Sir J. Edgar's personal experience confirmed the assurance 
that a safe and practicable line of communication could be effected 
in almost a direct course to the Tibetan frontier, passing through a 
country in friendly relations and willing to afford assistance. Sir 
R. Temple recommended that effect should be given to the 
provisions of th^ treaty of 1861 with the Sikhim Raj which referred 
to the construction of a road through its territory, and that the 
suggested alignment of road should be professionally surveyed. 
There were no trustworthy statistics of Tibet trade, but a large 
expansion of exports from British territory was anticipated, especially 
of piece goods and Darjeeling tea, and possibly of salt. Trade and 
traders, it is said, were waiting for the opening of means of communi- 
cation. '^ If to this can be added the hope that Her Majesty's repre- 
sentative in Pekin could prevail upon the Imperial Cabinet to 
discountenance the interference of its agents at Lhassa against the 
admission of our goods and merchandise, nothing would be wanting 
to ensure the most unlimited success.'* When the Government of 
India asked for statistics of the existing trade and an estimate of the 
cost of survey of a route to the Tibet frontier, it was calculated that 
the total trade, including both imports and exports, amounted to 
about 4i lakhs of rupees per annum, that the best route, to be made 
by the district officer of Darjeeling passable for laden animals, would 
be viil Pedong (37 miles from Darjeeling) to the Jeylap pass, 93 miles, 
and on to Chumbi, and that the survey of the route would cost Rs. 5,000. 
The Government of India approved the scheme for improving the 
route, but allowed no grant from Imperial revenues. The construction 
of a bridge over the Tista and the survey of the route were ordered, 
but the improvement of the road was postponed for want of funds. 
This trade route came into prominent notice a few years later. 


During 1874-75, a number of memorials emanating fron Mission- 
The BxciM ' ^^^^ ^"^ Temperance Societies and leading Natives 
P^^^^y- regarding the operation of the Excise system in 

Bengal, came before Government. The Board of Revenue JSir 
Alonzo Money, k. c. m. g. c. b.) reported fully on the subject and 
Sir R. Temple recorded his views at length on the Excise policy of 
Government, as follows : — 

'* They (the memorialists) may be sure that the Government 
entirely agrees with them in thinking that any general excess in the 
consumption of liquors, spirits, or drugs, is really a national evil ; 
that, so far from encouraging its existence or its growth for the sake 
of the revenue, the Government already does, and will willingly do, 
everything in its power to impose a check, or to exercise repression 
upon any excess, and that the efiForts of Government in this direction 
are only limited by considerations of the practicability or otherwise 
of attaining actual success in such repression. Whether or not in 
former periods, separated by many years from the present time, the 
excise laws, or the administration of them, may have indirectly led to 
expansion of the consumption, it has been shown that no sudi effect 
has been produced during recent years, and that, on the contrar}% 
every endeavour is made to prevent any such effect arising. The 
result of the fiscal regulations of Government now is to render 
liquors, spirits and drugs dearer than they would otherwise be ; 
to place some artificial restrictions on the productions and 
sale of these articles ; and pro ianto to impose a check on con* 
sumption. It is impossible to doubt that, but for these fiscal 
regulations, the consumption would be greater than it is ; and that, 
if the present system of taxation upon these articles, and the conse- 
quent interference on the part of the State, were to be abandoned, 
there would be an increase in the consumption. If it be an object 
morally (as I quite admk it to be) to do all we properly can to prevent 
the consumption exceeding reasonable limits, then that object is in 
some degree effected by the fiscal interference, without which indeed 
even this degree would not be attained. In making its arrangements, 
the Government is not influenced by the desire of fiscal advantage, 
nor b} the fear of fiscal laws. If any measure or proceeding of this 
nature could be demonstrated to be capable of checking excessive 
gonsumption, the Government would not be deterred from intro- 


ducing it by the prospect of diminution in the revenue. If such 
measure or proceeding should promise an enhancement of the 
revenue, the Government would refrain from adopting it if there were 
reason to fear that an excessive increase of consumption would be a 
concomitant result. 

But it must not be forgotten that, in making its arrangements, the 
Government is never free from the question as to how far it is 
possible to check the consumption. It is not possible to stop the 
consumption altogether, nor even to attempt to check it in any very 
great degree without introducing a fresh class of evils. Nothing 
would be easier^ in the first instance, than to do all that is recom- 
mended in the meniorials, to shut up public distilleries, to close 
shops, to withhold licenses for production and vend, to pass prohi- 
bitory regulations. But all this would utterly fail to stop or even 
check manufacture. One main result would be that the manufacture, 
which is now licensed and controlled, would continue, though illicit, 
and would be without any really practical control. While, on the 
other hand, new evils, namely inquisitorial proceedings on the part 
of Government officials, and persistent evasion on the part of the 
people— both circumstances directly conducing to demoralization — 
would be introduced. 

It is to be remembered that the materials from which liquors and 
spirits are manufactured, namely, molasses, rice, and the flowers and 
juice of certain trees, are articles produced in the greatest abundance 
in the country, are most easily obtained, and yield liquor or spirits 
by the cheapest and simplest processes within reach of the poorest 
persons. If therefore any section or sections of a vast population 
desire (as they certainly do desire^ to make liquor or spirits, it is not 
in the power of the most highly organised Government to altogether 
prevent them, without at least resorting to measures more injurious 
even than excessive consumption. 

The problem, therefore, is how to impose adequate restrictions 
without offering a clear premium on smuggling and other illicit 
practices ; how to frame the fiscal laws and rules in such a manner 
that there shall not arise any undue temptation to infringe them. 
The practicable solution of this problem has long occupied, and will 
continue to occupy, the attention of the ablest fiscal officers in 
Bengal. I will not venture to say that a perfect solution has been 


yet arrived at ; but without repeating the description given by Mr. 
Money of the several methods now in force, I will say that much 
progress has been made, and that, if any ways can be seen for 
further progress, they will be followed. 

Similar remarks may be made regarding the drugs, opium, and 
ganja. The opium, though not universally produced, is yet grown 
over a very extensive area. If there were to be anything like prohi- 
bition of the local consumption (and the memorialists seem to desire 
something like prohibition), the temptation to illicit practices would 
be so great that they would spring up to a degree beyond our power 
of prevention. Already these practices do exist, even in the absence 
of any special inducement, and frequently give rise to some anxiety. 
From this we can imagine what they would become if such induce- 
ment were virtually afforded by prohibition of local consumption. 
The production of the particular sorts of ganja now in use is, no 
doubt, much more limited. It has been considerably restricted of 
late years. Whether any further restriction will be practicable is 
a question under consideration. 

Next I observe that there is some difference of opinion on the 
question as to whether the consumption of spirits and drugs has 
increased of late years absolutely or relatively. It appears that the 
qt^stion is answered affirmatively or negatively, according as a longer 
or 'a shorter period is taken for the purpose of comparison. On the 
whole I Relieve that there has been no material increase whatever 
wit-iin the>last 5 years, and that there is no tendency whatever 
towards ffxcessive increase among the population as a whole. 

I have said no " excessive increase,*' because it cannot be affirm- 
el that there will be no increase either absolutely or relatively. It is 
aii obvious fact that the population is growing in numbers : it is almost 
certain that they will not diminish their average rate of consumption 
per head : it is on the contrary probable that they will slightly aug- 
ment the rate as their resources and prosperity increase. We may 
suppose that some of the agricultural and labouring classes will, 
while erecting better cottages, using better household utensils, wear- 
ing better clothes, and eating a better ration, slightly add to their 
consumption of liquor. If they do, they will not be acting different- 
ly from other nations ; nor could such a consequence be deemed 



But I cannot discover, either from the evidence in the possession 
of Government, or from inquiries I have been able to make while 
travelling about the country, that excessive consumption of drugs or 
spirits is prevalent among the people as a whole. The best calcula- 
tion that I can obtain seems to show that the people of these pro- 
vinces do not drink more than a wine-glassful of spirits per head in 
a year. It is difficult to imagine how as a people they could drink a 
smaller quantity unless they abstained altogether. Any supposition 
that they are becoming at all addicted to intemperance would be un- 
just to them. Taken in the mass, they must be regarded as a sober, 
quiet, and abstemious people. Neither has it been shown that crime 
is in any part of these provinces attributable to intemperance. A 
similar calculation as regards opium shows that the consumption 
does not exceed one ounce per annum for 14 persons, which may 
%e considered an extremely low average rate. 

It is probable that a great part of the people never see spirits at 
all. Among the lower classes; the only class who enhance their con- 
sumption are the labourers who are congregated upon large works 
and industries, belonging either to the State or to individuals or to 
corporations. With these particular classes there is not as yet any 
reason to apprehend excess, especially when the severity of their 
toil is borne in mind. 

But I fear that to this generally favourable descri|ition there is one 
notable -exception to be made, and that relates to several sections of 
the educated classes among the natives at the Presidency town 
(Calcutta) and at other large centres of national life. ' With these 
sections (which I trust are limited sections) intemperance appears to 
be on the increase. This fact is derived not at ail from foreign or 
hostile evidence, but from the testimony of the best-informed among 
the natives themselves. Such a circumstance cannot but cause 
sorrow and concern to the Government, inasmuch as these are the 
very classes^ who are bound to us by many ties of common subjects 
of study, a common vehicle of thought and expression, and common 
examples of knowledge for imitation. Some measures in detail have 
been proposed for counteracting this most sad and unfortunate 
tendency ; but I cannot hope that any such will prove efficacious 
unless the moral sense of these classes themselves shall restrain them 
from intemperance, unless the weight of public opinion shall help to 


enforce the necessary abstinence. I know that among the best- 
educated sections of the native community many classes are still 
proof against this miserable temptation. Having regard to the in- 
tellectual industry which distinguishes the whole of these sections of 
the people, to the desire to excel in mental pursuits and to win their 
way in life, which animates them all; I cannot but hope that those 
who ha^e yielded, or are inclined to yield to this temptation, will 
eschew their dreadful error before it is too late, and will return to 
the principles of that sobriety which is honorably characteristic of 
their nation generally. 

I apprehend that it is the contemplation of this intemperance 
among a limited section of the people under their immediate obser- 
vation which has induced the memorialists to generalize (as I think) 
too much, and to fear that the extent of the evil is much wider than^ 
it really is." 

The Missionaries also submitted memorials describing the evils 

of intemperance among the Sonthals, and urging 
u|»ug^ Government to adopt remedial measures. The 

subject caused some anxiety to Government owing 
to the^nature of the Sonthals, and the magnitude of the evil, cases 
being hnown of whole villages being fopnd drunk for days together. 
Much was done to check drinking and to lessen the facilities for 
buying drink by reducing the country-spirit shops from 532 to 207 
and the pachwai (ricebeer) shops from 113 to 35 in 3 years. Sir 
R. Temple wrote : — 

^ The fact remains that the drinking is not so much of country spirits, 
nor of ptichwai beer sold at licensed shops, but chiefly of the home-brewed 
ricebeer, called ^packwai " or " handiaJ* While the distillation of spirit 
other than under regulation is strictly prohibited, which prohibition is 
fully obeyed, the brewing of beer from rice for consumption at home, and 
not for sale, is permitted without restriction, the permission dating so far 
back as 1835. It is certain that the Sonthals drink very little of distilled 
spirits or of ricebeer purchased at the licensed shops, but they do drink 
very much of the homebrewed ricebeer at all seasons habitually, and at 
some seasons to such an extent as to cause long-sustained inebriation 
among the mass of the people for days, even for weeks, consecutively. 

'^The Reverend Missionaries, in the main, recommend the entire pro- 
hibition of the home-brewing of rice-beer. The Commissioner and the 
local officers (with only one exception) earnestly deprecate this : they 


doubt whether it could be enforced ; or, if it could, then they apprehend 
that the enforcement would bring a fresh class of serious evils into exis- 
tence. Looking, to the .present circumstances of Sonthalia, and to the 
several administrative measures which are now being carried out there, I 
am not at all prepared to announce or enforce any such general prohib - 
tion. On the other hand, we m^ust not be content with expressing in 
general terms a regret that such an evil should exist, and a hope, that it 
may remedy itself during the progress of society. Something practical 
must be attempted. I think that Government must make it clearly under- 
stood, both by the local officers and by the people themselves, that this 
excessive drinking of home-brewed rice-beer is a very serious evil which 
must be remedied sooner or later. The other races of Bengal do not 
indulge in this vice : neither can the Sonthals be allowed to do so. And 
the Sonthals must be clearly made to comprehend this. Whatever may 
be thought or said to the contrary, the Sonthals have a feeling of fear and 
respect for the commands of the Government ; and the knowledge that 
the Government is fully aware of the prevailing drunkenness, condemns 
the evil, and purposes to mitigate or to prevent it, so far as possible, will 
have some effect. But this is not enough. The Commissioner should 
instruct the local officers to summon the various headmen of parganas^ of 
circles of villages, and of villages, and to concert w^ith them measures for 
restricting the excessive consumption of the rice-beer. These men must 
well know that the Sonthals are the worse cultivators, the worse tenants, 
the worse woodmsn, the worse traders, for all this^ inebriation ; and their 
co-operation can, more or less, be reckoned upoli. They must be made 
to set a good example, and they must understand that hard drinking will 
be held to be a dis4tialif]cation for the office oif headman of any grade, 
whether of a village or of a circle of villages. 1% is probable that in the 
first instance the Sonthals will be induced to agree to some restriction or 
diminution of the brewing and the consumption. Much will depend on 
tact and management on the part of the local officers in obtaining such 
agreement, and in ensuring its being acted upon to some extent. Full 
reliance cannot, of course, be placed upon voluntary agrfsments in such 
a case as this. And thereafter when the people shall have become accus- 
tomed to a partial restriction carried out with their own co-operation, and 
when their moral sense shall have been roused to its necessity, it mdy 
become quite feasible to render the restriction authoritatively absolute. 
When the way shall have been paved for it by degrees, the people may 
hereafter be induced to accept it. Meanwhile the endeavours, made in 
consultation and concert with the people themselves, wiU have practically 
shown in detail the particular shape which the restriction should ultimately 



For some time, before the question of their intemperance arose, 

Doiurar of tiMir ^^^^ ^^ ^^'^ manifested various symptoms of 
''**^- uneasiness and restlessness among the Sonthals. 

Government was on the alert, as these people had risen more than 
once before. The disaffection manifested itself by a spirit of resis^ 
tance to the payment of rent. A settlement was in progress between 
the zamindarsy (chiefly Bengalis) and the raiyah (chiefly Sonthals), with 
the object of securing reasonably low rents fixed for terms of years, 
and to the zamindirs more punctual realization of their dues. K 
sort of religious movement had been for some time perceptible 
among the Sonthals and was increasing : they were leaving their abori- 
ginal religion and joining Hinduism, hoping perhaps thereby to form 
a kind of poliucal organisation. When the local authorities reported 
that disturbances were threatening, additional police were deputed 
to the Sonthal Parganas, and 2 companies of Native Infantry from 
Bhagalpur were stationed at Naya Dumka. After these precautions 
no attempts were made by the Sonthals to rise and the measures 
adopted produced a sedative effect. 

Sir R. Temple advocated the establishment of reformatories 

for juvenile offenders, that is, for the detention of 


young persons who were either criminal or were 
growing up in ways which must lead to crime. He formulated the 
principles on which such institutions should be based and proposed 
to legislate in the Bengal Council for the purpose. Subsequently 
the Government of India decided to legislate for the whole of India, 
as the matter concerned all parts of India alike, and Act V of 1876 
was passed. A reformatory was to be established at Calcutta, and 
others were contemplated as funds permitted. " But," (Sir R. 
Temple wrote) " the measure has been shorn of much of its useful- 
ness by the restriction which confines it to persons actually in jail 
under conviction for a particular crim&or offence. I had hoped to see 
it extended to those young persons outside the jails who are homeless, 
friendless, and uncared for, growing up in ways of vice and ignorance, 
which must lead to crime. It would have been easy and in accord- 
ance with the practice of civilized countries, to enact that the Magis- 
trate should, in all cases, on proof rendered, have power to order 
such persons to be placed in a reformatory. This course would be 
consistent with the highest moral duties of the State, and would save 


the society from much harm. I trust that hereafter the legislature may 
be induced to adopt it, especially if the experience of the present 
reformatories shall prove satisfactory." A reformatory was opened 
at Alipore on the 23rd March 1878 with 91 boys: and in 1882a 
second reformatory was opened at Hazaribagh for the Divisions of 
Qihar and Chota Nagpur. 

Besides the legislation which has already been mentioned, several 

important Acts were passed by the Bengal Council 
under Sir R. Temple, to which brief allusion 
may be made. The legislature was indeed unusually active. An 
officer (Mr. H. L. Dampier) was for 2 cold-weather sessions placed 
oh special duty in charge of legislation. Some' projects, of law, 
after being launched and advanced to a certain extent, were abandon* 
ed. Such were, for instance (i) a Bill to provide for the appointment 
of Managers in joint undivided estates, with the object of relieving the 
tenants from the trouble of separate collections of rent being made by 
several sharers. This separate Bill was rendered unnecessary by some 
provisions introduced into the Land Registration Act (2) A Bill to 
amend the revenue Sale Law. (3) A Bill to amend the General Police 
Act V of 1 86 1, so as to give legal effect to executive changes intro- 
duced into the police force of late years : (such as the organisation of 
the force, the powers of the Inspector-General and officers on the 
one hand and the Divisional G>mmissioner and Magistrate on the 
other) : (4) A Bill to prohibit the lev}' of illegal cesses in navigable 
channels, high roads and market places. The project of consolidating 
into one Code the enactments comprising the Land Revenue law of 
Bengal appears never to liave advanced beyond a Minute of Sir R. 
Temple and the memiorandum on which it was based. 

Among the important Acts passed were an Act of 1875 to enable 
Government to recover the sums due on account of loans advanced 
by Government during the famine operations of 1874 — an Act of 1876 
to provide for the voluntary registration of Muhammadan marriages 
and divorces — a consolidating Irrigation Act — ^the Land Registration 
Act of 1876 to provide for the registration of all lands, whether reve- 
nue paying or revenue-free, and of the proprietors and managers there* 
of, I. e., for the compulsory registration of proprietory and possessory 
titles in landed estates, so that the persons in actuaF possesion and 
responsible for the discharge of the duties of U^ndcd proprietors 


might be known, as always contemplated by the old Bengal Regular 
tions — and the consolidating Act of 1876 for the Partition of Estates 
with a view to prevent estates being subdivided into too minute proper- 
ties, unless under a redemption of the land revenue. This measure 
(after having once been vetoed) eventually allowed partition to be 
carried down to the limit of one rupee of revenue, with power to the 
landholder to redeem, in case the land revenue after partition should 
be less than one rupee. 

About this time, in connection with legislation, the powers of the 
Powers of the bengal Legislative Council came under considera- 
Bengal couDciL ji^n, gy scctiou 42 of the Indian Councils Act, 
1861, that Council could alter or repeal with certain exceptions any of 
the Acts or Regulations of the Indian Legislature relating to Bengal 
passed before that Act. And by section 43 of that Act, several 
matters were specified on which the Bengal Council could not legis- 
late without the previous consent of the Governor-General. Sir 
R. Teinple wrote as follows : — 

" In reference to this, however, it is to be observed that of late 
years there has been a great work of consolidation going on in the 
Legislative Council of the Governor-General, whereby the several 
laws, relating to any one subject previous to 1861, are collected and 
formed into one enactment, which is then, generally with some new 
amendment, passed as a fresh law by the Council of the Governor- 
General ; consequently the law upon that particular subject at once 
passes beyond the power of the Legislative Council of Bengal. Year 
after year one or more subjects will be coming under the process of 
consolidation, until ultimately the greater part of the substantive law 
of India will be found to have been re-enacted since the year 1861. 
In making this remark, I do not in the least desire to object to the 
principle of consolidating and amending the law, which is indeed an 
excellent principle. I only mean to point out that this necessarily 
curtails the functions of the local legislature of Bengal. Indeed the 
time may come when the local Council will, from this cause, find 
itself almost without any important work to do. There would, even 
in that case, remain some purely local and municipal matters to be 
dealt with by the Bengal legislature. But, upon most matters of real 
Importance, the power of legislation will virtually have been assumed 
by the je^^islatur^ of India. 


Admitting the excellence of the principle that the general laws of 
India should be consolidated, I quite perceive the difficulty of so 
arranging that the local legislature may not be bereft of a great part 
of its present functions. The only remedy which I can suggest is 
this, that power should be allowed to the local legislature (of Bengal 
or of other places as the case might be) to legislate upon general 
matters which had been dealt with by the Council of the Gov- 
ernor-General, provided that the sanction of the Governor-General 
had been previously obtained,^ and subject also to the restrictions 
already prescribed by section 43 of the Indian Councils Act. This 
would be only an extension of the principle of the section 43. In this 
manner no undue interference could be exercised by the local Coun- 
cil ; its proceedings even as regards the introduction of measures 
would be under complete check by the Governor-General, while on the 
other hand, its usefulness, as now existing, would remain unimpaired." 
Some years after, when a new Statute was passed, this suggestion 
of Sir R. Temple's was adopted. 

Early in 1 875, the question of amending the law relating to 

CfTii AinKMUs and ^'^'^ Appeals in Bengal, which was before the 
Appellate Bencbes. Legislative Couucil of the Governor-General, came 
to Sir R. Temple, who dealt with it in one of his longest Minutes. 
Certain defects in the existing state of the law of Civil Appeal 
were generally admitted. Sir R. Temple wrote : — 

^ There is at present a first or regular appeal to tribunals in the 
fnufass€tl (that is the interior of the country as distinguished from the 
Capital, Calcutta) on both law and facts. There is a second or special 
appeal to the High Court at Calcutta, on law only. It is this special 
appeal which is regarded on all sides as unsatisfactory— by suitors, 
because they cannot properly contend upon what, in India, is generally a 
most important point, the finding of the facts, which is at least as impor- 
tant as the application of the law— by Judges, because they find them- 
selves unable to do full justice to the merits of the case that are brought 
before them. There can be no doubt that if there is a second appeal 
at all (and all acknowledge that in many classes of cases there ought to 
be such appeal to the High Court) it must be upon facts as well as upon 
law. I need hardly stop to say more upon an argument which is incon- 
trovertible, as there is so much yet to be said upon points which are opeq 
to controversy. 


^The only thing here to be added is, that the effect of opening an 
appeal before the High Court on fiicts, as well as law, must tend to 
augment the number of appeals cognisable by, and the amount of work 
devolving on, that tribunaL 

** In the next place, I believe, in common with many others, European 
and Native, that there is already a want of finality in the decisions 
passed by appellate Courts in the mufassaly that already there is a ten- 
dency to bring not only all important cases, but also many cases of 
comparatively small importance, before the High Court in Calcutta. 
This want, and this tendency, must necessarily be aggravated by having 
the second appeal before the High Court on facts as well as on law." 

Sir R. Temple further dwelt on the arguments against the 
concentration of Civil Appeals in Calcutta before so expensive a 
tribunal as the High Court, and gave his opinion that they all 
pointed to the expediency of establishing tribunals in the mufas- 
sal for the lesser civil appeals, whose decisions should be final. 
He summed up his proposals in the 4 following proposi- 
tions :— 

I. — that provisions be inserted in the Bill (for amending the law 
of appeal in civil cases in Bengal) for the establishment of Appellate 
Benches in the districts of the mu/assal or interior of the country, 
such Benches to consist at least of a Judges, one a Covenanted 
Civil Servant and the other a native officer : — 

II. — that the present law, under which no second appeal is allow* 
ed in cases of the Small Cause Court class when laid by a single 
appellate Judge, or in rent suits in which there has arisen no question 
of right to enhance or vary the rent, or- relating to the title of land,. 
or some interest in it, and the present law of appeal in suits for 
enhancement of rent, remain unaltered : — 

HI. — that all appeals, other than those above described under 
heading II, and the value of which does not exceed Rs» aoo, shall 
be tried by the District Appellate Benches :^> 

IV.— that where the Judges of such Appellate Bench are un- 
animous, their judgment shall be final, provided that it shall be dis- 
cretionary for the Bench^ at the request of either of the parties, to 
state a case for the opinion of the High Court upon any question of 
law, or equity, or usage having the force of law, or construction of 
a written document affeaing the merits of the case ; and that, when 
the Judges differ, the jud^o^ent of the Coqrt shall be the judgmept 


of the Judge who concurs with the Court of first instance, provided 
that a second or special appeal shall lie to the High Court. 
' To carry out such, a scheme, Sir R. Temple proposed to con- 
stitute the Appellate Benches in one]of 3 ways, either — 

I. — Zilla or District Benches, consisting of the District Judge and 
the Subordinate Judge of each District, with the same territorial 
jurisdiction as was possessed by those officers : 


II. — Eight Divisional Benches, in which the Judges would be 
selected members, of the Covenanted Civil Service and selected 
Native Judges^ with jurisdiction extending over a Division comprising 
several districts, and with power to hear the said appeals from every 
district within the Division : 

.* III. — Eleven Divisional Benches, constituted as above, and with 
the same finality as regards their decisions up to Rs. 200, but with 


additional power of hearing appeals up to Rs. 5000 in value, with the 
proviso that, in the cases above the value of Rs. 200, a second appeal 
be allowed to the High Court. 

The third of these alternatives was regarded by Sir Ri Temple 
as probably more free from objection than any of the others ; and as 
the one most calculated to obtain the concurrence of the Judicial 

He advocated the adoption ofjat least one of the alternatives. *' By 
one or other of them the requisite limitation upon second appeals 
would be imposed ; better hearing and deciding would be provided 
for first appeals ; finality of appeal would be obtained nearer to the 
homes of the people *, appellate tribunals would be established in the 
interior of the country, more likely to command their confidence ; 
the status, the dignity, the independence, the prospects of the native 
judiciary would be raised; the Native Bar would be strengthened; 
and the administration of Civil Justice generally would be brought 
more into harmony with the circumstances and the requirements of the 
provinces under the Government of ^Bengal.*' 

The Lieutenant-Governor's proposal came in due course under 
the consideration of the High Court. The Chief Justice (Sir Richard 
Garth) preferred the third plan of 1 1 Appellate Benches, each to 
consist o{ 2 Judges, one European and one Native, but he express- 


ed his doubts whether 1 1 Civilian Judges coufcl be found widi 
sufficient experience and legal knowledge to perform the duties 
efficiendy and to command the confidence of the public ; and he 
suggested that some of the Judges should be selected from amongst 
the members of the Ban To this criticism, Sir R* Temple re- 
plied by naming individually more than a sufficient number of officers 
qualified to preside over the 1 1 Appellate Benches, and pointed out 
that the salary proposed for the appointments would not be high 
enough to obtain the services of Barristers of sufficient status and 
experience for the appointments, and that any Barrister so selected 
would be wanting in acquaintance with the people and the language 
of the country. The scheme was further considered after Sir R. 
Temple had left Bengal, but eventually came to nothing. 

The Economic Museum, which was established in Calcutta by Sir 
j^^^^^^^^j^ G. Campbell, received Sir R. Temple's full support 

ttajT'^partmrat ^^ objccts were the collection, identification, and 
^!S^^ihidttt£iu classification of the economic products of Bengal, 
sarrey. ^^|^ ^^ materials and manufactures ; the Commit- 

tee of Management being further charged with the work of ascertain- 
ing all that was already known regarding such products^ and digesting 
and reducing the information into practicable form for circulation. 
The Central Committee in Calcutta were to correspond with Local 
Committees in each district. A very large number of specimens of 
all classes of products were collected and scientifically arranged in the 
Museum : the collection of - rice alone included more than 800 
samples. In 1885-86 the Museum was removed from its old premises 
in Hastings Street, to the buildings adjoining, the Imperial Museum 
constructed for the Calcutta International Exhibition of 1883-84. 
The Committee was eventually dissolved on the ist April 1887, after 
making over, under a special Act of that year, to the Trustees of the 
Indian Museum the collections under their charge, which were 
grouped into 4 sections, viz., artware, economic, ethnologic, and 
industrial. The Trustees subsequently transferred the charge of the 
economic, ethnologic, and art sections to the Reporter on Economic 
products, under their control. 

Similarly Sir R. Temple developed his predecessor's scheme 
for the collection of statistics of all kinds, but chiefly those In 
connection with thc l^nd and irs^de. He proposed therefore t^e 


formation of a special Staiistical Department in the Government 
Secretariat, so ths^ the collection and exhibition of the general 
statistics of the province might be undertaken by the Govern- 
ment rather than by the Board of Revenue or any other autho- 
rity. The Junior Secretary to Government (Mr. H. J. S. Cotton) 
was for the time placed in charge of the department. A monthly 
publication, named the Indian Economist, had been for some time 
brought out under the supervision of Mr. Knight, the Assistant 
Secretary, to which was added a supplement, named the Statistical 
Reporter. The property in this paper was purchased by Government 
a^d it was decided to discontinue the Indian Economist as an organ 
of opinion on economic matters, but to keep up the Statistical Re- 
porter as a Government publication, to bd published monthly and 
contain all the Statistical information received by Government. It 
was about this time that a proposal for an Industrial Survey of 
India, originated by Dr. Forbes Watson, came under the con- 
sideration of the Government of Bengal. The scheme contemplated 
a complete survey of the production, and consumption of Inliaa 
wealth, with a full description and classification of collected speci- 
mens of every product and of the machines and implements used. 
It contemplated also the formation of Honorary Committees in each 
district to be assisted by the local officers in collecting specimens 
and transubmitting them to a Museum in London. The final result 
of the scheme was to be the preparation and publication of a Dic- 
tionary of Commerce for India, to be prepared in England to 
illustrate the Museum to be established there. Sir R. Temple 
regarded the scheipe as hardly practicable. He considered 
that the desired results could be more successfully and satis- 
factorily achieved by proper arrangements designed and perfected 
in Bengal itself, than by an organisation however ably superintended 
having its head and centre in England. He thought that the indus- 
trial exploitation of India should be undertaken by the several 
Provincial Governments and the administrations, subject of course 
to higher authority, but that the n\anagement of such work should 
be dealt with in detail by special departments under the Local Gov- 
ernments. In other words, he considered the principal features of 
Dr. Forbes Watson's project to be administrative matters within the 
special province of Government and beyond the pale of such sm 


inquiry as an Industrial Survey resting upon atiy basis less sure than 
that of Government. While expressing his willingness to co-operate 
as far as possible with the scheme proposed he addressed himself 
to the development of the Statistical Department and Economic 
Museum in Bengal. The defective character of Agricultural statistics 
in Bihar and North Bengal came prominently to notice in connec- 
tion with an inquiry undertaken under the orders of Government, 
after the famine of 1874, by Mr. (now Sir) A. P. MacDonnell into the 
agricultural condidon and food-supply of those provinces, the results 
of which were presented in an elaborate and valuable Report, with a 
view to placing in clear relief the relations in each district between 
the failure there and the consequent distress, in order that in future 
Government might benefit by this experience in determining the 
provision to be made for meeting distress. Sir R. Temple was 
anxious to prosecute inquiries in selected areas in certain districts, 
specially in Bihar, to obtain accurate agricultural statistics, but 
financial exigencies did not admit of the proposal being sanctioned. 
The want of agricultural statistics had arisen partly from the fact 
that the revenue survey, when carried out, deliberately abandoned 
any idea of displaying any interior details of cultivation and waste, 
or of lands, [culturable or unculturable. Sir R. Temple wrote 
that he could scarcely foresee the time when a cadastral sun*ey of 
Bihar and North Bengal would be made, or when complete agri- 
cultural statistics worthy of the name could be obtained. This was 
written in 1876 and what seemed so improbable then was actually 
undertaken in 1891, as will appear hereafter. 

For some years the promotion and prospects of the meiAbers 

of the Civil Service in' Bengal had been far from 
i^SS^ffoS?* satisfactory. In the years 1861, 1862 and 1863, a 
SSL? •"^u*?«'S veryjarge recruitment was made, with the result that 
pS^**®*'"*'^® the Civil servants of subsequent years were some- 
what lower in the scale of promotion than men of 
preceding years and than they might reasonably have expected to be. 
The complaint had been found by inquiry to be true in the N. W. 
provinces and certain measures of relief were sanctioned, namely — 
the grant to military officers in civil employ of certain pecuniary 
inducements to retire : the grant to civil servants who had not com- 
pleted 31 years* residence in India, but who had completed so years' 


service or more, of a pension pro];>oitionate to the length of their 
actual residence : the grant of personal allowances to any Civil 
servants who might be shown to have suffered unduly and extraor- 
dinarily from slowness of promotion : the possible formation of 
additional districts in places where the district jurisdictions were 
excessive in size. 

Sir R. Temple examined the matter and came to the con- 
clusion that the position of the Bengal section of the Service, 
though not so unfavourable as that of the North-West, still 
afforded valid grounds for alarm. He suggested the employment 
of Bengal Civilians in Assam, the guarantee of a minimum salary 
to all officers, and permission to senior officers to retire on a 
graduated scale of pensions. At the same time, Sir R. Temple 
recommended as an administrative improvement and public benefit, 
irrespectively of the object of accelerating promotion in the Civil 
Service, the formation of some additional districts in BengaL He 
thought the following districts to be very large ; namely, the 34- 
ParganaSj Nadia, Jessore, Midnapore, Mymensingh and Rangpur, and 
proposed the redistribution of their areas. He proposed that there 
should be 4 new districts, having their headquarters respectively 
at Khulna, Kushtia, Contai, and Jamalpur (in Mymensingh) at a total 
cost of a lakh and ten thousand rupees for salaries and establish- 
ments, besides a lakh of rupees' for buildings. After some years 
the district of Khulna was created. The admission of natives of 
proved merit and experience to offices previously reserved for the Civil 
Service having been determined upon. Sir R. Temple discussed the 
subject in a Minute dated 5th June 1876, which may be quoted as 
follows : — 

^ The two main branches are of course the Judicial and the 
Executive. It is not necessary to add much to -that which has so 
frequently been urged regarding the suitableness and propriety of 
appointing natives to the higher offices in the judicial branch. 
Doubtless they are well qualified for this important kind of work, 
and this naturally is the branch wherein their employment in the 
higher capacities will first be extended ; in fact such employment 
of them has already been tried, in some instances with a good degree 
of success. 

But believing the measure to be designed for ^dually giving to 


thei natives a larger share than heretofore in the higher posts of the 
administration of their native country, for placing them more and 
more in positions of trust and responsibility, for elevating and 
strengthening their character, mentally and morally, I desire to point 
out the expediency — nay even the necessity — of appointing them to 
some of the higher offices in the executive branch. The moral 
effect upon the natives of the higher kinds of executive employ 
would be greater even than that of the higher kinds of judicial 

*^ When recommendations are made for restricting the measure 
to the judicial branch, there seems to be some idea underlying this 
view, to the effect that the judicial branch chiefly demands those 
intellectual qualities in which natives excel, whereas the executive 
branch demands qualities other than intellectual, such as energy, 
decision, self-reliance, power of combination and organisation, of 
managing men, and so on, and also physical activity, qualities which 
are deemed to be as yet imperfectly developed in natives. Therefore 
it seems to be thought preferable to refrain from placing natives in 
the higher class of executive posts, which, according to this view, 
had better be reserved for the present exclusively for Europeans. 

'* But, if this be the case, it is a cogent reason for beginning to 
appoint natives to the higher offices in the executive branch. For 
certainly these qualities, other than* intellectual, are of the utmost 
consequence to the well-being and progress of a nation. If our rule, 
having been firmly consolidated, is to be made to guide the natives 
on and on towards their highest good, these are the very qualities 
that should be specially cultivated. And one notable way of culti- 
vating them is to employ meritorious natives in those higher exe- 
cutive capacities which will stimulate energy, enforce acUvity, 
strengthen the will, brace the sense of responsibility, and educe 
those moral forces which are summed up in the expression *' man- 
hood." If In due course of time we do not succeed in calling forth 
these qualities in the natives, there must be doubt whether our rule 
succeeds morally and socially, however successful it may be mate- 
rially and politically. And if it be the fact that such qualities need 
further development in the natives, then in the discharge of the 
responsibility which "we have assumed towards the people we surely 
ought to do all that in us lies to supply the deficiency. If we dq 


not altempt to do this, we shall be allowing a manifest imperfection 
to exist in our arrangements for the practical training of the people. 
The employment of the natives in the higher civil capacities is a 
potent instrument in such training. And of the two parts of such 
employment, namely, the executive and the judicial, the executive 
is, for this purpose, the better. 

" If it be said that natives ought not to be appointed to a higher 
class of civil posts when it is doubtful whether they will succeed, 
I should rejoin that if no such trial is made then certainly the 
natives never will or can become fit : that the question cannot be 
brought to a satisfactory issue until a trial is made ; that it is but 
just to the natives to give them a chance : that their unfitness ought 
not to be assumed until they have been tried and found wanting ; 
and that all the reasons which justify the general measure under 
consideration dictate that it should be applied to the executive as 
well as to the judicial branch. 

" The higher judicial posts to which natives should be appointed 
are judgeships, and I have elsewhere explained the manner in which 
this could be best arranged. The question remains as to what are 
the higher executive posts to which natives could be appointed ? 
These are none other than Magistrate-Collectorships or the charges 
of districts. In our system the office of Magistrate-Collector or 
District-Officer is the unit of responsibility ; it is the cardinal office 
which is deemed to test a man's fitness for independent command, 
and to call forth all those qualities which have just been described. 
Already natives fill many executive posts, short of the chaise of a dis- 
trict, with credit and advantage ; but they have never yet been appoint- 
ed to the charge of districts. It appears to me that, if the measure 
now ordered is to have a full trial, some selected natives ought to be 
appointed to district charges, that is, to be Magistrate-Collectors or 
District Officers. In no other way will their real worth be so well 
tested as in this, and no other kind of appointment would be so effec- 
tive as this for carrying out the policy now determined upon. 

" In the first instance it would be expedient to choose some of the 
smaller and easier districts, of which there are some few in these pro- 
vinces, in which to appoint natives to be Magistrate-Collectors. And 
it is to be borne in mind that in a district so chosen the subordinate 
offices, generally filled by Europeans in other districts, must be filled 


by natives, such offices as those of the Joint-Magistrate, the Assis- 
tant, the District Superintendent of Police, the Civil Surgeon. Herein 
there will be no difficulty, as qualified natives are available for all 
these offices. 

'* This Minute refers only to the principle of the matter. I do not 
advocate any extensive -employment of natives either as Judges or as 
Magistrate-Collectors. It would suffice at first to appoint one or two 
in each branch. The further extension of the system would depend 
on the success of the trial, and on the arrangements connected with 
the constitution of the Covenanted Service,^ which should le 
separately considered." 

These suggestions were not acted upon by the Government ot 
India, but conduced to the general settlement of the question in 

In 1876 the Bengal vernacular newspapers teemed with references 
,_. „ ,, to "the Fuller case," the case of an assault on a 


**^-* native servant resulting in his death, which had occur- 

red in Upper India — and it has not been forgotten to this day. It 
came before Lord Lytton soon after his arrival in India, and he 
caused the following letter to be addressed from the Government of 
India to the North Western Provinces Government. Though the 
occurrence took place elsewhere, the order of Government greatly 
affected Bengal, and may well be quoted here. 

" The facts of the case are as follows : One Sunday morning, Mr. 
Fuller, an English Pleader at Agra, was about to drive to Church with his 
family. When the carriage was brought to the door, the syce failed to be 
in attendance, but made his appearance when sent for. For this cause 
Mr. Fuller struck the syce with his open hand on the head and face and 
pulled him by the hair, so as to cause him to fall down. Mr. Fuller and 
his family drove on to Church ; the syce got up, went into an adjoining 
compound, and there died almost immediately. 

*' The Joint Magistrate of Agra, before whom Mr. Fuller was placed 
to take his trial, framed the indictment under section 323 of the Indian 
Penal Code for " causing hurt to one Katwaroo, his syce ;" and it appear- 
ed from the evidence of the Medical Officer who had conducted the post 
mortem examination that the man had died from rupture of the spleen, 
which very slight violence, either from a blow or a fall, would be sufficient 
to cause, in consequence of the morbid enlargement of that organ. The 
evidence in the case does not show any other assault ; at least the Joint 



Magistrate disbelieved (appaiently on good grounds) all that portion of 
the evidence which referred to any other assault The Joint Magistrate 
found Mr. Fuller guilty of " voluntarily causing what distinctly amounts 
to hurt," and sentenced him to pay a fine of Rs. 30, or in default to under- 
go 15 days simple imprisonment ; directing the amount of the fine to be 
made over to the widow of the deceased. At the request of the Local 
Government, the High Court expressed an opinion on the case, which 
was to the effect that the sentence, though perhaps lighter than the High 
Court would have been disposed to inflict under the circumstances, was 
not specially open to objection. 

"The Governor-General in Council cannot but regret that the High 
Court should have considered that its duties and responsibilities in this 
matter were adequately fulfilled by the expression of such an opinion. 
He also regrets that the Local Government should have made no inquiry, 
until directed to do so by the Government of India, into the circumstances 
of a case so injurious to the honour of British rule, and so damaging to 
the reputation of British justice in this country. 

" The Governor-General in Council cannot doubt that the death of 
Katwaroo was the direct result of the violence used towards him by Mr. 
Fuller. He observes that the High Court assumes the connection bet- 
ween the two events as being clear. Yet on reading Mr. feeds' judg- 
ment he does not find that that gentleman ever considered the effect or 
even the existence of this connection. Mr. Leeds did, indeed, consider 
whether Mr. Fuller ought not to be subjected to a more serious charge, 
but only because there was evidence given of further violence used by him, 
which evidence Mr. Leeds rejected, on grounds which are here assumed 
to have been sufficient. He seems, however, to have viewed an assault 
resulting in the death of the injured man in just the same light as if it 
had been attended by no such result. 

"The class of misconduct out of which this crime has arisen is 
believed to be dying out ; but the Governor-General in Council would 
take this opportunity of expressing his abhorrence of the practice, in- 
stances of which occasionally come to light, of European masters treating 
their native servants m a manner in which they would not treat men of 
their own race. This practice is all the more cowardly, because those 
who are least able to retaliate injury or insult have the strongest claim 
upon the forbearance and protection of their employers. But, bad as it 
is from every point of view it is made worse by the fact, known to all 
residents in India, that Asiatics are subject to internal disease which 
often renders fatal to life even a slight external shock. The Governor* 
General in Council considers that the habit of resorting to blows on 
every trifling provocation should be visited by adequate legal penalties. 


and that those who indulge it should reflect that they may be put in 
jeopardy for a serious crime. 

" The Governor-General in Council cannot say whether Mr. Fuller 
would have been convicted of a more serious offence, such as that of 
causing grievous hurt, or that of culpable homicide, had he been charged 
with it. But this he can say with confidence that in consequence of 
Mr. Fuller's illegal violence his servant died, and that it was the 
plain duty of the Magistrate to have sent Mr. Fuller to trial for 
the more serious offence ; a course which would not have prevent- 
ed him from being punished (indeed he could thus have been more 
adequately punished) for the lesser offence, if that alone had been 

" But besides his error of judgment in trying this case himself, the 
Governor-General in Council thinks that Mr. Leeds has evinced 
a most inadequate sense of the magnitude of the offence of which 
Mr. Fuller was found guilty. The offence was that of " voluntarily 
causing hurt." That is an offence which varies infinitely in degree, 
from one which is little more than nominal to one which is so 
great that the Penal Code assigns to it the heavy punishment of 
imprisonment for a year ami a fine of Rs. i,ooo. The amount of hurt 
and the amount of provocation are material elements in determining the 
sentence for such an offence. In Mr. Fuller's case, while the provoca- 
tion was exceedingly small, the hurt was death. For this, Mr. Leeds, 
while saying that he intends to inflict a punishment something more than 
nominal, inflicts only a fine of Rs. 30. The Governor- General in Council 
considers that, with reference either to the public interests, or to the 
compensation due to Katwaroo's family from a person in Mr. Fuller's 
position (and it does not appear from the papers that Mr. Fuller has 
made any other compensation), such a sentence is wholly insufficient. 
He considers that Mr. Leeds has treated the offence as 'a merely nominal 
one, and has inflicted a merely nominal punishment ; and that to treat 
such offences with practical impunity, is a very bad example and likely 
rather to encourage than repress them. 

" For these reasons, the Governor-General in Council views Mr. 
Leeds' conduct in this case with grave dissatisfaction. He should be so 
informed, and should be severely reprimanded for his great want of 
judgment and judicial capacity. In the opinion of the Governor-General 
in Council, Mr. Leeds should not be entrusted, even temporarily, with 
the independent charge of a District, until he has given proof of better 
judgment and a more correct appreciation of the duties and responsibi- 
lities of Magisterial officers for at least a year," 

In 1876 also, there was much excitement in a station in Bengal 


with respect to the action of the Magistrate in certain municipal affairs 
Removal of a *"^ Specially in the institution of criminal proceed- 
jcagifltrate. i^gg against a Municipal Commissioner. Govern- 

ment t^k what they considered adequate notice of the Magistrate's 
conduct, but the Native Press became violently agitated on the 
siibject and the British Indian Association addressed Government, 
asking that further notice might be taken of the matter. The 
Association expressed an opinion that the Magistrate's misconduct 
had been imperfectly understood by Government and insufficiently 
visited, and they went on to say that there had been a grave failure of 
justice and a derogation from the high principles of our ordinary 
administration. Sir R. Temple reviewed the situation in a Minute 
which embodies principles of considerable interest : — *' I must 
at the outset express my surprise that the Association should 
have been betrayed into language so unmeasured and so uncalled for. 
There has been no failure of justice whatever. On the contrary, much 
care has been taken to mete out justice to both of the parties con- 
cerned, and to set such an example as shall ensure a moderate and 
cautious exercise by District Officers of the large and varied powers 
entrusted to them. On the other hand, the Government has had to 
avoid even the semblance of sacrificing its officers to a certain sort of 
clamorous agitation which happens to have arisen in this case. 

** Mr. was severely censured by the Government of Bengal — 

istly, for marked discourtesy towards Babu in ordering him to 

leave the Committee room on the occasion of a meeting of the 
Municipal Commissioners ; 2ndly, for having issued a warrant for 
his arrest, and for bringing him to trial on certain charges which 
were not supported by evidence ; and 3rdly, for having passed orders 
directing the Babu to see that the latrines were guarded, which orders 
were so worded as to cause offence. 

" On a careful review, then, of all the circumstances of the case, 
I considered that the displeasure of the Government would be suffi- 
ciently marked by depriving Mr. of his district, and that the 

want of judgment and proper discretion which had been shown by 

Mr. under somewhat exceptional and difficult circumstances did 

not call for a heavier punishment. The punishment inflicted, it is to 

be observed, moreover, was by no means a light one ; for Mr. 

would have retained his acting appointment until his time arrived to be 


confirmed, and by his reduction he has forfeited an acting allowance 
of Rs 400/ p€r mensem, or about one-third of his total salary. The 
charge of the district was given to him as a reward for service in the 
famine. The loss of it entails a lowering of position coiftiderably 
detrimental to the prospects of a rising officer, and cannot but be 
felt by a junior civil servant, not only as a severe punishment, but 
as a heavy blow. The British Indian Association seem to regard the 
punishment as light or nominal, to represent that he was merely 

transferred from to headquarters, that he was merely deprived of 

an appointment which he could not under any circumstances have 
lonf; retained, and so forth. All this is pure misapprehension. On 
being summarily removed from his CoUectorship, he was ordered 
to Calcutta until his services could be made use of. He was shortly 

afterwards posted to , an undesirable district. In this part of 

their representation, the Association show themselves to be ill- 
informed or misinformed to a degree which is very unsatisfactory. 

'* The statement made by the British Indian Association, that the 
insufficient notice taken by the Government of conduct was tanta- 
mount to a failure of justice, is apparently based on the assumption 

that Mr. had no warrant whatever for his proceedings. In fact, 

however, the Babu was by no means blameless, and fully deserved to 
be visited by some notice from the Magistrate, though, of course, that 
notice ought to have been taken in a proper and legal manner. The 
real case, in my judgment, as regards the Babu was this. He had, 
as a Municipal Commissioner, opposed strenuously certain measures 
regarding public latrines. This opposition on his part was quite 
legitimate, and he had a right to make it if so minded. But while 
doing this he must have seen an excitement growing among the 
townspeople which ended in acts of incendiarism. He may not have 
at all intended that such consequences should follow ; he may have 
regretted their existence. But he must have kno^^n the necessity of 
preserving a temperate demeanour. Nevertheless, after a final and 
conclusive meeting of the Municipal Commissioners, he allowed 
himself to be drawn into a conversation with an excited crowd out- 
side the Municipal building, after which the people proceeded to acts 

of violence. The Magistrate, Mr. , was bound to investigate this 

on hearing of it ; but, instead of making such investigation first and 
taking evidence on oath, he at once arrested the Babu on a criminal 


charge of using language to the crowd calculated to excite them to 
violence. The charge broke down, because it was impossible to 
prove what exact words the Babu had used. But that the Babu had 
behaved very injudiciously there can be no doubt ; and, if he had 
trouble and anxiety in defending himself from the public charges, 
these were consequences which he had brought upon himself by his 
own conduct. 

Mr. 's fault was in this wise. He had cogent reasons for 

instituting inquiry ; the Babu did deserve to be placed seriously on 
his defence ; but he gravely erred in arresting under critical circum- 
stances a Municipal Commissioner on a criminal charge witAout 
having any sworn or recorded information. The Magistrate had 
indeed pow^er by law to order the arrest, but he made a very injudi- 
cious use of the power. The consequence was that he placed him- 
self in the wrong, while affording, however erroneously, a semblance 
of right to the other side. The trouble occasioned by the opposition 
— ^the Municipal opposition — which he had received appears to have 
irritated his mind and disturbed his judgment, rendering him too 
hasty to prosecute. But essentially he acted in good faith ; indeed 
there is no conceivable motive for his acting otherwise. 

And as regards the orders to the • Babu to guard the latrines, 
however injudiciously they may have been worded, still it is to be 
remembered that the latrines were the points in danger ; some had 
been fired and burnt and some had been threatened. When, there- 
fore, special constables were enrolled (of which the Babu was one), 
it was natural and necessary for the Magistrate to order them to 
guard those quarters where the latrines were situated, though it was 
also desirable that the orders should be so worded as to avoid 
causing offence unnecessarily." 

Sir R. Temple was proceeding in Noakhali on an ordinary 
tour when he heard of the disaster which had 
8tSi»S^l?oi'Se happened in the highly cultivated and thickly in- 
fn"^ B«cke4uuge habited islands at the mouth of the Megna, known 
^ ^ ' as the groups of Sandip, Haua, and Dakhin Shabaz- 

pur, and on both the banks of that great river. He promptly visited 
the points where it seemed probable that the worst stress of the 
storm must have been felt He inspected a number of villages on 
the islands and the banks of the river and had the precise mortality 


in each house ascertained in his own presence on the spot. In esti- 
mating the mortality, he was assisted by Mr. Beverley, late Inspector- 
General of Registration, an officer of known statistical ability. The 
estimate was prepared with all possible care. The conclusion arrived 
at was that, in an area of some 3000 square miles, out of 1^62,000 
persons suddenly thrown into danger, 215,000 must have perished. 
" This of course is only an estimate ; the exact number cannot be 
known yet awhile, perhaps never will be known. We found in some 
villages 30 per cent of the inhabitants lost, in others 50 per cent, in 
some even 70 per cent. The total seems very high ; I earnestly hope 
that it may be found to exceed the truth, and that the facts may not 
prove to be quite so dreadful. Still such is the estimate at present. 
At the least there must hwe been a most shocking loss of human 
life. And even the urgency of our duty towards the surviving cannot 
drive from our minds the sorrow for so great a multitude of dead'\ 

Sir R. Temple described the occurrence and his visit to the 
locality in picturesque Minutes, from which the following passages 
may be extracted : — 

" There was a severe cyclone in the Bay of Bengal on the night 
of the 31st. October 1876. But it was not the wind which* proved so 
destructive, though that was terribte enough. It was the storm wave, 
seeping along to a height from 10 to 20 feet, according to different 
localities ; in some places, where it met with any resistance, mounting 
even higher than that. 

In the evening the weather was somewhat windy and hazy, and 
had been unusually hot, but the people retired to rest apprehending 
nothing. Before 11 o'clock the wind suddenly freshened, and 
about midnight there arose a cry of '^ the water is on us/' and a 
great wave several feet high burst over the country. It was followed 
by another wave, and again by a third, all 3 waves rushing rapidly 
onwards, the air and wind being chilly cold. The people were 
thus caught up before they had time even to climb on to their 
roofs, and were lifted to the surface of the surging flood, together 
with the beams and thatches of their cottages. But the homesteads 
are surrounded by trees —palms, bamboos and a large thoi^y species. 
The people were then borne by the water on to the tops and 
branches of these trees. Those who were thus stopped were saved, 
those who were not must have been swept away and were lost. 


" The bodies of the lost were carried to considerable distances, 
where they could not be identified. The corpses began to putrify 
before the water cleared off the ground, so they were left unburied 
in numbers all over the country. Weather-tossed sea-men in the 
Bay of Bengal saw many corpses floated out from land with the 
waves. Corpses were flung on to the sea-shore at Chittagong^ and 
living persons were borne thither across an arm of the sea, clinging 
to the roofs or beams of their own houses, as if upon rafts. 

Most of the local native officials were drowned, — Deputy 
Magistrates, Police Inspectors, Native Civil Judges, Notaries and 
others. There were few resident landlords and few land-agents on 
the spot. The villagers mostly consisted of cultivators with various 
kinds and degrees of tenures, and of sub-proprietors— -a substantial 
yeomanry in fact — and they were the richest peasantry in all 

The loss* of cattle, cows and bullocks, was utterly disastrous. 
Some part of the large herds of buffaloes was saved, these animals 
being exfellent swimmers. 

When the storm burst there was an abundant rice crop ripening 
for the harvest — the well-known deltaic rice crop, which is much 
beyond the needs of local consumption, -and affords quantities 
(measured by thousands of tons annually) for exportation to distant 
districts. A part was lost, that in which the plant had not advanced 
beyond the stage of flowering, and a part was saved, that ifi which 
the grain had formed or begun to form. That which is saved is now 
amply sufficient for the population now on the land. 

Since the first few hours of inevitable destruction, not a life, so 
far as we can learn, had been lost from any preventible cause, nor 
has any one been in extreme danger. Those who perished in that 
fatal instant of time passed suddenly beyond aid ; but those who 
then escaped are still sustained, or are sustaining themselves, sufii- 
ciently well. The disaster, big though it be, has yet happened in the 
midst of plenty and of rural wealth. All around the fated and \i*asted 
area there are excellent crops and abundant stores. The local autho- 
rities acted with the utmost energy in giving temporar}* succour to the 
most distressed, in re-establishing social order, which had been 
suddenly broken up by the universality of the disaster, and in restor- 
ing public confidence. Those who have lost their agricultural wealth 


have still some left, and doubtless possess considerable credit. Soon, 
therefore, will boats come pouring in by the numerous channels and 
creeks, from districts teeming with water-carriage ; soon will fresh 
cattle be swum or ferried across the rivers from the over-stocked 
districts of Eastern Bengal ; soon will the grain bazars be reopened, 
and the rustic marts be filled with the surplus produce of neighbour- 
ing tracts. 

Fortunately cholera, although it has been sporadic all over 
Backergunge, did not break out in this district with overwhelming 

The above remarks refer more particularly to Noakhali proper, to 
Hatia, and to the Backergunge district, but not so much to the San- 
dip group of islands belonging to Noakhali. The inhabitants there, 
instead of being scattered in little hamlets, are towards the centre 
collected .into large villages well protected by trees and (what was 
very important), having large tanks with high banks round them* 
Consequently, although towards the shores of the islands the people 
were swept off exactly in the manner I have described, yet towards 
the middle they for the most part escaped, as the wave was not rela- 
tively quite so high, and the trees were more efficiently protective, 
apparently checking the rapidity of the wave and allowing the poor' 
people a few minutes of time, during which they crowded on to the 
banks of the tanks, and so kept their heads above water. On the 
outer villages towards the shores the mortality was quite as sad as 
anything that has been reported. In the inland villages it was for- 
tunately less. 

On the other hand, the storm waves here came from the south, 
that is from seawards, and receding left the tanks and other drink- 
ing water brackish (instead of being fresh, as was happily the case in 
Hatia and in Backergunge), and caused the stagnant water, remaining 
after the wave had passed, to be foetid. Thus cholera set in soon 
after the first disaster. A little later there came a storm 
of wind and rain (the ghost, as it is called, of the cyclone), 
suddenly lowering the temperature of the atmosphere and sorely 
chilling the houseless people. This fresh misfortune aggravated the 
choleraic plague, and left the people in a state of deep depression. 
It seemed as if the survivors of the cyclone wave would slowly perish 
by pestilence. Every arrangement which forethought could suggest 


has however been carried out by the local authorities. Native medical 
officers with medicines have been stationed at appropriate places, 
additional Native Doctors and Assistant Surgeons have been des- 
patched from Calcutta, the Sanitary Commissioner was deputed to 
the spot; still, notwithstanding all these exertions, the mortality from 
cholera has been very great, and in some places was expected to 
exceed the mortality from inundation. 

'* It may be asked whether any protective means against such 
calamities in future can be devised — any embankments or the like. 
This question will be duly considered ; but at present I know not 
how to devise such safeguard, nor have I seen anyone who can 
suggest anything. The area to be protected would be too great 
to be encompassed with protective works. If embankments became 
breached in such a storm, they would afterwards do more harm than 
good, for they would prevent or retard the running-off and the 
subsidence of the waters. Perhaps the people might build perches 
for themselves on platforms and the like ; but the trees which invari- 
ably surround the homesteads serve this purpose admirably, and it is 
to them that the survivors mainly owe their escape. Another means 
of protection would be the construction of a large mound some 30 
feet high in the midst of each village, to which the people might 
fiy on emergency. ' But this could hardly be managed unless the 
scattered hamlets should be much more concentrated into villages 
than at present ; and it would involve a considerable change in the 
mode of habitation, a change in which the people would probably 
not acquiesce. They will, I fear, be found unwilling to undertake 
troublesome and expensive precautions, seeing that these disasters, 
though not unfrequent somewhere or other in a less severe form, do 
not visit the same locality in such intensity save at long intervals of 
time. Without specifying the exact date when the last event of such 
gravity befell the delta of the Megna — one case of this kind 
happened in 1822, — most people say that there has been nothing 
like the recent cataclysm since the middle of the last century." 

A special officer was deputed to inquire and report and the fullest 
instructions were issued by Government for the relief of the suffer- 
ing population. The Queen telegraphed through the Secretaiy of 
State that she was ' deeply concerned at the appalling loss of life in 


Subsequent inquiries showed that the actual loss of life by drown- 
ing was fortunately not so great as at first estimated. The total 
number who perished on that disastrous night, so far as the officers 
of Government coula ascertain, was 98,945, of whom 2,901 belonged 
to the district of Chittagong, 43,544 to Noakhali and 52,500 to 
Backergunge. The terrible outbreak of cholera which followed did 
not disappear till the end of January 1877. The deaths from cholera 
were known to have reached the number of 37,662, and the actual 
mortality was probably even greater. The total loss of life, directly 
and indirectly attributable to the cyclone, must have amounted to 
nearly 150,000 souls. The authorities exerted themselves to the 
utmost to alleviate distress and to combat sickness. Charitable 
relief was afforded where required, advances of money were given 
to the distressed raiyais, the payment of the Government revenue on 
some estates was suspended, and large additions were made to the 
local medical staff. It was satisfactory to find that, notwithstanding 
the appalling destruction of life aud property and the serious injury 
done to the crops on the ground, the affected localities showed no 
signs of permanent impoverishment. The people soon returned 
to their accustomed avocations, trade and commerce resumed their 
activity, and the resources of the districts proved sufficient not only 
to supply the wants of their own population, but to export food in 
large quantities to meet the demands of Madras.. 

The above pages will have shown that, when the Bengal-Bihar 
famine of 1874 terminated, a number of important 


administrative matters of which some account has 
been given came before Sir R. Temple. Matters of less impor- 
tance, to which also he devoted his personal attention, were 
numerous, such as, the appointment of a Health Officer for the Port 
of Calcutta, the establishment of a floating hospital, a navigation 
canal between Calcutta and Eastern Bengal, the establishment of a 
vernacular Medical School at Patna, ghatwali tenures in Bankura, 
the establishment of authorized lodging houses (or hostels) for 
students at Government Colleges and Higher English Schools, an 
asylum in Calcutta for natives afflicted with incurable diseases, 
scholarships for girls, codification of the Land Revenue law of 
Bengal, revision of the Bengal Jail Code, Street tramways for Calcutta 
to be established by private enterprise, &c. &c. With a view tQ 


encourage physical exercise and manliness in Bengal youths, he 
held a gymnastic tournament (one of the first meetings of the kind in 
the province), at Belvedere on the 7th January 1875, the competitions 
being limited to Government institutions. 

Some of the projects to which I have alluded were carried out, some 
made no further advance, others contained the germs for future de- 
velopment. The years 1875-76 were characterised by the personal 
energy and activity, both physical and mental, of Sir R. Temple. Being 
devoted to riding, he made a point of seeing everything with his own 
eyes and discussing all questions on the spot with the best local 
information available. He rarely omitted to take his ride, morning or 
evening, whether in the plains or in the hills, and encouraged others 
to maintain their health and consequent efficiency for the public 
service. It was on one of these morning rides that he nearly lost 
his life, as he* has himself described: — ''I narrowly escaped an 
accident which exemplified the risks attending all horsemen on 
Himalayan bridle-roads. Close to Darjeeling I was riding quickly 
round a sharp comer on an Australian mare. Meeting an officer, 
I took my right hand of! the rein to return his salute. At that 
moment my mare got her hind feet over the precipitous side of the 
roadway. I instantly slipped off to relieve her of weight, and tried 
to hold her up, but in vain. She tore herself away from me and 
fell — in a second or so I heard a crash — she had come upon the top 
of a great tree that rose up from below. I obtained assistance and 
extricated her from the tree. But she reached the shelving rocks at 
its base and swerved before I could catch her. Then she went down 
headlong till stopped by a sfump which staked her. We made a 
sick-bed for her on the steep hillside and afforded medical treat- 
ment. But she died, not so much from the stakewound as from 
the nervous shock.'' Thus, he made considerable tours in Sikhim, 
combining health with the investigation of important political 
questions, the results of which were duly recorded. One of these 
tours took him into the heart of Sikhim to the monasteries of Tassid- 
ing, Pemiongchi and Sangachelling : another to the passes of the 
Chola, Gnatuila, Yakla, and Jeylep, from Sikhim into Tibet : another 
along the Nepal-Sikhim border to the snowline of Kinchinjunga. 
And every part of the provinces was visited in turn, the horses 
(Walers and Arabs) always being taken if possible. In July 1875 


he went by the Rhoias from Dhubri to Gauhati, and rode thence 
up to Shillong to confer with Colonel R. H. Keatinge, v. c. the 
Chief Commissioner. We rode the 60 miles down on a sultry day 
in July ; one stout officer had a touch of sunstroke, but Sir R. 
Temple did not suffer. Indeed his activity was so great, and his 
movements were so constant that they M'ere the subject of general 
comment, especially in the famine year, 1874. He has himself thus 
reproduced these comments (Story of my Life, I. 250) : " European 
society at Calcutta seemed disposed to take umbrage at mv constant 
absence from the capital. Perhaps they did not adequately bear in 
mind the permanent need, of saving life from famine, which had 
called and kept me away. The feeling was cleverly reflected by 
one of the comic newspapers of the day in Calcutta by a cartoon 
representing my various modes of locomotion. First I was seated 
in the observation car of a railway train, looking, out of window 
in all four quarters. Then I was riding on a mule, winding my way 
through packloads and transit-carts— next on an elephant, looking 
quite cross at the slowness of the pace. Anon I was standing on 
the deck of my State barge, going at full speed with the river's 
current, then in a little launch pushing up into creeks and stream- 
lets. Lastly I was galloping on horseback up to the great gatewav 
of Belvedere Park, my own Government House, over which was a 
large board attached, with the words " Belvedere to let." All this 
must have been meant for satire, but, perhaps unintentionally, the 
satirist was conveying the highest forms of compliment ; and my 
hope was that I deserved it. When however, I had settled down for 
a while at the capital, a cartoon of another sort *came out, amidst a 
series of pictures then appearing of public men. I was in Court 
dress standing before a mirror, evidently in some reverie relating to 
Indian promotion. This time the caricaturist missed his aim, for 
my ambition, such as it was, lay far away from India." 

By the Act of Pariiament, 39 and 40 Vic. Cap 10 (" to enable 
Atfiumpfeionof ^cr Most Gracious Majesty to make an addition 

^Hw'SSiit:?** to the Royal Style and Titles appertaining to the 
the Queen. Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom and its 

Dependencies "), and by the Proclamation dated the 28th April 1876, 
Her Majesty assumed the additional title of '' Empress of India". 
Lord Lytton, by a Proclamation djvted the 1 8th August announced 


his intention " to hold at Delhi, on the ist day of January 1877, an 
Imperial Assemblage for the purpose of proclaiming to the Queen's 
subjects throughout India the gracious sentiments which have 
induced Her Majesty to make to Her Sovereign Style and Titles an 
addition specially intended to mark Her Majesty's interest in this 
great Dependency of Her Crown, and Her Royal confidence in the 
loyalty and aifection of the Princes and Peoples of India/' The 
Delhi Assemblage was attended by Sir R. Temple as Lieutenant- 
Governor, accompanied by a number of ladies and gentlemen and 
leading native gentlemen of Bengal. The assumption of the Imperial 
title was celebrated throughout Bengal on the ist January 1877 by 
darbars held at the head-quarters of each of the Divisional Commis- 
sioners. In Calcutta a darhar was held by the Commissioner of 
the Presidency Division, for Calcutta and the 2^-Parganas, At the 
head-quarters of every other district a darhar was held by the chief 
civil authority. The ceremonies which were observed at the darbars 
consisted of the reading of the Act of Parliament authorising an 
addition to the Titles of Her Majesty, and of the Royal Proclamation, 
in English and the^ vernacular, the delivery of an address by the 
presiding officer, the distribution of certificates of honour to those 
gentlemen who had distinguished themselves by assisting in the 
administration of the district or who had otherwise rendered good 
service to Government ; and, in those districts where troops were 
stationed, they were paraded and fired salutes and a feu-de-joie. The 
darbars were in most cases followed by fire-works, illuminations, 
and other public rejoicings, and by the distribution of alms to the 
poor. The sum of Rs. 40,000, granted by the Government in aid 
of the public rejoicings on this occasion, was distributed among 
Calcutta and a few of the chief towns, and was largely supplemented 
by contributions from private individuals in other districts. At some 
stations subscriptions were collected with a view to commemorate 
the occasion in some permanent form. Under the orders of the 
Government of India, 3,082 convicted prisoners in Bengal were 
released on the ist January and partial remissions of their sentences 
were granted to 5,862 more. Sixty four debtors were also released 
from the civil jail on the same date, the Government taking upon 
itself the responsibility of paying the claims for which they were 
detained, amounting in all to Rs. 3.389. A certain number of 


convicts undergoing sentences of transportation at Port Blsur and 
other penal settlements were released. In all districts there was a 
very commendable display of loyalty on the occasion of the procla- 
mation of the Queen's new Title, and the gracious sentiments expressed 
towards the people of India by Her Majesty were well received and 

When Sir R. Temple attended the Imperial Assemblage at Delhi 
he was, at the time, Governor-designate of Bombay. 

Deputation to o / 

Madnw rad The threatened famine in the Madras and Bombay 

Bombay Eunliie. 

Presidencies was causing great alarm to the Gov- 
ernment .of India, especially with reference to the famine administra- 
tion and the great expenditure in Madras under the Duke of 
Buckingham's Government. Sir R. Temple was accordingly deputed 
to those provinces by the Viceroy (Lord Lytton) by the following 
Notification, issued at Delhi on the 5th. January : — 

** His Excellency the Governor- General -in-Council, having had 
the advantage of personal conference with the Governors of Madras 
and Bombay regarding the condition of parts of their respective 
Presidencies which are at present afflicted by scarcity, deems it expe- 
dient that a high officer fully acquainted with the views of the 
Government of India should visit those Presidencies for the purpose 
of inspecting the distressed districts and communicating personally 
with the two Governments regarding the measures which are being 
carried out, and which will have to be carried out, for the relief of 
distress, and of ofiFering for their consideration any suggestions he 
may deem suitable. His Excellency in Council has accordingly 
resolved to depute the Hon'ble Sir Richard Temple, Barty 
K.C.S.I., Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, on a special mission for 
the above purpose. Sir Richard Temple will report his proceedings 
from time to time to the Government of India in this Department.'' 

He made over charge of Bengal to the Hon'ble A. Eden 
at the Allahabad Railway station on 8th January 1877 ^'^^ 
proceeded to the Deccan. Accompanied by Mr. (Sir) C. E, 
Bernard, c.s.i., as Secretary, myself as Private Secretary, Major S, 
Rivett-Camac, Dr. Robert HaiVey, Major (Sir) W. W. S, Bisset, he 
spent the months, from January to the end of April, chiefly in Madras, 
on this famine mission, and on its termination the Government of 
India issued the following Notification, dated the 30th April 1877 •'— 


" The HonTjlc Sir Richard Temple, Bart^ k. c. s. i. being about to 
assume the' office of Governor of Bombay, to which he has been appointed 
by Her Majesty, and being in consequence under the necessity of closing 
the special mission on which he has been employed since the beginning 
of January in the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay and in the 
territories of His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore, His Excellency the 
Viceroy and Governor-General in Council desires to give public expres- 
sion to the high sense which the Government of India entertain of Sir 
Richard Temple's services on this occasion. 

' When in January last it was deemed expedient that a high officer 
fully acquainted with the views of the Government of India should visit 
the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay for the purpose of inspecting 
the districts afflicted with scarcity, and communicating personally with 
the two Governments regarding the measures which were being carried 
out for the relief of distress, the choice of the Government of India at 
once fell upon Sir Richard Temple as the officer whose experience, ability, 
and energy pointed him out to be specially qualified for the duty. At 
a considerable sacrifice of personal comfort and convenience, Sir Richard 
Temple promptly responded to the call made upon him, and has con- 
ducted his arduous and delicate mission with signal ability and success. 

' The energy and devotion which have enabled him to undergo an 
amount of physical exertion which few could have accomplished are not 
more remarkable than the thoroughness of his inquiries and the judg- 
ment and tact which have characterized his communications with the 
Local Governments and their officers. To the Government of India Sir 
Richard Temple has rendered invaluable assistance at this trying juncture, 
in enabling it by his clear and lucid reports to appreciate the actual facts 
of the situation ; and His Excellency in Council is persuaded that the 
Government to which he was accredited must recognise the advantage of 
his practical suggestions for the relief of distress and for promoting a 
judicious economy in the heavy expenditure which is being necessarily 

. ^ The Governor-General in Council has no doubt that, if life and 
health be spared to him' in the high office which he is about to assume. 
Sir R. Temple will add fresh and important services to those which he 
has already rendered to the State during his long and distinguished 
career. In entering upon his new duties he carries with him the best 
wishes of the Government of India." 

A contemporary author wrote of him as follows : — 

' Sir R. Temple succeeded to the Lieutenant-Governorship, 

with the cordial goodwill of Lord Northbrook, whose, 
rather than Sir George CampbelKs, famine officer, 



or dictator, be had been. He was in robust health when he 
took up the duties which his predecessor In ill health 'had let 
fall. His career as an officer had been one of marked success ; 
in particular, as Chief Commissioner of (he Central Provinces, 
he hai shown qualities scarcely expected in him, for healing the 
wounJs of war by developing and fostering arts of peace. That 
he had a pDwerful pen, and an extraordinary amount of physical 
eniurance, were spoken of as facts known to every one; and 
he had a knowledge which Sir George Campbell did not possess, 
of what is meant by the phrase " live and let live/' together 
with a faculty of infusing a cheerful spirit into other men, while 
carrying out his own ideas in cases of dispute. The Viceroy 
and Sir George Campbell had appeared to clash from the firs% 
The .Viceroy and Sir R. Temple agreed from the first, and 
agreed to the end. In the relations of Sir R. Temple to his 
officers and to Native India, there cannot be a doubt that the change 
from Sir George Campbell was welcomed generally. The new 
Lieutenant Governor did try to please. A noble project, worthy of 
further reference, to create a Native Science Association had for 
some years hung on the verge of success. Sir R. Temple 
pushed it over the verge and it succeeded, or at all events lived. 
Even his financial speeches, opposed as they justly were in much, 
unpopular as they were in many points, exhibited a wonderfully facile 
power in the mastery and arrangement of details. That he soon 
forgot the opposition to him is perhaps a proof that he cared merely 
for performing well the duties of the passing hour, whereas Sir 
George Campbell would have proceeded on some hard and fost line 
of principle which years would not have obliterated. When Sir 
Richard left Bengal for Bombay the Native Press was, as far as 1 
saw, all but unanimous in asserting that he had meant to rule justly 
and well. His great qualifications were, good administrative ability, 
cheerful spirits, an interest in other people, and a valuable power of 
forgetting. He could be a veritable Lieutenant Governor without state, 
and could maintain his dignity without perpetually insisting upon 
it in bis intercourse with men of any rank.' 

I was so intimately connected with Sir R. Temple both by mar- 
riage and by office that I must refrain from adding comments of my 
own. One remark pefhaps is permissible, that his Lieutenant- 

44 - 


Governorship was merely one episode of a public career of 49 .years, 
and not the climax of his services to the state. 

He had been made a Baronet in August 1876, after the Bengaj 
Governor of famine of 1873-74 ; he succeeded Sir Philip Edmond 

Bombay. Wodehouse, K. c. B., G. c. s. I. as Governor of Bom- 

bay on 1st May 1877 : and was made a G. C. S. I. in January 1878. 
Sir R. Temple is the only Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 

snUequcnt ^^^ ^^* ^^^^ ^'8^^ office in. India after holding the 

airoor. Lieutenant-Govemorship substantively. His Gover- 

norship of Bombay does not fall within the scope of this work. 
The despatch of the Indian troops to Malta in 1878 af^d the Afghan 
war were events of that period. He afforded great assistance to 
the Candahar column, particularly by pushing on the railway to 
Quetta. His statue was erected in Bombay by public subscription, 
and unveiled by Lord Reay, who expressed a hope that the Civil 
Service would in future boast many men equal to Sir R. 
Temple in personal energy, unfailing industry, and versatility. He 
suddenly returned home to England in March 1 880, in order to 
accept the candidature offered to him by the Conservative party for 
East Worcestershire, but was. defeated. He sat as a Conservative 
in the House of Commons for - the Southern or Evesham Division 
of Worcestershire from 1885 to 1892, and for the Kingston Division 
of Surrey from 1892-5. He was for years a Member, for the City of 
Tendon, of the I^itdon School Board, and was elected Vice-Chair- 
man and Financial Member thereof from December 1885 to Easter 
1894. He was President of the Social Science Congress at Hud- 

He was the author of " India in 1880*': ** Men and Events of my 
Time in India,*' in 1882 ; " Oriental Experiences," in 1883 J'* Cos- 
mopolitan Essays,'* 1886 ; ^'Palestine Illustrated/' 1888 ; " Journals 
kept in Hyderabad, Nepal, Sikhim and Kashmir;" Memoirs of 
•*John Lawrence," in the series of " English Men of Action''; and 
" James Thomason" in the " Rulers of India'* series : ** The Story of 
my Life," 1896 : " Life in the House of Commons^ ' 1900, besides 
separate articles on Indian subjects. 

After his return to Europe Sir R. Temple maintained for 
years the same activity of mind and body which had distinguished 
him in India. Besides his labours in the House of Commons, he 


found lime for other pursuits. He wrote the books above menlioned. 
He travelled more in Europe, America, ^RXpt and Palestine than any 
other Anglo-Indian ; and he took a prominent position in addressing 
many scientific and religious Societies and Associations connected 
with India and others, such as — the Royal Geographical Society, 
the Church Missionary Society, the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel, Chambers of Commerce, the British Association, the In- 
stitute of Bankers, the Society of Arts, the Royal Institute of British 
Architects, the United Service Institution, the Scottish Arboricultural 
Society, Ac, &c, arid for several years was President of the East 
India Association, and Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the 
Cooper's Hill pjigineering College. He was granted Honorary 
Degrees by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. A notice of 
Sir R. Temple and his career appeared under the heading 
'• Celebrities at home" in the JVor/d some years ago, which contained 
the following passage : " Although he^has during nearly the whole 
course of his life been placed in ^positions of great authority and 
responsibility, it may be said that he has enjoyed the rare fortune 
of never making an enemy, a fact which is undoubtedly due to his 
unvarying sense of justice and to his kindness of heart.'* 

On the 8th. of February 1896 he was sworn as a member of tlie 
Privy Council, and retired from Parliamentary life. 

He married, ist, in 1849, Charlotte Francis, (who died in 1855) 
d. of B, Martindale Esq., of London (by whom he had 2 sons and 
one daughter), and j 2nd, in 1 871, Mary Augusta, eldest daughter of 
C. R. Lindsay Esqre., b. c. s. Judge of the Chief Court of the Panjab 
(by whom he had 2 sons). 


The Hon'blf. Sir ASHLEY EDEN, k. c. s. i. 


After two Lieutenant-Governors from other provinces, the 
appointment reverted to the Lower Bengal branch of the Civil Service, 
the officer selected being one who had for years been among its most 
prominent and able members. The Hon'ble Ashley Eden was the 
third son of Robert John Eden, third Lord Auckland and Bishop of 
Bath and Wells, and nephew of George Eden, Earl of Auckland, 
Governor-General of India. He was born at Herlingfordbury in 
Hertfordshire on 13th November 1831 : educated first at Rugby, and 
then at Winchester until 1,849, ^^ which year he received a nomination 
to the Indian Civil Service. He spent 1850 and 1851 at Haileybury, 
but did not pass out (last of his term) until December 1851. He 
reached India on the 29th May 1852 and was first posted as Assistant 
Magistrate-Collector at Rajshahi, and had charge of the Subdivisions 

of Nator, and of Aurangabad in the Murshidabad 

FrcTioua CatMr. 

district : was Assistant to the special Commissioner 
for suppressing the Sonthal insurrection, 1855, Deputy Commissioner 
Sonthal Parganas, 1856 : on medical leave to the Mauritius, and 
exposed the wrongs of the Indian coolies there : Magistrate and Col- 
lector of Barasat 1856, and Magistrate of Murshidabad; during the 
Indian Mutiny he did much to check sympathy with the revolt in that 
city : M'as Junior Secretary to the Board of Revenue, 1859 • Magistrate 
and Collector and Salt Agent of Cuttack : Special Envoy to Sikhim 
1 86 1, signed a treaty with the Raja, which secured protection to 
travellers and free trade : 1862-71, Secretary to the Government of 
Bengal and ix-officio Member of the Bengal Legislative Council : in 
1863-64 Special envoy to Bhutan : (an account of this Mission has 
been given in its proper place): on leave from May 1867 to 
November 1868: in March 1871 Officiating Chief Commissioner 
ot British Burma (being the first Civilian to hold that appointment) : 
confirmed in 1873 : in 1874, C. S. 1. : in 1875, Officiating Member 
of the Govemor-Generars Executive Council for 6 months: 

Fi-oTii apholu^raphby Mbss't" Brairns & Shepherd. 


Additional Member of the Governor-General's Legislative Council, 
October 1875 to February 1876 : leave, February to December 1876 : 
in January 1877 Officiating Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, con- 
firmed on I St May 1877 : K. C. S. L in 1878. On iiis retirement 
from India he was appointed a Member of the Secretary of State's 
Council in 1882. 

When Lord Lawrence readied Calcutu in January 1864. lo tal;c 
up ilie Viceroyalty, tlie Bhutan Mission under Sir A. Kden had started. 
In a letter to Sir diaries Wood, tlien Secretary of State, the Viceroy 
made some remarks on Sir A. Eden which may be reproduced here, 
as showing the reputation he had already gained : '' When I first 
arrived in Calcutta there was so much pressing matter that I gave no 
heed to the Bhutan Mission. When I saw from Mr. Eden's notes 
that he had met with difficulties and impediments I became a little 
anxious, but I did not like to recall him. There was not sufficient 
information to justify my doing so, and Beadon moreover thought 
that it was too late, and that Eden had got too far on the road to be 
recalled : I therefore did nothing, trusting that his savoir-faire and 

judgment would bring him through It seems to me that it was 

a mistake sending a Mission into the country at all ; for there. was no 
proper authority with whom to negotiate. But it was a still greater 
mistake for Et'en to go on, when he found that the *Rajas were un- 
willing to receive liim. Perhaps, however, I am only wise after tlie 
event ; and I do not wish to condemn Eden who, by all <iccounts, is a 
very fine fellow." ' 

Before he became Lieutenant-Governor Sir A. Eden was thus 

'haract r described in an Indian newspaper by an anony- 
aketch. moys writer : ** The portraits of the Hon'ble 

A. Eden in the Anglo-Indian Press convey the idea of an official 
Ghoul of naturally malign proclivities, or of a bad-tempered 
Indian Machiavel. The Native papers, on the other hand, 
have uniformly held him "up as the undaunted champion of 
their rights and claims, their chief protector against ' the* self-seeking 
of the European adventurer.' The English public has not on the 
whole, in Bengal at least, cherished towards him very friendly 
feeKngs. He has been too frequently in opposition to great interests 
to be much loved : and men will ascribe all evil to him who puts 
their craft in danger, however closely he may follow ideas of duty, 


false or true. Even those who had suffered nothing at his bands 
regard him with suspicion as a clever and prejudiced official, whose 
pen drops gall, and whose tongue cuts shrewdly, who came somehow 
to grief in Bhutan, and is, therefore, presumably the author of every 
.misfortune that has befallen the country since. Among his brother 
officers there are many whom his sparkling abilities and social 
geniality have made his friends ; and it is said no stauncher friend 
than he could any man possess. But his inability to overlook an 
inanity, forgive an injury, or endure a snob, — his reckless satire and 
love of pungent antithesis, — have made him seem to many a very 
guerilla, the Ishmael as it were of the Civil Service. 

Impiger, iracundus, inexoralills, acer. 
Jura negat sibi nata, nihil non arrogat armis. 
There is not in the whole Indian Civil Service one who has been 

■ - • 

.more emphatically a public man, regarding whom more facts are 
known or more lies told, or who has been the happy recipient ol 
more rapid promotion." 

It was also said of Sir A. Kden that, if Bengal had had to choose 
a Lieutenant-Governor, he probably would have been its choice. .On 
the otlier hand it may also be mentioned that the Viceroy had nomi- 
nated for the vacancy his colleague in Council. Sir A. J. Arbuthnot, 
K. c. s. I , (who was the second choice when Sir G. Campbell was 
appointed), but high legal authority, in England h£|d pronounced him 
to be ineligible, as he had retired from the Civil Service. Sir A. 
Kden had attended the Delhi Imperial Assemblage as Chief Com- 
missioner of British Burma, and took over charge of Bengal on the 
8th January 1877 at Allahabad, as has been said above. His Private 
Secretaries were Capt. H. Boileau, i. c. s. : Lt, Col. H. H. Siansfield: 
and Mr. E. R. Henry, i. c. s., successively. 

The Annual Administration Reports in Sir A. Eden's time were 
not so interesting as those of his predecessors. He 

The Annual • •.. i • i> • • ^i- 

Adminutration deliberately reverted (o a more formal style. ** Of 

late years there has been some tendency to depart 

from the instructions of the Secretary of State and -Government of 

India, and to give the Report a more or less discursive character. It 
: (s uiiderstood that what the Local Government is really required to 

famish is a concise record of the realized administrative facts of the 
. year, mainly for proposes of official reference. Such a record is 


dbviously not intended to be an argumentative vindication of the 
policy of Government, or to be made a vehicle for the speculative 
discussion of questions which have no immediate bearing upon the 
actual occurrences of the year under report. Such discussions are apt 
to raise hopes which may never be fulfilled, and are not unfrequenlly 
quoted as pledges of a policy which Government may at a future time 
find itself unable to carry out." 

The year 1877 opened with the Imperial Assemblage at Delhi. 
The loyal enthusiasm which the occasion evoked 

Kvent8 of politi- , ^ , , . i. . j j , 

chI aigoificancc throughout the land was even then overclouded by 

tkud the famine. 

the shadow of the general calamity of famine which 
shortly afterwards overspread the southern and western Presidencies. 
The outbreak of war between Russia and Turkey appealed strongly 
to the sympathies, both political and religious, of an important 
section or the population. In Bengal, however, th^ effect of these 
occurrences was less keenly and less directly felt than in other parts 
of the Empire. In connection with the war between Russia and 
Turkey, religious services were hdd in some of the .Calcutta 
mosques, and subscriptions were raised to succour the sick and 
wounded and the families of soldiers who might fall in the war ; 
bat the movement hardly extended beyond the Presidency town, and 
exfiited little interest among the^bulk of the Muhammadan population 
in the eastern districts. The famine, which desolated the districts 
of southern India, extended to only one corner of the provinces 
under the Bengal Government, a tract of about 100 square miles 
in the south-west bf Orlssa, near the Chilka lake. Throughout 
this tract the harvests eiitirely failed, and & population of about 
12,000 souls was reduced to a condition of the utmost destitution. 
Relief was afforded by Government and from 'private charily ; local 
public works were set on foot ; and, though there was much 
unavoidable suffering, the worst extremities of famine were thus 

One result of the famine in the south and west of India was to 

Result of the Stimulate commercial activity in Bengal toim almost 

famine. unprecedented extent. Large quantities of grain 

were forwarded westward by the railway, still larger quantities were 

sent by sea to the south. The charges for freight rose to an unusual 

height ; the Port of Calcutta was crowded with vessels taking cargoes 


on board for Madras ; there were not enough " cargb-1 oats ' to piit 
the rice on board, and the number of pilots to take the ships to 
sea was insufficient. For several months all the appliances of the 
Port were strained to the utmost to supply this unusual demand. 
A Famine Relief Committee was organized, embracing all classes 
of the community, and subscriptions to the amount of above 
j[\ 2,000 were collected ami remitted to the distressed distiicts. 
A separate appeal, made by the Chief Commissioner of Mysore. 
Vas liberally responded to in the districts of Bihar, which had been 
assisted 3 years previously in the time of their own need, and 
a sum of about £ijZO0 was collected and forwarded to Mysore 
from the Patna and Bhagalpur Divisions. 

Under the orders of the Government of India, in connection with 
the Imperial budget for 1877-78, the system of 

Rxtenaion of the • 

■jfttem of pro. . provincial finance received a further and a very 

Tindal flnanoe. . 

important development, arising out of the pressing 
necessity of providing in prosperous times a substantial surplus 
of income over expenditure, ip order to nieet famine charges and 
to enable the Government to defray expenditure on all unremunera- 
tive public works out of ordinar}' income, and not from borrowed 

The decentralization scheme of 1870-71 had resulted both in 
economy and improved administration. The growth of expenditure 
had certainly been checked, and, in the few branches of revenue 
that had been transferred, there had been a decided development 
of income. The Government of India therefore considered that 
the best way out of their financial difficulties lay in giving the Local 
Governments a direct interest in the improvement of some of the 
more important heads of revenue, securing at the same time to the 
Imperial Government a share in the results that might be expected 
to follow. 

Accordingly, the revenues of the following departments, hitherto 
under Imperial control, were surrendered to the Local Government 
on condiyon of the payment of a fixed annual contribution to the 
Imperial treasury : — excise ; stamps, with law and justice : and 
portions of the customs, salt, marine, and miscellaneous receipts. 
The contribution to be made in respect of excise was calculated 
to as to secure an annual increment under that head of one lakh 


bf rupees for the Imperial Government. Under stamps, and law 
and justice, a| lakhs per annum were similarly demanded as the 
normal gro\nh of that head. The contributions under the remaining 
heads transferred were generally calculated on the basis of existing 

The opportunity was taken to make over to the Local Government 
wiih fixed grants various branches of expenditure hitherto reserved 
as Imperial. In fact, the Supreme Government retained under its 
direct control only those grants which for some special reason ii 
was undesirable to make over to provincial control. 

The various departmental receipts were transferred to the 
Government of Bengal for a fixed contribution in 1877-78 of 
Rs. 1,91,07,000 and the charges were transferred with a fixed total 
assignment of Rs. 1,34,70,000. Combining the previous Imperial 
assignment with these figures, the result was an Imperial grant (for 
1877-78)... of Rs.54,22,oco. The Government of India, however, 
in concluding these arrangements, deducted Rs. 5,90,000 from the 
previous Imperial grant of 1,10,59,000 as a lump retrenchment or 
contribution from provincial resources. The net grant for 1877-78 
therefore stood at Rs. 48,32,00a 

In connection with the development of the system of provincial 
finance it was resolved to render the I«ocal Government responsible 
for the cost incurred, and to 1^ incurred in the future, on the 
construction and management of extraordinary public works — that 
is to say such public works as railways and works of irrigation — which 
had been constructed with borrowed money and had not been paid 
for out of the revenue of the year. The Provincial Public Works 
Act, II (B. C) of 1877, was accordingly passed, and came into force 
in June 1877, to provide for the levy of a cess for the construction, 
charges, and maintenance of provincial public works. It was little 
more than an application of the existing method of assessment and 
valuation under the Road Cess Act to the new cess. It made the 
Road Cess valuations the basis of a new additional assessment, the 
proceeds of which would be devoted to the construction and main- 
tenance of provincial public works. Tlie rate of the cess was to be 
fixed by the Local Government from time to time for each district, but 
Was not to exceed the rate of half an anna in the rupee of the annual 
value of the lands in a district : and half of it was to be paid, as the 


road cess had previously been, by the raiyat and the other half by 
the zamindar. The time and manner of making payments were to 
be the same as under the Road Cess Act: Also,1n order further to 
provide funds to meet the heavy expenditure which might at any time 
be rendered necessary by relief measures in any province, it was 
decided that Bengal should contribute for this purpose a sum, which 
for the year 1878-79 was fixed at Rs. 21,15,000; and as it would 
have been unfair to throw additional taxation on the agricultural 
classes, who had to bear the burden of the local public works cess, 
the furtHer sum required was directed to be raised from the commer- 
cial and industrial classes by means of a license tax on trades, 
dealings, and industries. This led to the -passing of Act I (B. C.) 
of 1878, the Bengal License Act, which canje into force towards the 
The Ben .d closc of February 1878. The Act provided for the 

License Act. j^yy Qf ^ license fee on trades, dealings and indus- 

tries throughout Bengal. No person whose annual earnings from his 
trade, &c. were less than Rs. 100 was liable to the tax ; but, when his 
earnings exceeded that sum, he was charged according to his means, 
the -Collector determining the class in which he should be placed. 
The fees varied from Rs. 500 to Re i. ; and if any person could show 
that the fe<e levied upon him exceeded 2 per cent upon his annual 
earnings from his trade or dealing he was entitled to have it reduced 
to that of some lower class or grade. In the mufassal certain im- 
portant and leading occupations formed the first class of the Schedule, 
and pai.d a fee of Rs. 500 or Rs. 200, as the Collector might deter- 
mine, subject always to the 2 per cent limitation. In the lower 
classes no specification of callings was attempted, and the Collector 
was left free to classify Uie applicants for licenses according to his 
judgment of their means. The rates of fee in those classes were 
Rs. 100, Rs. 50, Rs, 20, Rs. 5, Rs. 2, and Re. i. For Calcutta it 
was thought better to adopt, with slight modifications, the schedule 
of callings already in force under the Municipal Act, only raising the 
rates of fee to correspond with the Schedule for the mufassal. The 
tax was collected in Calcutta through the municipal agency, and 
power was taken in the Act to make similar arrangements in any 
mufassal Municipality. The proceeds of the tax were to be applied 
''for the parpose of increasing the revenues available for defraying 
expenditure incurred, or to be incurred, for the relief and prevention 


of famine in Ihe territories administered by the Local Government, 
or, if the Governor-General in Council so directs, in any other part 
of British India/* 

It gave rise to some discontent among the classes brought under 
its operation : in fact, it was unpopular with all classes affected by it, 
but one of the chief causes of its unpopularity was removed later by 
the exemption of the assessees possessed of incomes below Rs. 250 
per annum, who formed the great majority of the persons affected by 
the measure, from the incidence of the tax, reducing the proceeds 
of the tax from 27 to 17 /oMhs of rupees. In 1880 an Act was passed 
under which the minimum assessable income was fixed at Rs. 500. 

The result of this extension of the Provincial Services scheme 
proved most satisfactory. The receipts under the chief heads of 
revenue largely increased, while unnecessary expsnditure was cut 
down, and the money thus saved was devoted to improving those 
branches of the administration which most required an increased 
outlay, to public works of general or local utility, to the advance 
of education, the reform of prisons and other similar objects, which 
had for some years past had to stand over for want of funds. 

Having regard to the great increase of financial work involved 
in this expansion of thedecentralizition system, and 

llceoiiHtitutioii , . /• . 1 • 1 11* 

of the to the great importance of watchmg and controlling 

the provincial revenues and expenditure, Sir A. 
Eden found it absolutely necessary to relieve the Judicial and 
Revenue Secretaries, who were already fully worked, of all questions 
connected with the finance, accounts, and taxation, and to place 
these departments of the administration in the hands of a separate 
Secretary, who should give his whole time to such subjects, and 
should also take charge of the important work of supervising the 
collection and collation of trade statistics — a duty which had pre- 
viously been performed by the Junior Secretary. A Financial Secre- 
tary and 'an additional Under-Secretary were appointed, the post of 
Junior Secretary being abolished, and the salary of the Junior 
Secretary to the Board of Revenue being at the same time reduced. 
Thes6 proposals were sanctioned as an experimental measure and 
subsequently confirmed. Excluding the Department of Public 
Wotks, w.hich was not affected by these changes, there were thus 
constituted 3 Secretaries to the Government of Bengal, in charge 


of the Judicial, the Revenue, and the Financial Departments respec- 
tively. The Judicial and Revenue Secretaries were each assisted 
by an Under-Secretary, and the Financial Secretary by an Assistant 
Secretary. The appointment of Assistant Secretary was conferred on 
a native gentleman. 

The details of the scheme for the separation of the Civil Service 

ill the Lower Provinces into the distinct branches 

.**cpHratloii of 

the Civil the Executive and the ludiLial. were finallv settled. 

itorvice Into 

j^dSIdbnuTchL ^"^ *^ "^^^ arranged that every Covenanted Civilian 

should be called upon, between the tenth and the 
twelfth year of his service, to elect the branch of the service to which 
he desired to be attached, and that orders should be passed on his 
choice by the Local Government. The Grovernment did not bind 
itself to accept absolutely the choice made by each officer, but 
reserved a power of decision, in view of the interests of the public 
service and the qualifications of the officers concerned. But when an 
officer had once been placed on the list of one branch of the service, 
he was not to be transferred to the other branch without the previous 
sanction of the Governor-General in Council. In applying these 
prinqjples to the senior members of the service, it was ruled that 
officers who had already been substantively promoted to District 
Judgeships or to CoUectorships of the first grade should be considered 
to have elected the judicial and the executive branches respectively. 
Adding to these the officers to whom an election was offered, it 
appeared that 92 officers had chosen the executive, and 59 the judicial, 
line of the service. Of the whole number of appointments, 55 
belonged to the executive and 39 to the judicial branch, while 24 
appointments were open to members of either branch. These 
appointments were exclusive of the Civilian Judgeships of the High 
Court and of the Registrarship of the High Court on the appellate 
side, these last appointments not being under the Government of 
Bengal, but officers holding them would be understood to have 
elected the judicial branch. Looking to the number of appointments 
available to the two branches of the service respectively, the propor- 
tion of officers who elected to serve in either line corresponded very 
accurately with the number of appointments open to them. 

With the view of providing a better judicial training for Cove- 
nanted Civilians and especially for those who elected the judicial 

SIB ASHtrr iei>BN. 697 

branch of the service, the following proposals were submitted to the 
f Government of India:— 

(i) that all Covenanted Civilians should after 5 years* service 
be vested with the powers of a Munsif, and that they should exercise 
those powers in addition to the powers with which they were vested 
as Magisterial and Revenue officers : (3) that all Covenanted Civilians 
should be called on to elect between tlie executive and judicial 
branches of the service after 9 years, instead of (as previously) 
between the tenth and twelfth years of service ; (3) tliat officers? 
electing the judicial branch should, on making their election, be 
relieveHy as far as possible, of executive duties, and be vested with the 
powers of a Subordinate Judge, and also with the power of hearing 
criminal appeals from Magistrates of the second and third class. 

The increase in the litigation of the country afforded ample 
civil judicial work for Covenanted officers without any diminution 
being made in the number of Munsifs or Subordinate Judges ; and 
the adoption of these proposals was expected to improve the judicial 
training of all Uncovenanted Civilians, and enable Government when 
necessary to depute Civilians for the decision of rent suits to any 
part of the country where agrarian disputes might be rife and where 
the presence of a Covenanted officer might be of great service in 
checking agitation. 

In furtherance of this scheme, several Covenanted Civilians, whose 
duties had hitherto been confined to executive and criminal judicial 
work, were invested with powers as Civil Judges, and entrusted, 
according to the length of their service, some with the functions of 
a Subordinate Judge and others with those of a Munsif. The 
scheme involved some preliminary difficulties in its introduction, 
and some alteration of its original form was required before it could 
be said to work satisfactorily. 

The alleged injury caused to the junior members of the Cove- 
Ratirementa of nanted Civil Service in Bengal by the stagnation of 

cirUiaM. promotion arising from numerous admissions to the 

service in the years 1861 to 1863 had for some time been under the 
consideration of Government In March 1877, ^^^ Secretary of 
State agreed to extend to the Lower Provinces of Bengal the con- 
cession previously sanctioned for the Civilians of the North- Western 
Provinces and to allow during 1877 any Civilian of 20 years' service, 


who had not completed the full term of residence, to retire on a 
pensidh bearing to ;{'i,ooo per annum the proportion which his 
actual residence bore to 21 years, the full term required for full 
pension. Officers who accepted this offer were also permitted, 
under certain conditions, to receive the capital value of a portion of 
their pensions. Eight Civilians applied to retire under these orders. 
In 1877 t^^c question of lotteries came before Sir A. Eden, 
as at that time a lottery annually held at Umballa 
on the Derby had grown to considerable proportions, 
and the Pan jab Government withdrew the prohibition against the 
publication of advertisements of lotteries not authorized by Govern- 
ment. The Commissioner of Police at Calcutta reported that 
advertisements of lotteries and race-sweeps printed beyond the 
limits of Lower Bengal were sent in large numbers to hotels and 
places of public resort in Bengal, in contravention of Section 294 A 
of the Penal Code, and that the proprietors of newspapers and 
other periodicals in Bengal complained bitterly that their columns 
were closed to notices and advertisements which were freely per- 
mitted elsewhere. Sir A. Eden considered that the different 
treatment of lotteries by the several Local Governments was exceed- 
ingly unsatisfactory ; in Bengal the law was strictly enforced, while 
in the Panjab and elsewhere it was habitually broken with impunity, 
and newspapers were allowed to advertise and circulate proposals 
directly opposed to the provisions of the Penal Code. He wrote 
to the Government of India expressing his opinion that, if these 
lotteries and race-sweeps were mischievous, they should- be put 
down by law, instead of being allowed to develop themselves year 
by year ; but that, if they were considered to be a harmless amuse- 
ment, the prohibitory clause in the Penal Code should be repealed, 
and lotteries should not be discouraged : he himself considered them 
exceedingly mischievous. The Government of India concurred with 
his opinion as to the mischievous character of the lotteries and race- 
sweeps advertised, and believed that the mischief was year by year 
assuming greater dimensions. As the intention of the law on the 
subject was clear and as its provisions were intended to operate in one 
province as much as in another, the Government of India considered 
that the law should be uniformly enforced. Local (Governments 
and Administrations were therefore requested to enforce the law 


after giving due notice thereof by publication of the orders of 
Government in their several official Gazettes. 

On the first January 1878 the Order of the Indian Empire was 
mw r._j -.u instituted as an Order of Distinction. The Royal 

The Order of the ^ 

Indian Empire. Warrant recited that there did not exist adequate 
means of rewarding important and useful services rendered to HeiP 
Majesty and to the Indian Empire, and thai, with a desire to com- 
memorate the event of the proclamation of the Style and Title of of India and her Indian Dominions, Her Majesty had resolv- 
ed to institute a new Order of Decoration. A number of Councillors 
were declared ex-officio and for life Companions and Members of the 
Order. Fifty nominations to the order were at first made, and it was 
ordered that in any successive year the nominations should not exceed 
20, exclusive of ex-officio appointments. Sir A- Eden, as Lieutenant- 
Governor, was appointed an ex-officio Companion, and several 
gentlemen connected with Bengal " who by their services have 
merited the Royal favour " were appointed to be Companions of 
the Order. 

In February 1887 (on the day of the celebration of Her Majesty's 
Jubilee in Calcutta) a change was announced, in the constitution of 
the Order of the Indian Empire, by Letters Patent, so as to enable. 
Her Majesty " to reward a greater number of persons who by their 
services, official or other, to Her Majesty's Indian Empire, .have 
merited the Royal favour." It was henceforth to be styled " The 
Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire " : besides the Sovereign 
and Grand Master, (and Extra and Honorary Members) there were to 
be 50 Knight Commanders, and an unlimited number of Companions 


of the Order, to have place and precedency next after the correspond- 
ing classes of the most distinguished Order of Saint Michael and 
Saint George : new Statutes were issued : several gentlemen connect- 
ed with Bengal received the Royal Favour on this occasion. In June 
of the same year a further change was made by the addition of a 
higher class, viz., Knight Grand Commanders of the Order. 

In May 1877 the Northern Bengal, Tirhut, Nalhati, and Calcutta 
and South-Eastern State Railways were made over to 

Rftilways— " t *■ 1 ^ 

the control of the Government of Bengal, in pur- 
suance of the policy by which the Local Governments became respon- 
sible to the Imperial Government for interest on the capital expended 


on reproductive works. The Northern-Bengal State Railway, running, 
with only a break at the crossing of the Ganges from Porada on the 
Eastern Bengal Railway to Jalpaiguri, was formally opened in January 
1878. An extension from Jalpaiguri to Siliguri was opened in 
November 1878. This Railway, through some of the richest districts 
in Bengal, was expected to carry a heavy traffic in tobacco^ grain, 
seeds, jute and tea. • The Tirhut Railway starting from the Barh 
station of the East Indian Railway, with a short line to the south 
bank of the Ganges, crossed the river by a steam ferry, and was 
continued on the north bank, a distance of 53 miles, to MuzafTarpur 
with a shorter-branch of 23 miles to Darbhanga. 

In 1878-79 a Company for the purpose of constructing, maintain- 
The i)ar)oeiiug ^ng and working a steam tramway between the ter* 
steam mway. najjjus of the Northem-Bengal Slate Railway at 
Siliguri and the station of Darjeeling was started*, with Government 
aid, under a formal agreement between Mr. Franklin Prestage and 
the Secretary of State. An Act was passed in Council to give the 
Company the necessary powers to construct and maintain the 
tramway Sec, It was hoped that the delay and difficulty previously 
experienced in getting passengers and goods to and from Darjeeling 
and the Northen Bengal State Railway terminus would be obviated by 
the construction of the tramway, and also that the prosperity of the 
hill stations of Darjeeling and Kurseong would be thereby rapidly 
developed, and that the Northern Bengal State Railway would itself 
feel the benefit of the increased traffic. The line was pushed on and 
opened for traffic in 1880-81, and its name was subsequently changed 
to ' The Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway.* 

The development of railways in Bengal during the years 1874-83 

The Railway, in ^'^^ ^^""^^ ^P*^' ^" *^74, there Were, excluding the 
1881^2. guaranteed lines, 55 miles of Provincial Railways 

open for traffic, with a capital outlay of Rs. 76,90,000. At the end of 
the year 1881-82, 525 miles had been completed, with an outlay of 
Rs. 40,500,000, while 309 miles, including 130 miles of the Bengal 
Central Railway and 6 miles of theDeoghur Railway, were in course 
of construction, 780 miles had been surveyed, probably to be com- 
menced shortly, and 800 miles projected. 

The following was the list of railways in Bengal, either completed, 
in course of construction, under survey, or projected in 1881-82. 


Open for Traffic, 

I. The Northern-Bengal State Railway. 

II. The Kaunia* Dhuria and Mogul Hat light State Railway. 

III. The Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway. 

IV. The Tirhut State Railway. 

V. The Patna-Gaya State Railway. 
W, The Calcutta and South-Eastem State Railway. 
VH. The Nalhati Stale Railway. 

Under Construction, 
I. The Calcutta and South-F.astern Railway extension to 
Diamond Harbour. 
II. The Tirhut Railway extensions to Beltia and Pipra Ghat. 

III. The^'irhut Railway alternative line to Semuria (opposite 


IV. The Xonhern Bengal Railway extension to Dinajpur. 

V. The Central Bengal Railway to Jessore and Khulna. 
VI. The Deoghur Railway. 

Sun^eyed or under Sun^ey, 
I. The Northern Bengal Railway extension from Dinajpur 

to Manihari, with a branch to Purnea and the Kosi. 
II. The Tirhut Railway extention to Bullora on the Kosi. 

III. Muzaffarpur-Hajipur branch. 

IV. The Central Bengal Railway to Bhugwangola. 
V. The Dacca and Mymensingh Railway. 

VI. The Nagpur Railway. 

I. The Tirhut Railway extension to Sitamarhi. 
II. The Daudkandi and Chittagong Railway. 

III. The Railway from Comilla, north to Cachar and Assam. 

IV. The Palamau, Daltonganj and Barun Railway. 

V. The Railway to Bihar. 

VI. The Baidyabati and Tarakeswar Railway. 

VII. The Midnapore and Puri Railway. 

VIII. The Kishenganj and Koiechandpur Railway. 

IX. The Bhagalpur and Bausi Railway.- 

X. The Burdwan and Katwa Railway. 

XI. The Khairabad Branch Raihvav. 




In some of the districts 6f Northern Bihar, the relations between 

Relations be- landlords aftd tenants were described as being by 

*iSd te^ntota" no means cordial. The zamindars complained that 

Northern Bihar. ^^^ , „j>a/j did not pay their rents, and that they 

were unable to enforce decrees; while the raiyais complained of 
illegal distraints, oppression, enhancements, and summary eject- 
ments. There could be no doubt whatever that the combined 
influence of zamindars and iiccadars had ground the raiyats of 
some parts of Bihar down to a state of extreme depression and 
misery. The majority of them probably, as a matter of fact, 
possessed rights o\ occupancy, but, owing to change of plots, and 
the subjection of the patwirxs to the zamindars^ they were unable 
to produce legal proof of this. There were, however, signs that 
the raiyats were beginning to understand better their legal rights. 
They were beginning to pay their rents into Court in accordance with 
the zamindars' returns under the Road Cess Act ; they were learning 
to recognize and to resist illegal attempts at distraint ; they found 
that the subdivisional and district officers were ready to listen to 
them and advise them for their good, and they were beginning to 
resort more freely to them for such advice. TJie tenants of small 
proprietors, moreover, saw that in the great Darbhanga estate 
the position of the cultivators was being improved, defioed, and 
settled, and this encouraged them to demand more equal treatment 
for themselves. The indigo-planters bad already intimated their 
readiness to pay them better rates. There was, in fact, a general 
stirring throughout the Division, which could not fail to have a good 
effect ; and Government acknowledged its duties, to guide, foster, 
and control the movement, through the local officers, assisted by the 
better classes of planters and zamindars^ until the relgitions of all 
parties were placed upon a just and equitable basis. 

It was pointed out to the many intelligent and wealthy landholders 
Indigo ctiitiva. '" Bihar that it was for them to consider whether 
tion in Bih»r. jj ^^^ „qj j^ ^Jj^j^ advantage to meet this movement 

half way and endeavour to establish permanent occupancy rights 
and security of tenure on their estates, and to check at once the 
system of treating the cultivators of the soil as mere squatters, liable 
to eviction and to be rack-rented at the whim of the proprietor or 
amla — a system which then existed in too many estates. Nothing 


could tend, it \vzs said, so much to the prosperity of an estate as a 
good, well-to-do, and contented tenantry, having a permanent interest 
in the soil : and it was for the landholders to establish such a state 
of things, before the growing discontent and increasing intelligence 
of the people led to open rupture between zamtndart and raiyais. 
The system of irregular distraint had been carried to great ex- 
tremes in some parts of Bihar, and Sir A. Eden desired the 
Commissioner to impress upon the] Collectors the necessity of 
putting a stop to- this, continuously and gradually, confining the 
zemindars to the procedure laid down by law. No doubt the con- 
ditions under which the people of Bihar held their lands were in 
some respects exceptional, and Sir A. Eden intimated his readiness 
to consider, if necessary, exceptional legislation for this part of the 
country in the matter of the collection of- rent. 

With regard to the question of indigo cultivation in Bihar, Sir 
A. Eden had occasion, soon after assuming charge of the 
administration, to declare, in considering a proposal, which was 
made the year before, for a Commission of inquiry into the system 
of indigo planting, that, before taking any steps to regulate it by law, 
he would await the result of the measures of reform which the 
planters on his invitation themselves resolved to initiate. He de- 
clared himself ready to consider any suggestions which they might 
make, and any amendments of the existing rent law which they 
might deem necessary, to place the relations of samindar, planter, 
and raiyai on an equitable basis. He was fully convinced that the 
downfall of the indigo industry in Bihar would be a public calamity, 
and had no doubt whatever that it might, by judicious modifications 
and a fairer distribution of profits, be carried on without friction and 
to the advantage of all concerned. He gladly acknowledged . that 
a very considerable step towards placing matters on a sounder basis 
had already been taken, and that his proposals for reforming the 
old system had been met by the planters in a cordial and conciliatory 
spirit. Indeed he saw every reason to believe that they recognised 
the fact that, if the indigo trade was to continue, it could only be by 
a greater recognition of the rights and interests of those who actually 
grew the crop. The reforms which some of the planters had already 
introduced into the system were attended with the most beneficial 


The attention of GovemmentVas specially drawn during 1877-78 
to the abuses which had been allowed to grow up in connection 
with indigo cultivation in Bihar. A Report submitted by the Commis- 
sioner of Patna conclusively showed that the system, as it existed, 
involved an amount of lawlessness and oppression, principally in 
the shape of extorted agreements to cultivate and of seizure 
of ploughs and cattle, which could not be tolerated. It was clear 
that, although there was no such manifestation of widespread dis- 
x:ontent as to render the appointment of a Commission necessary, 
as had at one time been proposed, there was certainly much dis- 
content, manifest enough to local officers, and of such a nature as 
to require very close watching and very strong officers to deal 
with it. 

On receipt of this Report, some of the leading planters as well 
as officials of Bihar \yere consulted through the Commissioner. It 
was an object to do nothing which would unduly excite the mind 
of the ratya/Sy and to avoid any such . agitation as might, lead to 
breaches of .contract and general embitterment of relations between 
planters and raiya/s ; and, as some of the leading planters declared 
themselves sensible of the necessity of reform and willing to assist 
in the work and for this purpose undertook the establishment of a 
Planters* Association, any action on the part of Government was 
postponed and the matter was entrusted to their hands. This body 
showed a sincere desire to place the relations between planter and 
raiya/s on a more satisfactory footing, and drew up a series of 
rules for the guidance of the members of the Association. These 
rules embodied very important reforms, and the action thus far 
taken by the Association was thoroughly satisfactory to Government. 

The most important reform, however, was some measure for 
giving the raiyais greater security of tenure and consequent free- 
dom of action. This was a subject which could only be adequately 
dealt with by legislation, and was beyond the scop 3 of the measures 
within the power of the Planter^' Association. While the scheme 
for amending the Rent Law was under consideration, Sir A. Eden in 
September 1878 appointed a Committee to consider the question 
of improving the Rent I^w in Bihar specially, as the requirements 
of Bihar and Bengal were different. ** In Bengal, " he wrote, '* the 
priman* want is a ready means of recovering rents which are 

SIR A8HLBT BDKl^. 705 

clearly due and which are withheld either for the sake of delay, 
or in pursuance of some organised system of opposition to the 
zamindar. In Bihar, what is most wanted is some ready means 
of enabling the ratyat to resist illegal restraint, illegal enhancement, 
and illegal cesses, and to prove and maintain his occupancy rights." 
The report of this Bihar Rent Committee was submitted on 8th 
March 1879 ^^^ ^'^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ causes contributing to the Bengal 
Tenancy Act of 1885, as the Committee (like the Rent Law Com- 
mission) came to the conclusion that the time for a complete re- 
vision of the existing law had arrived. 

The information which Sir A. Eden acquired in his visits to 
FropoHMi iflffiflia- various parts of the Ix>wer Provinces was that 
^ re^tion^of i^^Tt was little Open display of. animosity going 
'^ on between landlords and tenants, and it was not 

necessary in any case to have recourse to the special procedure 
of the Agrarian Disputes' Act. In some districts there was every 
indication that the landlords and tenants, who had been, disputing 
for years, were coming to terms and making concessions. The 
causes of dispute, however, were not removed, and the real grievance 
was that the state of the law was such as practically to involve a 
denial'of justice to either party who might attempt to put the law in 
motion.^ The zamindar who applied fo the Courts to obtain an en- 
hancentent of rents or the recovery of arrears due to him, the raiyai 
who complained of excessive demands or of illegal distraint; — 
found himself hampered, and eventually baffled, by the technical 
and dilatory procedure which regulated the disposal of these classes 
of suits. So long as this was the case, it >\as to be apprehended 
that the, differences would smoulder without being extinguished ; 
that both parties would remain qAiiescent, but that the latent animosity 
would from time to time break out in acts of violence and outrage. 
Two aggravated cases of the murder of zamindar s by raiyats occurred 
— one in Faridpur, the other in Nfidnapore. This evil could only 
be effectually remedied by an amendment of the law ; and 
Sir A. Eden accordingly expressed his desire of introducing a 
measure to facilitate the realization of rents by a more speedy and 
summary procedure than existed at the time. A Bill was prepared 
and referred to the Government of India for introduction into the 
Govemor-GeneraFs Legislative Council. Subsequently the Supreme 


Council parsed an Act which enabled the Bengal Council to deal 
freely with the subject, so that a Bill for the more speedy realization 
of arrears of rent and to amend the law relating to rent, was intro- 
duced into the Council, and on the nth January 1879 referred to a 
Select Committee. In consequence, however, of the Committee 
urging very strongly the propriety of taking up the revision of the 
rent law of Bengal in a much more comprehensive manner than 
was contemplated at first by the Government, Sir A. Eden 
believed that the best mode of dealing with the subject 
was to appoint a small Commission of experienced revenue and 
judicial officers, whose duty it would be to prepare a careful 
analysis and digest of the existing rent law, and of the decisions of 
the Courts since the passing of Act X of 1859. The Commission 
would then consider the suggestions for amendment that had been 
put forward, and endeavour to prepare a draft Bill embodying such 
additions to the substantive law and such improvements in the law , 
of procedure as might commend themselves to their judgment. As 
it was necessary that one member of the Commission should have 
his hands free from other duties to enable him to find time to pre- 
pare, under the instructions of his colleagues, the digest and the 
draft Bill, Mr. C. D. Field, l. l. d.. Judge of Burdwan, was placed 
on special duty for this task, tl>e other members of the Commission 
b^ing the Hon'ble H. L. Dampier (President), 'the Hon'ble J. 
O'Kinealy, Mr. H. L. Harrison, and Babu Brojendra Kumar Seal. 

This action was approved by the Government of India. Mr. 
Field completed his digest of the existing law of landlord and 
tenant, which was circulated throughout Bengal for criticism. 

The labours of the Rent-Law Commission were brought to a close 
^ ^ r ^1 in June 1880. Thev submitted a full and complete 

tUut Law Com- -' • ^ 

miaiioD. Report with a draft Bill, both of which were publish- 

ed with a view of eliciting the opinions of the officers of Govern- 
ment, as well as of the classes interested in land, upon the proposals 
put forward. No actual recourse to legislation was contemplated 
until the Government had had time fully to consider the opinions 
and criticisms invited upon the measure, or until the orders of the 
Government of India and of Her Majesty's Secretary of •State had 
been passed upon the proposals which the Local Government might 
eventually make» 

sm ASHLEY KDKN. 707 

In 1 88 1 a draft Bill to amend the law of landlord and tenant in 
A undiord aud ^^^ Lower Provinces was submitted to the Govem- 
teiuint BUL ^^nt of India. The Bill was based on the draft 

Bill prepared by the Rent-Law Commission, but numerous alterations 
were maie in the original Bill with reference to the various reports 
and criticisms received by Government after the publication of the 
^ Commission's Report. The measure would, it was hoped, if it be- 
came law, fully secure the rights and interests of both landlords and 

In 1878 the cinchona plantation, begun in British Sikhim in 1863, 
ciiichoiw Febri- covered about 2200 acres. In 3 years it yielded 
'"«®- a considerable outturn of bark, the crop amounting 

to about 340,000 B)s. The object of Government in maintaining 
these plantations was to supply the hospitals and the people with a 
cheap remedy for malarious fever, and on the advice of the ex- 
perienced chemist, who had been appointed Government Quinologist, 
it was decided to issue the * preparation of cinchona bark, named 
cinchona febrifuge — a whitish powder composed of the ' alkaloids 
existing in the bark. The favourable experiments made with it in 
the Calcutta hospitals and the Burdwan district led to its being 
largely issued for trial. As to its value, there was, at first, some 
difference of opinion but, on increased experience, it was largely 
substituted for quinine : 3000 lbs were used in Government hos- 
pitals and dispensaries during the year, resulting in a considerable 
pecuniary saving. The sale of over 2000 lbs. of it at the Botanic 
Garden office proved that its value was appreciated by the public. 
The revenue, thus derived, exceeded the expenditure by about 
Rs. 11,000, besides the large saving arising from the diminished 
issue of quinine. The plantation was moreover capable of meeting 
a larger demand. 

Sir A. Eden recorded, in a few words, his opinion on the 
important subject of Agriculture. He wrote thus — 

Acrriciilture r ^ o 

and Horticulture. "The Government of Bengal has no Agricultural 
Department and does not attempt to teach the Bengali cultivator 
his business, believing that he already knows how to make the most 
of the soil and the material available to him, and to meet the varying 
demands of the open market better than any European can teach 
him. In Horticulture however, many useful experiments are carried 


on in the Royal Botanical Garden at Howrah, under the skilled 
superintendence of Dr. King. Fresh improvements were made in 
various parts of *the Garden. The building in which the herbarium 
and office were placed was enlarged and improved.'' 

In February iSyS Sir A. Eden nominated a special Com- 
, u^ miitee to consider, among other subjects connected 

aSTinSiaiTox. ^'^^^ medical administration, the question of hos- 
peudituTO. pij^j management in Bengal. The Committee made 

a detailed inquiry into the administrative history of each institution 
in Calcutta and the Suburbs, and submitted a Report containing a 
series of well-considered recommendations on each subject In the 
Government Resolution which thereupon issued on the 25th. January* 
1879 Sir A. Eden wrote as follows : — 

'* The primary object of tlie Lie'utenant-Goveruor, in instituting 
this inquiry, was to p^t an end to the confusion and waste which 
appeared to have crept into the administration of some hospitals, 
and to introduce an economical and uniform system of management. 
Some of the facts which have come to light will require explanation. 
But tlie Lieutenant-Governor is not now immediately, concerned 
with the apportionment of praise or censure. Such cases will be 
dealt with separately and on their own merits, and, while the 
Lieutenant-Governor cannot permit any medical officer convicted 
of unpardonable carelessness and neglect of duty io resume or 
continue the management of a hospital, no such , officer will be 
condemned until he has had an opportunity of furnishing an expla- 
nation of the charges brought against him. The Committee's re- 
marks allude in many places to a state of .things which existed under 
Superintendents of hospitals now no longer in India. In dealing 
with the Committees Report, therefore, Sir A. Eden will for the 
present avoid the mention of the name of any officer in any way 
respDnsible for a state of things which he may consider it his duty 
to condemn. Whatever explanations may be forthcoiuing, the facts 
stated in the Committee's Report cs^nnot be gainsaid. The object 
now in view is the establishment of a uniform system of hospital 
management, which will provide for the greatest economy consistent 
with full regard for the care of the sick, the elimination of vicious 
principles of administration, the selection of methods found by 
experience to offer the best results, and the distinct apportionment 


of the duties and responsibilities of the difiEerent classes of officers. 
It should be stated at the outset that it is the desire of Government, 
not that less than they require should reach the «ick but that the 
public money should not, under the pretext of their needs, be 
wasted by the. acts of dishonest or careless and inefficient subor- 
dinates. Fixed and uniform principles are required for the protection 
at once of the suffering poor and of the public funds." 

The Committee's recommendations were duly examined and 
the appropriate orders issued by Government, with the result that 
the reforms introduced caused a saving of more than a lakh of 
rupees during the first year, notwithstanding that there was an 
increase of 3,849, or 15 per cent, in the number of indoor patients. 
In the orders of Government the maximum limit for the cost of 
diets of Europeans and natives, inclusive of extras and stimulants, 
was fixed at 8 annas for the former and 3^ annas for the latter ; and 
the actual cost during a year in the different hospitals showed con- 
clusively that these limits afforded an ample margin for any extras 
that the medical officer might think it necessary or desirable to give. 
Taking all the institutidns together, the average cost *of European 
diets was 7 as 7 p. and of native diets 2 as 6 p. In order to avoid 
the waste of expensive drugs in mu/assal dispensaries, which had 
hitherto been supplied gratuitously by Government with European 
medical stores, it was decided to adopt the system in force in 
Madras and Bombay under which dispensaries paid for all medi- 
cines and instruments they received from the Government stores. 
The dispensaries that could not afford to pay for their own medical 
stores were to be closed, unless there were some very special circum- 
stances to render their maintenance necessar)-. 

In the general reform of the Medical Administration to which 
Sir A Eden devoted special attention, he was chiefly guided by the 
knowledge, experience, and sound judgment of Dr. A. J. Payne : 
lakhs of rupees were saved with improved administration. 

Settlement work throughout Bengal was much facilitated by the 
t passing of Act III (B.C.) of 1878, which laid down 

Lq^tion. ^ procedure to be followed for bringing the under- 

tenants and raiya/s to an early decision with respect to th% Settlement 
Officer's rates, and giving a priori validity to ^hese until they were 

set aside by a decree of Court : it provided that enhanced rents 



recorded as demandable by a Settlement Officer under Regulation 
A^II of 1822 should be deemed correctly enhanced until the contrary 
should be proved. It was found, however, in practice that the Settle- 
ment Officer was unable to obtain the correct facts required by the 
Civil Courts for basing his grounds of enhancement,, and an Act, III 
(B.C.) was passed in 1879 repealing the Act of 1878, to remove this 
difficulty while securing the raiyat against arbitrary and excessive 
enhancement. The only grounds of enhancement were distinctly 
enunciated in the measure and rates laid down, in accordance with 
which the rent recorded as demandable from an undertenant might 
be determined, and every raiyat was to be liable to pay the rent 
recorded as demandable unless he could prove that such rent had 
not been assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Act. 

The organization of the Education Department was revised by 
Sir A. Eden in July 1878 with the view of distribut- 
mg more satisfactonly among the authorities con- 
cerned the supervision of the different branches of Education and 
defining more precisely the powers to be exercised by each. The 
Director was to be held responsible to Government for the state of 
education of every kind. Superior education in Colleges and 
Madrasas was placed under his immediate control. In matters of 
secondary education, the final distribution of the grant-in-aid assign- 
ment was to rest in his hands, all grants being sanctioned and with- 
drawn by him. His power of appointment io teacherships and other 
offices, and of promotion therein, was defined and enlarged. In 
other matters connected with secondary education, he was to look 
to the Inspector, and in those belonging to primary education to the 
Magistrate ; retaining in each case the final control and revision, 
subject to the orders of Government, of important and disputed 
points. The immediate duties of Magistrates and District Com- 
mittees on the one hand, and of Circle and Assistant Inspectors on 
the other, were similarly determined. In addition, each class of 
officers was empowered, and indeed invited, to communicate freely 
to the other any observations on educational matters not falling within 
their own control which the experience of their daily work might 
suggest to them. With regard to the subordinate officers of the 
department, the Deputy Inspector, who had been charged with the 
supervision of all classes of schools in his district, was to be subor- 

81 K ASHLEY KDKK. 711 

dinate to the Inspector in regard to secondares and to the Magistrate 
in regard to primary, education. In the first month of his tenure of 
office. Sir A. Eden earnestly appealed to all district officers to use 
their utmost exertions^ first to increase the number of primary schools 
and scholars in their districts, and secondly, to see that the primary 
school grant was administered in such a way as to produce the best 
and largest results. He held out the example of Midnapore, as an 
instance of judicious and economical administration, where a system 
of payment by results had been introduced by the ^lagistrate, Mr. 
(afterward^ Sir) H. L. Harrison. 

A Committee was appointed in January 1878 to consider and 

report what measures it was necessary or desirable 

ing coii6i(e to take for the establishment of a technical school 

at 8ibpur. 

to be connected with the workshops and manufactures 
of the Public Works Department at the Presidency. The Com- 
mittee was further to consider whether it would not be desirable to 
remove the Civil Engineering branch of the Presidency College to the 
neighbourhood of the new institution, so that the 2 might be worked 
together, and theoretical instruction be combined with thorough 
practical technical training. They unanimously recommended that 
this branch of the Presidency College should be incorporated with 
the proposed institution, the whole forming one great technical 
school for the training of engineers and mechanics : but that the 
theoretical and practical branches should be under entirely independ- 
ent management, the supervision and control of the former resting 
with the Education Department, and that of the latter with the 
Public Works Department. 

A site was then procured for the new institution by the purchase 
of the Bishop's College premises at Sibpur, near Howrah, and by 
the acquisition of a large area of land on the river bank immediately 
above those premises ; and workshops were constructed on a scale 
. that would meet the requirements of an Engineering College and 
Technical School in its earlier stages, and admit of expansion 
afterwards to any extent that might be required. 

In regard to the organisation of the institution, .the following 

principles, recommended by the Committee, were approved by Gov- 

emmen^ Four classes for (i) Civil Engineers, (2) Mechanical 

Engineers, (3) Civil Overseers, and (4) Mechanical Overseers, were 


at first to be maintained, a fifth class for draftsmen, and a sixth for 
the improvement of skilled workmen, being added later, if desirable. 
The courses for each of the above classes provided for both a 
theoretical and a practical training. 

Government did not guarantee an appointment in the public 
service to any one trained in the institution, but it promised to select 


the most distinguished students, and the m'ost capable apprentices, 
to fill such vacancies as might arise, and not to appoint men in this 
country to the Public Works Department, or to district appointments, 
who had not been trained in this school, as soon as qualified men 
were obtainable from this source. 

It was hoped that the institution, which was opened just as the 
year 1879-80 closed, would do more good to the people of this 
country than any school which had yet been established. It was to 
give native boys of all classes the means of obtaining a thorough prac- 
tical education, enable them' to leave the beaten track of clerical and 
ministerial service, for which alone they cared to qualify themselves, 
and was to open to them a* large and lucrative professional career. At 
the same time it was to provide a suitable and useful training to Eura- 
sian boys in this country^ and place them in a position to earn an 
honorable livelihood in a profession for which they were well adapted. 

The question of the education of^ European nnd Eurasian children 

BducAtion of ^^ ^^^ poorer classes had long been regarded as seri- 

iioorcr ciasHcu. q^^ j^^^j Lytton, in a Minute dated 25ih March 

1879, S^^^ ^^^ number of children as between 1 1,000 and 12,000, and 
called for a scheme for dealing in as complete and practical a manner 
as possible with the whole subject. Archdeacon J. Baly submitted a 
valuable Report to give effect to Lord Lytlon's views, which was circu- 
lated to the Local Governments. In due course a Committee was 
appointed under Mr. (Sir^ A. Croft, Director of Public Instruction in 
Bengal, to draft a code for regulating the conduct of European educa- 
tion in the Bengal Presidency, so far as it was dependent upon Gov- 
ernment support. . The Committee reported in' July 1882, and the 
Government of India passed orders on it in the following year. 

The year 1878-79 was one of great activity in the Jail Department. 

The Report of the Prison Conference and the orders 


of the Government of India passed upoa it led to 
the introduction of a new and more economical scale of diet and 


helped to bring about a reorganisation of the whole jail service 
and the substitution of warders for police guards. The question of 
tiie improvement of prison accommodation received much attention, 
and the prisoners of i6 jails were employed almost wholly on building 
operations. Jail industries were developed in accordance with the 
principle that each central jail should have i or 2 special manufactures, 
and the prisoners of district jails be employed on some form of 
unskilled penal but profitable labour. Sustained efforts were made to 
increase the discipline and penal character of all the jails, and special 
attention was given to the identification and segregation of habitual 
offenders, In all these directions, great progress was made and the 
results of the reforms introduced in manv instances soon became 
manifest. Under Sir A. Eden*s orders great improvements were 
effected in every branch : the jail service, botii superior and 
inferior, wjn revise I, n*w jxil b liklin^^^ were constructed, dis- 
cipline amongst the prisoners was strictly enforced, and at the 
same time corporal punishment was much diminished ; a better 
water-supply and a' more liberal scale of diet much improved the 
general health of thp prisoners, the fortnightly weighment of the pri- 
soners was regularly carried out, with the best results, as the weights 

at once afforded an indication when a change of diet or of labour was 


desirable ; the mark syste n, under wliich the prisoners were enabled 
by good conduct and industry to earn a reduction of the term of 
imprisonment was amended, and proved a great incentive to good 
behaviour; the services of convict officials were more largely utilised, 
and finally the registers and forms were thoroughly revised. A new 
jail code received the approval of Government, simplifying still further, 
both generally, and in detail, the administration of the department. 

Greater efficacy in the internal discipline and management of the 
jails resulted .from the substitution of warder guards for the police. 
The latter were to be employed merely to guard the outer gates of 
the district and central jails, and it was contemplated to replace them 
entirely by warders. This scheme was introduced tentatively into 
some of the principal jails. 

The seditious character of the writings in some of the vernacular 

newspapers and their obvious tendency to excite dis- 
PraM AottTlxand affection against the Government and to bring upon 

it the hatred and contempt of the unenlightened 


masses to whom they were principally addressed, as well as the 
system of extortion to which the native feudatories and many native 
employes w^ere exposed by the rapacity of unscrupulous native 
editors, had for some years engaged the attention of the Government 
of India and of the Secretary of State. In 1873 Sir George 
Campbell, as Lieutenant-Governor, had expressed himself decidedly 
of opinion that a much stronger law was required than that which 
then existed (viz., Act XXV of 1867, and Section 124 A of the 
Penal Code, as amended by Act XXVII of 1870). The considera- 
tion of certain newspaper articles had shown that the enforcement of 
the existing law would i)e.aUeAded -wkh -gfoat -dli^KcuIties^ and that 
prosecutions under it were undesirable. But the evil continued. 
Lord Lytton's Government therefore took up the question, and 
obtained the opinions of the Local Governments, who were all with 
one exception agreed that a special law was needed for the control 
of the Native Press. A Bill was therefore introduced into the 
Governor-Generars Council and passed into 'law as Act IX of 1878 
on the 14th March. Its main object was to place newspapers pub- 
lished in the vernacular languages of India under better control, and 
to furnish the Government with more effective means than the exist- 
ing law provided of punishing and repressing seditious writings which 
were calculated to produce disaffection towards the Government in 
the minds of the ignorant population. Another object was to prevent 
unscrupulous writers using their papers as a means of intimidation 
and extortion. A special measure was . considered necessary, as the 
object was to repress an evil of a special and united nature, and a 
special procedure was devised to prevent the commission of offences. 
The measure was fully explained to the Council by Sir Alexander 
Arbuthnot, Member of the Supreme Council, in a statesmanlike 
speech, and Sir A. Eden spoke as follows : — 

" My Lord, — The subject before the Council appears to me to be 
one regarding which there is very little to be said ; for it is a matter 
regarding the merits of which I can conceive the existence of no two 
opinions. What th^re was to say has been so ably and logically said 
that I find myself with but little to add, like my Hon'ble friend Mr. 
Colvin. However, I feel that I ought not to give a silent vote in 
respect to the passing into law of a measure such as that before the 
Council, and this the more from the fact that I have had occasion to 


bring before the Government of India instances of the licentious- 
ness and sedition of the vernacular Press, and to urge the necessity 
of bringing that Press under control, and making it powerless for 

" The evil Has long been felt by the Government of Bengal, and 
I believe by nearly all the other Local Governments. My prede- 
cessor, Sir G. Campbell, very strongly stated on several occasions 
his conviction that measures for controlling the vernacular Press 
were called for. 

** I can very plainly foresee the misrepresentation and abuse to 
which the Government of India exposes itself by its deteroii&ation to 
deal with this question in a bold and unfiiiiciMiig spirit, and I there- 
fore desire, as a Member of this Council, to take upon myself iirr 
full share of re^KMwbility for the measure. 

'' An attempt has been made by several very unscrupulous 
members of the Native Press to mislead the people into the belief 
that what Government desires to check is, not sedition, but fair 
criticism of public men. 

'* This is an assertion which I most emphatically deny and re- 
pudiate. What Government does object to is the sedition and gross 
disloyalty of some of the vernacular papers, ami their attempts to 
sow the seeds of disaffection to the British rule in the minds of 
ignorant people.' 

" There have been laid before the Government extracts from 
the vernacular papers which establish the constant use of 
language of this description, and show that they habitually 
attack and misrepresent the Government, under which they live 
in peace and prosperity, in terms intended to weaken the authority 
of Government, and with a reckless disregard of truth and fact 
which would not be tolerated in any country in the world. The 
writings to which I allude have nothing to do with* personal attacks. 
The personal abuse, the falsehoods, the scurrility and the exagger- 
ations which are applied to individual officers may well, as heretofore, 
be left to the ordinary action of the law Courts, or be treated with 
the contempt they deserve. But it has been prominently stated that 
even this practical irresponsibility for personal abuse is a public 
mischief, and is used for the purpose of extorting money or 
frightening timid subordinates from a proper discharge of their 


duties. But it is not on this ground that I desire to support this 
measure. What I do recognise, and long have recognized, as a fact, 
is, that the licentiousness of the Press has, under false ideas of 
freedom and independence, been allowed to reach a stage which 
promptly calls, in the interests of the public at large,* for the inter- 
ference of the Legislature. 

" I entirely agree with the Hon'ble Mover of the Bill in thinking 
that the whole of the vernacular Press is not open to these charges. 
I believe with him that there are many such papers conducted by 
respectable men on excellent principles ; but the law proposed 
cannot injure them. If papers do not write sedition, or endeavour 
to incite disaffection towards the Government, or endeavour to extort 
money by intimidation, their position will be no worse when this 
Bill has become law than it was before. If they do publish matter 
of this objectionable character, then it is the plain duty of Govern- 
ment to interfere with them in the interests of the public, and I am 
sure that the public will have no sympathy with them. 

" I can quite understand that the Government of India has, as 
the Hon'ble Mover of the Bill has staled, felt some difficulty in 
applying a measure of this sort to a portion of the Press and exempt- 
ing another portion. But the difficulty, it seems to me, is imaginary 
rather than real. The papers published in this country in the 
English language are written by a class of writers for a class of 
readers whose education and interests would make them naturally 
intolerant of sedition ; they are written under a sense of respon- 
sibility and under a restraint of public opinion which do not and 
cannot exist in the case of the ordinary Native newspapers. It is 
quite easy and practicable to draw a distinction between papers pub- 
lished in English and papers published in the vernacular, and it is 
a distinction which really meets all the requirements of the case, 
and should not be disregarded merely because some evil-disposed 
persons may choose to say that Government has desired to show 
undue favour to paptrs written in the language of the ruling power. 

'* The Press must be treated on its own merits. Had the English 
Press of India been in style and tone what it was 20 years ago, 
I for my part should have had no hesitation in voting for its inclusion 
in the present Bill. But I know nothing that has improved more of 
late vears than the tone of the .\nglo-Indian Press. It no doubt 

SIR ASHLKY 8DEN. 7 17 1 

attacks Government measures and Government officials, and often 
ver}' undeservedly ; but, as I have said before, it is not this sort of 
criticism to which Government objects or desires to control. On' 
the whole the English Press of India, whether conducted by 
Europeans or- Natives, bears evidence of being influenced by a 
proper sense of responsibility and by a general desire to discuss 
public events in a moderate and reasonable spirit. There is no 
occasion to subject that Press to restraint, and therefore, naturally 
enough, it is exempted. It would be a sign of great weakness on 
the part of Government to bring it within the scope of this measure 
merely to meet a possible charge of partiality. If it should ever 
happen that the Anglo-Indian Press should adopt a tone calculated 
to excite feelings of disaffection to the British rule, I shall be 
amongst the first to ask for its inclusion in -a law of this sort. 

•* My Lord, I will not take lip the time of the Council any 
further. I have never lost an opportunity of stating my opinion on 
the subject we are now discussing, and I hope that I have explained 
with sufficient distinctness the grounds upon which my opinions 
are ba^sed. But even if I did not entertain these opinions as strongly 
as I do, I consider it my duty, when told by Your Excellency, as 
Head of the Executive Government, that on full and calm consider* 
ation it had been determined that a measure of this sort was 
necessary for the maintenance of peace and order, to give it my 
hearjy support ". 

The Act contained a provision (section 5) which enabled the 
publishers of vernacular newspapers to withdraw themselves from 
its restrictive provisions by submitting their proofs to a Government 
Officer. The Secretary of State, when assenting to the Act, objected 
to this portion of it and desired that it should be suspended or 
abandoned. It was accordingly repealed on the i6th October by Act 
XVI of 1878. In the debate which then took place it was distinctly* 
stated that, as a consequence of the earlier Act, there had been 
a very marked improvement in the general tone of the Vernacular 
Press of India as well as in the style and matter of the articles 
published. On the passing of the Act, a translation of it was for- 
warded to the publishers of all vernacular papers in Bengal, and 
their attention was ca'led to its provisions. A hope was expressed 
that it might not be necessary to enforce these against any members 


of the Vernacular Press, but it was also notified that Government 
did not intend the Act to remain a dead letter, and that seditious 
language calculated to excite hatred and contempt against the 
Government or. maliciously defamatory of Native Chiefs and officials 
would undoubtedly cause action to be taken against the offending 
journal. The Act soon had a beneficial influence upon the tone of 
the Native Press, and thoughtful discussion was, it was hoped, 
gradually taking the place of the disloyal, scurrilous, and defamatory 
articles of the past. The tone of the English newspapers under native 
management was in the majority of instances considered to be all 
that could be desired. They contained much keen, and often unfavour- 
able, criticism of Government measures, but were generally free from 
gross personalities, and thoroughly loyal in feeling and tendency. 

In 1879 the tone of the Native Press generally improved under 
the check imposed by the Act. Subjects of public interest were 
freely discussed, but in more temperate language than formerly. It 
was clearly shown that, while the Act did not discourage legitimate 
criticism, the mere fact of its existence was generally sufficient to 
restrain license. 

The Act was once put in force, I know, as I was Press Com- 
missioner with the Government of India at the time. Proceedings 
were taken against the Som Prokash newspaper for publishing sedi- 
tious matters, and a bond was demanded from its printer under Act 
IX of 1878. The action was taken by the Magistrate of the i^-Par- 
ganas under orders of the Bengal Government, who were set in 
motion by the Government of India. The printer executed the bond, 
but subsequently stopped the issue of that paper and started the 
Ncmahibhakar in its place. The following year permission was 
sought to revive the Som Prokash and such permission was accorded 
on the Editor's giving a pledge for its future good conduct. Subse- 
quently both the Som Prokash and the Navahihhdkar were published, 
their management and establishment being separated — the office of 
the Navabibhakar being removed to Pataldanga, Calcutta, while the 
Som Prokash remained at its old office at Chingripotta, in the suburbs 
of Calcutta. Thus no prosecution took place : no further publicity 
was given to the incriminated articles : a warning was given to the 
whole Native Press, and its tone perceptibly improved, without any 
diminution of free, fair, honest criticism. 


The next year, 1880, it was noticed that, although some improve- 
ment had taken place in. the style and language of the vernacular 
newspapers since the introduction of the Vernacular Press Act, their 
general tone was one of opposition to Government and Government 
measures. They never hesitated to impute unworthy motives to 
Government and were full of personalities regarding Government 
servants. They, however, generally preluded their remarks by ex- 
patiating on their individual loyalty, and complaining of the passing 
of the Act. The leading organs of the Press were naturally found in 
Calcutta. They were altogether wanting in originality and habitually 
followed the English Press and borrowed largely from it. A new 
feature in their columns was the amount of attention and space de- 
voted to matters connected with English politics. The virulence of 
party controversy at home, as reproduced in many organs of the 
English Press, afforded much congenial matter to the Native papers 
in Bengal. 

But in 1 880 the Government was changed in England : Mr. 
Gladstone, who had denounced the Vernacular Press Act, came into 
power, and the new Governor-General, the Marquis of Ripon, had 
(it was understood) instructions to repeal the Acts. The contemplat- 
ed repeal was anxiously looked forward to by the Native Press, and 
was generally attributed to the agitation that had been maintained. 
The Acts were accordingly repealed by Act III of 1882, which 
retained power to the Post office authorities to search for and seize 
any vernacular publications of a seditious nature, the importadon of 
which had been prohibited under the Sea Customs Act, 1878. For 
some years no further action was taken in Bengal towards the verna- 
cular Press. The repeal of the special Acts left Government and 
individuals no other remedy against seditious and otherwise ob- 
jectionable writings but recourse to the ordinary criminal law, viz, 
section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which had previously been 
considered unworkable. 

The proceedings taken in 1 89 1 against the Bangahasi newspaper 
will be found in another Chapter (X). It came to be generally ad- 
mitted by Government that the law was in an unsatisfactory state : 
and a bitter feeling obtained among officials that they were denied 
proper and reasonable protection against immoderate Press criticism. 
Certain disastrous occurrences in another part of India practically 


forced the hand of Government, and legislation was undertaken to 
aiqend the difficult, if not unworkable, Section 124 A, of the Penal 
Code. Act IV of 1898 repealed that section and substituted a new 
one, to deal with *' Sedition": it inserted a new section 153 A, in 
the Code, to punish ** promoting enmity between classes " : and it 
substituted a new section 505, to punish *' sta<;ements conducing to 
public mischief." The preventive procedure of the Act of 1878 was 
abandoned, and all journals, English and native alike, are now sub* 
ject to the same law, and must be dealt with by the ordinary 

In 1878-79 the excise policy was developed in the direction of a 
EzcIm • th ut- return from the central distillery to the outstill sys- 
stui system. jg^a. A Commencement in this direction had been 

previously made, but the progress effected in closing distilleries and 
licensing shops under the outstill system was very rapid in this year. 
The Board of Revenue in reporting on it remarked that — 

*' the outstill system is beginning to show its superiority notwith- 
standing its imperfect development and the great difficulties arising 
from permitting the concurrent existence of the outstill and sadar 
distillery systems in the same or adjacent districts. During the past 
year, owing to the high price of food-grains and the scarcity which 
.existed in some parts of the country, a diminution of the Govern- 
ment revenue might certainly have been expected under the sadar 
distillery system, as the high cost of the liquor produced in the sadar 
distilleries would have prevented many of the poorer labouring 
classes from satisfying even their most ordinary cravings. The out- 
still system has supplied the people with a cheaper and weaker liquor, 
which is comparatively free from intoxicating effects, and has led to 
no complaints of any increase of drunkenness. The financial results 
have been very satisfactory, and the settlements of the current year 
show even more favourable financial prospects." 

Government noticed with satisfaction that the Board were 
sanguine as to the financial results of the measure. There were 
reasons to fear that the excise revenue would exhibit a falling-off, 
though it was premature to express any opinion as to whether this 
was in any way connected with the introduction of the outstill system, 
or was solely due to high prices or other causes. As regards the 
moral effect of the change, it was also premature to express a 


decisive opinion. It could not be disputed that the licensee had a 
more powerful interest in augmenting the sale of his spirit under 
the outstill system than when he paid according to the amount 
consumed. The spirit distilled was weaker, but also cheaper, and 
was drunk in larger quantities. In contrasting, however, the inoral 
effects of the two systems, it was essential not to lose sight of the 
important element of illicit distillation which necessarily flourished 
far more under the sadar distillery system than under that of 

It was subsequently claimed for the outstill system that, though 
it had supplied the people with more wholesome liquor, it had 
caused no general increase in drunkenness, while it had certainly 
checked illicit distillation and in some degree tended to discourage 
the use of deleterious drugs. It was probably accompanied by an 
increase in actual consumption, as there was an increase . in the 
quantity of spirits removed on payment of duty from the sadar 
distilleries where such existed : but this was attributed to the increased 
prosperity and spending power of the people. From the statistics 
furnished by the sadar distilleries of Patna and the Sonthal Parganas^ 
and the fact that higher rates were offered for licenses not only for 
country-spirit shops, but also for tari shops, it was clear that there 
was a great increase in the demand for liquor, apart altogether from 
the source of supply. An expansion of the excise revenue in all 
countries follows on favourable harvests and general agricultural 
prosperity, and Bengal was no exception. The duty of Government 
under such circumstances was to see that undue facilities for drink* 
ing were not offered^ and that the price of liquor was not unduly 
reduced by letting the shops on inadequate terms. A special . inquiry 
was instituted into the administration of the excise in some districts^ 
But it was considered obviously unwise, because the people woiild 
have liquor, to revert to a system which had been found in practice 
to lead to fraud, to loss of revenue, and to the demoralization of the 
subordinate officers, without affording any check oh consumption; 
It was held to be a matter for satisfaction that this enhanced demand 
should have been met by a supply of weak and wholesome liquor, 
and not of strong or adulterated spirits from the old distilleries or 
from illicit sources. 

Government afterwards recorded that the outstill system was 


found by experience to be the only system under which the sale of 
country spirits could be conducted with success in the existing 
condition of the province ; and the sadar distillery system was 
entirely withdrawn from the Rajshahi, Dacca, Chittagong, and Patna 
Divisions and from the districts of Purnea, Manbhum, and Singbhum. 
With a few exceptions, the change of system was made with care 
and good judgment ; the sites for shops were selected with discretion, 
and competition among bidders for licenses was stimulated. District 
officers were directed to be on their guard against allowing an undue 
multiplication of shops at unduly low rates, thus both reducing the 
price of spirits and giving unnecessary facilities for obtaining them. 
*' If, however, they exercise care in selecting the sites for shops, and 
stimulate a healthy competition among the bidders for licenses, 
there can be little doubt that, as has been the case under the fixed 
duty system, the revenue paid to Government and the price charged 
to the public will rise with the desire and power of the public to 
purchase. It is only by confining the number of shops and stills to 
the genuine wants of the district, fixing a substantial upset price and 
encouraging competition among candidates for licenses that the 
price of liquor can be kept at rates sufficiently high to act as a check 
on consumption." 

The question of the effect of the outstill system in encouraging 
the consumption of liquor occupied much >attention. In a few 
districts, where the system was mismanaged in the face of the orders 
of Government, some increase in drunkenness among the labouring 
classes took place. *' This is the result that must ensue where shops 
are multiplied and let for small fees, and it is entirely independent 
of the system under which the liquor is manufactured. The dealers 
compete among themselves for the custom of consumers instead of 
being compelled to compete for the original right to sell, and they 
are enabled to sell spirits at low rates because they have low rates of 
fees to pay to ^ State. Precisely the same result would ensue 
under the sadar distillery system if shops were scattered in clusters 
over the country, while the rate of duty was reduced to a minimum. 
In those districts, however, — and these form the large majority — 
where the outstill system has been managed with discretion, and 
where the orders of Government have been strictly obeyed, the 
results have been very different. Illicit distillation has been suppress- 


ed and the interests of the State have been [protected, while the 
people have been supplied with a wholesome weak spirit at reason- 
able rates. That a larger quantity of this weak liquor is consumed 
there can be no doubt, but there is nothing to show that the 
consumption of alcohol has increased beyond the normal increase 
which always takes place when the people have money to spend on 
luxuries, or that drunkenness has been in any way promoted by the 
outstill system. No comparison can be made between the quantity 
of spirits actually consumed under the 2 systems. The accounts 
kept by the distillers cannot be taken as accurate, and the strength 
of the 2 classes of liquor is different. No doubt the people have 
actually spent more money on drinking during the past 2 years 
than they did before, but this is a result which would have occurred 
altogether apart from any change in system. Evidence of the 
increased expenditure on exciseable articles presents itself on all sides, 
and the increased spending power of the people is shown equally in 
larger sales of the ordinary articles of commerce. Notwithstanding the 
competition of outstill liquor, the quantity passing into consumption 
from such sadar distilleries as remain has shown a steady increase." 

The soundness of the outstill system, when worked according to 
the principles insisted on by Government, was regarded as being 
amply established ; and it was the settled policy of Govemikient 
to extend it to every part of the province when the special cir- 
cumstances of the locality did not render such a measure inex- 
pedient. There was a considerable improvement in the working of 
the system. The difficulty of gauging the real demand for liquor 
in each district was at one time the main drawback to the system, 
and this undoubtedly caused the opening of an unnecessarily listrge 
number of shops in some districts at the commencement ; but 
constant attention was given to this point, and it was believed that a 
fairly just proportion had been established between the number of 
licensed shops and the popular demand for liquor. At the settle- 
ments of i88i-2» the number of shops under both the outstill and 
the sadar distillery system was reduced from 6,284 to 5,780, and a 
further reduction to 4,417 was subsequently effected. 

During Sir A. Eden's administration, the excise revenue rose 
from nearly 69 to nearly 94 iakhs : this remarkable increase was 
due in a considerable degree to the re^introduction and develop- 


m'ent bf the'outstill system; but a much more powerful stinuilatit was 
found in the bumper harvests, the activity of trade, and the general 
prospcirity which marked the years 1879—81. Sir A. Eden wrote : 
" No hope whatever can be founded on the recent rapid expansion 
of the excise revenue. ' The increase has been so remarkable that 
a check is probable, and, if a bad harvest occurs, is inevitable." 
Sir A. Eden having been selected to preside over the Commission 
Th«AnuyCom- appointed by the Supreme Government to inquire 
miflsion. j^j^ ^^^ report .on the organization of the army in 

India, the office of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal was, during 
his absence at Simla, from July 15th to the commencement of 
December 1879, filled by Sir S. C. Bayley, Chief -Commissioner of 
Assam, who retained also charge of ihe Assam administration (and 
Sir A. Eden's Secretaries and Private Secretary, Mr. Henry.) It has 
not been found possible to distinguish in the annual Reports between 
all the measures of Sir A. Eden and Sir S. Bayley : the general 
policy of the Bengal Government remained unchanged, as was 
intended. I find that Sir S. Bayley, during this time, unveiled the 
statue of Lord Northbrook, south of the High Court, and installed 
the Maharaja of Darbhanga. Of the Army Commission, Lord Lytton 
said in Council, in March 1880, '* I cannot too highly express Iny 
lasting sense of our great obligation to my : Hon'ble friend Sir 
Ashley Eden for the astonishing industry with which he has devoted 
his great intellectual powers to the accomplish|nent of one of the 
most arduous, and one of the most important, tasks ever under- 
taken by an Indian Statesman." Sir John Strachey spoke also of 
the Commission as having been presided over by one of the most 
eminent of Indian Statesmen. 

Several important steps were taken during the year 1879-80 to- 
wards carrying out more fully than hitherto the 

Changes in the 

executive adminu- poUcy of admitting natives of the country to the 


higher ranks of the public service. The Govern- 
ment of India deemed it desirable to formulate definite rules for 
the guidance of the Local Governments and Administrations on the 
subject, and, under 'these, persons not natives of India were declared 
admissible to certain specified classes of appointments only, and all . 
other appointments were in future to be exclusively filled by 
natives. The higher grades of the Subordinate Judicial and E3te- 


cutive ^rvices were thus practically closed to Europeans, $ave in 
exceptional cases, in which the sanction of the Supreme Government 
was to be obtained to a departure from the rules. The steady 
decrease in the number of Covenanted Civilians allotted to Lower 
Bengal, and the increase of work in almost every branch of the 
administration having rendered an addition to the Subordinate 
Executive Service necessary, the sanction of the Government of 
India had to be obtained to an increase of 3 1 in the strength of this 
service. A saving in the cost involved was, however, effected by the 
creation of a new grade of Deputy Colleciers on a salary of Rs. 150 
per mensem, (the lowest grade formerly having been Rs. 200,) and 
the new officers were appointed to this grade. Rules were also 
issued by the Supreme Government to provide for the regular and 
periodical appointment of Natives of fndia to the Covenanted Civil 
Service under the Statute 33 Vic, c. 3. One such appointment 
had been made in Bengal in 1878. Under the new rules the 
Local Governments were annually to nominate persons for appoint- 
ment by the Government of India. In 1879, 2 appointments were 
allotted to Bengal, and 2 gentlemen appointed as probationers, 
subject to confirmation on their passing the departmental examina- 
tions and being favourably reported upon. An additional judgeship 
for Burdwan and Bankura was created and given to a native subordi- 
nate judge. 

A scheme for the constitution of Divisional Appellate Courts, 

which should be able rapidly and efficiently to dis- 

Pn>poiied Divi- ^ ^ ^ 

^uai Appellate pose of the mass of appeals which had hitherto come 

before the High Court, was submitted by the Local 
Government in 1877. The main objects aimed at were to diminish 
the arrears in the High Court and the consequent hardship on 
suitors, owing to the delay in the decision of their claims ; to secure 
that an appeal to the High Court, when allowed, might be a 
complete appeal on the facts as well as on the law ; to reniedy the 
injustice imposed on all but the richest litigants who were imable to 
obtain a final decision on their cases without carrying them on from 
the remote interior to the tribunal in Calcutta ; and to increase the 
finality of the decisions of the local appellate Courts by strengthen- 
ing their authority and enhancing their reputation. The adoption of 
this scheme had been indefinitely postponed on the ground of 


financial pressure, and the final orders of the Government ^f lodil 
and the Home Government on the application of the Local 
Government asking for a reconsideration of the measure were not 
received before Sir A. Eden left Bengal. 


Various important administrative questions in connection with 
Labour Bmigra- ^^^ Working of the Indian Emigration Department 
*^"°' came before Government during 1879-80, such as 

the action to be taken to encourage free emigration to the tea dis- 
tricts ; arrangements for an improved ^vatersupply on board the river 
steamers and for securing more careful inspection of the emigrants 
en route, the strengthening of the medical staff on board, and inquiries 
into the causes of cholera among the labourers in transit. A Com- 
mission representing the principal interests concerned in inland 
emigration was appointed to sit in Calcutta during the cold season of 
1 880-1, and all points in connection with the subject were reported 
upon for the necessary amendment of the law, to be proceeded with 
as soon as possible. The main object to be secured was the making 
of recruiting more easy, and the supply of labour to the tea districts 
generally less expensive. 

The Bengal Government in 1879-80 recommended to the Govern- 
ment of India and the Army Commission the with- 

Withdrawal of ' ^ 

troope from out- drawal of troops from most of the small out-stations 

in Bengal, and while final orders were pending the 
Government of India acted on the suggestion so far as to withdraw 
the Native Infantry from Bhagalpur, Naya Dumka, Dacca and Ber- 
hampore; and subsequently the wing of the i8th. Native Infantry 
was also removed from Jalpaiguri. No addition to the police force 
at Naya Dumka was considered necessary ; but, in accordance with 
the scheme of the Bengal Government for the replacement of the 
troops at dut-stations by police, an additional special reserve force of 
one inspector, one sub-inspector, 8 head-constables and 100 con- 
stables was orgaiiized at each of the stations of Bhagalpur -and 
Dacca, and a similar force of one sub-inspector, 4 head-con- 
stables and 50 constables at Berhampore. 

The passing of the Presidency Magistrates' Act (IV of 1877), 
, ^ , ^. _ enabled the Government to avail itself more largely 

Legislation : Presi- ^ .' 

^denoy MafiTifltntos' than before of the services of Honorary Magistrates 

Act (IV of 1877;. , . / o 

in Calcutta. Such Magistrates were previously em- 


ployed in^hearing Municipal cases only, but it was from this time 
arranged that they should sit in rotation with the Stipendiary Magis* 
trates as a Bench for the disposal of police cases. 

In 1880 the Council of the Lieutenant-Governor passed an Act 

I (B. C.) of that year to authorize the making, and to 

ActI(B.C.)ofl880, , , /. i- . ^ , 

the Calcutta Tram- regulate the workmg, of street tramways m Calcutta. 

Ways Act. 

The Corporation of Calcutta having entered into an 

agreement for the construction and maintenance of street tramways 

in the town, the object of the Bill, (introduced by the Hon'ble Kristo 

Das Pal in Dec. 1879), ^hich followed the lines of the Bombay 

Tramways' Act, 1874, was to confer the necessary legal powers on 

the contracting parties, and to make proper provision for the working 

of the tramwa} s. The Bill also contained a provision for extending 

it to such suburban tramways as might afterwards be undertaken. 

Act VI (B. C.) of 1880, for the drainage and improvement of 

lands, repealed Bengal Act V of 1871, which pro- 
Act vi(B.c.) of . , '^ . ? r , , . ^ , 
1880, the Bengal vided for Certain works for the drainage and recla- 

Drainage Act. 

mation of lands in the Hooghly and Burdwan dis- 
tricts, known as the Dankuni scheme, but empowered the Lieutenant- 
Governor to carry out similar works throughout all the territories 
under his administration. Col. Haig, r. e.. Secretary to Govern- 
ment had shown how such operations could profitably be applied to 
the Howrahy'Air^/ (3*41 sq. m), and to those of Amta (3*56 sq. m) 
and Rajapur (6-87 sq. m). The Act provided that each scheme 
under the Act should be prepared with plans and estimates by the 
Government engineers and published for general information. The 
cost of the works was to be assessed, on the lands reclaimed and 
improved, in proportion to the benefit derived, by Commissioners 
appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor, of whom the majority were 
to be proprietors. The recovery of the sums apportioned on the 
several proprietors was left in the hands of the Collector. The 
works when completed were to be kept up in the same manner as 
public embankments at the expense of those whose lands were bene- 
fited, and in their maintenance the Collector was to be assisted by a 
Committee of proprietors appointed for , that purpose. A material 
alteration from the procedure* under Act V of 1871 consisted in 
allowing the Commissioners an opportunity of watching results for 
3 years after the works were completed before they proceeded to 


apportion the costs of the works. Thus the liability to repay any 
portion of the capital was deferred for 3 years. 

The Cess Act was one for amending and consolidating- the law 
The Cess Act, r^^^ting to rating for the construction, charges, 
IX (B. cj of 1880. and maintenance of district communications and 
other works of public utility, and of provincial public works. During 
the 8 years during which the Road Cess Act of 1871 had been 
in force, several points of importance had come to light on which 
it required amendment. The opportunity was also taken of repealing 
the Provincial Public Works Act of 1877, and of consolidating into 
one Act the law relating to Road Cess and to the Provincial Public 
Works Cess, both of which were assessed on the same principle, 
and levied according to the same procedure and by the same 

The measure contemplated many important alterations in the 
law. In the definitions given of immoveable property, houses, shops 
and other holdings were excluded, the levy of the cess upon houses 
having been attended with much irritation and vexation. In the part 
relating to the imposition and application of the cesses it was pro- 
vided that the Lieutenant-Governor should not be required by law 
to pay from the public revenues any sum as road cess in excess 
of such sum as might have been paid as such cess to the Collector by 
persons liable to pay the same. In consideration of the public 
works cess being collected by establishments paid from the District 
Road Fund, the Lieutenant-Governor was empowered to make an 
assignment of such proportion of the cost of establishment as he 
might think right to the district Committees. 

The Bill was introduced into Council on the loth. of January 
1880 and received the assent of the Lieutenant-Governor on the 
22nd. of April 1880. The Governor-General however, refused his 
assent to the Bill, on * the ground that 2 sections contravened the 
provisions of the Civil Procedure Code. At the same time His 
Excellency agreed to assent to the Bill on the omission of the 
sections in question, and proposed to re-enact them in the Supreme 
Legislative Council if they were deemed essential. The Bill was 
re-introduced in September (without the 2 sections), was- assented 
to by the Governor-General, and became Act IX (B.C.) of 1880. 
It was amended in 1881. 


The improvement of Calcutta had been making progress for 
Calcutta Munioi. some years : not altogether continuously. Thus, 
^ ^^^ complete illumination of the town with gas was pro- 

vided for in 1877-78, and about the same time the doubling of the 
water supply was contemplated. Act VI (B.C.) of 1881 (a Calcutta 
Municipal Act) besides making other amendments of a less import- 
ant nature, empowered the Government to declare any portions of 
the environs of Calcutta to be a part of the town for the purposes of 
the water-supply, and provided for the extension of the water-supply 
to the suburbs and the levy therein of a water-rate not exceeding the 
maximum in Calcutta. It also provided for the payment by the 
Calcutta Municipality of iths of the pensions of certain police 
officers ; for "the filling-up of foul tanks whether within a private 
enclosure or not, at the expense of their owners ; for the taking-up 
and reclamation of filthy, dastis, and for a revised sinking fund in 
respect of all future public loans. 

In April 1878 Sir A. Eden issued a Resolution on the improve- 

SRnitary condi- ""®"^ ^^ ^^® drainage of towns and villages in 
tion of viiugea. Bengal, as he attributed much of the unhealihiness 
prevalent to the excessive humidity of the soil caused by obstruction 
to drainage, naturally, that is by the silting up or destruction of 
old water courses, rather than by artificial means such as the embank- 
ments of roads and railways. He relied upon all executive officers 
and District Road Committees to take up the matter earnestly and 
use their ample powers under the existing laws. Later again in 
June 1880 Sir A. Eden received a number of reports on thjs ques- 
tion, and encouraged local authorities to do all they could, while 
he trusted to the new Drainage Act for carrying out more extensive 
schemes of drainage, which involved projects of reclamation. • The 
Sanitary Commissioner's activity again elicited an expression of Sir 
A. Eden's views on the same subject. The Sanitary Commissioner 
made some suggestions which could be only carried into effect by 
legislation, and he was informed that Sir A. Eden entirely concurred 
in the view recently expressed by the Government of India, that the 
time had not come for enforcing general sanitary regulations among 
the villagers by law. All that could be done was to seek to bring 
the people gradually to a sense of the evils induced by their tradi- 
tional habits, and show them that obstructed drainage, filthy surrouad- 


ings and admixture of decomposing matter with their drinking 
water, must result in disease. The amalgamation of the Sanitary 
and the Vaccination Departments was expected to render it possible 
Xo do a great deal in this respect. The Sanitary Commissioner would 
thus have a staff of officers in constant contact with the villagers 
during the working season, and it would be possible not only to 
urge upon the people the adoption of simple measures of sanitation, 
which were neglected, but also to invoke the influence of the exe- 
cutive authorities in cases in which the general public health was 
seriously injured by filthy practices. 

Fever was especially fatal in 1881 in Nadia, where the death-rate 
Thoxndia fovor a^^^^^cd the very high figure of 3972, as compared 
Commission. ^wiih 29*53 per thousand in the previous year, not- 

withstanding the deputation of a special staff of medical officers to 
the villages attacked and the lavish and gratuitous distribution of 
medicines. ^Towards the end of 1881, a special Commission was 
appointed to visit the worst parts of the district and endeavour to 
ascertain the cause of the outbreak, and at the same time to impress 
on the zamindars and the people the advantage of retaining a supply 
of pure water in their villages and of observing sanitary precautions. 
The members of the Commission spent the cold season in the 
district. The conclusion at which they arrived on the main question 
was of a.negative character. They discovered no specific cause for 
the epidemic but were satisfied that there was no foundation for the 
impression generally entertained by the people themselves that it 
had been brought about by artificial obstructions to the natural 
drainage of the countr}'. They found the roads and the railway 
embankments everywhere adequately supplied with waterway, save 
to an unimportant extent in a few localities. Their Report, however, 
pointed, out a variety of causes, for most of which the people them- 
selves were responsible, which must contribute to unhealthiness in 
the villages. Some improvement would, it was hoped, be effected 
in these matters by the Local Boards about to be appointed. 

Syud Mansur Ali, the Nawab Nazim of Bengal, who had for 

many years resided in England, retired from the 
the Nawab Nasim position of Nawab Nazim, and by a formal deed 

of Bengal. » . vt t^ «« i .. 

executed on the ist November 1880 renounced all 
right of interference with the affairs of the Nizamut in consideration 



of an annual stipend of /" 10,000, the payment to him of 10 lakhs of 
rupees in settlement of various miscellaneous claims, and a suitable 
provision for his children born in England. The title of Nawab of 
Murshidabad was conferred on Syud Hassan Ali, the eldest son of 
Syud Mansur AH, and the title of Nawab Nazim became extinct. 
The Nizamut deposit fund ceased to exist, the office of Agent to the 
Governor-General was abolished, and the allowances to the various 
members of the Nizamut family were in future to be paid to them 
direct by the Collector of Murshidabad. The last Nawab Nazim 
died at Murshidabad on the 3th November 1884. His eldest son, 
Syud Hassan Ali, was given the title of Nawab Bahadur of Murshi- 
dabad in February 1882, and that of Amir-ul-Omrah in July 1887, 
with the rank of the Premier Noble of Bengal : atid subsequently 
provision was made, by Act XV of 1891 and an indenture attached 
to the Act, for the support and maintenance of the Nawab Bahadur 
and of the honour and dignity of his station. 

A project for constructing a range of canals, 92 miles in length, 
Th ori and '^ completfe the line of inland water communication 
other cmain. between Calcutta and Orissa, was sanctioned towards 

the close of 1880-81. The canals were to consist of still- water 
channels with tidal locks, and be fed duriug the dry season by tidal 
water through high-level supply sluices, and during the rains supplied 
as far as possible from the drainage of the neighbouring, country. 
This was a work of the first importance to Orissa, which was previ- 
ously dependent on the sea for its communications with Bengal. 
The ports were bad, and, if any. serious failure of the crops were to 
occur, it would not be possible to throw a sufficient supply of food 
into the province. When the projected canal was made, steamers 
and country boats would be able to ply at all seasons of the year, 
and, while the province would be protected from famine, there would 
be a large expansion of trade. Their length (92 miles) was divided 
into 4 ranges as follows : — 

(i). Canal between the Rasalpur and Subarnarekha rivers, 
30 miles in length. (2). Canal connecting the Subarnarekha with 
Panchpara^ 18 miles in length. (3). Canal between Panchpara and 
the Barrabullong, 6 miles in length. (4), Canal connecting the Barra- 
bullong with the Mettai, 38 miles in length. The canals were to 
have a minimum bottom width of 50 feet with 7 feet depth of 


water. The estimate of 33 lakhs was sanctioned too late in the 
year to allow of much work being done, but a new Division was 
formed, and arrangements were made for collecting labour and 
materials and for taking over the land. 

The canals which were taken over by this Government in 1877 
were financially of a very different character from the railways, and 
there was never any hope of their being in a position to pay the 
interest on the capital -invested in them for many years to come. 
The construction of the Orissa, Midnapore and Hijli canals was 
originally undertaken in 1863 by the East Indian Irrigation and 
Canal Company, with, the most extravagant expectations of profit. 
Five years after the work had been begun, the Government of India 
purchased the canals from the Company for Rs. 1,17,28,560, and 
proceeded to develop a modified scheme. These works had al^'ays 
been up to 1880-1 a heavy drag on the provincial resources, which 
had to bear ihe charges. The receipts from irrigation on the Orissa 
and Midnapore canals, however, were steadily increasing ; leases were 
taking the place of yearly agreements ; and, as the system of distri- 
butaries was extended, the revenue would gradually develop. One 
great reason why these canals paid so littlt was that they were 
prematurely stopped under a false notion of economy. The head 
works and canals were finished, while the distributaries were never 
constructed ; the water was there and the people were ready to use 
it, but, expenditure having been suspended, the water could not be 
distributed. The new Coast Canal was expected to increase the 
navigation receipts on the Orissa and Hijli works. The opening 
of the Sone Canals had! given a great impetus to the extension of 
sugarcane cultivation, and had caused a considerable increase in the 
agricultural wealth of the tracts supplied. The increase of profit 
from this source in the district of Shahabad alone was estimated in 
1879-80 at Rs. 4,73,000 /^r a//i/«»i. The people were also begin- 
ning to use canal water as a motive power in sugar and fiour mills. 
Apart from these schemes, other irrigation and canal "works were 
undertaken from provincial funds. A sum of Rs. 6,28,000 ^i^as 
spent on a canal to connect the river Gandak with the principal 
water-courses of the Saran district. A still more important work was 
the Joojooty scheme, whereby a constant supply of pure water from 
the river Damodar was poured into old channels in the Burdwan and 


Hooghly districts. The silting-up ot these channels was undoubt- 
edly for many years the cause of much disease and suffering 
throughout a large tract of country, and the introduction of a copious 
supply of pure water for drinking and irrigation purposes had 
at once a marked effect on the health and prosperity of the people. 
Heavy expenditure was also incurred in the improvement of the 
condition of the Calcutta Canal, which had been very unsatisfactory. 
The storm-water loaded with the sewage of the town discharged into 
it : boats grounded at tow water, causing numerous accidents and 
hindering traffic ; and the channels silted up, entailing very heavy 
annual expense in maintenance. These defects were remedied, 
large locks of 40 feet in width with capacious basins were construct- 
ed, so that it might be possible to maintain a sufficient depth of 
water in the canal. The canal was also widened, and ample accom* 
modation provided for the traffic. In order to supply fresh water 
to the canal, and to afford the means of flushing the lower end of 
the new drainage channel, a large inlet was constructed at the Hooghly 
entrance of the canal. Half the cost of the work was to be borne by 
the Calcutta Municipality and the other half met from provincial funds. 
It was expected that the total expenditure on this canal from provin- 
cial funds would have amounted to 23 lakhshy the end of 1881-82. 
Intimation was received by the Commissioner ot Orissa on the 
Attack on the ^^^ March 1881 that a party of fanatics, consist- 

Muf^to'^Puri^by ^"^ ^^ '^ ^^^ ^^^ 3 wo"^c"» ^^i^ entered the 
fanatic*. Temple of Jagannath in Puri on the ist idem, 

with the object of burning the idol of Jagannath, and that a dis^ 
turbance had taken place, in which one of the fanatics had I(^t his 
life. The party in question were residents of Sambalpur in the 
Central Provinces, and they stated that they were induced to come 
to Puri in consequence of one of their co-religionisls (the deceased) 
having been commanded by their " guru/' an invisible being without 
shape or form, to bring the images of Jagannath, Balaram, and 
Subhadra out of the temple and to burn them on the road. For the 
purpose of carrying this order into effect, a large body of men and 
women left their homes in Sambalpur, taking their children with them, 
but, when within a few miles of Puri, 12 men and 3 women separated 
themselves from the main body and preceded them to the temple. 
The disturbance formed the subject of an immediate investiga- 


tion by the local authorities, from which th6 following facts were 

One of the doorkeepers of the temple, who was on duty at the 
Lion gate when the disturbance occurred, in describing the scene, 
stated that about 12 men and women, who were almost in a state 
of nudity, came up to the temple shouting " alekh,'' ** alekh." 
They had with them an earthen pot containing cooked rice, of which, 
judging from the state of their hands, they had evidently only 
recently partaken. The door-keeper tried to prevent them from 
entering the temple by closing the gate, but they succeeded in push- 
ing it open and forcing their way into the building accompanied by 
some 200 pilgrims. One of the fanatics still held in his hand the 
pot of rice, but, on being remonstrated with by the door-keeper, he 
consented to leave it outside and was then permitted to enter. The 
party next proceeded to break down the door of the Bhogmanadab^ 
the apartment in which the offerings of the worshippers of the idols 
are usually displayed, but which was at the time empty. They then 
made their way into the great hall of the temple in front of the 
shrine, the crowd of spectators having by this time doubled. Find- 
ing the door called yaibijai shut, the fanatics went out into the 
enclosure and rushed about like mad men and women, endeavouring 
to find an entrance in some other direction. The crowd of pilgrims 
at this time was estimated to number upwards of 1000, and a 


great deal of pushing and struggling took pkice, in the midst of 
which one of the fanatics fell or was pushed on to the stone pave- 
ment. He was lifted up by some of his companions and was assist- 
ed out of the temples, and shortly after expired. 

The rioters were arrested by the police and were placed on their 
trial on charges framed under sections 147 and 297 of the Penal 
Code before the Deputy Magistrate of Puri, and on conviction were 
each sentenced to 3 months' rigorous imprisonment. 

Shortly after the arrest of the party of fanatics above referred to, 
the Assistant Superintendent of Police learnt that a second party 
were on their road to Puri, with a similar object in view, and he 
accordingly sent out a patrol and caused them to be arrested before 
they could enter the town and do any mischief. This second party 
consisted of 6 men, i x women, and 1 1 small children. The adults 
were placed on their trial as persons having no ostensible means of 


subsistence, but they were acquitted by the Deputy Magistrate on' the 
grounds ihat they were in the same position as hundreds of other 
beggars, and that there was nothing in their case to raise a suspicion 
that they earned their livelihood by improper means. ' 

The rioters being inhabitants of Sambalpur, the Chief Commis- 
sioner of the Central Provinces was asked to favor the Lieutenant-! 
Governor with information regarding the tenets of the sect to which' 
they belonged and with particulars regarding their place of residence, 
habits, and pursuits. In compliance with this request, the Chief 
Commissioner furnished the following particulars : — 

' There is a peculiar sect of Hindu dissenters in the Sambalpur 
district, known as Kumbhupatias. The word deriv- 
ed from '' Kumbhu/* the name of a kind of tree, and " pat,'' the 
bark of a tree, and the sect is so called because its followers make 
ropes from the bark of the tree and wear them round their waists: 
The religion is also known as that of Alekh, and its followers claim 
revelation as its foundation. Alekhswamy, the god incarnate, used, 
it is said, to reside in the Himalayas, but about the year 1864 he 
came to Malbaharpur in Banki, ziila Cuttack, and revealed the 
religion professed by the Kumbhupatias to 64 persons, the principal 
of whom was Govind Das ; and it is chiefly owing to the exertions of 
these disciples that the religion was propagated. Alekhswamy (which 
signifies " the lord whose attributes cannot be described in writing ") 
removed to Dhenkanal, a feudatory State, where, for 3 years imme- 
diately preceding his death, he led the life of a mendicant and 
wanderer. Although the religion originated in Cuttack, it spread 
more rapidly in the district of Sambalpur, and men of all classes 
and castes, except the Uriya Brahmins, are freely embracing it. It 
is not so much the peculiarity of the rules of any particular caste or 
sect that tends to increase the number of converts to it as the posi- 
tion in life of the converts themselves : thus in Khinda the people 
of a whole village embraced the Kumbhupatia religion because the 
Gaontia had done so. The names of some 30 villages are given 
as those in which the Kumbhupatias chiefly reside.' A full account 
(rf their sects, tenets and habits was addttd. 

The Census of Bengal (as part of the general Census of India) 
^ ^ , was taken on the night of the 1 7th February 18 8x. 

Th« ConsiM 01 1 

i8«i. The general plan of operations was to make a pre- 


iiminary enumeration of the population at leisure sometime before 
the date of the actual Census, and then, on one night, the 17th 
February, to finally correct the previous entries. Special arrange- 
ments were made for the enumeration of boats ^nd their occupants ; 
for counting the population on railways ; for the Census of persons 
in cantonments, in camp, travelling by road, or living without a 
home ; for jails, hospitals and other public institutions ; and for the 
Census of the Sundarbans. The demeanour of the people during 
the preliminary operations as well as on the night of the Census was, 
in most places, all that could be desired, but in many places dis- 
quieting rumours as to the object in view were spread abroad, and 
in a few tracts of country there was a show of resistance to the 
taking of the Census. In the Sonthal Parganas and in those parts of 
the neighbouring districts where Sonthals formed a large proportion of 
the population, interested agitators seized the opportunity for a tribal 
demonstration. In the districts adjoining the Sonthal Parganas the 
exertions of the district officers were sufficient to allay the irritation ; 
but in the Sonthal Parganas themselves, where the people were terri- 
fied by the rumours circulated among them, and were in a highly 
excited condition, it \^'as thought advisable to dispense with the final 
nocturnal checking, and to march detachments of troops through 
the country. The figures showed that the population of Bengal 
(after allowing for the separation of Assam) had increased from 
62,705,718 to 69,536,861 during the 9 years which had elapsed 
since 1872, there being thus an increase of 6,831,143 or io'89 per 
cent. Out of the grand total of 69,536,861 the males numbered 
34,625,591, and the females 34,911,270, the latter thus exceeding the 
former by 285,679. The population of the town of Calcutta on the 
17th February was 433,219 as compared with 409,036 in 1876, the date 
of the previous Census ; the population of the suburbs was 251,439 
and of Howrah 105,575, total 790,233. The Hindus were 45,452,806 
and the Muhammadans 21,704,724 : the Christians 128,135. The 
apparent rate of increase varied enormously in different parts of the 
province : one Division only, that of Burdwan, showed an absolute 
decrease by 277 per cent, ctearly attributable to the effects of the 
Burdwan fever from 1864 to 1874. The average density of the 
population of the entire province was 371*41 persons to the square 
mile, and this varied much in different districts. The total urban 


population of the province svzs only 36,64,229 and there were only 96 
towns with a population exceeding 10,000 souls : while there were 
2^4^523 villages, each containing less than 5,000 inhabitants. Of 
the castes or tribes in Bengal, 65 claimed more than 100,000 
members, each. The number of houses in Bengal was returned at 
i'.^43»3S3» of which 11,036,774 were occupied, giving an average 
of 6.30 persons to each occupied house. Between 1872 and i88t 
the Hindus increased at the rate of 13*64 per cent, the Muhammadans 
by 10*96 per cent, Christians by 4071 per cent, and Buddhists by 
93*29 per cent (the last named figures being for the most part due to 
more accurate enumeration.) The increase among Christians was 
attributed, partly to immigration from Europe and partly to conver- 
sions, especially in the districts of the Chota Nagpur Division* 

Sir A. Eden was able, by careful management and a full treasury 
to incur a large expenditure on Ordinary Public 

Public Works. or / 

Works under the contract of 1877. The expenditure 
on works during the scarcity of 1874 was abnormal, the provincial 
balances were exhausted, and the Government of India found it 
necessary to accept the outlay, and to make the I.ocal Government 
a net grant of 5 /akhs with which to begin the year 1876-77, 
The expenditure on Ordinar)- Public Works during that year was 
Rs. 25,59,000. In 1877-78 it was thought necessary to proceed with 
extreme caution in the matter of expenditure. The charges thrown 
upon the provincial revenues on account of Productive Public Works 
were very serious ; the full outturn of the P. W. Cess could not be 
obtained during the year, and it was considered necessary to secure- 
a substantial working balance to provide for emergencies. The 
expenditure in that year was therefore restricted to Rs. 25,12,000. 
In framing the revised estimates for 1878-79, it was found possible 
to make provision for various important and useful schemes that 
had been left in abeyance for want of funds ; but in that year and 
the next the expenditure was, under the instructions of the Supreme 
Government, kept down in consequence of the financial difficulties 
which famine, v^-ar, and adverse exchange had brought upon the 
Government of India. In 1879 the Government of India found 
itself compelled to call upon Local Governments to make all possible 
reductions in expenditure. The orders went so far as to direct that 
no new work estimated to cost more thao Rs. 2,500 should be 


cominenced, even though it might have already received the sanction 
of Government. Under the influence of the same policy of retrench- 
ment, unduly low estimates were made for 1 880-81, but the Local 
Government was afterwards permitted by the Government of India 
to increase the grant by 20 lakhs and the expenditure during the 
year was Rs. 47,60,600. The provision for 1881-82 was Rs. 67,93,000. 
It included, besides the estimated expenditure on miscellaneous 
improvements, on buildings and on the construction, bridging and 
metalling . of provincial roads, provision for new Court houses at 
Sealdah, Jessore, Mymensingh, Dacca, Ranchi, Gaya, Darbhanga, and 
Motihari, for various sub-divisional buildings and Munsifs' Courts, 
for new Jails at Jalpaiguri, Bogra, Pabna, Gaya, Darbhanga and 
Motihaci, for a College at Rampur Boalia, and a Railway school at 
Kurseong, and for the completion of the new Secretariat buildings 
and the new obstetric hospital at the ^ledical College. It seemed 
to Sir A. Eden wrong that large balances should be allowed to 
lie idle, while the revenue was increasing and numerous works of 
improvement remained to be executed. 

The concentration of the public offices, contemplated by his 2 
„! , predecessors, was effected by Sir A. Eden. It 

^ow Bengal * ' 

Snrttora^*' BaiiS ^^^^ decided to bring together the various Secreta- 
^' riats of the Bengal Government and the more 

important departments with which the Government Js in continual 
communication, into a single set of offices in Writers' Buildings, as 
such' an arrangement would greatly facilitate the transaction of public 
business. The necessary accommodation was obtained by adding 
^ large wings on the north side, at right angles to the rear of the 
existing building. The works were in progress in 1878 and it was 
hoped that they would be sufficiently advanced for the Government 
to complete the concentration of its office establishments towards the 
ebd of 1879^ 

» These new wings were completed during 1879-80, and were partly 
occupied • and designs were prepared for a new fa9ade to Writers' 
Buildings, the construction of which would give some additional 
accommodation and admit of easy communication between the differ- 
ent departments. The new fa9ade would, it was believed, be effect- 
ive without being expensive and add greatly to the appearance of 
that portion of . Calcutta* 


The south fa9ade towards ' Dalhousie Square, was practically 
finished in 1881-82: all that remained to be done >vas the. finishing 
of some of the ornamental parts of the building and the completion 
of the railings. An octagonal building was constructed as a Chamber 
for the Bengal Legislative Council in the southwest corner of the 
range of Writers' Buildings, and advantage was taken of its position 
to add to the architectural effect of the new Government Offices. The 
new Council Chamber ^'as first used in the [cold weather session of 

In reviewing the Provincial Finance in June 1881 Sir A. Eden 
was in a strong position to assert that the system of 

Provincial ^ 

ananoe : resuito of decentralization had been thoroughly 'successful in 

Bengal. ** The revenues have rapidly increased, 
independently of any new taxation; useless expenditure has been 
curtailed; and funds have been made available for improvement 
under all branches of the Administration. All grades of the service 
have shown the deepest interest in increasing the resources of Gov- 
ernment, under the belief tliat the surplus revenue would be available 
for the good of the province. The 3 heads of improvable revenue 
made over to the management of the provincial Government, with an 
income of 165 J lakhs in 1876-77, will stand with an income of not 
less than 217} iakhs'm 1881-82. In the meanwhile the Lieutenant^ 
Governor has been able to carry out numerous works of improvement 
on his own responsibility, many of which, under the previous system, 
would have been indefinitely postponed. Besides making a special 
contribution of 20 lakhs to the Imperial treasury' in time of need, he 
has beeii able during these 5 years to increase the staff of executive 
and judicial officers ; to provide increased facilities for the adminis- 
tration of justice ; to increase the grant for education ; to make 
grants-in-aid of district communications and of works of drainage^ 
sanitation, and municipal improvement ; to biiild schoblsi colleges', 
and hospitals ; to replace the huts in which the public business was 
transacted or prisoners were confined, by substantial masonry court* 
houses and jails ; to spend 20 lakhs on railways which will bring'in a 
large return, 5^ lakhs on tramways, f of a lakh on a steamer service 
to improve communications with Assam, and 2 lakhs on a road to 
develop th6 trade with Tibet ; to spend 1 1 lakhs on the first portion of 
a Wor^ tvhi'ch will develop the .trade of Oritsa and protect it froih 


famine ; and to spend 38^ lakhs on improving navigation and provid- 
ing a supply of pure water for the people. While J7\ lakhs have 
thus been expended on great measures of material improvement, and 
the expenditure on Ordinary Public Works has been increased from 
Rs. 25,12,000 in 1877-78 to Rs. 63,53,000, exclusive of expenditure 
on preliminary works of railway construction in 1881-82, and wVile 
no legitimate outlay has been spared to strengthen every department 
of the Administration, the 5 years' period, which opened with a 
credit balance of Rs. 2,68,000 only will close with a credit balance 
of at least Rs. 14,46,000. When it is recollected that, under 
the system which prevailed before 1871, every new charge required 
the sanction of the Imperial Government, that the decision on 
the demands of each province took no cognizance, of the extent 
to which it had contributed to the general Exchequer, that nothing 
was to be gained by economy, because money left unspent by 
any one Governlnent was practically lost to it and only went to 
increase the amount to be sc^^mbled for by all, some idea may be 
gained of the advantages which Bengal has reaped from the control 
of its own finances. There is no department of the service which 
has not felt the benefit of the financial independence conferred on 
the Government immediately responsible for its administration.'* 
On the eve of his departure Sir A. Eden was able thus to sum up 
the results of his 5 years' financial administration : — " The revenue 
has increased by 26^ lakhs under Excise, 25 lakhs under Railways, 
12 lakhs under Stamps and 5 lakhs under Irrigation and Navigation. 
The general increase since 1878-79 has been at the rate of 17^ lakhs 
a year. Improvements have been made in the general administration, 
and the expenditure under the great heads of Land Revenue 
Administration, and Law and Justice, has in consequence been 
increased by 8 lakhs of rupees a year between 1877 and 1882. The 
funds available for Education have been increased, while the charges 
of the 2 spending Departments of Jails and Medical have been 
reduced. Finally Sir A. Eden has spent during the 5 years from the 
surplus revenue of the province, Rs. 20,78,000 on Railway works, 
Rs. 39,00,000 on Irrigation and Navigation works, and Rs. 141,00,000 
on the construction of Roads and Buildings or in contributions to 
district works : in all Rs. 2,00,00,000 on original works of all kinds. 
This useful expenditure would have been even greater had not the 


Government of India exacted from the Provincial Revenues a special 
contribution of Rs. 20,00,000 for its own purposes. This contribu- 
tion has now been generously returned, but it only goes to swell the 
closing balance at the credit of the province. The 5 years' period 
opened with a credit balance of Rs. 2,88,000. It closes with a 
balance of Rs. 42,62,000, exclusive of the special grant which forms 
a part of the new contract." 

The figures were stated somewhat difEerently in another place 
as follows : — 

"The total provincial revenue in 1881-82 amounted to 
J^s. 3.77,97,000. Compared with the income of 1877-78 the first 
year of the contract, the revenue for 1881-82 gave an increase of 
25 lakhs in excise, 12 lakhs in stamps, one lakh in law and justice, 
i\ lakhs in jails, 254- lakhs in railways, and 7 lakhs in irrigation and 
canals ; while the expenditure showed an excess of 3^ lakhs in 
land revenue, i^ lakhs in administration, 4} hikhsm law and justice, 
\ lakh in jails, 2^ lakhs in education, 24^ lakhs in railways, 
2\\ lakhs in irrigation and canals, and 4 if lakhs in roads and 
buildings, and a decrease of 3^ lakhs in medical relief. More than 
four-fifths of the additional income from excise had accrued within 
the past 2 years, in consequence of the abundance of the harvests, 
the cheapness of food, and the greater spending power of the 
people ; but it was not probable that this source of revenue would 
maintain in future the rate of progress reached within this period, 
and the advance in the revenue in 1881-82 was comparatively small. 

Both the gross revenue from, and the expenditure on, railways 
advanced rapidly during the 5 years 1877-1882, the former having 
risen from Rs. 7,32,000 to Rs. 33,08,000, and the latter from 
Rs. 6,26,000 to Rs. 30,84,000. These results were to be expected 
from the great development which had taken, and was still taking 
place, in the railway system. The net receipts of the last year, after 
deduction of the working expenses, amounted to Rs. 14,02,000 
or nearly 9 times the revenue in 1877-78; while the total charge 
for interest on the capital expended was only Rs. 12,86,000. Not 
only were all the enormous advantages derived from the railways 
thus enjoyed free of cost by the people, but the Government actually 
received from them a clear gain of over a lakh pf rupees. The 
revenue from irrigation and canals was advancing, though the rate 


of progress was still slow in comparison with the large increase of 
expenditure which it had been found necessary to incur for the 
improvement of existing works and the completion of new projects. 
The \'ast excess in public works expenditure on roads and buildings 
had been caused by the construction of works which had been 
postponed for years^ and of which the Administration stood in much 
need. Apart from the Government expenditure on public works, 
a gr^at deal was also accomplished by means of the large sums 
granted from the provincial finances during the past 5 years in aid 
of projects undertaken by local bodies." 

The attention of Sir A. Eden's Government was specially directed 
Locfti4i6if. during 1881-82 to the development of the policy 

Government. q{ Local Self-Govemmcnt and financial decentra- 

lization. In accordance with the instructions of the Government of 
India, a careful scrutiny was made of the provincial, local, and 
municipal accounts, \fith the object of ascertaining what items of 
receipts and expenditure could be transferred from ** provincial " to 
** local ' heads, for administration by Committees containing non- 
ofilicial, or where possible elected, members, and what redistribution 
could be made of items already so administered, in order that only 
such items should be made local as the people were most likely to 
be able to understand the use of and to administer well. Inquiries 
were also made as to the most suitable form to be given to the local 
bodies by which the funds thus localized should be administered, 
endeavours being made, as far as possible, to utilize the existing 
Committees. Attention was also given to the relations between the 
various local bodies and the ofiicets of the general administration, 
and to the degree of control and inspection to be retained in the 
hands of Government. The general lines of the plan which com* 
mended itself to Sir A. Eden were commtmicated by him in April 
1882 to the Government of India. It was considered that the unit 
of the system of Local Self-Government should be as far as possible 
the sub-division, and not the district. Provision was made to ensure 
that the Local Boards should have a more representative, and, where 
feasible, an elective character. They were to be entrusted with 
very extensive powers for the management of local expenditure on 
communications, village sanitation, education, and medical charity, 
and to be provided with funds over |pd above the proceeds of the 


District Road Fund by grants from Government to supplement, if 
necessary, the receipts from pounds and ferries. Meanwhile all 
municipalities, except Calcutta, the Suburbs and Howrah, were 
relieved from all charges on account of police, and it was stipu- 
lated that the sums so set free should be devoted to the purposes 
of education, sanitation and charity. Sir A. Eden thought that 
in many districts in Bengal there were able and energetic men 
willing to take a share in the management of public affairs, whose 
readiness to assist only required judicious management and direction. 
He anticipated that the ultimate result of the legislation contem- 
plated would be a large measure of relief to the public departments 
and of lasting benefit to the best interests of the people. 

Early in 1877 it came to notice that certain Burmese gentlemen, 

who had been deputed by the King of Burma to 
repair the inclosure of the Buddha Tree and Temple 
at Bodh Gaya, were working in such a manner as to injure rather 
than improve the buildings. Dr. Rajendra Lala Mitra was therefore 
requested to visit the place and report on the work done, and the 
manner in which the operations should be controlled. It appeared 
from his Report that large portions of the building, of great histuricai 
interest, had been virtually swept away by the demolitions and exca- 
vations which had gone on. Arrangements were accordingly made 
to complete the repairs of the temple under the supervision of the 
District Engineer of Gaya, working in communication with Dr. 
Mitra and the Commissioner of Patna. 

An important change was introduced during the year 1877 into 
the constitution of the Marine Service of India. 
The whole of the marine establishments, afloat and 
on shore, employed under the several Governments and provinces of 
India, were amalgamated into one Imperial ser\'ice, designated " Her 
Majesty's Indian Marine." This service was entirely under the 
Supreme Government, but it was intended that such portion of it as 
might be required for service within the limits of Local Governments 
should from time to time be placed at the disposal of these 

The obstetric hospital was designed by Mr. G. A. D. Anley on 
The Eden Hospt- P^^^s fumished by Dr. T. Edmonstone Charles, and 
*^' was considered to be one of the most complete 



hospitals in India. It was made to afford accommodation for 78 
patients and all tiie necessary staff for such an institution ; the wards 
and verandahs were paved with marble, and a well-proportioned stair- 
case afforded access not only to the different floors but also to the 
roof, which was intended to form a pleasant promenade for the patients. 
The building was completed and formally opened by Sir A. Eden on 
the 19th of April 1882, and is now known as the Eden Hospital. 
It was not until Sir A. Eden's time that an official residence was 
assigned to the Lieutenant-Governor when at Dar- 

The Lieutenant- . i j r .. . »• 

Govomor'a real- jechng. His predcccssors had from time to time 

visited this hill station, for longer or shorter periods, 
as they pleased, and had sometimes occupied the little old cottage 
(for it was nothing more) which stood on the site of the present 
building in * the Shrubbery ' grounds on Birch Hill. This property 
had passed from ' Mr. Barnes' Estate ' to the Maharaja of Kuch 
Bihar, and during the latter's minority was purchased by Government, 
on 31st October 1877. Additions and alterations were made to 
adapt it for a Lieutenant-Governor's residence. The Public Works 
Department completed the main work of construction in October 

1879, so that the new house was first occupied in the summer of 

1880, Subsequently, the porch and tower were added by Sir A. Eden. 
A photograph of the original building is still extant as a curiosity. 
Only small portions of the old building were retained in its enlarge- 
ment. The grounds were tastefully laid out under the instructions 
of Sir G. King in 1878. In a few years, owing to the increase in 
the number of residents and visitors to Darjeeling, it was found that 
the reception-rooms as constructed in 1877 — 79 were not nearly of 
sufficient size, while the want of proper accommodation for public 
ceremonies and State occasions had long been felt. A Darbar Hall 
of a light and cheap character was accordingly built by Sir C. Elliott, 
on Birch Hill, N. of the residence. The picture on the opposite 
page shows the S. aspect of the main building. 

The construction of a hospital at Darjeeling for European 
patients from the neighbouring tea-gardens of the 

The Eden Sanl- ... ti r i i . .3 

tarium at Darjoe- distnct as Well as from the plams was sanctioned 

in accordance with a Minute recorded by Sir A. 
Eden on the nth June i88i. The project consisted of cutting 
dowii the old Post Office Hill whese the Bhutia school stood; and 

^ ^ 

Survey of !i.dia Offices.CaltuUaDccm 



thus making a site for an extensive two-storied building sufficient 
to accommodate 16 first .class, 20 second class, and 20 third class 
patients. While the designs and estimates for the building were 
being prepared by the Government Architect, the preparation of 
the site was taken in hand and vigorously prosecuted, and was 
sufiiciently advanced for the commencement of building oper* 
atlons In November 1881 : owing to delay on the part of the 
contractors, it could not be thrown open to the public until the 
22nd April 1883: the construction cost Rs. 1,67,752, besides 
Rs. 23,750 for furniture &c. During its construction, a temporary 
hospital was opened in a building adjoining the municipal dis- 

Among the other measures which Sir A. Eden carried out were 
the following — the transfer to the Government of 

other meaaures. 

Bengal of the management of the affairs of the Ex- 
King of Oudh and of the Mysore Princes — the appointnient of a 
Surgeon General for Bengal, the control of the provincial medical 
work being accordingly withdrawn from the Surgeon- General of the 
Indian Medical Department — nledical education at the Campbell 
and other vernacular schools of medicine — ^the establishment of 2 
scholarships of ^"200 a year each to be held for 2 J years by Bengal 
B. A. 'sat Cirencester — police investigations and magisterial inquiries 
in Sessions cases — the publication of a Police Gazette in 3 
languages, so that the departure of every professional thief from 
his house should be notified for the information of the police of 
other districts — extension of Muhammadan education — the aboli- 
tion of the Assistant and Joint Sessions Judge of Darjeehng and 
Jalpaiguri in 1878-79— the abolition of the appointnient of Political 
Agent of Hill Tippera— the constitution of the district of Noakhali 
into a separate judgeship— the substitution of the Kaithi for the 
Persian character in the Bihar Courts and offices— the re-arrange- 
ment of jurisdictions with a view to reconstitute the districts of 
Bankura and Birbhum into suitable charges and to relieve the too 
large and unwieldy districts of Burdwan and Murshidabad. He 
sanctioned an Exhibition of Art manufactures which was entrusted 
to the Committee of the Economic Museum and held at the Indian 
Museum. It was opened by the Viceroy on the 4th January 1 88a 
and lasted for 2 nionth$. 


On the 2ist April iS%2, a public meeting was held at the Town 
Hall, Calcutta, in honour of the retiring Lieutenant* 

Town Hall meeting 

on Sir A. Bden'a re- Govemor. It was attended by numerous and 


enthusiastic representatives of every, class of the 
community. The Chief Justice, Sir Richard Garth, was in the 
chair : Mr. G. H. Morrison, Vice President of the Chamber of 
Commerce, and the Maharaja of Hatwa- moved and seconded the 
first Resolution, viz., ^' that this meeting desires to record its high 
appreciation of the successful administration of Sir Ashley Eden as 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal." 

Mr. Branson, Barrister-at-law, moved and Maharaja Sir Jotindra 
Mohan Tagore seconded, the next Resjljtion " that a marble status 
of Sir Ashley Eden be erected in this city as a memorial of his 
distinguished career in this country." 

Archbishop Goethals and the Maharaja of Gidhore moved that 
subscriptions be collected for the statue and the work entrusted to 
an artist in England. 

A farewell address to Sir A. Eden was agreed up3n at the 
meeting and presented by a Deputation as follows : — To the Hon'ble 
Sir Ashley Eden, k. c. s. i., c. i. e. 

Sir, — We, the undersigned, on behalf of a meeting of the 
admirers of your administration, desire, on the eve of your depar- 
ture from this country, to approach you with this expression of bur 
appreciation of your meritorious, vigorous, and successful rule as 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. 

About 30 years ago you first arrived in this country, and, after 
passing through the usual noviciate, have held from time to time 
high positions of trust and responsibility. In all those positions, 
whether ruling a district or a province, aiding in the suppression of 
a revolt or fulfilling a political mission, presiding over the Secretariat 
or assisting in the work of legislation, you have evinced a breadth 
of mind, thorough knowledge of the countr}', strong common-sense, 
great vigour, firmness and frankness, and above all a generous and 
enlightened sympathy with all classes of the people. 

As the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, your task has been one 
of grave diflSculty istnd delicacy. Inhabited by a varied population, 
representing on the one hand European commerce and enterprise, 
and on the other the most advanced Indian intellect, and with 


political aspirations such as sometimes give rise to conflict of 
interests not only as between the 2 races but also among the 
different sections of the vast native public, this province presents 
an administrative problem o\ no ordinary difficulty ; but during the 
last 5 years your ability and prudence have kept these jarring 
interests subordinate to those of justice and the good of the general 

Bengal has long since passed the patriarchal epoch, and in the 
present state of its political existence the administration of its affairs 
has in a great measure to move in well-defined grooves. It is not, 
therefore, given to the ruler of the province to strike out new and 
bold paths for progress. His task is not so much one of construc- 
tion as of consolidation. His special duty it is to see that the 
administrative machinery be kept in perfect gear, that all the wheels 
move freely and smoothly, and that those in charge of the machine 
do their duty honestly and faithfully. Beyond question such merit 
may justly be claimed for your guidance of the State machinery of 

. You have done more. There have been Treasures adopted by 
you, which will form land-marks In the history of the administration 
of this province. 

In the practical working of the scheme of local finance, Bengal 
has 'shown that, if she be allowed to use her own money for her own 
benefit, her resources are ample for alt purposes without necessitating 
fresh taxation ; and this result is entirely due to your careful, vigilant, 
and skilful management. 

As regards internal communications Bengal has, under your 
auspices, during the last 5 years, received far greater impetus to 
material improvement by the construction or extension of roads, 
railways and canals than it had been her lot to see during the whole 
period since the creation of the Lieutenant-Governorship. 

Education has found in you a zealous champion, and the grants 
for both liberal and primary education have been increased under 
your Government, scope has been given to the development of the 
voluntary system^ and encouragement accorded to Sanskrit learning, 
You have also established a College of practical engineering at 
Sibpur, and founded scholarships to enable students to study 
agriculture -in the Cirencester College in England. 


Justice has been brought nearer to the poor man^s door by (he 
multiplication of Courts, both civil and criminal, which has also served 
to extend the employment of native agency. Steps have been taken 
for the better training of Covenanted Judges by giving those who may 
select the judicial branch an opportunity in their early career to 
familiarize themselves with the trial of civil suits. In the adminis- 
tration of the law, the liberty of the poor subject has been protected 
by the imposition of proper checks upon the arbitrary and capricious 
manner in which certain sections of the Criminal Procedure Code 
used to be enforced. 

The public health has occupied a large share of your attention, 
and large grants have been made from the provincial treasury to 
several districts for the improvement of drainage and water-supply. 

Although Bengal is fortunately not prone to political convulsions, 
there was last year an uneasy feeling amongst the Sonthals, but the 
knowledge which you had gained of that people during the revolt 
in 1855 enabled you on this later occasion to pacify them without 
having recourse to extreme measures. 

In matters of legislation you have sought to give the land rest, 
not only by your immediate action in the local legislature, but also 
by your earnest and well-timed protests in the Supreme Council. 
Vour intimate knowledge of the circumstances of the people of this 
country has convinced you how ill-suited to it is direct taxation, and 
you have lost no opportunity in protesting against the imposition 
or extension of anything partaking of the character of an Income 
Tax, You have been a warm advocate of the principle of governing 
India for India, and the manner in which you have asserted this 
principle will be gratefully remembered by the people of this country. 
You have always supported judicious proposals for the reduction of 
public, and particularly of military, expenditure, and as President of 
the Army Commission you have, in conjunction with your colleagues, 
made recommendations, which have been generally approved by the 
Government of India, and which, if carried out, are calculated to 
effect large savings without impairing the efficiency of the Army. 

It could not be expected that all your measures should meet 
with universal assent, but it cannot be denied that your rule, as a 
whole, has conferred solid benefits upon this country. Every class 
in the community without distinction of race or creed has rea^on^ 


to be grateful for services rendered to it. Whilst to commerce, trade, 
and private enterprise you have accorded every encouragement, the 
peasantry are. indebted to you for a considerable improvement in 
their condition^ and some of the oldest native families have been 
laid under deep obligation by your friendly offices for their rescue 
from the disastrous effects of protracted litigation. 

We cannot conclude without acknowledging your personal 
qualities, which have endeared you to all who have the pleasure of 
your acquaintance. Your kindness, courtesy, unfeigned friendship, 
and desire to do good to all, consistently with your position and 
duties, have not a little heightened the value of your services as a 
ruler. By freely mixing with natives, by your generous treatment of 
them, and the kind and warm sympathy you have always manifested 
towards them, you have set an example, which has already borne 
fruit on congenial soil, and the beneficial results of which, it is to 
be hoped, will not pass away with your departure from this country. 

In now taking leave, we have the consolation of knowing that with 
your departure from this country your official connection with it 
will not cease. In your seat at the Council of the Secretary of State 
you will still have opportunities for the exercise of your knowledge, ex- 
perience, and sympathies in promoting the cause of good Government 
in India. We wish you a safe voyage home, and pray that the Author 
of All Good will bless you with long life, prosperity and happiness.^' 

This address was duly presented at Belvedere and suitably 
acknowledged by Sir A. Eden, who at the same time consented 
to sit for his statue, to be placed in Calcutta. 

Similar addresses were presented by the Bengal Chamber of 
Commerce, The Trades' Association, The Bihar Landholders' A$so* 
elation, the Rajas, zammdars &c. of the Bhagalpur Division, and 
by other bodies. On Saturday 22nd April, Sir A. Eden was enter- 
tained at a farewell dinner by the Civil Service at the Town Hall.: 
His departure on the 24th April from Calcutta for England was 
signalized by an enthusiastic demonstration of loyalty and regard 
on the part of the public, European and native. Crowds assembled in 
the streets, the ships in the Port were decorated, and repeated cheers. 
vere given as he passed, and as his steamer started from the jetty. 
Strong as he was, not easily moved by his feelings, he could not but 
be overcome by emotion at the remarkable honours paid to him. . 


It must always be remembered that Sir A. £den had a turn of 
good fortune which was denied to many of bis prede- 

Observations. / r 

cessors and successors. It has been well observed 
that his term of office was favoured with entire immunity from 
famine and other forms of natural disaster ; the commercial torpor 
then paralysing the industries of the civilized world had not yet spread 
to India ; and a succession of splendid harvests raised the cultivating 
classes almost into temporary affluence. He also enjoyed the 
advantage of a financial contract with the Government of India 
which secured to Bengal the entire benefit accruing from improved . 
administration and in the event yielded financial results sur- 
passing all anticipation. The ample resources thus unexpectedly 
brought within his reach he liberally employed in improving many 
branches of the machinery of Governmsnt and in supplying the 
province with railways, canals, public buildings, and other permanent 
improvements, of which the want had long been admitted. He said 
himself — '' I can imagine no policy more shortsighted than that of 
starving public works." As the Englishman said on his retirement — 
"He looked upon the work of developing the resources of the 
country, of spending its surplus revenues for its own improvement^ 
of diffusing education, of protecting life and property, of strengthen- 
ing the administration of civil justice, of removing all avoidable 
restrictions on trade — he looked upon this work as the simple duty 
not the special policy, of a Governor. Beyond this he had no 
policy *' — as he himself declared. " To use the words of Carlyle, 
he had no ambition to swallow the universe. ... He had no 
crotchets and no perverted ambition. He sought to give the land 
rest, to let the trees that had been planted grow where they had been 
planted, to keep the machine which had been bequeathed to him 
strong and efficient. His policy was the prosperity of the country 
and the happiness of its people. '' By his own singular tact and 
ability and by inspiring confidence, he induced the Bihar planters to 
reform their own body and their relations with the cultivators : he 
greatly advanced the reconstruction of the rent law : he exerted him- 
self to adjust differences between the members of old families and 
save their estates from ruin by litigation : he did much to reform 
the great administrative departments of the Police, Jails^ and Medical 
Service: in £lducation his progressive policy was all in a practical 


direction: of the wisdom of his financial administration enough 
perhaps has been already said : he showed himself '' a true though 
discriminating friend to commerce": his work on the Army Com- 
mission has been separately mentioned. Fearless honesty of purpose 
was the keynote of his character and work. The social aspect of his 
Lieutenant-Governorship did not escape notice. It was undemons* 
trative and unsensational but sterling, genuine and true. His kindly 
presence, his cordial humour^ and his utter ignorance of parsimony 
lent a grace to the hospitality of Belvedere, which he greatly improved. 
His private liberality, his broad sympathies and his kindness of heart, 
secured to him a host of friends. In the exercise of his power he 
bore no malice to his former rivals. He was a wonderfully quick 
worker and saw at a glance the weak point in any case. Though 
an indifferent linguist he could elicit all the information he wanted 
from any native. Though he was a very ready writer, he 
wasted no time or labour in composing model Minutes or 
despatches. He was quick-tempered, but his anger never lasted. 
Lord Ripon said of him that he never knew a man less likely to be 
led away by \'ague sentiment or mere theory than Sir A. £den. 
Briefly, — though I make no comparisons^t must be acknowledged, 
as it has always been, that Sir. A. Eden was a great and successful 

Sir A. Eden's marble statue* at the North- West comer of Dal- 
UnveUin of housic Square, (on the site of the former memorial 

stetue. tQ those who perished in the Black Hole in 1756) 

was unveiled by Sir Steuart Bayley on the 15th April 1887, in the 
presence of a large gathering of European and Native gentlemen, both 
official and non-official. The Hon'ble Mr. Justice H. T. Prinsep 
first spoke on behalf of the Eden Memorial Committee as follows : — 

" Before I ask you, Sir, to perform the ceremony for which we 
are here assembled, I propose shortly to state the origin of the 
movement which we are now bringing to a conclusion. Five years 
ago, at the termination of Sir Ashley Eden's tenure of office as 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, a public meeting was held at the 
Town Hall, at which all classes of the community in Calcutta and 
throughout Bengal were numerously represented, and it was there 

* Now in process of removal to the middle of the North side of the 
square, while these pages are being printed. 


unanimously determihed^ in appreciation of his eminent services, to 
erect in this city some memorial of the high estimation in which his 
administration was held. To carry out this, a Committee was 
appointed, many members of which are no longer present among us, 
and of them I would only mention the Chairman, Sir Richard Garth, 
in whose absence I have been invited to preside on this memorable 
occasion. A marble statue of Sir Ashley Eden has been constructed 
by Mr. fioehm, an eminent sculptor of London, which is now before 
us. It is not for me at present to ask your criticism of that work, 
but I have no doubt that, when it is exposed to your view, you will 
not fail to recognise its excellence, both as an accurate resemblance 
of its illustrious original and as a work of art. I am fortunately able 
to express my own opinion, as I had an opportunity, some i8 months 
ago, in London, to accompany Sir A. Eden to his last sitting 
to Mr. Boehm. I was then able to compare the original with its re- 
presentation and to appreciate the labour and talent of the artist. 

** It seems almost unnecessary that I should attempt to remind 
you of the successful character of Sir A. Eden's administration as 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, which we desire now to commemo- 
rate. Those who were present in Calcutta and in Bengal 5 years ago 
cannot have forgotten the enthusiastic meetings held everywhere to 
do honour to our departing Governor, or the overpowering outburst 
of feeling shown by assembled crowds at the place of embarkation to 
bid him a regretful farewell. You^ Sir, as one who has long been 
intimately associated with him in the public service, are in a better 
position than I to expatiate on the distinguished character and services 
of Sir A. Eden, and I therefore feel that in your presence it is not 
fitting in me to undertake this duty. History will record, and future 
generations will admit, that, without any invidious comparison with 
his brilliant predecessors, he fairly surpassed them all in the brilliancy 
and soundness of his administration and in the lasting benefits that 
be conferred on all classes of the community. It may be said that 
he was fortunate in his opportunities, but I venture to assert that no 
one, not even the most captious critic, can fairly say that he failed to 
grasp the situation, and did not avail himself to the utmost of every 
one of those opportunities. It was on such an occasion that the 
force of his character as an administrator asserted itself to our 
admiration. The keenness of his perception *, his incisive analysis 


of eveiy scheme suggested to him ; the vigour and resolution with 
which he carried through what he had become convinced was for the 
benefit of the country ; the fertility ot his resource to overcome obs- 
truction; his long and varied experience ; and, above all, the thorough 
honesty of purpose and the confidence he inspired among all, official 
and non-official, with whom he was placed in contact, combined to 
secure that brilliant and successful administration which will ensure 
for his reputation a monument more durable than it is in our power 
to erect. 

" One word more. To the lasting honour of Sir A. Eden be it 
borne in mind that on more than one occasion, and with some risk 
to his own public career, he has courageously stood forth as the re- 
dresser of wrongs, the champion of the oppressed, and has been the 
means of securing liberty and freedom of action to the poorest 
classes of the community. We are justly proud of such a distingui- 
shed public servant, and rejoice at doing honour to his memory in 
India." (Applause). 

Sir Steuart Bayley, before unveiling the statue, made the following 
speech :— • 

" Mr. Prinsep, Ladies, and Gentlemen, — 

^* It is with special pleasure tjtiat I respond to the call made on me 
!by the Committee to preside at the unveiling of the statue of Sir 
Ashley Eden. This statue, as you have heard to-day was Subscribed 
for and voted 5 years ago by a very full and enthusiastic public 
meeting, representing all classes of the community, classes with very 
conflicting interests and with very diverse views on many matters, 
but all determined to sink those differences and unite in the common 
object of doing honour to their departing ruler. 

" But many members remain, and to them, as representing all the 
most distinguished elements of the Calcutta community, I return my 
thanks for the privilege of presiding on this occasion. I began by 
saying it gave me special pleasure to do so, because though I could 
have well desired that the occasion were graced by better oratory than 
I can boast^ and I confess the making of speeches is to me always a 
difficult and painful duty, but inasmuch as I have for nearly 30 
years been on terms of close intimacy, both personal and official, 
Vfith Sir Ashley Eden, and it is so greatly due to his encouragement, 
guidance, and support, that I owe what measure of success I have 


achieved, I feel that there is a certain appropriateness in his former 
pupil and subordinate being called on to offer the crowning honour 
to his Indian career. 

'' tt was when he was Magistrate of Barasat that I took charge of 
my first sub-division, Halasor, in his district, and it was then I learned 
from him some of the most valuable lessons of my career, especially 
that of unrestrained intercourse with natives. Later on, during almost 
all his career as Secretary to the Government of Bengal, I was his 
Junior Secretary, I was again his Secretary when he became Lieuten- 
ant-Governor of Bengal, and during his absence on the Army Com- 
mission I was selected to officiate for him. 

** It is this intimate knowledge which emboldens me in under- 
taking a task^ which in other circumstances I should gladly have 
transferred to more accomplished hands. I will not go at any length 
into the incidents of his career. He first distinguished himself by his 
bold and vigilant attitude during the Sonthal outbreak, and the sound 
and practical advice he gave in regard to Sonthal administration. 
On going for his health to the Mauritius the oppressions practised 
on the Indian emigrants attracted his attention, and he succeeded 
in arousing the authorities here to vigorous and successful action on 
their behalf. His next fight was the great battle against the old 
system of indigo as then carried on. The interest opposed to him 
was enormously powerful, and he entered on th(s struggle, so far as 
he knew, almost single-handed. It was not lon^, however, before 
he received the full support of Sir J. P. Grant, without whose deter- 
mined aid and sympathy the battle would not perhaps have been won 
so soon ; but to Sir A. Eden is due the initiation of the struggle, and 
on him was heaped the obloquy which those who enter on such a 
struggle must be content to accept as one of its accidents. From 
this he soon rose, first to the Secretaryship of the Board of Revenue, 
and then, after a service of only lo years, to the Secretaryship to 
the Government of Bengal. From this period, with brief intervals 
of his mission to Bhutan, and his absence on leave, with the 
exception of the 5 years during which he administered Burma, 
his official history is to a great extent a history of Bengal, for as a 
strong and trusted Secretary he took an important part in shaping the 
measures of Sir Cecil Beadon and Sir William Grey, and from the 
beginning of 1877 till he left these shores the administration of the 


province was in his own hands. The address which was presented 
to him by the meeting, of which you have heard to-day, recapitulated 
briefly those points in his administration as Lieutenant-Governor 
which had specially attracted attention. The address dwelt on his 
administration of Bengal finance, on the extension of internal com- 
munications, roads, railways, and canals ; on the development of 
education, and especially the foundation of the Sibpur College, on 
the improvements of the Courts, on improved judicial administra- 
tion, on his encouragement of sanitation, his sound views in regard 
to legislation, and above all on that which came upon him daily — 
the smooth working of the administrative machinery. It is un- 
necessary that I should go over the same ground again. I would 
add a few points : the great care which he bestowed on the adminis- 
tration of the hospitals so as to combine economy with efficiency, 
the wise action he took in dealing with threatened indigo troubles 
in Bihar, the interest he displayed in the foundation of industrial 
and art museums in Bengal, and the pains he took to maintain peac^ 
and harmony in the great historic families of Bengal. The greatest 
perhaps of all his labours, and the one which gave most evidence of 
his singular ability and mental vigour, \^tis the work he did as 
President of the Army Commission. The work has hitherto been 
weii-nigh fruitless owing to difficulties and obstructions which have 
their origin elsewhere than in India, but the day will come when men 
will wonder why such obvious reforms should have been delayed, 
and his work on the Commission will be properly appreciated. These 
were the acts of his administration which exacted general admiration, 
and which led them to vote to him the honour, unique as applied 
to the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, of erecting his statue in 
Calcutta. A very capable judge of these matters, who is well known 
as a keen critic and a cautious observer, said to me the other day 
that Sir A. Eden was the best Lieutenant-Governor Bengal had ever 
had. Without entering into comparisons of this nature it will perhaps 
be admitted that he was the most successful, and one ' great elefnent 
of his success was, no doubt, as pointed out to you just now, the 
use he made of opportunities in managing to secure the approbation, 
not of this class . or that class, but of almost all classes* Looking 
through the speeches made on the occasion of the Town Hall 
meeting 5 years ago, I find all the speakers alluding very much 


In the same terms as my honourable friend has done to-night to the 
qualities which specially characterised Sir A. Eden as a ruler. Thus 

. Mr. Morrison spoke of his '' quick appreciation of facts, calmness 
of judgment, courage for the truth, vigour in action, and the faculty 
of effective organization and command.'' Mr. Branson said that 
which above all commended Sir A. Eden to them was his " strong 
common sense.'' He had the power of quickly seeing the true aspect 
of any schemes which were propounded to him. The address itself 
says "he evinced thorough knowledge of the country, strong common 
sense, zeal, vigour, firmness, and frankness, and above all a generous 
enlightened sympathy with all classes of the people." And lastly, 
his aged friend, Raja Rajendra Narain Deb, dwelt on his knowledge 
of the people, his unshaken allegiance to his convictions, and his 
fearless efforts to'carry them out. 

" To this sketch of his character drawn by various hands (and 
I have intentionally preferred to place before you their words rather 
than my own), I can add little; but, apart from the strength of his 
character and his sound common sense, which were obvious to all, 
I was always struck by the extraordinary quickness and acuteness of 
his mind. He had an intuitive faculty, which Lord Ripon in one 
of his speeches has also noticed, of getting . at salient facts. He 
would grasp all the leading points of a complicated bundle of papers, 
while another man would be still fumbling over the top letter. He 
managed to be acquainted with all that was going on around him, 
and he had a genius for supplying the missing links in a chain of 
circumstances, which he applied to the &cts of everyday life — a 
genius almost like that which enabled the great palaeontologist. 
Professor Owen, to reconstruct an antediluvian monster from a single 
bone. But nothing served him better than the genuine and sympa- 

• thetic friendship unrestrained by constant intercourse with the native 
friends who had gathered round him in the early part of his career 
and clung to him to its close, and in this respect he offered an 
example by which I hope the younger members of the service, 
anxious to walk in his footsteps and render their service of real use 
to the country, will not fail to profit. He was always ready to receive 
his native friends, and talked to them with the utmost fondness. He 
was never stiff or formal, nor did he shrink if necessary from saying 
unpleasant things. But he treated them as friends because he felt 


towards them as friends, and this was one of the many elements of 
his success. Of course there were faults on which his policy failed 
or stumbled. This however, is not the time or place to speak of 
these, and I leave the ungracious task to others. Of course also he 
was extraordinarily fortunate in the 2 facts that the years of his 
Lieutenant-Governorship were blest with bountiful harvests, and that 
his provincial contract was made in 1877 rather than in 1887. I look 
back upon the resources at his command with feelings of envy and 
amazement He was able to spend out of strictly provincial re- 
sources no less than 103 iakhs in 5 years on original civil works, 
besides devoting 60 iakks to capital expenditure on railways and 
canals. Those were halcyon days indeed. If I am able to devote 
one-fourth of this sum to the same purposes, I shall deem myself for- 
tunate, and so far as I can see what he could afford to spend on mate- 
rial progress in one year must now last Bengal for five. I need not 
tell you, gentlemen, what this means. You know as well as I do 
that with an empty treasury neither administrative nor material 
progress is to be looked for. I do not complain of this. Of the 2 
alternatives of increased taxation or diminished provincial resources, 
I for one do not hesitate to choose the latter. But be it well under- 
stood that the price we pay for this is a check on our administrative 
progress, and a policy of strict economy and niggardly public works, 
and I cannot help looking back with feelings of envy to the opportu- 
nities which Sir A. Eden had, and of which, be it added, he made 
such excellent use. 

'' One word more about Sir Ashley's administration before I sit 
down. He once said in public that he had no policy. This I take 
it, if analyzed, means the same thing as a remark which I once heard 
fall from Sir J. P. Grant, that good administration was like a good 
digestion. It did its work, and you heard nothi g about it. Sir 
Ashley meant that he did the day's work as it came, and distrusted 
political formulae — large generalizations which require a great deal of 
piecing and cutting off of angles before you can square them with the 
facts to which they are to be applied. Of course this can be carried 
too far, but with him it merely meant *' take your stand on facts rather 
than on theories," and as a matter of fact his well-known dislike of 
fads and theories was consistent with a very sound appreciation of 
political and economical science. 


'' I will not detain you longer, or I would have liked to say 
something about' his faculty for getting the best work out of sub- 
ordinates, while interfering very little with them or confining him- 
self to the Captain's duty of setting the ship's course without always 
laying hold of the helm. His Secretaries knew what he wanted 
done, and how he wanted it done, without constant reminding, and so 
thoroughly was his vigorous mental attitude impressed on them that 
their personal idiosyncrasies were wholly absorbed in it. I should 
like to have said something of his admirable hospitality, guided as> 
it was by excellent taste on a strong sense of decorative art and 
beauty, of his personal qualities, which made him the best liked and 
most trusted of friends, while to many outsiders he seemed reserved 
and morose. But I have already detained you too long, and I can 
only in conclusion congratulate this City of Statues, as Lord Lytton 
called it, on the addition of one more worthy endowment to those 
works of art which form one of its special claims to distinctign." 

A story is on record that, when the report of Sir Steuart Bayley's 
speech appeared in the papers in London, one of Sir A. Eden's 
colleagues in the Secretary of State's Council, meeting him, remarked 
laughingly — ** Eden, do you see what Bayley has been saying 
about you ? You should be in one perpetual blush !" " No," 
replied Eden ; what has he been saying .?" *• Why, Bayley says 
you are the most enlightened and the ablest administrator India, 
or rather Bengal, has ever had." ** Is that all ?" said Eden. " Why, 
I knew that before well. Can't he say anything more original than 

Sir A, Eden died suddenly of paralysis on the 9th July 1887 in 
London, and was buried at Armthorpe, near Doncaster. 

At a luncheon given at the Northbrook Indian Club in London, 
8 h b Lord ou the 1 2th July 1 887, Lord Northbrook made the 
Northbrook. following remarks regarding Sir Ashley Eden, who 

had so recently died. '' The Indian Civil Service has been rich in able 
administrators, but I do not think that any Indian gentleman will 
hesitate to agree with me that we have seen of late years, no abler 
administrator than Sir Ashley Eden. He was a member of the 
Council of the Viceroy and Chief Commissioner of British Burma 
when I was in India ; while filling the latter office he showed great 
financial ability. During the Bengal famine it ^as necessary to buy 


enormous quantities of rice in Burma and despatch it to Bengal. 
The business was entrusted to Sir Ashley Eden, who transacted it 
admirably, and thereby contributed most materially to the success of 
the relief operations ; but it was afterwards, as Lieutenant-Governor 
of Bengal, that he most particularly made his mark in India. When 
he left Calcutta 5 years ago a great meeting was held in his honour, 
and it was determined to erect a statue to his memoiy, and last 
April the statue was uncovered by Sir Steuart Bayley, the present 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal ; on both these occasions the expres- 
sions of gratitude to Sir Ashley, and appreciation of his high 
qualities from all classes in Calcutta, were very remarkable. Sir 
Ashley Eden was distinguished for quickness of perception, for 
sound judgment, for firmness in carrying out his views, and 
for his power of securing the confidence of those who served under 
him. It was said, and very rightly said, at the great meeting at 
. Calcutta that these qualities were rendered still more valuable by '' a 
generous and enlightened sympathy with all classes of the people." 
Some of us recollect the great troubles in Bengal many years ago 
connected with the cultivation of indigo. The man who instituted 
the reform of the abuses of the old indigo system was Sir Ashley 
Eden. As Mr. Prinsep said, *' he courageously stood forth as the 
redresser of wrongs at some risk to his own career, and was the 
means of securing liberty and freedom of action to the poorest 
classes.'' Sir Steuart Bayley made a remark in his speech which is 
so true, and at the same time so much in accordance with the objects 
of the Club, that I will venture to quote it. He said that nothing, 
served Sir Ashley Eden better throughout his successful administra- 
tion of Bengal ** than the genuine and sympathetic friendship of his 
native friends, who had gathered round him in the early part of his 
career, and clove to him to its close, and in this respect he offered 
an example by which, I hope, the younger members of the Service, 
anxious to walk in his foot-steps, will not fail to profit." These two 
distinguished statesmen (Sir Barrow Ellis and Sir Ashley Eden) were 
also members of the Council of the Secretary of State for India for 
many years, and I am sure you will agree with me that we not only 
regret their loss upon personal grounds, but because the country has 
lost the services of two men whose opinion on all Indian questions 
was entitled to great weight/' 




The appointment of a Lieutenant-Governor has always been made 
Previous ^^ Selection, though seniority has necessarily to 

°*"^'- some extent affected the choice. Sir A. Eden was 

the only Lieutenant-Governor who preceded another Lieutenant- 
Governor senior to himself: he had for years held a higher 
position than his successor, Augustus Rivers Thompson. The 
latter was a son of G. Powney Thompson of the Bengal Civil 
Service, a member for many years of the Sadar Court at Agra. His 
great-grandfather George Nisbet Thompson, was Private Secretary 
to Warren Hastings. At Eton he distinguished himself, by both 
playing in the Cricket Eleven (beating Harrow and Winchester) and 
rowing in the Eight (beating Westminster) in 1847. I heard him 
say at an Eton dinner at Belvedere that the proudest day of his life 
was that on which he had both rowed against Westminster and 
played against Harrow. Having been appointed after the usual 
course at Haileybury to the Bengal Civil Service in Jime 1850 he 
arrived in India on the 28th December 1850. After serving as 
Assistant Magistrate-Collector, Bankura, 1852, he held the following 
offices: — Assistant to the Governor-Generars Agent, south-west 
frontier, September 1853 • Magistrate, Birbhum, 1855 : Deputy 
Commissioner in the Sonthal Parganas, 1856 : (fuilough from 
October 1856 to January 1859) Superintendent of Survey, January 
1859 ; Junior Seccetary, Board of Revenue, April 1859 > Junior 
Secretary, Government of Bengal, July 1859; Secretary, Board of 
Revenue, April 1861 ; Collector of Customs, November 1861 ; 
Magistrate-Collector of Rajshahi 1862 ; Civil and Sessions Judge of 
Nadia, May 1862, confirmed August 1865 ; (furlough from February 
1866 to February 1868); Superintendent and Remembrancer of 
Legal Affairs, February 1868 ; Commissioner of Revenue and 
Circuit, Presidency Division, January 1869 ; Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Bengal, Revenue and Genera! Departments, September 

iio^'Mre. Surv^ of fadia Office s.Calcuna.,H[ivembi!r L3 



1869; Ditto, in the Judicial and Political Departments^ November 
1871 ; (furlough from March 1872 to December 1 873) ; Secretary 
to the Government of Bengal, December 1873 ; he refused a seat in 
the High Court in 1875, ^^^ ^<^^ afterwards went to officiate as 
Chief Commissioner of British Burma, April 1875 » ^^s confirmed ist 
May 1877; Member of the Govcrnor-Generars Council, i8th April 
1878; Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 24th April 1882. 

The Provincial financial contract of 1882 with the Government 
Provinefai ^^ India was in force for the 5 years 1882*83 to 

Finance. 1 886-8 7, and its term practically coincided with 

Sir R. Thompson's tenure of office. The previous contract of 
1877 may be described as falling naturally into 3 parts: (i) in 
respect of the branches of service which had been provincialised 
by Lord Mayo, the old principle was retained ; a fixed annual grant 
was made from Imperial revenues, which, together with the receipts 
of those departments, was expected to cover their expenditure, any 
growth of charges being provided for from the increase in the 
receipts ; (2), in respect of the civil heads of revenue and expendi- 
ture now provincialised for the first time, a separate contract was 
made for each head of revenue and for each head of expenditure ; 
the rates of increase in the payments on account of the revenue from 
Excise, Stamps, and Law and Justice being advisedly taken at a low 
figure, so as to leave the Local Government a margin wherewith to 
meet the normal growth of civil expenditure for which no direct 
allowance was made ; (3) in respect of public works constructed from 
borrowed capital, the Lieutenant-Governor ^'as authorized to resort 
to local taxation to make good the deficit of interest charges in excess 
of net earnings. 

The contract of 1882 differed materially from that of* 1877. 
The principles on which it proceeded, in common with the contracts 
for all other provinces in India, were summarised thus : — 

'' Instead of giving the Local Government a fixed sum of money 
to make good any excess of provincialised expenditure over provin- 
cialised receipts, a certain proportion of the Imperial revenue was 
devoted to this object. A few heads were reserved as Imperial ; 
others were divided in proportions, for the most part equal, between 
Imperial and Provincial ; the rest were made Provincial. The 
balance of transfers, being against the Local Government, was recti-r 


fied by a fixed percentage on its Land Revenue otherwise reserved 
as Imperial. At the same time a distinct declaration was made of 
the policy to be followed during the term of the. contract The 
Imperial Government was to make no demand on the Local Govern- 
ment except in the case of disaster so abnormal as to exhaust the 
Imperial reserves and resources and to necessitate a suspension of 
the entire machinery of public improvement throughout the Empire. 
On the other hand, the Local Government was to look for no special 
aid from the Imperial Government except in the case of severe 
famine, and then only within the following limits: — (i) current 
income must have been exhausted, every avoidable expense in every 
department having been retrenched, and the public works grants 
having been applied to famine work to the very utmost possible ; 
(2) savings of past years in excess of the ordinary working balance 
must have been drawn up to two-thirds of their total amount ; (3) the 
margin of Provincial surplus in normal years was to be liable for 
the completion of works begun as relief works, and, where there 
was no need of such completion, was to be chargeable up to one- 
fourth at most for payment of interest on any Imperial loans which 
might have been raised to meet the excess cost of the famine in 

"The chief points in which the contract of 1882 differed from 
that of 1877 were the following :—/rj/, — the excess of provincialised 
expenditure over provincialised receipts was balanced, not by an 
annual allotment of fixed amount, but by a fixed percentage of the 
land revenue of the province : second, — ^the Local Government was 
no longer permitted to appropriate the whole of the increase in the 
3 principal sources of improvable revenue, viz,y Excise, Stamps, and 
Registration : under the old contract the Local Government surren- 
dered fixed sums under Excise and Stamps, and nothing under 
Registration ; under the new contract one-half the receipts (including 
one half of the profits) under all these heads was to go to 
the Government of India : third, — in the new contract the Local 
Government gained an interest in the revenue heads of Assessed 
Taxes and Forests, and other less important heads of service: 
fourth, — the contract of 1882 was a consolidated contract. In 
other words, no attempt was made to estimate the future receipts and 
expenditure under separate heads, and to fix distinct assignments 


for each. The new arrangements were applied to the revised 
estimates for 1881-82 as a whole, the total receipts were compared 
with the total expenditure, and (after making a deduction of ^7 lakhs 
from the revenue side, being the share of the profit on the old con- 
tract which the Imperial Government decided to appropriate) the 
adjusting percentage of land revenue was calculated so as to balance 
the account. 

The general financial result of the contract of 1882 was sum- 
marised thus — the revenue, which was estimated at Rs 3,93,11,000, 
had averaged Rs 4,19,58,000, giving an increase of Rs 26,47,000,; 
the expenditure, which was estimated at Rs 4,48,53,000, had averag- 
ed only Rs 4,31,27,000, being a reduction of Rs 17,26, oco; and the 
deficit, which averaged Rs 11,69,000, had been met by drawing upon 
the accumulated balances of the province to the extent of 
Rs 58,49,000. The chief branches of revenue which had contribut- 
ed to the increase in receipts were — Stamps, Provincial Rates, and 
Registration ; while the reduction in expenditure had been almost 
wholly confined to the Public Works Departments, in which the 
grants for civil works, for capital expenditure on railways and canals, 
and for irrigation (net charges), had been cut down so as not merely 
to balance the account, but to provide for a large increase of expen- 
diture on revenue establishments, judicial Courts, jails, police, educa- 
tion, superannuation, and the net charges of provincial State Rail- 
ways. The last year was expected to close with a credit balance in 
the Imperial treasury of only Rs 16,94,000. 

In February 1886 the Government of India appointed a Com- 
mission (generally called the Finance Commission) under Sir C. A. 
Elliott, then Chief Commissioner of Assam, as President, " for the 
purpose of examining expenditure, whether Imperial or Provincial, 
and reporting to Government as soon as might be possible, what 
economies were therein practicable/* The Provincial contracts were 
to expire at the end of the financial year 1886-7; the revision of 
these contracts was to come before the Committee who were to ex- 
tend their inquiries to all Departments of the Government, whether 
Imperial or Provincial, also to examine the home Charges and 
certain military charges. The Commission examined, in consultatioii 
with the local authorities, the details of revenue and expenditure in 
every province, so that the Government of India was in a position to 


judge more accurately than on the former occasion of its financial 
position and resources. 

A new Inland Emigration Law (Act I of 1882) came into force 
Inland Labour from the 6th of January, 1882. Its leading prin- 
S^*^*BiSkr*'to ciples may be thus briefly described. WTiile re- 
Burma. taining safeguards against irregular recruitment and 

the improper treatment of emigrants on their journey to the 
employer's estate and during the term of their engagement, it 
sought to facilitate emigration to the tea districts by providing 
for an increase in the number of registering officers in the recruiting 
districts ; by permitting ' gaLrdQU-sardars to recruit any number 
of persons, whereas they were formerly restricted to 20; by 
severing all connection between them and contractors; and by 
authorizing the employment of local agents to supervise the opera- 
tions of gSLTdcn-sardars, or under special license, to recruit emigrants 
themselves and despatch them to the labour districts without the 
assistance of sardars. The term for which contracts might be made 
was extended from 3 to 5 years, and no restriction whatever was 
imposed on free emigration. The labourer was thus enabled to pro- 
ceed to the tea districts either as a free emigrant, taking work on an 
ordinary contract, or entering into a contract under the Act. In the 
first case he was in no way subject to the Act ; in the second he was 
subject onl> to such of its provisions as referred to the carrying out 
of the labour contract ; and in the third he was completely under 
the Act from the date of his recruitment until the expiration of his 
engagement. As far as the Government of Bengal was concerned, 
which chiefly had to deal with questions connected with the recruit- 
ment and passage of the emigrant to the labour districts, the recent 
extension of the railway system, the improvement in the means of 
commimication, and the consequent shortening of the journey, had 
much diminished the need of any emigration law. In the labour 
districts, where the emigrant came under contract, the case was 
different in the interests both of the employer and the em- 
ployed ; but for Bengal the continuance of any special law at 
all . was likely to be found unnecessary after the lapse of a few 
years. An important step in the promotion of rapid communication 
with the Assam Valley was taken in 1882-83 by the establishment 
of a subsidised daily steam service between Dhubri and Dibrughar, 


the firms who took th6 contract having engaged to acc6niplish the 
voyage between these places regularly in 4 days. To this service the 
Bengal Government contributed JRs. 35,000 a year. In January 1886 
a similar service was started by the same firm between Narayanganj. 
and Sylhet and Cachar, with prospects of great advantage to the 
health and comfort and' convenience of future emigrants. Hefe,. 
too, the Government of Bengal promised an annual subsidy of 
Rs. 10,000 for 2 years, when the enterprise was expected to be self-^ 

It had for some years past been considered desirable to dis- 
courage as far as possible recruitment through the agency of 
contractors, and to promote in its place the general employment of 
gSLrden-sardars ; and the provisions of the new law, permitting the 
appointment of local agents^ were introduced especially to further 
this object. 

The great feature, however, of this period was the development 
of free emigration. This third system worked outside the Emigra^ 
tion Act, and under it recruiters without any license might collect 
labourers in the recruiting districts and tak^ them to Assam on their 
own responsibility, unaided by Government. .This came to be the 
principal method of recruitment, and accounted for the large 
reduction in the year 1885 ^^ ^^^ number of coolies who emigrated 
under the special protection of the Act. In 1886 free emigration 
was both actually and relatively more active than in any previous 
year, emigration under the other 2 systems having fallen to the 
lowest numbers recorded for 5 years. It was expected that even- 
tually the entire supply of labour to the province of Assam would 
be by free emigration. 

In 1882, the Bihar-to-Burma emigration scheme was introduced 
with a view to*^elieving the congested tracts of some of the 
redundant population. Most favourable terms were offered by 
Government. The passage of each family was paid to Rangoon, 
and their conveyance to the village in which they were to live was 
defrayed by Government. Houses were supplied, and food given, 
free of cost, until wages could be earned ; and work was assured 
to able-bodied labourers for one year. After completion of a year's 
work' holdings of culturable land in proprietory right, of an area 
Varying from 10 to« 20 acres, w<^re to be allotted to each family* 



THese holdings were to be exempt from land revenue for 5 years. 
Finally a special officer was to. be deputed to take charge of the 
colonists and to guard their interests. About 70 men and 4 women 
were sent to the Pyuntaza plain. They remained for a few weeks 
on the sites selected for them, receiving Government rations and 
doing but little work. At the end of that time they abandoned their 
homes, and took employment as coolies on the railway line or 
returned to Rangoon. The scheme failed, after costing Government 
Rs. 33,000; its failure was attributed to the dislike of natives of 
India to abandon their homes and settle in a foreign country, to 
the non-fulfilment of promises held out to immigrants by subordinate 
emigration agencies, and to the annoyances .experienced in a new 
country by the immigrants. 

In the beginning of 1882 a Commission was appointed by the 

Government of India composed of departmental 

The IndiAn Bdu. . «« r ^ j 

cation Commu. and executive omcers 01 Government and represen- 

tatives of the educated native community of each 
pro\ince (except Burma, to which the inquiry was not extended). 
The main object of the inquiry was to investigate the working of 
the system founded in 1854 and to ascertain the actual position of 
education in India at the time (1882). Since the last reviews 
prepared by the Government of India of the state of Education in 
the country the control of the Education Department had been 
transferred, under the decentralising policy, to the Local Govern- 
ments^ and a more thorough examination was required than could 
be obtained from Reports and statistics. The Commission was under 
Sir W. W. Hunter, k. c. s. i. as President and reported in September 
1883. The Government of India came to the conclusion that the 
experience of nearly 30 years had brought to light no serious flaw in 
the general outlines of the policy laid down in 1854 and confirmed 
in 1859, ^^^ ^^^^ ^^y unsatisfactory result^ found to exist were 
generally due to non-observance of the principles of the. despatches 
of 1854 and 1859. 

The recommendations of the Commission — so far as they received 
the confirmation of higher authority, and were found to be compa- 
tible with the circumstances and resources of Bengal, — were likely. 
to largely determine the future progress of education in the province. 
The changes recommended were expected not to. affect the Bengal 


educational system as deeply or vitally as those of some other 
provinces ; for in many respects it was the system and policy already 
followed in Bengal that were recommended for general adoption. 
In the support and countenance afforded to indigenous schools, 
whether of elementary or of higher instruction ; in the encourage- 
ment afforded to private enterprise in education by the grant-in-aid 
rules, and the spirit in which they were worked ; in the reluctance 
of the Department to open Government schools whenever private 
institutions could be expected or encouraged to do the work ; in 
the active support given to the higher education of Muhammadans ; 
in throwing open Government scholarships to unrestricted competi- 
tion and making them tenable as freely in institutions under private 
as in those under Government management, — in these as well as 
other vital points the Bengal system met with approval. In other 
points the system was held to be defective. The InsufTiciency of 
the grant allotted for primary education ; the necessity of raising the 
standard of instruction ; the need of further provision for inspecting 
primary schools and for securing a due supply of qualified teachers ; 
the desirability of offering more liberal rates of aid to private 
Colleges ; the need of increased provision for the supply of female 
teachers, — these were points in which the Bengal system was regard- 
ed as laying itself open to criticism. The possibility of some of the 
reforms indicated depended on the possibility of increased funds 
being granted for education. 

The Government of Bengal, in accordance with the recommenda- 
tions of the Commission, took steps to transfer the Berhampore and 
Midnapore Colleges to private management ; while it recognised the 
claims of private enterprise by sanctioning a grant-in-aid to the 
College classes opened in connexion with St. Paul's School for 
Europeans at Darjeeling and to the new second grade College 
for native students at Narail in Jessore. The Colleges at Krish- 
nagar and Rajshahi were retained under Government manage- 
ment, in the absence of any local agency to which they could be 
transferred with adequate guarantees of permanence and efficiency. 
A special exception was made in favor of the small and expensive 
College at Chittagong, on account of its distance and isolation. The 
proposal of the Commission for the promotion of primary education 
at an increased cost of lo lakhs a year had to be postponed for want . 


of funds. On the formation of District Boards under the Local Self- 
Government Act of 1885 all Government middle and primary schools 
were transferred to their management ; and subsequently the grant- 
in-aid allotment, and primary grant for middle and primary schools 
in extra-urban tracts were similarly transferred. For primary school 
teachers, training classes were established in connection with middle 
schools. The proposal to>stablish an alternative standard at the 
Entrance Examination, in the future interests of technical instruc- 
tion, was referred to the University, Briefly the recommenda- 
tions of the Commission received the fullest attention compati- 
ble with the necessity of avoiding any considerable increase of 

The excitement which "the llbert Bill" caused at the'time has 

long since subsided and there are probably not 

ThenbortBilL . i^ • 

many persons -in India who could state correctly 
offhand what was the exact object of that measure, though it may be 
generally remembered that the intention of Government was in some 
way or other to subject Europeans to the jurisdiction of native Magis* 
trates in a manner which had not been previously authorised by law. 
The measure was of such political importance, and aroused such 
strong passions that it will be worth-while, even at some length, to 
record precisely what was aimed at, what was effected and what 
part Sir Rivers Thompson, as Lieutenant-Governor, took in the 
controversy. The idea of legislating did not originate with him but 
was the outcome of a letter of the 20th March 1882, written under 
Sir Ashley Eden's orders, one of the last letters of any importance 
issued before his retirement. Nor did the Bill originate in any 
opinion given by Sir C. P. Ilbert, the Legal Member of Council. 
He explained in Council that Sir A. Eden's letter was received and 
circulated to the Local Governments before he took his seat (on the 
jst, May 1882) in Council and that he never heard anything of the 
subject until after the replies of the Local Governments had been 
received. But the Bill, as it first issued, was accompanied by a 
Statement of Objects and Reasons, to which his name vf2iS attached, 
and was therefore always called after him. The letter of the 
Government of Bengal of the 20th March, and Mr. B. L. Gupta's 
note, (which initiated the whole matter) admit of no abridgment, if 
the origin of the Bill is to be understood. They ran as follows : — 


'* I am directed to submit for the consideration of the Government of 
Datod the 80th. India, the accompanying copy of a note by Mr B. L. 
January 1882. Gupta, of the Bengal Civil Service, representing the 

anomalous position in which the native members of the Covenanted 
Civil Service are placed under the provisions of the Code of Criminal 
Procedure, which limit the jurisdiction to be exercised over European 
British subjects in the interior to judicial officers who are themselves 
European British subjects. Chapter VII of Act X of 1872, which deals 
with the subject, has been reproduced in the new Code of Criminal 
Procedure {yide Chapter XXXIII of Act X of 1882). 

The question raised in Mr. Gupta's note is one which requires full 
consideration, and on which the Government of India will probably 
deem it desirable to obtain the opinions of all the Local Governments 
and Administrations) inasmuch as it may not be expedient to apply to the 
Madras and Bombay Presidencies a rule which may be applicable to 
Bengal. Mr. Gupta desired that the question of the jurisdiction to be 
exercised by Covenanted Civilians over Europeans in the mufasscd 
might be considered in connection with the Bill to amend Act X of 
1872 ; but the Lieutenant-Governor felt that a discussion on the subject 
could not with propriety be raised at the final reading of that Bill. Sir 
Ashley Eden is, however, of opinion that the matter should receive full 
and careful consideration, whenever, on any future occasion, .a fitting 
opportunity occurs. 

As a question of general policy, it seems to the Lieutenant-Governor 
right that Covenanted Native Civilians should be empowered to exercise 
jurisdiction over Europsans as well as over natives who are brought 
before them in their capacity as Criminal Judges, Now that Native Cove- 
nanted Civilians may shortly be expected to hold the office of District 
Magistrate or Sessions Judge, it is also, as a matter of administrative 
convenience, desirable that they should have the power to try all classes 
of persons brought before them. Moreover, if this power is not con- 
ferred upon native members of the Civil Service, the anomaly may be 
presented of a European Joint-Magistrate, who is subordinate to a native 
District Magistrate or Sessions Judge, being empowered to try cases 
which his immediate superior cannot try. Native Presidency Magistratei^ 
within the towns exercise the same jurisdiction over Europeans that they 
do over natives, and there seems to be no sufficient reason why Cove- 
nanted Native Civilians, with^he position and training of District Magis- 
trate or Sessions Judge, should not exercise the same jurisdiction over 
Europeans as is exercised by other members of the service. 

For these reasons. Sir Ashley Eden is of opinion that the time has 
Qow arrived when all native members of the Covenanted Civil Service 


should be relieved of such restrictions of their powers as are imposed 
Oft them by Chapter XXXIII of the new Code of Criminal Procedure, 
or when at least Native Covenanted Civilians who have attained the 
position of District Magistrate or Sessions Judge should have entrusted 
them full powers over all classes, whether Europeans or native, within 
their jurisdictions." 

Jurisdiction over European British subjects. 
As the law now stands— section 72 Chapter VII of Act Xof 1872 — 
no Magistrate or Sessions Judge has jurisdiction to inquire into a 
complaint or to try a charge against a European British subject unless 
he is a Justice of the Peace and himself a European British subject. 
An exception to this rule is allowed within the Hmits of Presidency towns 
where, under Act IV of 1877, a Presidency Magistrate, whether himself 
a European or not, has the same jurisdiction over Europeans as over 
natives of the country. 

Previous to the passing of Act X of 1872 (the present Criminal 
Procedure Code) no Magistrate or Justice of the Peace, even though a 
European himself, had jurisdiction (outside the limits of the Presidency 
towns) to try a charge against any European British subject. But all 
Magistrates who were Justices of the Peace had jurisdiction to inquire 
into charges against Europeans and to commit them to the High Court 
for trial. (See sections 39, 40, and 41 of Act XXV of <86i, the old 
Criminal Procedure Code.) And by section 3, Act II of 1869, the 
Government was empowered to appoint any Covenanted Civil Servant 
to be a Justice of the Peace. Under Act X of 1873, however, a Covenant- 
ed Civil Servant, even though a first class Magistrate and a Justice 
of the Peace, would have no jurisdiction over a European British subject 
unless he himself is a European British subject. 

This provision of the law would give rise to an invidious distinction 

and to many practical inconveniences 
na^'SiSX^tr cM^h?^'^ in the case of those natives of the 

?8?2rVuSf^^^n^Se^^^^^^^^^ <^ountry who in the course of time 

India baxette of the 4th. May 1872, page expect to attain to the position of a 

District Magistrate or of a Sessions 
Judge. Hence, when the Bill for Act X of 1872 was still before the 
Council, an amendment to section 72 in favor of the native members of 
the Covenanted Service was proposed by the Hon'ble Mr. Ellis. The 
amendment* was put to the vote and lost by a majority of 7 against 5* 
. But it is remarkable that the minority in that instance comprised the 
highest officials of the State. The President and Governor-General, the 
Commander-in-Chief, the then Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, and his 
successor in office, all voted for the amendment, and I would humbly 


invite attention to the utterances of those dignitaries on that occasion. 
Nothing can be added to the eloquence or sound reasoning of those 
speeches, and I shall content myself with appending a few extracts for 
ready reference. 

The Bill of the new Criminal Procedure Code now before the Council 
proposes (section 443) to perpetuate the distinction noted above, and the 
disability under which myself and other Indian members of the Service 
labour. The arguments which were uttered in 1872 for its removal 
present themselves with redoubled force after an interval of 10 years. 
They are too obvious to require mention, and they would lose all their 
grace and much of their force if repeated by one who is personally 
interested in the matter. My only statement on the subject is, that if 
you do entrust us with the responsible office of a District Magistrate or 
of a Sessions Judge, do not cripple us in our powers. The question 
affects seriously the efficiency of district administration ; and I make 
bold to trust that the expediency of a change in the law cannot but be 
recognized if the matter be put before the Council in its present true light. 

Since the passing of Act X of 1872, however, the constitution of the 
Civil Service has undergone an important change, with reference to 
which a few words need be said. Under a recent measure of Govern* 
ment, natives of India have been appointed to the Covenanted Civil 
Service under a system of nomination and without the test of any 
competitive examination or a compulsory journey to England. This 
fact somewhat alters the aspect of the question discussed in the Council 
in 1872, and under existing circumstances stronger objections would 
probably be raised against any proposal to extend generally the criminal 
jurisdiction over European British subjects to all native members of the 
Covenanted Civil Service. -I would therefore venture to make a sugges- 
tion which would probably meet the urgent requirements of the case, 
at the same time that it would obviate all reasonable objections and 
command a general assent. I would propose that the extension of 
jurisdiction over European British subjects be limited to natives of 
this country holding the office of a Magistrate of the District or of a 
Sessions Judge. 

B.'L. Gupta. 

The Government of India consulted all the Local Governments 
and Administrations, and on receipt of their replies a Bill was 
prepared "to ameiid the Code of Criminal Procedure 1882, so far 
as it relates to the exercise of jurisdiction over European British 
subjects.'* The Bill and the Statement of Objects and Reasons, 
dated the 30th. January 1883, were as follows : — 


ThA UUt dauK of section 9S of 188S : 

"Maj by notification in the official 
Gazette appoint such European British 
subjects as ho or it thinks fit to bo Jus- 
tices of the Peace within and for the 
territories mentioned in such notification." 


Whereas It is expedient to 

amend the Code 
of Criminal Pro- 
cedure, 1882, so far as it relates to 
the exercise of jurisdiction over 
European British subjects; it is 
hereby enacted as follows : — 


Aifuikdnunt 0/ Sec- 
tion n. 

For the last clause of sec- 
tion 22, the 
following shall 
be substituted :— " may, by notifi- 
cation in the official Gazette, ap- 
point such persons as he or it 
thinks fit, who, being 

(a) members of the Covenanted 
Civil Service, 

{b) members of the native Civil 
Service constituted under the 
Statute 33 Vic, c. 3, 

[c) Assistant Commissioners in 
Non-Regulation Provinces, or 

(d) Cantonment Magistrates, 
are invested with the powers of a 
Magistrate of the first class, to be 
Justices of the Peace within and 
for the territories mentioned in the 

Section SS, 

" In yirtue of their respectlTe offices the 
GoTemor-Gtoneral, the Ordinary Members 
Of the Council of the Oovemor-General, 
the Judges of the High Courts and the 
Recorder of Ranvoon and Justices of the 
Peace within and for the whole of British 
India, and Presidency Magtstofctes are 
Justices of the Peace within and for the 
towns of which they are respectively 

Amendment qf 
teetion 95, 

2. In section 25, after the 

words " British 
India" the 
following shall be inserted : — " Ses- 
sions Judges and District Magis- 
trates are Justices of the Peace 
within and for the whole of the 
territories administered by the 
Local Government under which 
they arc serving." 



Seeliwi U3. 

"No MaglBtrato unless he Is a Justice 
of the Pesoe snd (except bi the caseof a 
Presldenoy Magistrate) unless ho is « 
Maglstmte of tiie lint class and an BU' 
ropean British subject, shall enqulio into 
or try anj chaa^ against an Buropean 
Britldi subject'* 

8eeti<m IM. 

"No JudfPB presiding in a Court of 
Session shall exercise Jurisdiction oyer 
an Buropean British subject unless he 
himself is an Buropean British subject ; 
and, if he is an Assistant Sessions Judge, 
unless ho has held the office of Assistant 
Sessions Judge for at least S years, and 
hss been specially empowered in this 
behalf by the Local Goyemment" 

Seciion hSO. 


If the Judge of the Sessions Dlyision 
within which the offence is oxdlnarily 
triable is not an Buropean British subject, 
the case shall be reported by the com- 
mitting Msgistrate for the orders of the 
highest Court of Criminal anpoal for the 
proyinoe within which sucn Diyision is 

TheUut IB wordt of teetifm 1,59. 

" or on any Magistrate or Sessions Judge 
outside the Presidency towns not being 
an Buropean British subject." 

NevD HCtion 

tvJbiiiiuUd for 

iteiion lAU. 

3. In section 443, the words 
AmendiiuHt "and an Eu- 

ropean British 
subject '' shall be omitted. 

4. For section 444 the follow- 
ing shall be sub- 
stituted : — ** 444. 
An Assistant Ses- 
sions Judge shall not exercise 
jurisdiction over an European 

British subject, 
unless he has 
held the office 
of Assistant Ses- 
sions Judge for at least 3 years, 
and has been specially empowered 
in this behalf by the Local Govern- 

5. Section 450 and the last 
„ , , 16 words of sec- 

tkH^ielfo^ tion 459 are here- 
on iection U69, ^y repealed. 

Assistant Ses- 
sions Judges 
whomaytrv Bu- 
ropean British 

6. (i) In this Act " section " 
means section of 
the Code of Cri- 
minal Procedure, 1882. 

X of 1883. 

Statement of Objects and Reasons, 

Shortly after the Code of Criminal Procedure, Act X.of 1882, was pass- 
ed, the question was raised whether the provisions of that Code which limit 
the jurisdiction over European British subjects outside the Presidency 
towns to judicial officers who are themselves European British subjects 
should not be modified. It was thought anomalous that, while natives 
of India were admitted to the Covenanted Civil Service and held compe- 
tent to discharge the highest judicial duties, they should be deemed 


incompetent to be Justices of the Peace and to exercise jurisdiction over 
, European British subjects outside the Presidency towns. 

After consulting the Local Governments, the Government of India has 
arrived at the conclusion that the time has come for modifying the 
existing law and removing the present bar upon the investment of native 
' Magistrates in the interior with powers over European British subjects. 
The Government of India has accordingly decided to settle the question 
of jurisdiction over European British subjects in such a way as to 
remove from the Code, at once and completely, every judicial 
disqualification which is based merely on race distinctions. 

With this object the present Bill has been prepared. In section one 
it amends section 22 of the Code, which provides that only European 
British subjects can be appointed Justices of the Peace, and gives the 
Government power to appoint to that office . such persons as it thinks 
Qt belonging to the following classes : — 

(a) Members of the Covenanted Civil Service ; 

{d) Members of the Native Civil Service constituted by the rules made 
under the Statute 33 Vic, c. 3 ; 

(c) Assistant Commissioners in N on- Regulation Provinces ; or 

((f) Cantonment Magistrates, and being persons invested with the 
powers of a Magistrate of the first class. 

The Bill then in section 2 amends section 25 of the Code, and makes 
all Sessions Judges and District Magistrates ex officio Justices of the 

Section 3 repeals so much of section 443 of the Code as limits juris- 
diction over European' British subjects outside the Presidency-towns to 
Magistrates who are themselves European British subjects. 

Session 4 repeals the similar provision of section 444 of the Code 
with regard to Sessions Judges. 

Lastly, section 5 repeals section 450 of the Code, which provides for 
the case where the Sessions Judge of the Division within which the 
offence is ordinarily triable is not an European British subject. The 
same section of the Bill also repeals so much of section 459 of the Code 
as provides that that section shall not be deemed to confer on Magistrates 
and Sessions Judges outside the Presidency-towns, not being European 
British subjects, jurisdiction over European British subjects. 

The 30th. January, 1883. 


On the 2nd. February 1883 Sir C. P. Ilbert moved for leave to 
nitroduce the above Bill and it was introduced formally on the 9th 
idem : but the Council were not then invited to discuss Che principle 


of the Bill until full time had been given for its consideration by the 
public. On the 9th March Mr. Ilbert moved that the Fill be 
published 4n the Gazettes. This motion was agreed to without a 
division, but after a debate in which the most opposite opinions were 
expressed, from those in support 'of the measure . to those urging 
its immediate withdrawal. The latter was pressed by Sir R. 
Thompson, who said : ' If it be the opinion of the Government of 
India that this is a case of temporary excitement which will soon die 
out I am sure they are mistaken ; for I feel that in the whole of my 
experience in India this is unmistakeably the strongest and most 
united and unanimous expression of opinion of public discontent 
that I have ever known and that the last state will be worse than the 
first.' The debate occupies pages 764-830 of the Supplement to 
the Gazette of India of April 21, 1883, and is too long to 

The Bill, with the Statement of Objects and Reasons was circulated 
for the opinions of Local Governments and Administrations on the 
17th March 1883 : but before that date, and indeed before the debate 
in the Legislative Council on the 9th March, the fierce opposition 
which the project of law was to encounter had manifested itself. A 
public meeting of the European community of Calcutta was held 
at the Town Hall on the 28th February. The room was crowded 
and no one who was present can ever forget the scene. The speakers 
were cheered again and again, and the utmost unanimity and deter- 
mination to resist the measure were exhibited. The following 
Resolutions were adopted. The first — proposed by Mr. J. J. J. 
Keswick, seconded by Mr. J. H. A. Branson, supported by Mr. W. 
Bleeck, was : — 

'' That in the opinion of this meeting the Bill for the amendment 
of the Criminal Procedure Code is unnecessary in the interests of 
justice ; uncalled for by any administrative difficulty ; based on no 
sound principle ; founded on no experience ; whilst forfeiting a much- 
valued and prized and time-honored privilege of European British 
subjects, it confers no benefit upon natives ; whilst imperilling the 
liberties of European British subjects, it in no way affords any 
additional protection to natives ; it will deter the investment of British 
capital in the country by giving rise to a feeling of insecurity as to 
the liberties and safety of the European British subjects employed 


in the mu/assal and also of their wives and daughters ; and it has 
already stirred up on both sides a feeling of race antagonisn and 
jealousy, such as has never been aroused since the mutiny -of 1857." 
The second Resolution was proposed by Mr. J. Pitt Kennedy, 
seconded by Mr. W. H. Pratt, supported by Mr. J. G. Apcar : — 

" That memorials of protest be drawn up, and circulated for 
signature in Bengal and other provinces ; and, when duly signed, 
be presented to His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General 
in Council and to Her Majesty's Secretary of State for India ; and 
that the Sheriff be requested to sign the same on behalf of this 

" That jietitions for the protection of the rights, privileges and 
liberties of Her Majesty's European British subjects be drawn up 
and circulated for signature in like manner, and, when duly signed, 
presented to both Houses of Parliament." 

Third Resolution. — Proposed by Mr. J. Murdoch, seconded by Mr. D. 
Cruickshank, supported by the Revd. H. Finter. 

" That a Committee be formed consisting of the following gentle- 
ment : — Messrs. Keswick, Flemington, Thomas, A. B. Miller, Apcar, 
Branson, Ezra, Gubboy, Finter, Madge, Murdoch and Cruickshank, 
with power to add to their number, for the purpose of preparing the 
memorials and petitions in terms of the last Resolution." 

The Viceroy and Members of the 'Supreme Government left 
Calcutta for Simla while the question was in the state described 
above. The opinions collected by the Government of India from all 
India were published in an extra Sup pie men i to the Gazette of India 
September 8th. 1883, pages 1-416. 

Sir R. Thompson's opinion,, as Lieutenant-Governor, on the 
Bill was laid before the Government of India in the Secretary's letter 
of the 22nd. June 1883, as follows : — 

I am directed by the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal to submit his 
opinion upon the Bill to amend the Criminal Procedure Code to which 
his attention was called in your letter No. 25 C, dated the 17th. March 
last. On receipt of that letter, a circular was issued to Commissioners 
of Divisions, inviting an expression of their views upon the subject, 
after consulting selected officers interested in the measure, and qualified 
to express an opinion upon it. Copies of the replies received have 
already been forwarded from time to time for the information of His 
Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General in Council. This is the 


first time that an opportunity has been offered to the Bengal Government 
and its officers to report upon the Bill ; and though the Lieutenant- 
Governor has little doubt that the impassioned controversy which has 
arisen, since the intention to legislate was declared, has strongly influ- 
enced opinions on both sides of the question, the fact remains that the 
general result, as gathered from the replies received, is, both in the 
number and weight of judgment, decidedly against the principle and 
policy of the proposal. It appears that, excluding the Judges of the 
High Court in Calcutta, whose reply has been submitted direct to the 
Government of India, there were 79 . officers in Lower Bengal whose 
Reports appear in the published replies, and, from as fair an analysis of 
these Reports as can be made, the result is that, while 20 gentlemen 
approve of the principle of the Bill, and would recommend its enactment, 
there are 59 who are either entirely against it, or who, accepting the 
soundness of the theory upon which the Bill is based, object for 
one reason or another to its being passed into law. Of the 20 writers 
in favor of the measure, 19 are natives and one (Mr. Coldren) is a gentle- 
man connected with the American mission in the district of Balasore. 
All but one of the 19 natives are in the public service, and include 
the Covenanted Civilians, now officiating as Magistrates and Collectors 
in charge of districts. The others, with 2 exceptions, one of whom 
is a Government Pleader, are Deputy Magistrates and Deputy Collectors 
in Government employ. Mr. Coldren, to whom reference has been made 
is an American, and, though in his brief remarks he recorded his per- 
sonal support of the Bill, he adds that from inquiries made he finds that 
a large majority of the leading members of the Christian community 
under him are not in favor of having native gentlemen to try Europeans. 
Out of the 59 gentlemen opposed to the proposed legislation, it will be 
sufficient to notice that the list comprises the Superintendent and Re- 
membrancer of Legal Affairs, all the Commissioners of Divisions, all 
the district officers and Judges who were consulted, and includes Mr. 
Badshah, the Covenanted Native Civilian in charge of the sub-division of 
Goalundo, 9 native officers of Government, 8 of whom are in the uncove- 
nanted Service (most of them being Deputy Magistrates), and one a 
Government Pleader, besides 3 native gentlemen in independent positions 
unconnected with Government employment. Besides these, it is evident 
Ihat several other gentlemen, whose replies have hot been forwarded, had 
expressed opinions unfavoiirable to the Bill, and that the non-official 
European community is unanimously opposed to it. If the Lieutenant- 
Governor had had any doubts regarding the necessity or the policy of 
the contemplated legislation before, he must say that they would have 
been entirely removed by the great weight and the numerical superiority 


of the earnest arguments now adduced in condemnation of the Bill ; 
and he has only, therefore, to say that the opposition which he has con- 
sistently maintained to the introduction of the measure from its first sub- 
mission to the Executive Council of the Government of India in 1881 
has only been confirmed and strengthened by the later developments of 
the discussion. 

Before referring to the grounds upon which this opposition, in which 
Mr. Rivers Thompson regrets to find himself at variance with His 
Excellency the Govemor-General-in-Council, is based, I am directed to 
notice some points in the Bill which demand consideration. If the Bill, 
as it has been circulated for opinion is passed (i) all native Sessions 
Judges and Magistrates of districts will, by virtue of their office, be 
empowered to exercise the same jurisdiction over European British sub- 
jects as now belongs to European officials in the same positions ; and (2) 
any native Magistrate Of the first class who is a Covenanted or Statutory 
Civilian, or who is an Assistant Commissioner in a Non- Regulation pro- 
vince or a Cantonment Magistrate, may be invested, at the discretion of 
Government, with similar powers. Hitherto the Government has widely 
exercised the power of appointing as Justices of the Peace many Euro- 
peans who, not being in the Government service, do not come within 
any of the classes above mentioned, and a great administrative conveni* 
ence has been thereby secured. The withdrawal of this power, even if 
vested interests are saved, will, in the Lieutenant-Governor's opinion, 
operate to the detriment of the administration of Justice, because it may 
very well happen that in many places such as the minor sea-ports, out-of- 
the-way subdivisions, and occasionally at railway stations, the services of 
an Honorary European Magistrate would secure all that was requisite, 
when neither Covenanted nor Statutory Civilians were available for the 
duty. The omission of course might be easily remedied ; but, if it is 
remedied by the reservation of such powers in the hands of Government 
as now obtain, it is obvious that one principle upon which the Bill is 
based will be compromised, and the limitation of the grant of such judi- 
cial powers to European British subjects alone could not be defended. 
As the Lieutenant-Governor understands, however, the Government of 
India is not prepared to go to the extent of conferring such powers upon 
natives generally. 

Again, in the matter of cantonments, the observations of His Ex* 
cellency the Commander-in-Chief, speaking with the authority of Govern- 
ment in the debate of the 9th. March last, seem to show that there was no 
intention of conferring the office of a Cantonment Magistrate upon 
natives. It is not readily intelligible why, if race distinctions in judicial 
offices are untenable, such distinctions should be entertained in favor of 


the military, and not of the civil population of the country ; but assum- 
ing that the decision is final (and the Lieutenant-Governor is clearly of 
opinion that the decision is a right one\ clause (d), section i of the Bill 
will have to be amended. But in this connection it is necessary to direct 
attention to paragraph 1 1 of the Report received from the Commissioner 
oC Orissa, where he points out that in Cuttack the Joint Magistrate, or^ 
in his absence the Magistrate of the district exercises the judicial powers 
of the Cantonment Magistrate, and if, " either of these officers should be 
a native, he would, as Cantonment Magistrate under the Bill exercise the 
jurisdiction which His Excellency appeared unwilling to concede.'^ How- 
ever, supposing the Bill to be modified as suggested, the difficulty, though 
involving an anomaly, might be met by the executive arrangement of 
never appointing a native Covenanted Civilian to the Magistracy or joint 
Magistracy of Cuttack. 

The Bill, as it proposes to enlarge the powers of Assistant Commis- 
sioners in N on- Regulation provinces, does not aflect any of the districts, 
under the Bengal administration, and the Lieutenant-Governor may 
leave it to others to deal with this clause. He would only remark 
that it vety often happens that an Assistant Commissioner is a native, in 
no respects different from the Deputy Magistrates of the Regulation 
province, and with but a tithe of the experience which the older Deputy 
Magistrates possess in the administration of the criminal law. If 
the Deputy Magistrate is not to exercise jurisdiction over European 
British subjects, there is a much more forcible reason why the 
native Assistant Commissioner should not have such a power. The 
case as regards the Statutory Civilians seems stronger still ; and 
the Lieutenant-Governor is constrained to refer more at length to the 
question as it concerns the officers appointed under 33 Vic. c. 3, 
because his own judgment is here entirely in accord with that of the 
great majority of those who have commented upon and condemned the 
proposal. The system under which natives of India are thus admitted 
to the Covenanted Civil Service of the country has been in force for 3 
or 4 years. Altogether, up to the present moment, 6 gentlemen have 
obtained appointments to the Covenanted Civil Service under the Statute, 
and all of them are still Assistants to Magistrates and Collectors, and 
4 only out of the 6 have passed the preliminary departmental examina- 
tions which .qualify them for promotion. It may be accepted as certain 
that it will take at least 7 or 8 more years before any of these officers 
will be in a position to enjoy the dignity of an officiating Magistrate 
and Collector of a district. The chances of advancement to a Sessions 
Judgeship are even more remote. On the ground, then, of any imme- 
diate necessity for legislation on their behalf, even if the principle of the. 


Bill be aBirmed, do cause whatever can be shown. But this is only a 
very small part of the question. The system itself is in an early and 
experimental stajg^e of its opera^on ; and if it is to be continued, which 
the Lieutenant-Governor considers is likely to- evoke discussion very 
soon (because any system of nomination is objectionable, and, as against 
Europeans and Eurasians in India, one of the worst anomalies based 
on purely birth and race distinctions), it has not yet justified, and 
probably never will justify, the conclusion that the men so selected 
and admitted to a great service will be competent for other than subor- 
dinate positions in it. This is the common testimony, with a few 
exceptions, of all the Reports upon the Bill. It is quite truly represented 
that these nominated officers, chosen very often more for their social 
connections than for any other qualifications, have given no guarantees 
of ability and character which should place them in the same category 
as the officers who have faced the difficulties and disabilities of a voyage 
across the seas, and have, by open competition in England, won their 
place in the Civil Service. What the Commissioner of the Presidency 
Division says upon this part of the subject is quite true. " The officers 
of the Native Civil Service came from the same classes as those from 
which the uncovenanted service is recruited. They have the same race- 
feeling as those of their brethren of the latter service ; and, save that 
they . are not so experienced or so hardworking, there is no difference, as 
regards race qualification or disqualification, between a Deputy Magis- 
trate and a member of the Native Civil Service under the Statute 33 Vic, 
c. >" • There is no magic in the words " Covenanted "Service " 
which should be able to transform young men, taken from the same 
ranks as the general run of the . Subordinate Executive Service, into 
superior beings fitted for posts of high responsibility. If anything is 
gained by a temporary sojourn of some 3 years in England, which is 
claimed for the Covenanted Native Civilian who enters the service by 
competition, the advantage is wholly wanting in the case of the Statutory 
officers. There can be no kind of assurance that in their case they will 
be free from native thoughts and native prejudices ; and ignorance of 
the ways and habits of Europeans is a distinct disqualification for 
dealing with criminal prosecutions against Europeans. The Lieutenant- 
Governor would ask attention to the forcible remarks made by the 
Magistrate and Collector of the z^-Parganas upon this point. Mr. C. C 
Stevens, the officer in question, has had 20 years experience in many 
districts in Bengal. His whole career has been marked with ah in- 
telligent desire for the promotion of native interests. He has had under 
him in his district work native Civilians of both classes, and his report, 
throughout expresses that sense of regret which every one must share with 

sm RIVERS TaaMPsoNv 7H 

him, at having to deal with such a question of such invidious delicacy for 
such a cause as this Bill represents. Yet the fact is apparent, not from his 
Report only, but from the Reports of many other competent officers (and 
in this native opinion seems to be almost as decided as European), that 
there is an essential difference between these 2 classes of native 
Civilians ; and that if the large body of uncovenanted officers are to be 
excluded from having jurisdiction in cases against Europeans, on the 
ground of unfitness, the disability extends with greater force to those of 
the Covenanted Service who enter it by nomination in India. 

The Lieutenant-Governor is quite willing to recognize that the case 
of competition native Civilians stands on a different footing. They have 
made sacrifices to secure the honorable positions which they hold, and 
they are sacrifices of a kind which Englishmen, of all people in the 
world, are best able to appreciate. They have abandoned caste, they^ 
have surrendered religious feelings, they have broken family ties and 
set themselves against the devout sentiments and doctrines of their 
ancient creeds. The sentiment may not be so strong now as it was 1$ 
or 20 years ago ; but, apart from the religious aspect of the case, the 
expense incurred in such an undertaking, and the risks of a long sea- 
voyage (exaggerated in its perils to every native mind) to a foreign 
country, where they must live as strangers and encounter, in the com** 
petition for the prize they are seeking, a large body of English youth 
who have enjoyed the advantage of the highest training and education-* 
all these circumstances justify a claim to consideration on the part of 
the Government. There is weight, too, in the argurAent which finds a 
place in many of the papers that, with the attainment of the status of a 
district officer, whether he be European or native, there should be no 
distinction on the ground of nationSility in the powers and privileges 
to be exercised. As an abstract proposition, the Lieutenant-Governor 
assents to. this, and, indeed, with much which Mr. Justice Romish 
•Chunder Mitter advances in his Minute of the 25th May 1883, the 
Lieutenant-Governor would be willing to agree, if the premise could be 
accepted that to administrators and statesmen the policy of the measure 
was irrelevant and a matter of indifference. The learned Judge carefully 
excludes himself as a judicial officer from all such considerations in the 
opening paragraph of his memorandum : but it can scarcely be conceded 
that we are in India simply to make our laws symmetrical and to redress 
the sentimental grievances of an infinitesimal minority. They are high 
sounding phrases which have appeared very frequently in the discussions 
upon this controverted measure, which talk of the abolition of *^ race 
distinctions " judicially, and the suppression of what one officer has called 
the enormous force of argument that is supposed to lie in the word 



" anomaly.'^ But it appears to the Lieutenant-Governor that time at least 
has shown, if not the arguments of the opponents of the Bill, that the 
attempt to remove a single petty anomaly, which injures no one, reveals 
only the innumerable anomalies with which our whole position as the 
dominant power in India is surrounded ; and that the Bill itself exposes 
that, so far from race disqualifications in judicial administration 
being abolished, this very evil becomes very greatly intensified and 
accentuated by the exclusion from the power, which it is proposed to 
assign to a few, of a large body of equally competent and meritorious 
public servants. The fact is that, with whatever sincerity finality may be 
pleaded, finality in such legislation is impossible, if once the principle is 
yielded ; and the Lieutenant-Governor is inclined to suspect that very 
much of the vehemence of the agitation on both sides of the dispute 
arises from the knowledge that such is the case. The single question, 
then, is whether the time has come for the concession of the principle in 
any form and subject to any modifications of the Bill ; and, for the 
reasons to be immediately given, the Lieutenant-Governor is certainly 
of opinion that it has not. 

It has been put forward, not so much from any concession to popular 
sentiment in the matter as from the necessities of. the case, that, with 
the abandonment of much which now appears in the Bill as regards 
Cantonment Magistrates, Assistant Commissioners and Statutory 
Civilians, the power to try European British subjects should be extended 
only to the Covenanted native Civilians who have entered the service by 
competition and that the power should be restricted to such officers as 
District Magistrates and District Judges by the virtue of their office. 
In presence of the extreme animosities which the question has excited, 
this seems rather a small object to l>e attained, and the descent from the 
original proposal suggests something of the trivial results of great 
efforts. In the first place, it may be noticed that such an issue would 
prospectively affect just 9 individuals in India, and most of these at a 
distant period. Immediately it would confer a privilege (if so it may be 

called) upon 3 native' gentlemen 2 in Lower Bengal and i in 

Bombay and, if legislation is justifiable only where a clear case is 

made out for recourse to it, the condition seems hardly to be fulfilled in 
this instance. But the objection seems to be valid still further, because, 
of the 2 native gentlemen whom the Lieutenant-Governor has had re- 
cently the pleasure of appointing to districts, one at least will, in all 
probability, be relieved of this charge in the course of the next cold 
season, by the return from furlough of senior officers ; and the Bill, by 
the time it became law, would aflfect only the i native Civilian in the 
Bombay Presidency, and possibly i in Bengal. It cannot be pretend* 


ed, then, that there is any urgency for the legislation ; nor in the constitu- * 
tion of the office of the Magistrate and Collector of a district in Bengal 
is there any necessity for it. It may be asserted beyond contradiction 
that, from the beginning of the year to the end, a Magistrate of a 
district rarely, if ever, thinks of dealing with criminal cases. He has 
the full power to do so ; but his avocations are so numerous and his res- 
ponsibilities so various in the general supervision of district administra- 
tion, and in the particular charge which he retains in his own hands in 
connection with revenue and fiscal matters that he would never have the 
leisure to attend to work on the Magisterial side, and, as a consequence, 
the whole of this falls, by a necessary division of labour, and in the 
regular course of procedure, to the Joint Magistrate of the district and 
his native subordinates in that line. Mr. Romesh Chunder Dutt is now 
officiating as Magistrate and Collector of the Backergunge district. The 
Lieutenant-Governor ventures to say that, with the extremely heavy 
revenue work of that district, he has no time, and probably has no incli- 
nation, to touch any work in the criminal courts ; and if any case arose 
in which a European was involved the parties would not be put as Mr. 
Romesh Chunder Dutt asserts to '* the hardship and inconvenience of 
travelling to a different district " but would find, in the European Joint 
Magistrate on the spot, an officer not only competent to deal with the 
case, but one who in the ordinary course of business would have to deal 
with it without the necessity of any intcMrference from his superior. This ' '^^ ' 
is not; always the case : there are some districts in Bengal where Joint 
Magistrates are not permanently stationed, but in such places not unfre^ 
quen^ly there are European officers of the uncovenanted Service, who, 
as the law now stands, can exercise jurisdiction over European British 
subjects. 71)e argument based on '* administrative inconvenience " is 
utterly untenable in the present constitution of the Civil Service ; and 
if it is untenable in Bengal, where 6 out of the 9 native Covenanted 
Civilians are employed, it can scarcely affect any other administration 
in the country. The consensus of opinion received from different pro^ 
vinces is very much invalidated by the fact that there is not a single 
member of the native Covenanted service, who has entered it by com- 
petition, in Madras, the Panjab, the Central Provinces, Burma, Assam, 
Sindh, or Coorg. There are 2 such officers in the Bombay Presidency ; 
one, a very junior officer, under the Government of the North- Western 
provinces ; and 6 in Lower Bengal. There is scarcely an exception in 
the support given to the irrelevancy of the "administrative inconve- 
nience " theory among all the Reports from local officers. At the pre* 
sent moment, there are 45 districts under the Bengal Government. 
At the same time there are 2 native Civilians for whom, as Magis- 


• '*. 


trates in charge of districts, .immediate provision has to be made ; 
and the contingency may arise of 2 third being appointed in the 
course of next year to a Civil and Sessions Judgeship. Executive 
arrangements will, it is obvious, quite easily provide, without detriment 
to the public interests or to the personal claims of these native officers, 
either that they should be in charge of districts where there are no 
Europeans, or, as regards the Magistrates, that they should be in charge 
of districts where the presence of a European Joint Magistrate, or of a 
European Deputy-Magistrate with full powers, would prevent any kind 
of inconvenience. Even if the time ever arrives when one-sixth of the 
Magistracy of this province is in the hands of natives — though that is 
quite a different thing from one-sixth of the Covenanted appointments 
being filled by natives, and is in itself very improbable— there could be 
no difficulty in carrying on the administration of criminal justice without 
any change in the law ; but, as a question of very remote concern, it is 
scarcely necessary to dwell upon the requirements of very distant 

The Lieutenant-Governor would have been glad if he could have 
. stopped here. He is ready to admit that, if every thing which he has 
already urg^d against the Bill was conceded, but the competency of a 
native Magistrate to exercise jurisdiction in European cases was admitted, 
the proposal for the present modification of the Criminal Procedure Code 
would render the position of the advocates of the Bill, not unassailable, be- 
cause many political considerations would still affect the issue, but much 
stronger than it is now. But the question is to be met whether the legisla- 
tion contemplated is justified by the fitness of the native judiciary for the 
powers which it is proposed to confer upon them, and in the Lieutenant- 
Governor's judgment the answer must be in the negative. He comes here 
to that part in the discussion which, as contained in the StcUement of 
Objects and Reasons appended to the Bill, represents the aim of it to be to 
secure the fair and impartial administration of justice, and to the obser- 
vations of the Hon'ble Member who introduced the Bill, that these 
particular cases against Europeans were in India admittedly few and 
exceptionally troublesome. Now the Lieutenant-Governor has little 
sympathy with that section of the opponents of the measure which repre- 
sents the possibility of unrighteous judgments leading to severe and 
unjustifiable sentences at the hands of native Magistrates, who are sop- 
posed to be a corrupt body biassed against the European. If bias there 
might be in critical cases, there is little justification for any apprehensions 
from excessive punishments. If we have taught the natives anything, we 
have taught them to respect the purity of judicial administration, and, in 
the Lieutenant-Governor's opinion, in these days of railways and tele 


graphs no wilful injustice could occur in the remotest comers of the 
country without being at once brought to light and remedied. Apart 
however, from the main objection, which the Lieutenant-Governor will 
presently advert to, there are other drawbacks which must be noticed. 
The surroundings of a mufassal Magistrate's Court are not exactly the 
surroundings of a Court at Westminster, or of the High Court in Calcutta. 
An Englishman, much more an English woman, summoned to such a 
Court (frequently, as evidence shows, on a false charge) has to undergo 
many indignities which a European officer can at once control and check, 
but which in a Court presided over by a native find free course amidst a 
sympathetic audience. There is no exaggeration in this, as most persons 
who have had to deal with such cases can testify ; and the absolute dis- 
trust which the European in the interior has of such Courts arises, not so 
much from any positive want of confidence in the Magistrate if left to 
himself, as from the atmosphere of perjury, forgery and intrigue which is 
about him and around him. Beyond this, however, the Lieutenanl-Gov- 
c^rnor is bound to say that there is a much greater risk of the failure of 
justice from a want of nerve in the native to deal in the presence of 
public excitement with the kind of *^ troublesome cases'' to which these 
papers refer. The experience of every officer in the country will supply 
illustrations in which this independent force of character has been found 
wanting in the natives, and the reports before Government show innumer- 
able cases in which a constitutional timidity has led natives to shirk duty 
because it is difficult. In judicial trials, it is a much easier thing to acquit 
when the acquittal terminates all inquiry and disposes of a serious em- 
barrassment, than to convict and punish in complicated cases against the 
resolute determination of a violent Englishman backed by a strong local 
opinion in his favor. The Lieutenant-Governor would ask if any Head of 
an Administration in India would place a native officer in independent 
charge of a frontier district. A Bengali in such a position at any rate 
might know all our criminal codes by heart, and be animated by the 
strictest desire to apply the law of evidence, and yet would certainly fail 
if a crisis impended from any sudden irruption of frontier tribes. In the 
recent discussions about Appellate Benches, one of the earliest, and as it 
appears to the Lieutenant-Governor the simplest method suggested for 
limiting petty appeals, was to constitute at capital stations a Bench com- 
posed of the European and First Subordinate Judge to finally dispose of 
all such cases, and yet the objection came from the most competent judges 
of native character— the natives themselves— that on such a tribunal the 
native Judge could exercise no independence. A good deal has recently 
been heard of Local Self-Govemment schemes, in which the presence or 
stbsence of the Magistrate of the district as President of the Committee 


ia considered a very material point ; but the argument on which the 
natives* objection is based is that the presence of even a single official on 
a Committee would stop discussion, would paralyse the action of the 
native members, arid would imperil the object for which the scheme has 
been introduced. There is probably much more than this dtslike'of con- 
trol which repudiates the co-operation of English officers in the prosecu- 
tion of a great reform ; but, taking their own admissions, there can, in 
the Lieutenant-Governor's opinion, be scarcely a stronger argunrent for 
the unfitness of natives to carry on such a measure alone than the incapa- 
city which they allege in the presence of the European. These may not 
all be exactly apposite illustrations to the position of a Magistrate dis- 
charging judicial functions ; but they indicate what many passages in the 
Reports before Government describe, and what any practical experience 
of the country confirms, that the quality of courage, whether moral or 
physical, is not among the virtues of the people with whom we have to 
deal in Bengal. The disqualification referred to is further evidenced by 
the notorious fact, common to every district, that even native litigants in 
emergent and difficult cases will ask for the trial of their suits by an 
English tribunal. It can scarcely be a matter of surprise that what is an 
object of distrust to the natives themselves should be an object of dis- 
trust to Europeans. 

The Government of India will scarcely need a more convincing proof 
of the unqualified repugnance which the European community through- 
out India entertain towards this Bill than the general reprot»ation of it 
which public opinion in various forms has expressed. The strong feelings 
which the measure has evoked have, it is to be regretted, found not 
unfrequent expression in unnecessary bitterness and hostrlity towards 

The Lieutenant-Governor would fain hope that this excess of feeling in 
this matter will not influence the judgment which is to decide the fate of 
the Bill. If he urges himself its withdrawal, it is in the conviction that 
it is not necessary for the judicial work of the country, and that it takes 
away a privilege, which Englishmen in India very highly value. In ask- 
ing for the retention of that privilege, they ask only for what has been 
theirs since British Courts of criminal judicature were established in the 
country, and they ask it in no derogation of the claims of the natives 
who, on their own side, enjoy privileges, which, if the question of an im- 
partial administration of justice is concerned, affect it much more 
seriously than the concession in favour of some half dozen native 
Magistrates. The political issues are of course of much wider con- 
sequence. "The very bad thing about the Bill is its principle ''—- 
the principle, that is, that by a stroke of the pen we are to establish 


equality ; ignoring race distinctions, among a people who themselves 
repudiate the idea in their intercourse with each other with the utmost 
scorn and aversion. Our thoughts are not their thoughts nor are 
their ways our ways ; and it has been quite justly pointed out 
that as long as there is such a wide divergence between Englishmen 
and Natives, as regards moral standards, social customs and political 
status, any attempt to remove judicial disqualifications must be as 
dangerous as it is premature. They will not be removed, at least, by 
legislative enactment. Naturam expeiias furca^ tamen usque recurret. 
It will recur in hostility and scandals and contentions, whenever a 
serious case arises in which Englishmen are involved before native 
Courts; and the result must be continuous agitation. Beit privilege or 
prejudice which the Englishman asserts here, there can be no question 
that amongst them the bare proposal to withdraw it has excited a fiercer 
and more perilous conflict of races than was witnessed after the mutiny 
of 1857 ; and so the work of 26 years in which every true Englishman 
and native has welcomed the growth of a stronger mutual regard and tol< 
eration for each other, and in which a spirit of charity and forbearance 
was winning its way to a better understanding of each other's wants has 
to be begun over again. It is the Lieutencint-Governor's hope that the 
work may be accelerated by the abandonment of a measure which should 
never h^v6 been introduced, for its very abandonment will contribute 
more than anything else to the right union between all classes of Her 
Majesty's, subjects in India, in advancing, through the social reforms 
which are before us, our common interests in this great Empire." 

The storm of indignation which had broken out in the European 
community smouldered during the year, while the Reports called for 
were under submission. All India was in alarm, on the look-out for 
any manifestation of the intentions of Government. *' Nothing 
could be more lamentable/' it has been said, '* than the animosities 
cf race that were aroused, the prejudices, the bitterness and bad 
feeling between Europeans and Natives that were excited." The 
Governor-General, the Marquis of" Ripon, was personally insulted»at 
the gate of Government House on his return to Calcutta for the 
cold weather of 1883-84. A conspiracy had been formed by a 
number of men in Calcutta, who had bound themselves, in the event 
of Government adhering to their projected legislation, to overpower 
the sentries at Government House, put the Viceroy on board a 
steamer at Chandpal ghaty and send him to England vid the Cape* 
The existence of this conspiracy was known to the Lieutenant 


Governor, and to the responsible officer who subsequently gave ine this 
information. The non-official European community absented them- 
selves with hardly an exception from the entertainments at Gov- 
ernment House. . The tension could hardly have been prolonged 
without some untoward rupture. The ptrsonel of the Government of 
India had however changed in the autumn, by the succession of Sir 
Auckland Colvin to Sir K. Baring (Lord Cromer) as Finance 
Minister : and advantage was taken of this change to arrive at a Con- 
cordat between the Supreme Government and the representative of the 
European Community. The Viceroy meanwhile made a statement, 
in the Legislative Council meeting of the 7th. December, of the 
modifications of their original intentions which the Government of 
India had proposed in a despatch of the loth August and which 
had been accepted by the Secretary of State. Important debates 
took place on the 4th. and 7th. January 1884, on Sir C. P. llbert's 
motion that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee, in the course 
of which the Viceroy mentioned that an arrangement had .been 
arrived at, by which the Government undertook — 

'* to agree in Select Committee, on the basis of the modifications 
approved in the Secretary of State's despatch, to the right being 
given to European British subjects, when brought for trial before a 
District Magistrate or Sessions Judge, to claim trial by jury such as 
is provided for by section 451, of the Criminal Procedure Code, 
subject to the following conditions : — 

'^ (i) No distinction to be made between European and native 
District Magistrates and Sessions Judges. 

'' (2) Powers of District Magistrates under section 446 of the 
Code to be extended to imprisonment for 6 months or fine of 2,000 

The Bill was accordingly referred to a Select Committee, who 
presented their Report on the i8th January. In moving on the 25th 
January that the Report be taken into consideration, Sir C. P. Ilbert 
thus explained the provisions of the Bill as altered : — 

'' The effect of the amended Bill, so far as it relates exclusively 
to European British subjects, is explained in the Report of the Com- 
mittee, and is ^ follows \— 

" (a) The power of appointing Jusltices of the Peace will jrpmain 
on its present footing; ^ , 


'* (d) All District Magistrates and Sessions Judges will be ex officio 
Justices of the Peaee» and will have power to try European British 
subjects ; 

''(r) District Magistrates will be empowered^ to pass upon a 
European British subject a sentence extending to 6 months' imprison- 
ment or 2,000 rupees fine, or both, that is to say, a sentence twice 
as severe as they are empowered to pass at present, but any European 
British subject charged before a District Magistrate will have a right 
to require that he shall be tried by a jury of .which not less than 
half the number shall be Europeans or Americans, or both ; 

" (d) A European British subject committed for trial before a 
Court of Session will have a similar right, even in those districts 
where trfals before the Court of Session are not ordinarily by jury. 

" When a jury is claimed before a District Magistrate, and the 
Magistrate has reason to believe that a jury composed in the manner 
required by the law cannot conveniently be constituted to try the 
case before himself, he may transfer it to another District Magistrate 
or Sessions Judge. The question as to the particular Court to which 
the case should l>e transferred is one which must obviously be 
determined with reference to administrative considerations, and to 
the varying circumstances of different districts. Accordingly it is 
left to general rules, which are to- be framed by the High Court 
with the approval of the Local Government. But there is power for 
the High Court to make special orders in exceptional cases. The 
Court to which a case is thus transferred is to try it with all conve- 
nient speed, and with the same powers and according to the same 
procedure as the Magistrate from whose Court it is transferred." 

Besides the provisions relating exclusively to European British 
subjects, the amended Bill contained other provisions of general 
application, to which no further allusion is required. The Bill was, 
after debate, passed on the 28th. January without a division, and 
became Act III of 1884. In the debate Sir Griffith Evans made it 
clear that the European community had not assented to the principle 
of the Bill nor to anything of the kind, but that, retaining their own 
view of their own privileges and rights, they had assented to the 
passing of this Bill in order to procure peace. The agitation then 
subsided. It may be mentioned here that on the day of one of 
these important debates Sir {(. Thompson w^s so ill tH^t he was 


forbidden by his medical adviser to attend Council : he attended, 
however, at the risk, it was said, of his life. 

Sir John Strachey has* thus described the result eventually 
attained : — " The ^jontroversy ended with the virtual though not 
avowed abandonment of the measure proposed by the Government. 
Act III of 1884 extended rather than diminished the privileges of 
European British subjects charged with offences, and left their 
position as exceptional as before. The general disqualification of 
native Judges and Magistrates remains ; but, if a native be appointed 
to the post of District Magistrate or Sessions Judge, his powers in 
regard to jurisdiction over European British subjects will be the 
same as those of an Englishman holding a similar office. This 
provision, however, is subject to the condition that every European 
British subject brought for trial before the District Magistrate or 
Sessions Judge has the right, however trivial be the charge, to claim 
to be tried by a jury of which not less than half the number shall 
be Europeans or Americans. No such claim can be made by natives 
charged with offences, and it is a claim which could not be made 
by an Englishman in any Magistrate's Court in his own country. 
The Legislature has virtually declared that the summary p>owers of 
the European District Magistrate over European offenders shall be 
taken away, not because this was held to be in itself desirable, but 
because such powers could not be given to a District Magistrate who 
is a native. While this change was made in the powers of District 
Magistrates, the law in regard to other Magistrates remained un- 
altered. All English Magistrates of the first class, outside the 
Presidency towns, other than the District Magistrate, are appointed 
to be Justices of the Peace, and they exercise jurisdiction over 
European British subjects as they did before ; but no native Magis- 
trates in similar positions can be appointed to be Justices of the 
Peace or exercise such jurisdiction. There are many districts in 
which it may happen, when a charge against a European British 
subject comes before a District Magistrate, that a sufficient number 
of Europeans and Americans cannot be found to constitute a jur}* ; 
the case must then, under the orders of the High Court, be trans- 
ferred .to another district where a jury can be formed. Thus 
opportunity is offered for the occasional revival of the old scandals 

* India, Editn, 1894. 


and denials of justice and hardship which were common before 1872, 
when the trial of European British subjects could only take place 
before the High Courts, and complainants and witnesses were liable 
to be sent away to great distances from their homes. It is true that 
this is not likely often to occur in practice, because the District 
Magistrate, to whom alone these new provisions of tlie law apply 
will usually take care to try in his own Court no charge against a 
European British subject, but will transfer it, as he can always do, 
to one of his European subordinates, whose summary powers of 
dealing with such cases have not been touched. The law has 
certainly not been changed for the better, but for practical purposes 
it remains much as it was before Act III of 1884 was passed. The 
only other change was that District Magistrates trying European 
British subjects with a jury were authorized to pass sentence of 
imprisonment, which may extend to 6 months, or fine which may 
extend to 2000 rupees, or both. " 

In 1882-83 an important scheme was prepared, which provided 
that admission to the Subordinate Executive Service 

The Subordinate 

Bxeciitiye atid shouM in future be by competitive examination. 

Judicial SerYlces. , , , , , . . • , 

Attempts had been made m previous years to estab- 
lish the competitive system in this branch of the public service. 
They had failed because regard AH'as not had to the very small number 
of vacancies to be filled up each year ; and when some 300 passed 
candidates had been entered on the lists for some 8 or 10 annual 
\'acancies it was found necessary to stop further examinations. The 
principle adopted in 1882-83 was to declare only the number of 
vacancies which would be open to competition. Thus 6 in the first 
year, and 10, 12, and 8 in the 3 following years, respectively, were 
competed for. As another special feature in the arrangements, the 
successful candidates were at once brought on to the list of the 
Subordinate Service and were deputed as Assistants to Commissioners 
and Collectors to learn their work. While so employed they received 
a moderate subsistence allowance, and as vacancies arose they were 
appointed to them. It generally happened that the passed candidates 
were all absorbed into the service a month or two before the next 
examination (held in January) commenced, and thus an opportunity 
was afforded to the Lieutenant-Governor of making one or two 
direct appointments. This had its advanUges. In the year 1884-8.5 


a test of limited competition was introduced also amongst approved 
candidates for the Statutory Civil Service, and 2 gentlemen out of 
18 competitors received appointments. A similar system was adopted 
for the selection of candidates for 3 out of 4 existing vacancies in 
the Opium Department. To the fourth vacancy a native gentleman 
was appointed ; and, finally, rules for the admission of natives 
of India to the higher grades of this Department by selection were 
published in 1886-87. I" J^^^^ ^^^^ ^ revised scale of establishment 
for the Subordinate Judicial Service was sanctioned at an extra annual 
cost of over a lakh of rupees. In March 1885 a Con^ission was 
appointed to revise the salaries of ministerial officers and to re- 
organise the system of business in executive offices. Their Report 
was received in August 1 886. 

At the beginning of 1883 a Commission appointed by the Govern- 

opiumcommis. ^^^^ ^^ ^"^»* ^^^^ a thorough inquiry into the 
8ioiiofi888. working of the Opium Department in Bengal and 

the North-Western Provinces. The Commission submitted at the 

end of the same year an exhaustive Report dealing with every detail 

of the administration of the Department. They found that the 

reforms chiefly needed were of an executive and not of a legislative 

character. Their recOi-nmendations were considered by the Board 

of Revenue, by Sir R. Thompson and by the Government of 

India, and, while effect was given to some of them, the adoption 

of others iiad to be postponed for a time on account of the expense 

involved. One of the important recommendations made by the 

Commission, to the effect that the conlrpl of the Department, which 

extends its operation beyond Bengal both in the North-Western 

Provinces and the Panjab, should be transferred from the hands of 

the Bengal Government to a Director-General, under the direct 

orders of the Government of India, was negatived by the Secretary 

of State. 

In 1883 the Government of India called the attention of the 

Government of Bengal to the falling-off which had 

occurred in the irrigated area in the province of 

Orissa, and considered that the whole question deserved a thorough 

and independent inquiry. For some time before Government had 

received petitions and memorials from local associations established 

ill Orissa, expressing general discontent s^mong (he rqiyais ia 


connection with irrigation operations, and especially complaining 
agaunst the alleged oppressive procedure on the part of the canal 
revenue officers and their subordinates in the assessment and recovery 
of water-rates, and in the application of the certificate procedure 
under Act VII (B. C.) of 1880. There were complaints of a less 
general character regarding drainage; and the existing tariff of 
rates, both for long and short leases, was a grievance. While such 
was the character of the objections and remonstrances locally raised 
in Orissa, the canal revenue, which had been steadily, though slowly, 
progressing, showed a sudden*falling-off. On the expiry of the five- 
year leases in November 1882 the gross receipts had decreased from 
Rs. 1,80,325 in 1883-83 to Rs. 1,11,856 in 1883-84 and Rs. 51,245 
in 1884-85, while the net loss, after meeting the cost of maintenance 
and working expenses, had been Rs. 35,271, Rs. 67,662, and 
R& 1,85,781, in the same 3 years, respectively. The condition of 
arrears was also unsatisfactory, and it was impossible to be indifferent 
to the inadequacy of the realisations in relation to the demands, 
and generally to the failure of the expectations, upon the strength 
of which Government had takefi over the concern from the Madras 
Irrigation Company, and subsequently spent very large sums in 
extending the irrigation system in the province. 

Upon a consideration of these facts Sir R. Thompson appointed 
a Commission of Inquiry into the working of the Orissa Canal system. 
It appeared to him that it was only by the personal investigations 
on' the spot of an expert Commission that the real position of 
things could be ascertained. 

The members of the Commission assembled at Cuttack, the 
capital of the province, on the isth December 1884, and from that 
date till the end of January 1885 were engaged in examining wit- 
nesses, in inspecting different parts of the canal on the Cuttack and 
Balasore districts, and in investigating a large number of complaints 
formulated on Vehalf of the people in the irrigated tracts by different 
local Associations. The Report of the Commission was considered 
by the Board of Revenue and the Commissioner of Orissa. Sir 
R. Thompson, after the receipt of the Reports on the subject^ 
visited different portions of the canals himself, and a conference was 
held of the chief local Civil and Public Works officers, when the 
whole subject of the Commission's inquiries, and the connected 


papers, were brought under discussion^ and definite orders passed 
on each of the questions at issue. 

The revenue administration of these canals had never come up to 
their requirements ; there were scandals during the time when Sir 
G. Campbell was Lieutenant-Governor — extraordinary divergencies 
between estimates and actual receipts ; and throughout, continual 
complaints by the people of oppression and illegal proceedings — 
much the same sort of complaints as those towards which the inquiries 
of the Commission of 1884-5 were directed. At the same time the 
difficulties of the position were vtry great. The character of the 
climate of Orissa ; the average rainfall, which is quite sufficient in 
ordinary years for all agricultural purposes ; the apathetic and indolent 
habits of the people ; and the hostility exhibited by both cultivators 
and zamindars to all canals and distributaries, were elements, in a 
purely optional system, which made successful administration almost 
an impossibility. The zamindar, who never remits a pice of his dues, 
IS indifferent whether the raiyat takes water or not ; or, if he is stirred 
to any action, it is in the way of discouragement of the practice. 
The raiyat in favourable years avoids all contact with the Irrigation 
Department ; he trusts to good rains, and it is only when these fail 
him at the last moment that he thinks of seeking for canal water to 
save his crops. It was the common testimony of all concerned in 
the business that on such occasions there was a general tumultuous 
rush of raiyats willing to take any amount of water and willing to 
promise any amount of payment. But as soon as the danger was 
past, the obligation to pay for the benefits received passed a\>'ay \iith 
it ; and the raiyat considered himself perfectly justified in employing 
every subterfuge (and there were many) to avoid the payment of a 
single pice. 

These were some of the difficult conditions under which the 
revenue officer had to labour. They were aggravated by the almost 
entire absence of anything like a proper survey of the country, so 
that recourse had to be had to detailed measurements of the several 
areas of land for which water was originally «sked, with the result 
that in almost every case it was discovered that the area had been 
purposely understated, or the water passed on to lands for which no 
application had ever been made and no lease granted. It thus 
happened that a system which from the small amount of the indivi- 


dual demands should, to be successful, be self-acting, Involved the 
deputation of inferior officers given to greed and inclined to be 
oppressive. As a result, there were complaints of exactions, with 
litigation and disputes, and, in the end, a long list of arrears. The 
measures adopted on the Commission's Report were expected to 
give a partial remedy to these evils, but the substantial fact remained 
that, except for a year of such exceptional calamity as 1866, works 
of this magnitude were not required in Orissa, and that they would 
never return a reasonable direct percentage upon the enormous 
expenditure incurred. 

The Orissa Coast Canal, which was to connect Orissa with Bengal 
by inland communication and put an end to the isolation of the 
former, would have been finished in Sir R. Thompson's time, but 
for the cyclone of 1885 : it was completed soon after he left, having 
cost about 40 lakhs. 

In 1883 the subject of admitting females as students to the 
AdmiBdon of classes of the Calcutta Medical College came before 
oS^tto Medial Sir R. Thompson. The question had been raised 
*^' in SirR. Temple's time and favourably received, 

but had led to no practical results. When the Director of Public 
Instruction brought it in 1882 before the Council of the Medical 
College in accordance with wishes expressed to him by the parents 
of some *young ladies, the Council resolved not to admit females 
on any terms to the Medical College classes, whether after passing 
the Entrance Examination or the First Arts Examination as a pre- 
liminary qualification. Sir R. Thompson overmled the Council and 
wrote as follows : — 

*^ On this question, looked at from the standpoint of general policy, 
as well as of individual freedom, there is not, in Mr. Rivers Thompson's 
opinion, any room for doubt as to the action which Government should 
take. It is indeed in the Lieutenant-Governor's judgment a subject of 
great reproach to the Bengal Presidency, in which education has made 
such wide progress, that it should be so far behind other provinces in 
matters regarding the medical education of native ladies ; and this 
reproach is the more appreciable in that the backwardness of Bengal In 
this respect would seem to be due, not so much to the prejudice of native 
parents and guardians (which might in the present circumstances of 
India be only natural) as to the attitude which the Medical College 
Council have thought fit to assume. Already these provinces have suf^ed 


from the Council's failure to take a broad and unprejudiced view on this 
question ; for the Lieutenant-Governor learns to his regret that some 
Bengali ladies, fully qualified by educational attainments for admission to 
the College, have had to betake themselves to the more liberal Presidency 
of Madras, there to prosecute those Medical studies from which the 
Council of the Calcutta Medical College had excluded them. It is, 
in Mr. Rivers Thompson's opinion, clearly opposed to the public good, 
as well as to legitimate private interests, that such a state of things 
should continue, and that the educational system of Bengal, progressive 
in other respects, should be illiberal and retrograde in this. Illiberality 
here has great and numerous evil consequences. It encourages zanana 
prejudices ; it strengthen^ the barriers of caste ; and it suppresses the 
natural and reasonable aspirations of Indian ladies to enter a profession 
which would find, in India of all countries in the world, a wide sphere of 
action and of beneficent service. Every day that passes widens our 
knowledge of the fact that among the native community there are women 
in every position of life who would prefer death to treatment by a male 
physician, and the misery caused by neglected, and unskillfully treated 
illness must be widespread and most lamentable. There is but one way 
by which this suffering can be relieved, and that is by the medical educa- 
tion of females ;.for in the present conditions of Indian life it would be 
useless to wait till opposition, based upon prejudices (if such they can be 
called), is removed. The Lieutenant-Governor therefore considers it his 
duty to support this movement ; and he looks on the objections which 
have been made to it, on the ground of the difficulty of teacl^ing mixed 
classes, or the alleged inaptitude of females for the profession of medi- 
cine, as unsubstantial and obsolete. Experience gained in Europe, in 
America, and in Madras, has shewn that mixed classes can be taught 
without any bad results ; while the aptitude of women for the study and 
profession of medicine is, in the Lieutenant-Governor's opinion, no longer 
open to discussion or doubt. Even if the aptitude of women for the 
profession of medicine were still an open question, it would be an inade- 
quate objection here, for the fitness or unfitness of women to practise 
medicine can only be proved by experience. The issue therefore is, shall 
it be put to that proof in Bengal } The ladies who apply for admission 
to the College will be the only losers if they fail in the trial : the commu- 
nity will be the great gainers if they succeed. For his own part the 
Lieutenant-Governor has no doubt they will succeed far beyond the ex- 
pectations of their most sanguine supporters, and he looks forward to a 
not distant time when Calcutta hospitals shall be partly officered by lady 
doctors. And if the success of the principle be established in the capital, 
there is no reason why our medical, schools in the provinces should hot 


afTord opportunities for a more general extension of the policy, with 
incalculable advantage to the country.'' 

Special inquiries were made in 1883 as to the feasibility of ex- 
tending the jury system in districts other than the 

. Jury syttt^m. 

7 in which it then obtained. Judged by the com- 
ments of the vernacular press, the subject had a special interest 
for natives. Everywhere the suggestion was opposed by the local 
Judges, on the ground chiefly that there was not a sufficient number 
of educated natives in the districts to form a qualified jury list The 
High Court Judges also were opposed to the measure. 

During the year 1883 the Native Press was much excited on 
EnsAiBh and ^"o^s subjects, such as, the Ilbert Bill, the Local 
imuve jounuiiMii. Self-Govemment and Municipal Bills, and the im- 
prisonment of the Editor of the Bengali by the High Court for con- 
tempt. Sir Rivers Thompson expressed his views on the subject 
as follows : — 

- " The last year was one of exceptional excitement unfavourable to 
calmness and moderation, and no one could be less desirous than Mr. 
Rivers Thompson of judging th« Native Press on the evidence which such 
times afford. Indeed, it must be admitted that the absence of calmness 
and moderation was not peculiar to the Native Press last year, and that 
English journals lost much of the s^lf- restraint and good feeling which 
is usually their honourable characteristic in dealing with political and 
social questions in India. But English journalism in Bengal has, with 
insignificant exceptions, recovered its proper functiqn of temperate cri- 
ticism ; while native journalism as a rule is still disfigured by a spirit of 
reckless hostility, a ready acceptance of unfounded rumours, and a prone- 
ness to impute unworthy motives to Government and its officers. Many 
utterances of the Native Press and of the Anglo- Native Press, from which 
the vernacular papers take their tone, were during the year such as to 
bring the papers containing them within the scope of the criminal law. 
In 3 instances applications were made to the Government by nativie 
officers to sanction the prosecution of calumnious articles in vernacular 
papers ; but the Lieutenant-Governor has been personally opposed to 
any action which would put that law in motion, hoping for the time when 
prejudice and passion would give way to better feelings. Some articles 
have recently appeared in Anglo-Native journals which counsel modera- 
tion, and the Lieutenant-Governor would be indeed glac) if he could take 
them as the precursor of a better tone and temper. The benefit which a 
free Press, acting with justice and indspendence in the interests 



of the ruled and the rulersi, can do in Bengal is incalculable. 
Its assistance would be welcomed by the Lieutenant-Governor as 
an invaluable aid to good Government, both in the denunciation of what 
is wrong and in helping the people to an appreciation of the efforts of 
Government to do right. A free Press can interpret the rulers to the 
people and the people to their rulers ; and through the medium of the 
press honestly conducted the Government can discover the wants of the 
country much more clearly and usefully than through the medium of 
official Reports. But when it is seen that day after day the Anglo-Native 
and the vernacular Press abuses its opportunities and the forbearance of 
the Government to pr6pagate among a credulous people libels on 
individual officers, false imputations on the Courts of Justice, and dis- 
loyal comments on the Government itself, then it becomes a serious 
question whether, in the interests of the country and of the mass of 
readers and their circles of auditors who are thus being misled, toleration 
may not ,be pushed too far. If this expression of the Lieutenant- 
Governor's views |ias the result of in any way influencing the Native Press 
to reconsider what it owes to the Government as well as to the public, 
then the result will be wholly good in establishing the confidence of 
Government in the honesty and value of the criticisms of the Native Press. 
Mr. Rivers Thompson may say at once,'' judging them from his inter- 
course with all classes, that, constituted and worked as it is at present, 
the Native Press is only an exponent of the views of its conductors, and 
not of those of the people of the province." 

During the year 1 8Sc-8 1 the question of improving the training 
-.,,,., of officers of the Covenanted Civil Service who 

JudicUl train- 
ing of civilians. elected the judicial branch of the service was under 

the consideration of Sir A. Eden, and a tentative scheme was pro- 
posed by him and sanctioned in the following year by the Govern- 
ment of India, which would, it was hoped, remove the .defects of 
the system under which officers were called on to perform the 
important duties of a District Judge without any experience in the 
administration of civil justice, and with no experience of criminal 
justice beyond that afforded by the work of a Joint-Magistrate. In 
furtherance of this scheme, in 1881-82 several Covenanted Civilians, 
whose duties had hitherto been confined to executive and criminal 
judicial work, were invested with powers as Civil Judges, according 
to the length of their service ; some with the functions of a Subor- 
dinate Judge, and others with those of a Munsif. The scheme was 
.oiv jts trial during, .the x following years with very little success. 


It was an attempt to obtain from officers already overburdened with 
their own duties work of a new and technical character. It was 
found to have occasioned a greater amount of inconvenience than 
was at all commensurate with the advantages to be expected from it. 
At length in 1883-84 it was pronounced a failure by the High Court, 
and its abandonment recommended. 

In the year 1883-84 an International Exhibition was held in 

Calcutta. It was the first undertaking of its kind 

Odcntta Inter- • , r«, . , ^ 

natkmmi Bxhiu- in India. The idea of havine an Exhibition in 

tion, 188S-84. ^ 

Calcutta of the products of the Indian Empire was 
under the consideration of Sir R. Thompson, when, in Octo- 
ber 1 88a/ Mr. Jules Joubert, who had before successfully promoted 
International Exhibitions in Australia, arrived in India and suggested 
the wider project. With the consent of the Government of India, 
and with a promise of assistance from other Jx>cal Governments, Sir 
R. Thompson gave his sanction and support to the undertaking, 
and preparations were commenced in January 1883 under the supers 
vision of a General Committee. For the collection of samples of 
the products and manufactures of India, the Bengal Government 
provided a sum of Rs. 50,000, which was distributed by the Govern- 
ment of India among the different Local Governments ; and in all 
ca$es the allotments thus made were supplemented by grants made 
by, the Local Governments from their own funds. A sum of Rs. 10,000 
was at the same time placed in the hands of an Executive Committee 
for the collection of exhibits in Bengal. Many exhibits were also 
lent by Native and European gentlemen in India, and the Calcutta 
community furnished and equipped a separate court entirely at its 
own expense. Three of the Australian Colonies, viz : Victoria, New 
South Wales and South Australia, appointed Commissioners to 
promote the objects of the Exhibition, and official representatives 
were sent to the Exhibition by the Colonies of Ceylon, the Straits 
Settlements, Tasmania, British C^uiana and Mauritius. From foreign 
countries delegates were sent by the Government of Austro-Hungary, 
by the French colonies of Cochin China and Tonquin, and by the 
Dutch colony of Batavia, and Great Britain, France, Germany, 
Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Japan, and the United States of America 
were represented by exhibitors. The Exhibition was held in the 
Indian Museum building, and in extensive temporary buildings coi> 


Btructed by the Public Works Department :. part of the maidan west 
of the Museum was enclosed for the purpose. The total sj>ace 
enclosed for the exhibition amounted to nearly 22 acres. £ven this 
space was, however, insufficient for the proper display of the exhibits, 
which in some courts were overcrowded, and numerous applications 
for space had to be refused. The total number of exhibitors in all 
the courts of the exhibition amounted to 2,500. The exhibits 
exceeded 1,00,000 in number, and 3,590 certificates of merit with 
medals were given. The Exhibition was managed by the Executive 
Committee acting in concert with M. Joubert. It was opened by 
Lord Ripoh on the 4th December 1883, and was closed by him on 
the loth March 1884. The total number of persons admitted into 
the Exhibition exceeded a million. The number of visitors continued 
to increase before the closing of the Exhibition ; and as its fame 
extended only |^radually to distant places in the interior it would 
certainly have attracted visitors for a much longer time if circum- 
stances had permitted it to remain open. The gross expenditure on 
the Exhibition amounted in all to nearly 5,80,000 rupees and the total 
gross receipts to nearly Rs. 5,03,00c. A report was published, 
giving an exhaustive account of the circumstances under which the 
Exhibition was held and describing with much detail the exhibits 
which were brought together. The beautiful collection of art work 
in the Indian Courts was probably the most vividly recollected by 
those who visited the Exhibition ; but the solid merits of the collec- 
tions of raw products and rough industries in the Indian Economic 
Court afforded special ground for satisfaction to all persons interest- 
ed in the welfare of the Empire. It was an especially interesting 
feature of the occasion that a very large number of native ladies 
visited the Exhibition. 

In return for the advances, amounting to Rs. 50,000, made by 
the Government of Bengal to other Local Governments in India for 
the purchase of exhibits, the Government of Bengal was permitted 
to select articles from the collections sent from the various provinces 
to the value of its advances. The selection made, together with the 
collection of exhibits purchased in Bengal from the sum of Rs. 10,000 
placed in the hands of the Executive Committee, formed the nucleus 
of the Art portion of the Economic and Art Museum established 
in the building adjoining the Imperial Museum, which, extended 


s^d enlarged as funds became available, was a permanent memorial 
of the Calcutta Exhibition of 1883-84. 

The idea of the direct intervention of Government in agricultural 

progress and reform in India was revived in 188 1, 
Airriouituni in consequence of the Report of the Famine Com- 


mission. Struck with the absence of proper means 
of collecting trustworthy information in times of prosperity, on which 
action might be based in adverse times, the Famine Commission 
made certain recommendations for the organisation of an agency for 
its collection. Looking at the condition of the country from 2 
points of view, namely, the prevention and the relief of famine, the 
Commission recommended, (i) that better methods of cultivation 
should be introduced, and that agricultural knowledge should be 
more widely diffused ; and (2) that measures should be adopted 
for the collection and record of results of past experience and current 
events to enable Government to deal systematically, effectively, and 
economically with famine. 

These recommendations were considered by the Government of 
India, and, though some points of detail were not approved, the 
leading principles were adopted and submitted for the sanction of 
Her Majesty's Government. This sanction was accorded in 188 r, 
the Secretary of State, at the same time, defining the objects of the 
new Revenue and Agricultural Department to be — 

the collection and embodiment in convenient forms of the statis- 
tics of vital, agricultural, and economic facts, in order that Govern- 
ment and its officers might always be in possession of an adequate 
knowledge of the actual condition of the country, its population, and 
its resources : 

the general improvement of Indian agriculture with the view jof 
increasing the food-supply and general resources of the people : 

better and prompter organisation of famine relief, whenever 
the actual approach of famine might be indicated by statistical 

While the objects of the new Department were thus declared, 
the attention of the Government of India was invited to the necessity 
of establishing under Local Administrations a suitable machinery for 
the collection and record of statistical information, and for the 
improvement of agriculture throughout the country. It was the want 


of such machiner}' which marred the usefulness of Lord Mayo*s 
plans ; and, to avoid a repetition of such a failure, the Government 
of India recommended that provincial agencies should be created to 
give effect to what was its settled policy in the matter of agricultural 
and industrial improvement and the prevention and relief of famine. 
It seemed to Sir R. Thompson, on his assuming charge oC 
the office of Lieutenant-Governor, that, apart from the question of 
statistical information, the creation of an Agricultural Department' 
was calculated to confer many benefits on a people 75 per cent of 
whom were agriculturists, and many administrative advantages to 
Government ; he accordingly submitted proposals for giving effect 
to his views as well as to those which had been repeatedly expressed 
by the Government of India and the Secretary of State. He showed 
that nothing substantial had hitherto been achieved towards collecting 
trustworthy agricultural statistics and obtaining correct records of 
rents or tenures such as were found in other parts of India. Owing 
to the want of village agency, this effect could not, as far as perma- 
nently-settled estates were concerned, be remedied without special 
legislation. The case was, however, different in estates the property 
of Government and of disqualified proprietors. Government could 
make surveys and settlements of rents in them, and establish village 
records under the powers afforded by the existing law. The Govern- 
ment of India, in expressing to the Secretary of State their general 
approval of the views of the Bengal Government, and in advocating 
the creation of a special Department, laid particular stress on what it 
understood would, pending the adoption of more extensive opera- 
tions, be the first duty of the new Department, namely, the organisa- 
tion of the pahvari staff and the preparation of a scheme for the 
collection of. agricultural statistics in estates under the management 
of Government and of the Court of Wards. The Secretary of State, 
while doubting the feasibility of the objects at which the Local 
Governments and Government of India ultimately aimed, was 
disposed to admit the importance of providing the. Lieutenant- 
Governor with the requisite agency for advising the Government 
generillly in all matters relating to agriculture and statistics, as well 
as for undertaking the preliminary inquiries necessary in connection 
with the experimental survey of the Patna Division, which had been 
sanctioned by his predecessor. He accordingly sanctioned, as a 


temporary' measure, for 2 years, the employment of an officer for the 
purpose above explained, and also- for collecting the infoimation 
necessary for enabling the Government of Bengal to submit in a 
complete shape a detailed report on certain points connected with the 
management of Wards* and Government estates, on which he desired 
further information. 

For the performance of these duties, Mr. M. Finucane, c. s. 
was selected td be Director of the Agricultural Department, and was 
first employed mainly on pressing work in connection with the Biil^ 
which subsequently was passed *as the Bengal Tenancy Act .On the 
2nd May 1885 a Resolution was issued, defining broadly the func- 
tions of the newly-created office to be of two kinds — agricuUural 
resiorchy including the arrangements for the experimental survey in 
the Muzaffarpur district, and for the maintenance of the results obtain*^ 
ed by a system of village records, as also for the collection of the 
returns of the prices of food-staples required by the Bengal Tenancy 
Act; and agricuUui^al impravemenfsy to be undertaken with the 
co-operation of such societies as the Agri-Horticultural and the 
Zoological, of local Committees, and of such landowners or farmers 
as might be good enough to lend their assistance. In regard to 
duties of the first class, the Director was placed under the control 
of the Board of Revenue and instructed to report to them ; while 
his efforts for agricultural improvement were to be made under the 
direct orders of Government in the Revenue Department. The 
services of 2 members of the Civil Service and of a Deputy 
Collector, all of whom were graduates of the Cirencester College, 
were placed at his disposal, so far as this could be done without 
interfering with their other duties. 

The period of 2 years, for which the Agricultural Department 
was sanctioned, expired at the end of 1886. It was recommended 
to be established as a permanent institution, and this was sanctioned. 

The Bengal Tramways Act was passed to enable Gove^iment to 
LegiJiUition • sanction, and local authorities or private persons to 

Tramways: undertake, the construction and maintenance of 

tramways throughout the province. It was an entirely new departure, 
so far as Bengal was concerned, and prescribed the procedure to be 
adopted in obtaining sanction, the manner of construction of tram- 
ways, the powers and rights of the promoters. in respect of the use of 


roads, the rules as to fares and traffic, the penalties for [o£Eences, and 
other conditions. • 

By another Act the Port Commissioners were empowered to con- 
Kidde i« stHict docks at Kidderpore and to raise the necessary 

^^^- loans, the interest on which was guaranteed by the 

Secretary of State for India in Council. 

The question of affordinfi^ increased facilities to the trade of 
Calcutta had been under the consideration of GoverniAent from time 
to time since the year 1839. In 1881 proposals were again submitted 
for the construction of docks at Diamond Harbour, and a strong 
Committee was appointed by Sir A. Eden in December 1881 to 
report on the scheme. In the Report the majority of the members 
were in favour of it, but the merchants in a body opposed it on the 
ground of the increased expense which double establishments and 
offices at Calcutta and Diamond Harbour would entail. Apart from 
this there were serious objections to this site on account of its ex- 
posure to cyclonic waves, and the difficulty of taking large vessels 
into docks on what would be for some months of the year a lee shore. 
It was at this stage that the question came before Sir R. Thompson, 
and by him a general Committee comprising several mercantile 
members was again appointed in 1883, with the object of instituting 
inquiries as to the measures possible for extending the existing accom- 
modation of the Port, and the cost at which this could be provided. 
After a most thorough inquiry the Committee reported that 21 jetties 
might be provided on the Calcutta side of the river in positions where 
they could be erected without causing public inconvenience, and 30 
on the Howrah side between the Botanic Garden and the lower 
boundary of the Port, But they estimated that the same amount of 
accommodation could be provided in a wet-dock at not much greater 
cost, and they pointed out that vessels lying at jetties would have 
neither the security nor the convenience afforded by a well-arranged 
wet-dock. They considered it also most undesirable to divide the 
accommodation, and to place '.half on the Calcutta and half on the 
Howrah side. Jetties, though they might cost less in the first instance 
than docks, would cost more to maintain. The Committee therefore 
thought the construction of wet-docks was the best and the most econo- 
mical of all measures for affording the increased accommodation 
required for the commerce of Calcutta. They also considered the 


Kidderpore site to be the most suitable for the purpose. After 
further inquiries conducted hy selected medical officers as to the 
sanitary conditions of the proposal, the scheme, which was strongly 
supported hy Sir R. Thompson, received the sanction of the Gov- 
ernment of India and of the Secretary of State. It consisted of an 
outer dock and an inner one with entrance to the river through a tidal 
basin. The supply of water for the docVs was to be drawn from 
Tolly's nala which was to be provided with locks, and improved as 
well as extended by Government so as to bring the boat traffic of the 
province through the canal system into direct communication with 
the docks. To connect Tolly's nala with the docks a canal was to be 
cut. the entrance to which was to be provided by a lock 300 feet long 
and 40 feet wide. The docks were to be connected with the jetties 
and inland vessels' wharves by an extension of the river bank railway 
from Chandpal ghat to Kidderpore and with the Sealdah terminus 
by a direct line of railway. The cost of the scheme was to be 300 
lakhs of rupees, to be raised by loans by the Port Commissioners on 
the guarantee of the Secretary of State. The works were taken in 
hand, and it was believed that they would be completed before March 

The two most important measures which came before the Bengal 
Local Self. Legislative Council while Sir R. Thompson was 

Oovernment. Lieutenant-Govemor were the Local Self-Govem- 
ment Bill and the Municipal Bill. The first of these provided for the 
creation of a machinery for the development of Local Self-Govern- 
ment. Lord Ripon's Government had laid down in a Resolution of 
the 1 8th May 1882, the general policy which was to be carried out. 
According to the Bill as originally laid before the Council in 
1882-83, Union Committees were to be established for the manage- 
ment of village affairs. A group of unions was to constitute the circle of a 
Local Board, vested with certain executive powers and reponsibilities 
and possessing a certain degree of financial independence. The 
general control of Local Boards, as well as of all Municipalities 
throughout the province, was to be placed in the hands of a new 
authority, denominated the Central Board, consisting of members 
appointed by Government. The Bill specified minutely the powers 
that were to be exercised by each of the Local Government bodies so 
constituted,^ the duties that were to devolve upon them^ the funds to 


be placed at their disposal, and their relations towards each other and 
towards the officers of Government. The decision of the Secretary 
of State negativing the proposed appointment of a Central Board 
rendered it necessary in the following year to recast many of the 
provisions of the Bill. As so amended, the Bill provided that the 
District Board should be an administrative body where there were no 
Local Boards, and either wholly or partly a controlling body where 
there were such Boards. Under this scheme there was to be a District 
Board established in every district, but a Local Board, as far as 
possible on a representative basis, might be constructed in any sub* 
division or subdivisions, and must be constituted in any subdivision 
in which the subordinate system of ihana Union Committees had 
been introduced. Provision was made for the election of members and 
for the control of administration. Power was given to the Lieutenant- 
Govemofy and, subject to his direction, to the different Boards, to 
make rules for the disposal of business. The Bill as preliminarily 
amended was published for general information in April 1884, and 
circulated to obtain opinions. It was again brought up in the session 
of 1884-85, and passed with considerable modifications. As finally 
passed. Local Boards were empowered to elect as members of the 
District Board any persons qualified for election to a I^cal Board. A 
schedule was added of districts, in every subdivision of which a 
Local Board should be constituted and | of the members elected. 
Provision was made for filling casual vacancies at Board meetings, 
and for the appointment of Chairmen. Briefly, the Act gave the 
Boards extensive powers and duties in regard to roads and communi- 
cations, educations, hospitals, dispensaries, sanitation, vaccination, 
famine relief, taking of census, maintenance of staging bungalows, 
fairs and exhibitions, and other matters of public interest and 
utility : also to construct and maintain tramways, railways and water- 
works, and to take charge of and construct public buildings on 
behalf of Government. It was made clear that District Boards were 
to manage public, primary and middle class schools other than 
those for Europeans and Eurasians, and power was given to the 
Lieutenant-Governor to transfer funds to those Boards for the 
improvement of such primary schools as did not submit departmental 
returns. District Boards, with the sanction of the Lieutenant- 
Governor, might guarantee the interest upon capital expended for 



the purpose of improving means of communication so as to benefit 
their districts. No change of any importance was made with regard 
to Union Committees. The rate at which the road cess might be 
levied in any district could not be reduced without Government 
sanction. The Commissioners were given the same power of dealing 
with the estimates as was given in the Municipal Act in regard to 
municipal estimates. When the measure was passed in the Bengal 
Council on the 4th April, Sir K. Thompson expresbed his personal 
satisfaction with it as proceeding on *a sound, practical and safe 
basis, and as the time hsd come for securing the co-operation of the 
people to some extent in district administration. The Bill became 
Act III (B. C.) of 1885. 

The Municipal Bill, as laid before the Council in the session of 
The Municip.u 1 882-83, was mainly intended to consolidate and 
Act of 1884. extend the existing law, and did not involve such 

broad questions of principle as were raised in that relating to Local 
Self-Government. As passed in 1883-84, the principal changes made 
by this Act were the abolition of the classification of municipalities, 
the extension of the elective system to all municipalities except the 
few that were scheduled, and th& grant in nearly all cases to the 
Municipal Commissioners of advanced municipalities of the right to 
elect their own Chairman. The approval of Government was to be 
no longer necessary for the election of a Vice-Chairman. While 
greater freedom was thus granted to municipalities in the appointment 
of their representatives and in the conduct of their business, special 
provisions were introduced enabling the Magistrate to exercise an 
effective control. 

When Sir R. Thompson became Lieutenant-Governor in April 

1882, the question of the amendment of the rent 

The Bengal 

Tenancy Act, law in the Lower Provinces, which had for nearly 

VIII of 1886. ^ 

10 years been the subject of agitation and dis- 
cussion, had reached a stage at which it was certain that some 
legislative measure would be introduced, though the nature of that 
measure *had not yet been finally determined. The necessity for 
legislation had, indeed, been apparent ever since the occurrence, in 
i^73» of the serious agricultural disturbances in Pabna. The Bihar 
famine of the following year diverted the attention of the Govern- 
ment to more pressing duties^ but the report of the Famine Commis- 


sion dwelt strongly on the necessity of placing the relations of 
landlord and tenant in Bengal upon a surer basis. The Agrarian 
Disputes Act of 1876 was passed by Sir R. Temple's Government 
as a temporary measure to meet emergencies like those of 1873, 
pending the fuller consideration of the whole question. A Bill 
dealing with the principles upon which rents should be fixed was 
prepared in 1876, but was not further proceeded with and in 1878 
the Government of Bengal proposed a measure intended to provide 
only for the more speedy realisation of arrears of rent. This Bill 
was introduced into the Bengal Council, but it was found im- 
practicable to confine it to the limited object indicated by its original 
title. The Select Committee on the Bill recommended that the 
whole question of a revision of the rent law should be taken in 
hand, and in April i87q the Government of India sanctioned the 
appointment of a Commission to prepare a digest of the existing 
law and to draw up a consolidating enactment. Proposals which 
had been separately made for amending the rent law in Bihar were 
also referred to the Commission for consideration. 

The report and draft Bill of the Commission were presented in 
July 1880, and after the whole question had been farther considered 
the matured proposals of Sir A. Eden's Government were sub* 
mitted to the Government of India in ^July 1881. In March 1882 
these papers were forwarded by the Government of India to the 
Secretary of State, with an important despatch, in which the history 
of the question was reviewed and the views of the Governor-General 
in Council, of which Sir R. Thompson was a member, were fully 
explained. The Secretar)' of State, in September 1882, while con- 
curring in the view that legislation was necessary, and while accepting 
the majority of the recommendations made by the Government of 
India, demurred to a proposal which formed a prominent feature of 
the despatch. The Rent Commission had desired to maintain the 
existing rule by which occupancy right was acquired by 1 3 years' 
continuous possession. The Government of Sir A. Eden had 
recommended that the occupancy « right should be enjoyed by all 
resident raiya/s. But the Government of India proposed to take the 
classification of lands | instead of the status of the tenant as the 
basis on which the recognition of the occupancy right should be 
effected, and to attach the right to all ratya/t lands. It appeared to 


the Secretary of State that this involved a great and uncalled-for 
departure from both the ancient custom and the existing law of the 
country, and he declined to sanction it. The Government of India 
defended their proposals in a subsequent despatch written in October 
1882, but the Secretary of State adhered to his former opinion, 
though he expressed his willingness to assent to the Introduction 
of the Bill in the form which the Government of India preferred. 
The Government of India, however, declined to introduce a Bill 
in a form of which the Secretary of State disapproved, and it was 
determined that the measure should be framed upon the lines 
suggested in the latter 's despatch. 

A revised draft of the Bill was prepared by the Govsrnment of 

The Uoutouuit- India, and (on the and March 1883) Sir C. P. Ilbert 

sirsteuairtB^yiej. moved in Council for leave to introduce it On the 

Mr. Ilbert. 

„ Hunter. 13th March Sir Steuart Bayley, in whose charge the 

Bate KrtotodM BUI had been placed, moved that it should be refer- 

The Maharaja of red to a Select Committee. After a long debate, ex- 

DarDnanna. ^ 

Mr irong?***' tending over 2 days, the Bill was referred to a 

Major Baring. Select Committee consisting of the gentlemen 

named in the margin. Mr. T. M. Gibbon and Mr. Amir Alt were 
afterwards added, and, on the death of the Hon'hle Kristodas Pal, 
Raja Piari Mohan Mukerji succeeded him on the Committee. Its 
meetings commenced in November 1883, and were carried on till 
the following March, when a preliminary report was presented, in- 
cluding a revised draft of the Bill. Four members of the Committee 
recorded Minutes of dissent from the Report. 

The revised Bill was republished, and was subjected to a careful 
examination by Divisional conferences of the executive officers of 
Government, as well as by judicial officers and by the non-official 
public. When these opinions had been considered, the views of 
the Local Government of Bengal were submitted to the Govern- 
ment of India on the 15th September 1884. This letter contained a 
detailed and authoritative exposition of Sir R. Thompson's views. 
Among other points of less importance. Sir R. Thompson pro- 
posed to allow the free transfer of occupancy holdings of Bengal, 
giving the landlord, however, a veto if the transfer were to any but 
an agriculturist ; to leave such transfers in Bihar to be regulated by 
custom ; to omit the clauses of the Bill which gave the landlord a 


right of pre-emption ; to abandon the provisions for enhancement 
on the grounds of the prevailing rate, or of the increased productive 
powers of the land ; to withdraw all limitations upon enhancement 
by suit, but to maintain them in cases of enhancement by contract ; 
to restore the check which limited enhancements to a certain propor- 
tion of the gross produce ; to provide that tables of rates should be 
prepared only on the application of parties; to retain substantially 
the existing law of distraint ; and to provide for a cadastral survey 
and the preparation of a record of rights. 

The Select Committee resumed its sittings in November 1884, 
and early in 1885 presented its final Report, which was accompanied 
by Minutes of dissent from several members. The debate, however, 
which followed showed that the great majority of the dissentients 
fully accepted the principles of tlie Bill, though they thought some 
of its provisions unsatisfactory or incomplete. 

On the 27th February 1885 the Bill was brought forward in Council 
by Sir Steuart Bayley, who moved that the Report of the Select Com- 
mittee should be taken into consideration. To this an amendmtot 
was moved that the Bill should be republished before bieng proceeded 
with. After an exhaustive debate, which extended over 2 days, and 
in which the principles of the Bill were fully discussed, the amendment 
was rejected by a large majority. The Council then proceeded to 
discuss the clauses of the Bill. Above 200 amendments were placed 
upon the notice paper ; but many of these were formally mthdrawn, 
or were tacitly dropped. Upon all the important provisions, however, 
of the Bill, there was an animated debate, which extended over the 
4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, and nth of March. During this discussion it 
was the object of the Government of Bengal, while resisting those 
amendments which subverted or weakened the principles which the 
Bill \i'as intended to establish, to strengthen the position of the 
occupancy rmyat by extending the Tight to the pargana instead of 
confining it to the village ; to modify the rule of enhancement on 
the ground of the prevailing rate ; and to give the non-occupancy 
raiyat the security of a 5 years ' initial lease. These amendments 
were not accepted by the Council, but the Government of Bengal was 
successful in maintaining, against a strong opposition, a limitation 
upon the enhancement of an occupancy raiyafs rent by private 
contract. The Bill was passed by the Council on the nth March ; 


received the assent of the Governor-General on the 14th, and* 
became law as Act VIII of 1885. The Act came into force on the 
1st November following, except the Chapters relating to distraint 
and deposit of rent, the operation of which was postponed to the 
ist February 1886, to enable the High Court to frame the necessary 

This Act differed in some important particulars from the Bill 
which had been introduced into Council 2 years before. Perhaps 
no legislative enactment was ever « subjected to fuller examination 
or to more searching criticism. The question had engaged the 
attention of the Government and the public for more than 10 years ; 
the Select Committee, which included members holding the most 
diverse views, held no less than 64 meetings, and had before it 


several hundreds of Reports, opinions, and memorials. The result 
was that the Bill which finally passed the Council was in some 
respects a compromise, and, if it was less thorough and complete, 
was certainly a more practical and workable law than the draft 
which was originally laid before the Council. Some of the more 
important modifications which were introduced may be briefly 
noticed here. The Bill as originally brought in embodied provisions 
for the sale of pa/nt iaiuks ; but it was eventually determined to 
leave Regulation VIII of 1819 untouched. The settled, raiyat 
acquired by the original Bill an occupancy right in all land held by 
him in the village or estate. The Act limited this to land held in 
the same village. The occupancy raiyat was empowered to transfer 
his holding, subject to a right of pre-emption by the landlord at a 
price to be fixed by the Civil Court. The pre-emption clauses were 
struck out, and the power of transfer was left to be regulated by 
local custom. The rent of an occupancy raiyat could not be en- 
hanced, under the Bill, to an amount exceeding fth of the gross 
produce, nor that of a non-occupancy raiyat to an amount exceeding 
-f^^ths, but no limitation of this kind found a place in the Act. In > suits 
for enhancement the Bill provided that no increase of demand in 
excess of double the old rent should be awarded : but there was 
no corresponding provision in the Act. A prominent feature of the 
Bill was the preparation of tables of rates, by which lands were to 
be classified according to the capabilities of the soil, and rent rates 
were to be fixed, which should be in force for not less than 10, or 


'more than 30 years : but this Chapter was entirely struck out. The 
Bill provided that the non-occupancy raiyat^ if he were ejected from 
his holding, should receive compensation for disturbance : but no 
such stipulation will be found in the Act. 

The only material point in which the Bill was modified in the 
x)pposite direction was in the enhancement of an occupancy raiyaCs 
rent by contract out of Court. The Bill allowed such enhancements 
to the amount of 6 annas in the rupee upon the old rent : but the 
Act reduced this to 2 annas in the rupee, the Government of Bengal 
being strongly impressed with the danger of allowing pressure to be 
put upon tenants to enter into contracts which would virtually defeat 
the object of the legislature. It was, however, provided that a higher 
rate of rent might be recovered by suit if it had been actually paid 
for 3 years. 

The Bengal Tenancy Act, perhaps the most important measure 
which has passed into law since the Regulations;of 1 793 were promul- 
gated, had 3 main objects in view, to one or other of which almost 
all of its sections can be referred. The ancient agricultural law of 
Bengal was founded on a system of fixity of tenure at customary 
rents. But this system was gradually ceasing to be suited to the 
altered economic conditions of the country, and the attempts which 
were made to solve the question by the substitution of positive law 
for customary usage had hitherto been unsuccessful. ' In some parts 
of Bengal, in which the zamindars were powerful, the raiyal was 
treated as a mere tenant-at-will : in other parts, in which the popu- 
' lation was comparatively sparse, the raiyai refused to pay any rent 
unless the zamindar agreed to his terms. Act X of 1859 rather 
added to the difficulty than removed it. On the one hand, this Act 
made it almost impossible for the raiyai to establish a right of occu- 
pancy : on the other hand, it placed insuperable obstacles in the 
way of the zamindar who sued for an enhancement of his rent. The 
Courts of law, with rigid impartiality, required the raiyai to establish 
his occupancy right by showing that he had cultivated the same plot 
of ground for 12 successive years, and demanded from the landlord 
the impossible proof that the value of the produce had increased 
in the same proportion in which he asked that his rent, should be 
enhanced. The legal maxim, semper presumiiur pro negnnie, was 
never more copiously illustrated than in the various phases of this 


rent litigation. The party upon whom lay the burden of proof was 
almost certain to fail. To this evil the Tenancy].' Act was intended 
to afford a remedy. The principle of the Act may be said to be 
based upon a system of fixity of tenure at judicial rents, and its 
3 main objects were,— ^ri//y, to give the settled raiyai the same 
security in his holding as he enjoyed under the old customary law ! 
secondly^ to ensure to the landlord a fair share of the increased 
value of the produce of the soil : and, thirdly ^ to lay down rules 
by which all disputed questions between landlord and tenant could 
be reduced to simple issues and decided upon equitable principles.' 
A good example of the first will be found in the clause which 
throws upon the landlord the onus of disproving the ratyafs claim 
to a right of occupancy : the second is illustrated by the section 
relating to price-lists, which relieves the zamindar of the trouble 
of showing that the value of the produce has increased : the third 
pervades the whole of the Act, and is especially conspicuous in the . 
valuable section which authorises an application to determine the 
incidents of a tenancy, and in the Chapter which relates to records of 
rights and settlements of rents. The maintenance of the principles of 
the Act is further safeguarded by a section which restricts the power 
of entering into contracts in contravention of its fundamental 
provisions. ' 

In pursuance of these principles the Act laid down rules to guide 
the Courts in determining whether a tenant is a tenure-holder or a 
raiyai: it provided a procedure for the registration of the transfer 
of tenures : it defined the position of rai^ats who hold at fixed rates 
of rent : it simplified and facilitated suits for the enhancement or 
reduction of rent : it established a system for the commutation of 
rents payable in kind : it specified the grounds on which a non- 
occupancy raiyai may be ejected : it prescribed rules for instalments, 
receipts, and interest upon arrears :. it encouraged the making of 
improvements : it restricted subletting : it provided for cases in which 
holdings are . surrendered or abandoned : it protected the interests, 
both of the parties and of the general public, in cases of disputes 
between co-sharers : it laid down a procedure for recording the 
private lands of proprietors : it introduced a new system of distraint: 
and it gave protection to sub-tenants when the interest of the. superior 
holder, is relinquished or sold in execution of a decree. 



That the Act was a complete and final settlement of the questions 
with which it dealt was not alleged by its most strenuous advocates. 
But that this want of completeness and finality was not merely natural 
but inevitable was forcibly urged by Sir C. P. Ilbert in the course of 
the debate on the Bill, and the question could hardly be better 
summed' up than in the words he used : — *' What the Council have 
to consider, as practical men, is, not whether this is an ideally perfect 
measure, not whether it is a final settlement of questions between 
landlord and tenant in Bengal, not whether it is likely to usher in a 
millennium either for the zamindar or for the raiya/, but whether it 
represents a step in advance, whether it does something substantial 
towards removing admitted defects in the existing law, whether it 
does not give some substantial form of security to the tenant, some 
reasonable facilities to the landlord. It is because 1 believe that the 
measure, however it may fall short of ideal perfection, does embody 
substantial improvements in the existing law that I commend it to 
the favourable consideration of the Council." 

The Act came into operation on the ist November 1885, and had, 
when Sir- R. Thompson retired, been too short a time in force 
for a full estimate of its working. The principal business of the 
revenue officers in connection with the Act had related to the issue 
of notices and payment of landlords' fees on transfers of tenures. 
A petition was addressed to Government on the subject of the 
working of the provision that tenants holding at a rent fixed in 
perpetuity must give notice and pay a fee to the landlords, through 
the Collector, on transferring their holdings. It was alleged that 
raiyais not holding at fixed rates adopted this procedure, thereby 
creating evidence which in future might be accepted as proof that 
they really occupied the privileged position which they claimed. It 
was pointed out that this fear did not rest on any solid foundation. 
There were, in 1885-86, 223 cases of appraisement of produce, 
which occurred principally in the Patna Division. The result was 
reported to have been so far satisfactory. During the year 1886-87 
the most important action taken by the Board of Revenue was the 
preparation of a draft set of rules for settlement procedure with 
special references to the changes effected by the Act. 

The provisions of the Act on the subject of receipts for rent 
produced a very immediate and striking effect, and gave matter for. 


comment in every part of the province. It was part of the enactment 
on this subject that rent receipts should contain certain stated parti- 
culars ; and further, that if a receipt did not conUin substantially the 
particulars required, it should be presumed, until the contrary was 
proved, to be an acquittance in full of all demands up to date. Such 
a change affecting every payment of rent throughout the province, 
and tending to bring old disputes to a head, naturally gave rise to 
some trouble and misunderstandings at firsts The misunderstandings 
were soon in many cases cleared away, and by degrees only those 
cases remained which the law was intended to meet, viz, those in 
which the landlord had been keeping his accounts so as to show a 
higher rent than that authorised by law ; those in which illegal cesses 
had been collected ; and those in which through former neglect the 
real rent had never been ascertained. On such estates the first effect 
of the new law might be to increase contention with the ultimate 
effect of producing a satisfactory settlement. Even in these cases 
what would bring matters to an issue would be merely the insisting 
on the dischai^ of an obligation which existed under the old law, 
and had alwayp been considered necessary in Bengal—^the entry in 
the receipts of the period in respect of which rent is paid. This 
was a necessary form of honesty and fair dealing insisted on in 
business of every kind ; and, if its observance in transactions between 
Bengal zamindars and their raiyais caused friction, that was the best 
proof that the precaution was necessary either to clear up uncertainty 
or to prevent fraud. That an appreciable effect had already been 
produced from the provision, of the new law appeared from the fact 
that during 5 months nearly j\ millions of the specimen forms of 
receipt were sold. In addition to these, forms were printed at private 
presses, those supplied by Government having purposely been 
disposed of at a price which permitted ol their being undersold. 

With the exception of these difficulties in regard to notices of 
transfer and to receipts, the working of the new law was free from 
any such disturbance of the relations between landlords and tenants 
as was apprehended by some of those who opposed the introduc- 
tion of the measure. The other provisions of the Act worked 
smoothly, recourse being had to the sections relating to the appraise- 
ipent of produce rents and to the registration of improvements, and 
some applications were received for the settlement of rents. In 1887, 


however, there were no materials for forming ^n opinion on the 
operation of the more important sections of the law, such as the 
publication of price-lists, the sale of tenures subject to encum- 
brances, and the modified procedure for distraint. The real benefits 
of such a measure as the Tenancy Act were to be looked for, not 
in the number of cases in which application might be made to the 
Courts to enforce its provisions, but in the peaceful acceptance 
by all classes of the principles which underlay it, that the land- 
lord was to be secured in the enjoyment of his fair rent and 
that the tenant was to be maintained in the possession of his rightful 


On the passing of the Tenancy Act, an experimental survey 

was carred out in 1885-86 in pargana Bisara, in 

ozperimontai Muzaffarpur, under Chapter X of the Act, including 

a record of rights and a settlement of rents. The 
cadastral survey was conducted by a professional party, and the 
record of rights and settlement of fair rents by officers acting under 
the immediate supervision of the Director of the Agricultural 
Department. The professional party recorded the areas of holdings, 
facts of undisputed possession, of crops grown and of irrigation. 
The )niaps and measurement records of each village, as they «ere 
completed, were made over to the revenue officers, who proceeded 
to the village and determined and recorded the status and interests 
of all parties concerned. They also recorded the amounts of 
existing rents, and settled and recorded fair rents on the application 
of either landlord or tenant, or otherwise. The total area cadastratly. 
surveyed to the end of June 1886 was 410 square miles. . The rents 
were recorded and the status determined of 15,876 tenants, while 
fair rents were settled on the application of either landlord or tenant 
in cases of 3,546 raiyats. Also 333 boundary disputes were 
amicably settled, and in no case was an appeal made to the Special 
Judge from the decisions of the Settlement Officer. The total cost 
of both survey and settlement was estimated at about %\ annas per 
acre. The success of the work may be judged by the absence of 
those disputes and difficulties which were expected in connexion 
with it. In 1886-87, however, the orders of the Secretary of State 
were received that this experimental survey should, for the present, 
be abandoned. 


Much public criticism was directed to the sanitary condition of 

Calcutta duriniF 1882-83. An important memorial 

Calcutta Sonitttiy . 

Coumitsion of OH the subject, numerously and infiuentially signed, 


was presented to the Sir R. Thompson in January 
1883. Subsequently, in July 1884, another memorial, signed by a 
large number of residents, was presented, praying that a Commission 
might be appointed to inquire into the sanitary condition of the town. 
The memorialists urged (i) that the measures taken bj the Com* 
missioners for the general sanitary improvement of the town were 
inadequate ; (2) that the mortality of March and April 1884, especi- 
ally that from cholera and small-pox, was of an abnormal and 
alarming character, and that there was a likelihood of the recurrence 
of the mortality ; and (3) that the Commissioners as a body were 
not qualified to judge of the special sanitary measures most 
immediately required, or to realise the responsibility under which 
they lay as regards the condition of the unhealthy portions of 
the city. This memorial was forwarded to the Commtssoners, 
with the remark that no time should be lost in preparing 
a comprehensive scheme for, ^r^/, the thorough sanitary improve- 
ment, and sicottd, the structural improvement, of the streets of 
the town. To this object the Government of Bengal invited their 
co-operation, and proposed to appoint a Commission, of which the 
Chairman of the Corporation would be the President, and of which 
the members would be, 2 of their own body nominated by the Com** 
missioners, with 2 medical officers, an engineering officer, and a 
non-official European gentleman to be nominated by Government. 
It was pointed out that the duty of the Commission would be, not to 
sit in judgment upon the proceedings of the Commissioners, but 
fo draw up (i) for each section of the town a complete scheme for 
the reclamation of bastis, the fiUing-up of tanks, the provision of 
water-supply, surface-drainage and the like, and (2) for the whole 
town such a scheme of structural improvements in the way of 
opening-up new streets and straightening or enlarging existing 
streets as might come within the limits of the probable finan- 
cial resources of the Corporation. The Commissioners rejected 
the proposal made by Sir R. Thompson, who was therefore 
obliged to accede to the prayer contained in the memorial, and 
accordingly on the 14th. August 1884 a. Commission, under section 


28 of Act IV (B. C.) of 1876, was appointed, consisting of — 
(i) The Sanitary Commissioner for Bengal. 

(2) A member to be appointed by the Commissioners in meet- 
ing within 30 days of the date of the Government notification, or in 
their default by the Lieutenant-Governor. 

(3) The Hon'ble H. Beverley, c. s. 

The members of the Commission were requested to report 
whether they were of opinion that the cleaning and the conservancy 
of the town were defective to an extent likely to be prejudicial to the 
health of the inhabitants of the town or of any part thereof ; and, if 
they should be of such opinion, to specify in their Report what further 
provision should be made for the cleaning and conservancy of the 
town up to the end of 1885-86, and to submit an estimate of the 
cost of the said further provision. The Commissioners selected as 
their nominee Mr. H. J. S. Cotton, c. s. 

The Commission concluded their inquiry and submitted their 
Report in January 1885. While giving the Corporation every credit 
for the way in which they had controlled their finances, they were of 
opinion that the expenditure for the cleaning and conservancy of 
the town had not been on a scale commensurate with its require- 
ments. They held 58 meetings, took the evidence of a number of 
witnesses who came forward to give their evidence regarding the 
work of the Corporation, and visited nearly all the bas/is and other 
insanitary parts of the town. Their Report was an exhaustive 
narrative of the municipal administration of the town, and contained 
a number of recommendations for drainage, water-supply, sanitation, 
roads and conservancy &c. Action was taken on many of their 
suggestions, but the full adoption of all their recommendations 
depended upon amendments of the law which required the approval 
of the Legislative Council. 

On the 12th May 1885 Sir R. Thompson returned to the 

Presidency from Darjeeling to preside over a Com- 

Dcfoncea of tho 

river and Port of misslon appointed by the Government of India, 


after the '' Russian scare '^ in connection with *' the 
Penjdeh incident, " to examine into the state of the defences of the 
river Hooghly and of the Port of Calcutta. Accompanied by the 
members of the Commission, which met for deliberation periodically 
at Belvedefe, Sir R. Thompson made a trip down the river and person- 


^lly inspected the fortifications at Fulta and the sites proposed 
for new forts and defences on both banks of the river. 

During the previous 5 years, and even from an earlier period, com- 
caicutta Muui- P^**'*^^ had been frequently made, as has been shown 
cii»i Legislation. above, as to the insanitary condition of the suburbs 
immediately surrounding the town of Calcutta ; and it was strongly 
urged that to effect any improvement in the former they should be 
united with the town under one system of municipal Government. 
Indeed, the necessity of such a measure had been recognised so long 
before as 1864. Accordingly Sir R. Thompson, on the 20th June 
1885, appointed a special Committee to prepare a scheme for the 
amalgamation of the urban portions of the suburbs with the town. 

In the meantime the Government of India, in a letter dated the 
31st August 1885, entirely supported Sir R. Thompson in his 
action towards the Calcutta Corporation, laying down distinctly that 
no question of remission of municipal taxation could possibly arise 
until it was shown that all important sanitary improvements were 
adequately provided for, and that income should be maintained at 
the maximum until the town was properly cleansed^ drained and 
watered. The Secretary of State fully supported the authorities 


in India, and the Army Sanitary Commissioners recorded a memo- 
randum in which they pointed out that nowhere could the plea of 
I^ocal Self-Government be set up as any excuse whatever for averting 
public interference, and advocated a more liberal expenditure on 
sanitary work. They also expressed their approval of the prospect 
of the greater part of the vast population of the city and suburbs 
being placed under one consolidated administration at no distant 
date. The 2 areas, they wrote, were so connected that it was 
scarcely possible to ascertain the death-rate of either area ; and, if 
municipal Calcutta were entirely freed from localising causes of 
epidemics^ it would by no means follow that the public health would 
be safe from disease causes left to develop epidemics in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the improved area. 

The special Committee submitted their Report on the loth 
December 1885. They recommended the inclusion of the 7 suburb- 
an wards within the limits of the metropolitan municipality, and 
stated that, to give effect to their scheme, the existing municipal 
law, Act IV (B. C.j of 1876, should be altered. Accordingly a Bill 


to consolidate and amend the law relating to the municipal affairs of 
the town and . suburbs of Calcutta was introduced in the Bengal 
Legislative Council on the loth April 1886. It was allowed to re- 
msun before the public until the legislature met again on the 27th 
November when, with some remarks from the President and Member 
in charge, it was referred to a Select Committee. 

Its main results were intended to be that the available resources 
of the town would be neither increased nor diminished by the arrange- 
ment ; the suburbs would be assisted to the extent of 3 lakhs, but 
would have to pay themselves also more than they previously paid in 
taxation ; and Government would assume the responsibility of over 
3 iakAs a year, than which no better evidence of their interest in the 
scheme could be supplied. The special Committee had calculated 
that the municipal revenue of the new Calcutta would be about 34 
lakhs of rupees ; whereas in the old area of the town the annual 
income was about 28 lakhs, exclusive of the police-rate. The old 
area of the town consisted of about 6 square miles : the new 
metropolis would cover about iii square miles. The population of 
the town within the jurisdiction of the Corporation amounted to about 
400,000 ; the additional number to be included would be about 
182,000. The total result would not make Calcutta as large or as 
populous as the Bombay municipality which contained about 22 
square miles and 800,000 inhabitants. Generally, while the Bill re- 
cognised the full freedom of the Commissioners in the conduct of 
the affairs of the municipality, it reserved completely the right of 
interference on the part of Government, where circumstances demand- 
ed intervention ; though the area of the municipality was extended, 
the number of Commissioners would not be increased ; the con- 
stitution of a Town Council would be clearly defined, and measures 
should be taken for a fair representation of every section of the 

In the cold weather of 1882-83 ^ Commission was appointed to 
inquire into the working of the chauktdari, or villaire 

Village Police. . 

police, system ; and it submitted a Report shortly 
after the commencement of the following year. The principal 
complaints had been that the chaukidars were not regularly paid, 
and that the panchayats kept no regular accounts. Accordingly, 
a draft Bill came under the consideration of Government during the 


year 1885-86; in which, while retaining iht panckay a/ system, sn 
endeavour was made to provide for a better method of appointment 
of panchayatSy and for the more punctual payment of the salaries of 
the chaukidars. This Bill became law. Act I (6. C.) of 1886, during 
the year 1886-87. The measure affirmed the principle that it was 
better to have the chaukidar as a servant of the villagers and 
subordinate to the principal men of the village than directly under the 
control of the regular police ; and it was held that, if the panchayats 
could be got to act up to their obligations and responsibilities, the 
gain to the public interests would be great, by securing influential 
local co-operation in the prevention and detection of crime, and by 
constituting a local agency which could be utilised in other directions. 

With regard to Civil Justice, in the year 1881-82, owing to the 
Divifltoiud ^^^^ recognised necessity for special measures to 

Appdiate Benches, facilitate the disposal of appeals before the High 
Court, a scheme for the constitution of Appellate Benches in the 
interior was submitted by Sir A. Eden for the approval of the Secre- 
tary of State. The scheme proposed to establish 4 Benches at Patna, 
Burdwan, Dacca, and the z^-Parganas, each consisting of a Covenant- 
ed officer and a member of the Subordinate Judicial Service. It was 
hoped that the appellate work of the High Court would be materially 
Induced. The Hon'ble Judges of the High Court, however, were 
never very favourable to the arrangement ; and, when the matter 
came up for disposal, Sir R. Thompson considered that the financial 
circumstances under which his predecessor had been able to promise 
his support to the scheme obtained no longer. No provision had 
been made in the provincial contract for the large outlay involved, 
and it certainly could not be borne by the provincial revenues in 
their reduced condition. Beyond this it seemed to Sir R. Thompson 
that a much simpler expedient, by which the already existing 
judicial agency at the principal stations could be used to constitute 
Appellate Benches, would meet all the necessities of the case. No 
orders were passed by the Government of India before Sir R. 
Thompson retired. 

Sir R. Thompson had long struggled against ill health but was 

eventually compelled to take a sea trip to Ceylon. 
offidS£Lieu-' During his absence from nth August to 17th 
tepMit Governor. September 1885 Mr. Horace Abel Cockerellc, s. i. 



was temporarily Lieutenant-Governor. His service dated from 1853. 
After filling junior and district appointments he had held charge of 
Several Revenue Divisions, and twice officiated as Chairman of the 
Justices for Calcutta and Commissioner of Police : he was Secretary 
to Sir A. Eden in the Judicial, Political, and Appointment Depart- 
ments from August 1877 ^^ April 1882, and received a C. S. I. for his 
services : he had been a Member of the Bengal Legislative Council, 
and Member of the Board of Revenue from June 1882. He was 
immediately available, and carried on the administration without any 
breach of continuity of policy for the few^ weeks he held office. He 
retired in March 1887. 

The excessive rainfall of August and September 1885 caused exten- 
sive floods in south-west and central Bengal and in 


Other parts of the Bhagalpur Division. The Ganges, 
and the great rivers into which it divides as it passes through central 
Bengal, rose to unusual heights, and spilled in destructive floods 
over the surrounding country. The districts which suffered most, 
and mainly from the breach caused in the Lalthiakuri embankment, 
were Murshidabad and Nadia. In the former no less than 1,250 
square miles, or more than one- half of the total district area, were 
under water. In the latter district nearly 2,200 square miles were 
inundated. Though much temporary hardship and discomfort were 
caused by these floods, they did little permanent harm, except where 
sand was thickly deposited, while the after effects ensured to the 
cultivators for the next few years crops far more abundant than those 
they lost. For the relief of immediate distrei»s relief -circles were 
formed in the affected areas, and a Central Committee was formed 
in Calcutta to collect subscriptions and organise relief for those 
forms of distress with which Government agency could not adequately 
cope. The Committee received Rs. 65,665 in subscriptions, and 
expended Rs. 37,000 in the relief of distress. The balance was 
invested so as to form the nucleus of a distress fund to be applied 
promptly on the occurrence of future calamities by famine or 
inundation in Bengal. 

A great disaster overtook the province of Orissa in the storm- 
wave which submerged a portion of the coast of 

Orina Atorm- 

wave of 22nd the Cuttack district, at the mouth of the Mahanadi 

8eTt«mber 1885. 

river, on the 22nd September 1885. At 6-20 a. m. 


on that date a sea-wave 15 feet in height broke over False Point. 
It submerged 250 square miles in its course; 11 villages were 
completely swept away, every man, woman, and child in them being 
drowned ; 1 50 more villages were entirely levelled, and their crops 
completely destroyed, but a considerable portion of their population 
escaped. It was estimated that altogether about 5,000 persons were 
drowned by the storm-wave. Immediately after the disaster the 
Government officials visited the devastated country and distributed 
food to the survivors. At the beginning of the relief operations, as 
many as 8,000 persons daily were in receipt of charity. The villages 
which were not utterly destroyed recovered from the effects of the 
storm with remarkable rapidity, and within a short time few vestiges 
of its destructive character remained. In the Balasore district much 
less damage was done by the storm-wave. It was stopped by the 
embankment of the sea- coast canal, which thus saved hundreds 
of square miles of country from being submerged by salt water. 
As a protection against a similar visitation a strong place of refuge 
was constructed on the highest ground available at False Point. 

In September 1882 the Government of India, at the instance of 
«i*v 1.^ 1 the Census Commissioner, issued a circular to all 

inquiry. Local Governments and Administrations, suggesting 

that steps should be taken, on the basis of the statistics recorded 
in the Census of 1 88 1, towards collecting fuller and more precise 
information regarding the castes and occupations of the people of 
India. Sir R. Thompson, fully recognising that the provinces 
under his charge, with a population made up of many diverse 
elements, offered a singularly promising field for the proposed 
inquiry, gave effect to the wishes of the Government of India in 
1885 by appointing Mr. H. H. Risley, c. s. to this special duty. 

In publishing the results it was proposed to maintain, so far as 
possible, the distinction between the administrative and the scientific 
branches of the subject. For administrative use it was intended to 
embody in an ethnographic glossary a detailed description of all 
tribes, castes, sub-castes, sections, occupations, and religious sects 
traceable in Bengal, either from the statistics of the Census of 1881 
or from other sources. This work had already been commenced, 
and was likely to be soon completed and be available for use in the 
next Census of Bengal. 


The scientific aspects of the subject were to be dealt with in a 
second volume. The materials for this portion of the work were 
to consist of deductions from the descriptive record of customs 
contained in the ethnographic volume, together with the statistics of 
physical characters as collected. By piecing together the evidence 
comprised under these two heads, it was hoped that it might be 
possible to analyse and classify the chief component elements of 
the population of Bengal, and to offer some explanation of the 
manner in which that population had been developed. 

The objections of a portion of the public to the outstill system, 
The Excise Com- which had been strongly urged during the last years 
miMion. ^j g.^ ^ Edcn's Government, were renewed after 

Sir R. Thompson's accession to office, notwithstanding the strin- 
gent orders issued against the multiplication of shops, which led 
to a large reduction in the number of outstills. At length, in conse- 
quence of clear indications of a serious increase in the consumption 
of spirituous liquors in Bengal, and as there appeared to be reason to 
believe that this increase was to some extent due either to the outstill 
system of excise or to the manner in which that system had 
been worked, Sir R. Thompson, on the 4th December 1883, appoint- 
ed a Special Commission under Sir John P2dgar, k. c. i. e,. c. s. i. 
to consider and report upon the subject of the excise on country 
spirits in all its aspects after careful local inquiry. The Commission 
began their labours on the loth December and were occupied 
continuously from that day until the loth April 1884 on which 
they brought their labours to a close, in examining witnesses, 
inspecting outstills, in practical inquiries and conducting experi- 
nients in distillation of a most valuable nature in different 
districts. The result was embodied in an admirably clear Report, 
submitted on the loth September 1884, which, whatever, might 
be the future systems of Excise in Bengal was sure to take its 
place as a standard work of reference, to which every one 
would turn who might desire information on the history of the 
Excise revenue, or on indigenous methods of distillation and their 

It was, Sir R. Thompson believed, an idea commonly accept^ 
ed by many who had not studied the subject, that the outstill 
system was a novelty ; that it had never been tried before ; and that, 


until the form of the system in existence in 1883 was introduced, 
there had never been any change from the central distillery arrange* 
ments which had immediately preceded it. As a matter of bet, 
however, the outstill system was by far the older of the two, dating, 
it was believed, from the time of the Mughal emperors, and central 
distilleries were only first established in 18 13. It was not till 1S63 
that it was decided to substitute them generally for the older outstills. 
This sadar distillery system, as it was called, was found to encourage, 
illicit distillation, and in 1 871 the outstill system began again to be. 
gradually introduced, and was finally sanctioned on a larger scale in 
1877 and the following years, so that the Excise Commission, in 
commencing their inquiries in 1883, found an exclusive system of 
outstills in existence in all but a few districts where sadar distilleries 
were preserved. Under this system the license-holder paid a certaiix 
fee, the amount of which was commonly settled by auction, for the 
right to distil and sell liquor in a certain fixed place. He was allow- 
ed to work only one still, and was forbidden to distil at night or to 
sell wholesale quantities. Sales after 9 p. m„ or in any place othet 
than the shop for which the license was granted, were also prohibit- 
ed ', but no restrictions were placed either on the quantity to be dis-. 
stilled, or on the quality of the liquor. Under former rules the. 
capacity of the still had been always defined : but in 1878 the rule, 
prescribing a limit of capacity was abrogated under orders of the. 
Board of Revenue, and since then the holder of an outstill license 
had been permitted to increase the size of his still at discretion. ' : 

Under this system the revenue rapidly increased, rising from 
Rs. 28,90,000 in 1877-78 to Rs. 52,13,000 in 1883-84, and financially,^ 
therefore, the scheme was a success. But the Commission's inquiries- 
led them to believe that, even from this point of view, the system, 
for various reasons, would not in the long run prove so lucrative as- 
it at first sight appeared. The most important question, however, was- 
that of increased consumption, and if it was proved that the then existing 
system offered undue encouragement to the drinking of spirits,' 
Sir R. Thompson was of opinion that financial reasons could 
not be allowed to stand in the way of the needed reforms. 'The 
special ■ object, therefore, of the Commission was to ascertain tjie • 
causes of this increase, and to suggest means by which they might- 
be removed. In their . opinion the primary cause of the "growth of 


the habit of drinking among the people was the influence of social 
moral, and religious changes in relaxing the restrictions which had 
previously kept large classes from indulging in spirituous liquors. 
Increase in the purchasing power of the consuming classes was 
assigned as a reason for some part of the increased consumption ; 
but the greater part of it had to be otherwise accounted for, and 
the Commission enumerated the following causes : — (i) the suspen* 
sion in 1878 of the long-established rule limiting the capacity of 
stills, thus enabling the distillers to produce from their large stills 
greatly increased quantities of liquor at greatly reduced prices ; 
(2) the excessive number of shops that had been licensed, total 
population and area having alone been considered, although the 
proportion of the consuming population to the total population 
varied greatly in different districts ; (3) improper selection of sites 
for shops. 

For removing these causes the Commission made certain recom- 
mendations, the principal of which, together with the action taken upon 
them by Government, are here briefly described. The Commission 
was of opinion that the outstill system properly regulated was the 
most suitable for the country in general ; but, when special means 
of close supervision existed, and a large drinking population was 
found in a small and well-defined area, central distilleries, in which 
alone a uniform tax could be levied on spirit according to its strength, 
should be established. Sir R. Thompson accepted this suggestion, 
and it was decided to place such distilleries in certain large towns. 

The Commission also recommended that in other towns the 
outstills should be grouped within one enclosure outside the in* 
habited parts of the town, and that care should be exercised 
in the selection cf the retail shops within the town supplied by 
these stills. Sir R. Thompson considered that this dealt with 
a matter of municipal rather than of excise administration, and 
that, as long as District and Municipal Boards had a voice 
in the selection of sites and other matters of local interest, no 
general rule need be laid down. The essence of the proposal was 
that outstills should not be placed where they were likely to be . 
objected to as nuisances ; and, where no objections were preferred, 
no change need be made. 

It would have been useless, however, to re-establish central dis* 


tilleries if proper safeguards were not provided against the com- 
petition of surrounding outstills ; and this led to the consideration 
of the third recommendation, made by the Commission, that the 
capacity of each still should be limited to the existing demand for 
liquor in the area to be supplied by it, and that the upset price of 
each still should be proportionate to that capacity and calculated on 
the basis of the duty which could be levied by Government on its 
out-turn at a given strength. In connexion with this, other re- 
commendations were made by the Commission, the most important 
of which were that in each district a maximum aggregate capacity 
for all outstills should be fixed, and that the aggregate capacity of 
the fermenting vats allowed to each still should also be fixed. Another - 
recommendation of the Commission was that a minimum price 
should be fixed for the cheapest sort of liquor, according to the 
circumstances of each district and the prices prevailing. The 2 
principal objects of the proposed rule were— ^ri/, to break down- 
the growing tendency towards the establishment of monopolies 
caused by wealthy capitalists being able to force down prices until- 
they drove their poorer rivals out of the trade ; and second^ by thus 
raising average prices and restricting consumption, to encourage 
the production of a more wholesome liquor. Sir R. Thompson was 
not prepared to accept in full these suggestions made by the Com- 
mission without further inquiry and consultation ; and the Board of 
Revenue were therefore requested to make a full experimental trial, 
in the district of Patna, of those points of the system, and in all 
other districts where central distilleries had been established to fix 
a certain area in the neighbourhood of such distilleries within which 
no outstills would be allowed, and a somewhat larger area within 
which the capacity of outstills should be limited* 

The last of the main proposals made by the Commission was 
that excise establishments should be increased. Sir R. Thompson 
accepted tiieir views on this point, and the excise staff was 
strengthened in several districts. 

These orders of Government were not all of them passed till 
the loth March 1886, but the substitution of sadar distilleries for 
outstills was carried out before this date, in 9 large towns during 
1885-86^ and in 2 more from the ist April 1886. 

After the conclusion of the year 1885-86 a full experimental trial. 



of the system recommended by the Commission was conducted at 
Patna. At the outset no difficulty arose on account of the restric- 
tions imposed oiTthe capacity of stills and fermenting vats. In this 
district, during the half-year ending the 30th September, the net 
financial result of the reforms effected was a decrease in the revenue 
of Rs. 10,635 as compared with the corresponding period of the 
preceding year. But the local authorities were confident that this 
loss would be more than made up by increased realisations in the 
next half-year, the average daily receipts on account of duty and 
distillery fees being in December more than double what they 
were in April and May. Sir R. Thompson being of opinion that 
the measure of success already attained was sufficient to justify the 
extension of the system to other districts from the beginning of 
1887-88, orders, were issued accordingly. These orders aimed at 
the cautious development of the system recommended by the Com- 
mission, and the degree of success which had been attained in Patna 
was held to justify the hope that, with due care and attention on 
the part of the local officers, the manufacture and sale of liquor 
throughout Bengal might gradually be brought under efficient control 
without any serious loss of revenue. The experiment of fixing a 
minimum price of liquor was also tried in Patna, and appeared to 
work well. In view, however, of the expediency of working cauti- 
ously in effecting a general change of system involving large financial 
results, • Sir R. Thompson thought it best to gain another year's 
experience in the Patna district before laying down a rule fixing a 
minimum price elsewhere. In all other districts, besides those to 
which the Patna system was to be extended, it was considered suffi- 
cient for the time that the recommendations of the Excise Com- 
mission should be partially adopted, namely, to the extent of restricting 
the capacities of outstills, so as to make them conformable to the 
local demand. Moreover, in those districts in which there were 
sadar distilleries, another step in advance was taken by limiting the 
number and size of the fermenting vessels of the outstills bordering 
on the sadar distillery area. 

While Sir R. Thompson was Lieutenant-Governor, there was in 

Bengal an increase in open railway mileage of 522^. 
miles, or about 104 miles on the average in each ot 
the «> years. The details of the increase will be found in the folloi^ng 



table, which shows that about f ths of it occurred upon the State 
lines and the remaining |ths on the assisted lines. The duty of 
completing the greater portion of the extension of the State lines 
was inherited from preceding administrations ; and the wisdom of 
their policy was shown on the whole to have been justified by the 
increase of provincial revenue which had accrued : — 


East Indian 



Eastern Bengal 

Calcutta and South-Eastern 

Bengal Central 


Northern Bengal 


Bengal and North-Western 











Increase of 










• » • 








■ . • 

1 25 J 





• • . 














1, 969 J 



The manner in which these extensions affected the means of 
communication throughout Bengal may be sketched as follows : — 

A branch of the East Indian Railway was opened from Bankipore 
to the Ganges at Digha ghaf. The Hooghly river was crossed at 
Naihati by a bridge, the importance of which as an engineering 
work was comparable with anything else of the sort previously 
attempted in India. The bank of the Hooghly, upon which 
Calcutta and its wharves are situated, was placed in direct 
railway communication with that part of India from which 
its principal export produce was derived. An enterprising Joint- 
Stock Company connected Tarakeswar, an ancient place of 
Hindu pilgrimage, with the railway system of India. Diamond 



Harbour, wlueh may be considered as the actual mouth of the 

Hooghly, was connected with Calcutta by a branch of the Calcutta 

and South-Eastern Railway. An entirely new line was constructed 

connecting Narainganj, Dacca, and Mymensingh. A swift daily 

steamer service was established between Narainganj and Goalundo 

on the Eastern Bengal State Railway, the chief districts of Eastern 

Bengal being thereby placed in close communication with Calcutta. 

The densely-peopled districts of Central Bengal (Jessore and 

Khulna, with a connected steamer service to Backergunge) were 

brought into railway communication with Calcutta by another Joint* 

Stock Company. The Assam coolie traffic was greatly facilitated 

by the construction of the Kauniya-Dharla line, which shortened by 

several days a tiresome and often deadly journey for this helpless 

class of emigrants. The Tirhut system was extended in 3 directions 

throughout the exceptionally populous districts of Darbhanga and 

Champaran, and was immediately connected by a magnificent bridge 

over the river Gandak with the metre gauge system of railways which 

during the same five-year period was constructed by the Bengal and 

North- Western Railway Company. The latter ran for a distance of 

between 300 and 400 miles through populous and prosperous districts 

in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh down to Sonpur in 

Bengal, where all this newly-developed traffic was delivered on to the 

East Indian Railway by a ferry over the Ganges. The Assam-Bihar 

system was an extension of the Northern Bengal system of metre 

gauge railways into the Purnea and Dinajpur districts, and was, when 

completed, to bring Bihar and Western Bengal into direct 

communication, via Sahibganj on the East Indian Railway, with 

Darjeeling and Assam. 

The following table exhibits the progress made during the 5 
years of Sir Rivers Thompson's administration in the financial deve- 
lopment of railways in Bengal : — 

Head of 

OrosB reoolpte . 
Working expenses 

Not earnings . . 







Rs. Rs. 

87,88,000 41,24,000 
20,40,000 25,00,000 





17,48,000 16,24,000 









From the ist April 1887 the control of the Eastern Bengal State 
Railvmy and of the railways worked by it was vested in the Govern- 
ment of Bengal. 

Archaeology and the conservation of ancient monuments received 

attention from Sir R. Thompson. A lakh and 


a quarter was expended in the repairs of the great 
temple at Bodh Gaya, about Rs. 18,000 in the conservation of Sher 
Shah's tomb at Sasseram, Rs. 12,000 on the Rohtasghar, Rs. 3,000 
in Pun, and about Rs. 9,000 in the exhumation of the great Adina 
masjid at Hazrat Pandua and Gaur. Petty sums were also spent in 
the conservation of the monument over the tomb of the first wife 
and child of Warren Hastings in Murshidabad ; of the old tombs in 
the cemetery at Kasimbazar ; of the monument to the vicims of 
Mir Kasim at Patna ; of the monument to the British soldiers at 
Chattra, and of the old Dutch tombs at Kalkapur. 

The works undertaken at Bodh Gaya were completed, and com- 
prised not only the conservation of the temple of Mahabodhi, but 
the repair of a vast number of old votive memorial and cinerary 
stupas ; of the old Buddhist railing round the Bodhi tree set up 
originally by Asoka ; of the existing remnants of almost all the old 
temples and sacred Buddhist objects seen and described by Hiuan 
Tsiang or mentioned in Buddhist books ; of portions of the great 
monaster)' built by the Ceylonese King; of the Buddha Kunda 
tank with its steps and covered ghat and a portion of the cloisters 
round ; and of the more deserving of the numerous sculptures and 
inscriptions which were brought to light in the course of the opera- 
tions. Some careful excavation by trial trenches undertaken by the 
Archaeological Survey disclosed the lower portions, almost intact, 
of one of the 8 great monasteries which once stood near the great 
temple. This made the second of the great monasteries actually 
found, the first being the great Ceylonese one already mentioned as 
partially repaired ; and there were therefore 6 more yet to be looked 
for. When it was remembered that here for fully 1500 years stood 
the temple and tree, which during that period continued to be, 
with rare interruptions, the head-quarters of the State religion, and 
that for 1800 years before the Muhammadan invasion it was the 
holiest spot in the world for a vast and wealthy body of believers, 
it was not surprising that a lakh and a quarter of rupees should fail 


to exhaust the possibilities of further interesting research. It )^'ould 
rather have been surprising if so small a sum had been found 
sufficient for the thorough exploration of such a spot, and at the same 
time for the renewal of a building which could not have cost less 
than lo lakhs, exclusive of the accessory buildings in the surround- 
ing Necropolis. Of the sculptures, those which had undoubtedly 
belonged to, and k)rmed a part of, the temple or of the other con- 
served monuments, were reset in their original positions, the missing 
cMies being replaced by such others as best suited the vacant positions ; 
but, of the surplus sculptures, although a very large number were 
left at Bodh Gaya, some were placed in the Indian Museums at 
Lahore, Jaipore, South Kensington, Oxford, Edinburgh, Berlin, 
and Vienna. 

The 1 6th of Februar}- 1887 was the day appointed by the 
Viceroy for the celebration in India of the Jubilee 

Celebration of the /. tt i/r ^ . -««■ • * ^ -r-. 

Queen Bmpreiw's of Her Most Gracious Maiesty the Queen Empress 

in commemoration of the 50th year of her reign. 
An Imperial salute of loi guns was fired^ the troops were reviewed 
by the Viceroy, a Thanks-giving service was held at the Cathedral, 
and the Viceroy received addresses from Public Bodies for transmis- 
sion to Her Majesty. On the 17th all Government buildings and 
vessels in the river were illuminated, as well as private premises : 
the Viceroy, Lieutenant-Governor, and others driving in procession 
through the streets of Calcutta. The occasion was observed by 
all — the rich and poor alike — with the greatest enthusiasm. It was 
solemnized not merely by the display of fireworks, by illuminations 
and other festivities, but by works of public utility, such as the con- 
struction of buildings for schools, establishment of dispensaries, 
excavation of tanks, sinking of wells, and the like. In the execution 
of these works, several of the municipalities took an active part, and 
subscribed sums out of their own funds. In Calcutta the celebration 
of Her Majesty's Jubilee was observed by the Municipal Commis- 
sioners, who, besides expending Rs. 43,518 on a display of fireworks 
and a general illumination of the town, voted a sum of Rs. 85,000 
for the- erection of a permanent public memorial consistent with the 
purposes to which the Municipal funds might be legally applied. 
A congratulatory address on behalf of the Corporation was presented. 
A number of prisoners^ both Civil and Criminal, were released, and 


the sentences of others were reduced^ in all the jails throughout 
British India, and at the Penal Settlement in the Andaman Islands. 
The total number of those released was 23,305. Subsequently, the 
2 1 St June 1 887 was appointed to be observed as a holiday by the 
Armies of India, in commemoration of the Jubilee anniversary of the 
accession of Her Majesty. 

A number of matters of less Importance were dealt with by Sir 

Rivers Thompson, and other events worthy of 


mention occurred in his time ; among them were the 
following : the opening of the Jubilee Bridge (designed by Sir Brad- 
ford Leslie, k.c.i.e.) over the Hooghly at Naihati, by the Viceroy on 
the 2 1st of February 1887 — the formation of Union Committees — 
the establishment of medical scholarships for females, and of the 
Maharani Svarnamayi's hostel for female medical students — the re- 
clamation of the Mugheya Domes in Champaran — an inquiry into the 
management of the Presidency Jail — the proposal to introduce an 
Octroi into Calcutta — an inquiry into the educational endowments 
founded by Muhammadans — the employment of Miihammadans in 
the public service — the transfer of the "Midnapore College to the 
local Municipality and of the Berhampore College to the Maharani 
S\'arnamayi, c.i. — the encouragement of Sanskrit learning in Bengal — 
the appointment of a Committee to consider the question of establish- 
ing a Central Railway Station in Calcutta — the amalgamation of 
Municipal and Cantonment police with the regular force — the pro- 
posed establishment of a veterinary School in Bengal. 

From the preceding pages it can be perceived how, owing to 
financial difficulties, the task imposed on Sir Rivers 


Thompson varied from that which fell to the lot of 
his predecessor; During the 5 years] 1882-87 the financial history of 
Bengal was altogether different from that of 1877-82. The contract 
of 1877 was succeeded by a settlement which left little scope for the 
development of the provincial revenues, and which speedily neces- 
sitated a serious contraction in the scale of provincial expenditure. 
Trade at last succumbed to the influences which had produced uni- 
versaV stagnation in the commercial world of Europe and America, 
and its languishing vitality was promptly reflected in many branches 
of the public exchequer. A scanty and uneven rainfall in 3 years in 
succession swallowed up the 5 years of plenty, and, although actual 


distress was nowhere so acute as to call for the intervention of the 
State except on a small and partial scale, in many districts the re- 
sources of the poorer classes were wholly exhausted, and no margin 
whatever left for expenditure on luxuries. It was often difficult to 
provide adequately for the ordinary requirements of the public service, 
and it was necessary rather to seek for opportunities of effecting 
economies than of introducing administrative reforms. The chief 
measures of Sir R. Thompson's Government were of the class to 
which large financial resources were not indispensable. The Bengal 
Tenancy Act, the prosecution of the Kidderpore Docks, the grant of 
an elective constitution to Municipal Boards, the inauguration of 
Local Self-Govemment, the introduction of competitive examinations 
for appointments to the Subordinate Civil Service, the appointment 
of the Commission for the revision of ministerial salaries, and the 
re-arrangement of work and authority in the district and Divisional 
offices — all these were measures whose importance was mainly eco- 
nomic and political, and which left little trace on the financial history 
of the time. Nevertheless funds were provided for certain reforms 
and improvements which the progress of the province had rendered 
more than ordinarily pressing. The establishment of an Agricul- 
tural Department supplied a want to which in other provinces a much 
higher degree of priority had been attached, and which the revision 
of the law of landlord and tenant in Bengal forced into immediate 
prominence. The survey of the district of Muzaffarpur proved a 
successful experiment, and it was hoped that the survey would some 
day be extended to other districts. The Excise Commission sug- 
gested important reforms, and the sacrifice of revenue which their 
proposals involved was cheerfully accepted by the Government as 
instrumental in stamping out an insidious social evil, and as money 
advantageously laid out. The increase to the salaries of the Subor- 
dinate Executive and Judicial Services improved the prospects of a 
deserving body of public servants. The appointment of additional 
judicial officers supplied the means of a swifter, and therefore of a 
better, administration of justice. The progressive additicMis to the 
grant for primary education kept pace with the downward filtration 
among the masses of the desire for mental improvement^ and the 
encouragements offered to European and Muhammadan education 
were acknowledged as equitable measures which had long been felt 


to be of urgent necessity. The Calcutta Exhibition of 1883-84 was 
instrumental in spreading a wider knowledge of the raw products 
of India among the manufacturers of Europe and Australia and in 
acquainting the native populations of India with the capabilities of 
European machinery. In taking over and carrying on the iron-works 
at Barakar, when private enterprise failed, Sir R. Thompson kept 
alive an industry which could not fail to have a great future before it, 
when the mineral wealth of Chota Nagpur and Central India should 
have been adequately exploited. The Orissa Coast Canal was a 
work of supreme importance for the development of Orissa, and 
its completion was the surest safeguard against a repetition of the 
calamity of 1866-67. 

Sir R. Thompson himself suffered, as has been mentioned, from 
indifferent or bad health during the greater part of his 5 years of 
office. He never looked really well : and his Government was not 

one of high pressure or great activity. In the ordinary 

Observations. • 

routine of administration he was easy-going, but his 
was a stormy time, of a few great political controversies, especially 
those of the Ilbert Bill and the Bengal Tenancy Act ; and he was guid- 
ed throughout by the high principles which had distinguished his whole 
career. Other high officers have exhibited the same love of justice, an 
equal devotion to duty and courage : but he was singularly free from 
self-seeking, and appeared to be only anxious to do what was right, 
regardless of the consequences to himself. As a Member of Council 
he had minuted against the withdrawal from Candahar, in opposition 
to the Viceroy, and with the same fearlessness he, as Lieutenant- 
Governor, asserted his own convictions, and adhered to them as he 
thought right. His attitude necessarily drew upon him the animosity 
of the Native Press, which took advantage of the repeal of the Ver- 
nacular Press Act to write with unusual freedom and virulence. On 
the other hand, he gained great popularity with the European Com- 
munity, who appreciated not only the part he took in the Ilbert Bill, 
but the general manliness and the moral qualities of his personal 
character. On the 17th March 1887 he was entertained at a farewell 
dinner by his admirers and friends to the number of about 250. 
After his retirement his extremely bad health— his lungs were 
affected— made it impossible for him to do any active work in 
England, and his time was spent at various health-resorts. He 


wintered twice at Maka, and was on his way to Algiers when he 
became so ill that he had to remain at Gibraltar, and died there in a 
hotel on the 27th November 1890. He was buried in the cemetery 
by the sea-shore. He was married to a daughter of £. Currie, Esq., 
of the Bengal Civil Service, and had four daughters. 

i he 



Fram a. phou> i^ UftftftT* Bourne k Shepherd 


SIR STEUART COLVIN BAYLEY, k. c. s. i., c. i. k. 


When Sir Steuart Colvin Baylev acted for Sir A. Eden as 

Lieutenant-Governor in 1879, it was understood 

Previotw iiroer. ^^^^ ^.^ ^ Thompson's claims to the permanent 

vacancy were preserved : and they were recognised, as has been seen. 
In 1887 no one stood out so prominently for the succession as Sir 
S. Bayley : he was the first, the rest nowhere. Not only had he 
gone through the course of appointments which had culminated in 
the Lieutenant-Governorship in the cases of the first 4 holders of the 
office, but throughout his career he had seemed marked out for 
it. He was the youngest son of William Butterworth Bayley, 
the distinguished Civil Servant of the East India Company (who 
arrived in India on November 6th 1799, officiated as Governor- 
General of Bengal from March 13th to 4th July 1828, left India in 
December 1830, and was elected a Director of the East India 
Company, July 23rd, 1833); he was educated at Eton and Hailey- 
bury : arrived in India 4th March 1856, and held the following 
appointments: Assistant Magistrate-Collector, 24-Par^a/iasy 1856: 
at the Kalaroa and Baruipur subdivisions, 1858-9 : Junior Secretar}- 
to the Government of Bengal, 1862 : confirmed, 1863 : (medical 
leave from February to December 1866) : Officiating Secretary to 
the Government of Bengal, October — December 1865 and March 
1867 : Civil and Sessions Judge, Shahabad, May 1867 : Magistrate 
and Collector, Monghyr, November 1 867 : Additional Secretary to 
the Government of Bengal, January 1868 : Magistrate and Collector, 
Patna,^ December 1868: Civil and Sessions Judge, Tirhut, April 
1870: Commissioner of Chittagong, January 1871 I Officiating 
Secretary to the Government of Bengal, April 1871 : on special 
duty, November 1871 : Commissioner, Presidency Division, January 
1872: Commissioner of Chittagong, February 1872: Commissioner 
of the Patna Division, March 1872, confirmed September 1873 * C.S.I., 
1875: (furlough from September 1875 to October 1876); resumed 


his appointment at Patna, October 1876 : Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Bengal, April 1877, confirmed, May 1877: Additional 
Secretary to the Government of India, Financial Department, August 
1877: Personal Assistant to the Viceroy (Lord Lytton) for famine 
affairs, September 1877 : Additional Secretary, Government of India, 
Public Works Department, Famine Branch, in addition to his own 
duties, December 1877 : k. c. s. i. 24th May 1878 : Secretary to the 
Government of India, Home Department, June 1878: Officiating 
Chief Commissioner of Assam, June 1878 : Officiating Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal, (retaining charge of the Chief Commissioner- 
ship of Assam), 15th July to 1st December 1879, while Sir A. 
Eden was President of the Army Commission ; confirmed as Chief 
Commissioner of Assam, June 1880 : Resident at Hyderabad, March 
1 88 1 : C.I.E.,May 1881 : Member of the Governor-Generars Council, 
9th May 1882 : he became Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, 2nd 
April 1887. His Private Secretaries were Mr. E. G. Colvin, i. c. s. : 
Mr. P. C. Lyon, i. c. s. and his son Lieutenant S. F. Bayley, 
successively. In i860 he had married Anna, daughter of R. N. 
Farquharson Esq., b. c. s., and had a numerous family. 

The year 1887-8 was the first year of the quinquennial period 
«„ 1 -* 1 for which a new contract was made wiih the Govern- 

Finanoe. meut of India. In this contract no material advance 

in the system of decentralization was made, but by a re-distribution 
of the shares of the Provincial and Imperial Governments in the 
3 principal heads. Land Revenue, Stamps and Excise, and by certain 
reductions in expenditure which were considered feasible, a general 
standard of normal revenue and expenditure was obtained, which 
was adopted as the *' Ruling Account ** in settling the contract. 
This Ruling Account showed a surplus of normal revenue over 
normal expenditure of Rs. 6,90,000, and this surplus the Government 
of India decided to appropriate to the Imperial Revenues through 
the Land Revenue head, leaving Bengal with a revenue and expen- 
diture exactly equal. 

The following were the principal changes made in the Provincial 
Receipts and Charges under the new scheme. The Government of 
Bengal was admitted to a quarter share in the Land Revenue collec- 
tions, except those from the Government estates, in the place of 
32.2284 per cent on the entire collections inclusive of those from the 


Government estates ; while its share under Stamps and Excise was 
altered from J under the last contract to } and J respectively, in the 
new contract. The cost of "Surveys and Settlements*' under Land 
Revenue, which under the last contract was divided between the 
Imperial and the Provincial Governments in the proportion of 677716 
and 32*2284 per cent., was made entirely Provincial. Under Stamps 
and Excise the Imperial Government retained only the same 
percentage on charges for collection as had been retained of the 
receipts under those heads. To the existing Provincial charges was 
added the cost of maintenance of agricultural works and embank- 
ments, which was Imperial under the la«t contract. "Refunds and 
Drawbacks'* followed the new proportions assigned for the revenues. 
The Patna-Gaya State Railway was made Imperial, while the Eastern 
Bengal State Railway was made Provincial, with this reservation, that 
any excess over 30 lakhs in the net revenue would be credited to 
Imperial Revenues, and that any deficiency below 20 lakhs would be 
made good by Imperial to Provincial. Hitherto no interest had been 
charged on funds provided for from Provincial Revenues, or from 
Famine Insurance Grant, for outlay on State Railways and Irrigation 
Major works entrusted to the administration of Local Governments : 
under the new contract the interest was to be calculated on the entire 
capital outlay, including " loss by exchange," from the commence- 
ment of operations, irrespective of the sources from which the 
outlay had been met, and the head under which it had been record- 
ed, i. e., Productive, Frontier, Protective, or Ordinar)'. 

The month of May is often prolific in storms in the Bay of Bengal. 
From the 20th of that month in 1887 ^ storm was 

Cyclone of 26th 

May 1887: Ion of reported by the Meteorological Department as 


forming in the Bay. On the 25 th it advanced to the 
east of False Point, towards the Sandheads, and in moderate intensity 
to the Southward of Saugor. The centre of a violent cyclone passed 
to the westward of Saugor early on the 26th ; the sea was described 
as running high beyond all experience. The storm travelled inland, 
eastward of Balasore, and at Calcutta amounted to a moderate gale 
only ; a storm-wave passed up the river, fortunately, on the ebb. 
For several days no vessels left the river except the ship Godtva^ 
which left on the 25th in tow of the steam tug Retriever, and the 
steamer, Sir John Lawrence^ (the Chandbally boat) with 735 passen- 


gers, chiefly pilgrims, which left on the 25th afternoon. The Rttritver 
and the Sir John Lawrence were both lost at sea with all hands, 
except one native fireman of the tug, who was picked up : the Godiva 
cast off, went ashore, and was ultimately saved. A Marine Court of 
inquiry under the Chief Presidency Magistrate was held (lasting 27 
days) into the circumstances attending the loss of the Sir John 
Lawrence (which foundered probably between the Ridge Light and 
Palmyra Point) ; the foolhardiness of the Captain in proceeding to 
sea in such weather was much blamed : and, with a view to lessen 
the danger of sea-going vessels under certain meteorological condi- 
tions, Government adopted such measures as were possible, and 
among them considered the question of improving the Code of Storm 

In 1887-88, there were 3 raids made by the tribes beyond the 
frontier, 2 of which were more serious than any 

Froutior tribc8 

of the chittagong which had occurred since 1872. The first was an 

HlUTmctn. 1 .,1 r i_ .J t 

attempted attack on the village of the widow of a 
chief named Vanoya, on the 27th January 1888, by a party of north- 
ern Howlongs. A guard had been posted in the village at the 
Rani's request, and, as the village sentries were on the alert, the 
enemy retired, killing a villager whom they met on their way back. 
The second raid was committed on the 3rd February 1888. The 
camp of Lieutenant Stewart, who was employed on survey duty 
within the Hill Tracts district, was attacked by Howsata Shindus ; he 
and his 2 European soldiers and a native sepoy were killed. 
The camp was taken by surprise, and the remainder of the guard 
appear to have been seized with a panic, and to have fled without 
attempting resistance. In the third case an attack was made on the 
village of Rowajah Prenkyne, situated on the Chi ma Khal, in the 
south of the Hill Tracts, on the 15th Februar> 1888, by southern 
Shindus. Four men were killed and 2 wounded, one of whom 
subsequently died, while 23 persons were carried off as captives. 
These raids were committed on the north, centre and south of our 
lines, and the Commissioner of Chittagong and the Deputy Com- 
missioner of the Hill Tracts recommended that an expedition should 
be sent to prevent the perpetration of the outrages which, in their 
opinion, showed clearly that the memory of the punishment inflicted 
in 1871-72 had faded from the minds of the tribes. Failing an 


expedition, the Commissioner recommended that the frontier guards 
should be considerably strengthened, and at least 3 new posts held 
in force. The Government of India decided against undertaking 
the punishment of these outrages during the cold season of 1888-89, 
but a force of 250 sepoys was despatched to the Hill Tracts to act 
as a reserve. 

But in 1889-90 it was considered necessary to undertake an ex- 
Lushai pedition in the Chin-Lushai country. For the peace 

Expeditiou. qI ^y^q frontier it was essential that the tribes who 

had raided should be punished. Previously Government had been 
content to punish and evacuate th e country attacked : this time it 
was determined to punish and control. This new policy was 
rendered necessary by the fact that Upper Burma had been annexed, 
so that Lushai-land had become an enclave of head -hunting savages, 
surrounded by settled British territory, whereas it had previously been 
a buffer between India and the King of Burma. The same policy 
of bringing these wild tribes under control was being simultaneously 
worked in the Chin-Hills from the Burma side : the expeditions 
from both sides worked in unison. The operations were brought 
to a successful conclusion. A number of captives, who had been 
carried off in the Chengri valley and Chima valley raids, were re- 
covered, and in addition to the permanent posts at Demagri, Burkal, 
and Ruma, and the newly established one at Lungleh, 3 temporary 
posts at Pyramid Hill, Joormorang, and Keokradong were occupied 
during the year. The frontier police force performed their very 
arduous duties in connection with the expedition cheerfully and well, 
and the coolie corps from the Sonthal Parganas was of great service. 
Two parties of Shindus who lived to the south of Fort Lungleh, 
and whose country was not affected by the expedition, entered British 
territory apparently for raiding purposes, but patrol parties were 
immediately despatched and prevented any mischief being done. 
Trade again declined in consequence of the unsettled state of the 

*Between Nepal and Bhutan is situated the small State of Sikhim, 

or the " New Palace,'' known to the inhabitants 
Tibetan aggres- as Rong, and to Tibet as the * land of nee. There 

has been no occasion to mention Sikhim affairs 

* Moral and M-iterial progress of India, 1891-92, p. 23. 


since the visits of Sir R. Temple and Sir J. Edgar to that 
country and the passes into Tibet, which led up to the construction 
of the trade road to the Tibetan frontier vid the Jeylap pass. But 
they assumed considerable prominence in the latter half of the 
decade 1880- 1890 : and a graphic account of our relations with 
Sikhim, and of the Tibetan aggression into Sikhim and its repulse 
by our troops, will be found in Mr. H. H. Risley's interesting Intro- 
duction to the official Gazetteer of Sikhim (1894). Some extracts 
from this Introduction will give a complete account of these 
important events. 

'' Seven years later, the question of promoting commercial inter- 
course with Tibet, which had dropped out of notice during the 
troubles in Afghanistan, was again pressed on the Government of 
Bengal in the general interests of British trade in the East Mr. 
Colman Macaulay, Financial Secretary to that Government, was 
deputed to visit Sikhim and the Tibetan frontier in order to inquire 
into certain rumours of the stoppage of trade through Darjeeling by 
Tibetan officials ; to ascertain whether a direct road could be opened 
through the Lachen valley between Darjeeling and the province of 
Tsang, celebrated for the quality of its wool ; and if possible to 
communicate, through the Tibetan officials at the head of the Lachen 
Valley, a friendly message from the Government of India to the 
minister at Tashe-lhunpo, the capital of Tsang. At Giagong in the 
north of Sjkhim, Mr. Macaulay met the Jongpen or civil officer of 
the Tibetan district of Kamba, and collected much interesting infor- 
mation regarding the possibilities of trade between Tibet and India. 
In the following year^ 1885, under instructions from the English 
Foreign Office, he visited Pekin, and obtained from the Chinese 
Government passports for a mixed political and scientific Mission to 
proceed to Lhassa for 3 or 4 months, to confer with the Chinese 
Resident and the Lhassa Government on the free admission of native 
Indian traders to Tibet, and the removal of obstructions on the trade 
through Sikhim and Darjeeling, it being understood that no proposal 
for the general admission of Europeans would be brought forward. 

''Early in 1 886 the Mission was organised, and assembled at 
Darjeeling with a small escort of native troops for the protection of 
the treasure and presents which it carried. While it was waiting to 
start, negotiations commenced with China concerning the north- 


eastern frontier of Upper Burma, then recently annexed, and in 
deference to Chinese susceptibilities the Government of India con- 
sented to forego their intention of despatching a Mission to Lhassa. 
This forbearance, though highly appreciated by China, seems to 
have been misunderstood by the monastic party in Tibet, whose 
desire to promote a policy of exclusion, and to maintain their own 
monopoly of trade with India, was connived at by the Chinese 
Resident. Arguing in true Asiatic fashion, the monks concluded that 
we broke up our Mission because we were afraid of them. They 
assumed a highly aggressive attitude, and sent a small body of 
Tibetan militia to occupy Lingtu, a point about 12 miles to the 
Sikhim side of the frontier, on the top of a high peak crossed by 
our road to the Jeylap, one of the passes of the Chola range. Here 
the invaders constructed, at an elevation of 12,617 feet above the 
sea, a stone fort, blocking and commanding the road ; they warned 
of! one of our native engineers, • and announced their intention of 
stopping all trade by that route between Tibet and India. This 
open violation of territory under our protection was at first looked 
upon by us as a temporary outburst of Tibetan Chauvinism, which 
we could well afford to disregard. It was confidently expected that 
the mob of archers, slingers, and matchlockmen collected on a barren, 
windswept ridge at a height which even Tibetans find trying, would 
speedily fall away under stress of cold and starvation ; and that the 
Chinese Government, moved partly by our diplomatic remonstrances, 
and partly by fear lest we should treat the Lingtu demonstration as 
a pretext for entering Tibet in force, would compel the Lhassa 
authorities to adjust their relations with Sikhim on a basis involving 
the recognition of our predominance in that State. 

** Our expectations were signally disappointed. Not only did the 
Tibetans hold their ground at Lingtu with characteristic Mongolian 
obstinacy, but their refusal to receive letters or to enter into negotia- 
tions with us soon began to produce an alarming effect in Sikhim. 
When called upon to visit Darjeeling in June 1887 for the purpose 
of conferring with the Lieutenant-Governor concerning the affairs of 
his State, (with a view to induce him to modify his relations with Tibet 
and to return to his previous friendly policy torwards this Govern- 
ment), the Raja of Sikhim, after exhausting the standard Oriental 
excuses, replied in so many words that he and his people had in 


1886 signed a treaty declaring that Sikhitn was subject only to China 
and Tibet. He was therefore unable to come to Darjeeling without 
the express permission of the Tibetan Government. 

••■ ••• ••• ••• ••• •«» 

'' From the commencement of our relations with Sikhim there 
have been two parties in that State — one which may be called the 
Lepcha or national party, consistently friendly to our Government, 
and a foreign or Tibetan party, steadily hostile. The family of the 
chiefs has generally been by way of siding with the latter, partly in 
consequence of their habit of marrying Tibetan women, and partly 
through their fondness for Chumbi in Tibet. Of late years a further 
complication has been introduced by the settlement of colonies of 
Nepalese in parts of Sikhim — a measure favoured by the Lepchas 
generally. These settlers look to us for protection in case of danger, 
and are naturally friendly to our Government ; but their presence is 
regarded with disfavour by many influential Lamas, who allege that 
they waste the forests, allow their cattle to trespass, and make them- 
selves unpleasant neighbours in other ways. In truth, however, the 
unwarlike Sikhimese have a wholesome dread of the fighting races 
of Nepal, and fear lest the industrious Newars who have settled 
along their southern border should be merely the forerunners of an 
invading army of Gurkhas. So long as these 3 parties maintained 
what may be called their natural relations, there was no fear of our in- 
fluence declining, and the internal affairs of the country could be trusted 
to adjust themselves with the minimum of interference on our part 
But when we came to inquire how things actually stood, and to look 
below the surface of the Lingtu demonstration, we were forced in 
spite of ourselves to admit that within the last 3 or 4 years some 
remarkable changes had taken place in the political situation. Tibet 
had assumed an attitude of unmistakable, though probably cautious 
aggression ; while the leaders of the Sikhim people, and Nepalese 
settlers with influence and property in that country, had begun to 
ask themselves seriously whether it might not be necessary for their 
ultimate safety to cast in their lot with the Tibetan party. These 
men, although as anxious as ever to keep up their former relations, 
and fully as hostile to Tibetan encroachment, had begun to doubt 
our desire or our ability to assist them, and openly expressed their 
fear of being ** drowned " as they worded it, if they persisted in 


trying to swim against the current now running in favour of Tibet. 
The head of the Nepalese party, himself a resident of Darjeeling, 
explained in the clearest language that he would do anything we told 
him to do if assured of our support and ultimate protection ; but 
that, failing this guarantee, he must make his peace with the Tibetan 
party as the only hope of saving his property in Sikhim from con- 
fiscation, and his relatives there from imprisonment or death. The 
fact that this line was taken by a representative of the Nepalese 
settlers in Sikhim was of itself the clearest indication of the extent 
to which our influence had been undermined. Things must have 
gone very far before these settlers — people almost bigoted in their 
Hinduism, with just enough Mongolian blood in their veins to 
make them hate the Mongols — could bring themselves to con- 
template the possibility of coming to terms with their ancient enemies. 
Things clearly had gone so far that, unless we bestirred our- 
selves in a speedy and effective fashion, Sikhim would either 
become once for all a province of Tibet, or, if we were 
not prepared to acquiesce in that solution of the difficulty, would 
have to be regularly conquered by us, with the people of the 
country either actively hostile, or, which is perhaps worse, sulkily 
and treacherously neutral. Some months before representations 
had been made to China in the belief that her influence would suffice 
to bring about a peaceful settlement. But it is a far cry from Pekin 
to Lhassa; the wheels of State move slowly in China, and no 
effective action appears to have been taken. In default, therefore, 
of any means of introducing the Tibetans themselves to civilised 
methods of settling international disagreements, it was decided to 
send an ultimatum to the troops at Lingtu, warning them that, if 
they did not abandon the post by the 14th. of March, they would be 
driven out by force of arms. Meanwhile, lest it should be supposed 
that even then we were not in earnest, the 32nd Pioneers, a very 
fine regiment of low-caste Sikhs, were sent forward to bridge the 
Rongli river, and His Excellency the Viceroy addressed a letter to 
the Dalai Lama, explaining the reasons which had induced him to 
take so decided a line of action. 

«.• ... •••' ••• •■• ••• 

The peculiar position of Sikhim renders it impossible for lis 
to ignore it as we ignore Bhutan, or to treat it on terms of compara- 


tivQ equality as we treat Nepal. Sikbim cannot stand by itself, aiK), 
if we withdrew our support, it must ultimately fall either to Tibet or 
to Nepal. But for our treaty obligations the latter consummation 
would hardly be one to be deeply regretted, but it is difficult to see 
how it could be brought about peaceably. The Tibetan party 
would certainly try to hold the countr>' for themselves ; and, although 
the stronger races of Nepal would probably win in the long run, the 
period of transition would be one of intolerable anarchy. Once let 
our hold be relaxed, and Sikhim would become the Alsatia of the 
Eastern Himalayas, and such a state of things would react most 
formidably on the security of life and property in the great European 
settlement of Darjeeling. Every rood of land in that district that 
is not expressly reserved by Government for the cultivation of 
food-crops has already been taken up for tea, and a very large 
capital has besn sunk in its cultivation, which gives employment 
to an enormous number of natives, mostly immigrants from 
Nepal. On all sides the hills are dotted with Europeans' bungalows ; 
tea-gardens cover the slopes which face towards Sikhiqft ; and the 
summer residence of the Head of the Bengal Government is to 
all appearance within a stone's-throw of the stream which forms 
the boundary of British territory. The station of Darjeeling itself 
is no doubt adequately protected by the European troops stationed 
at the cantonment of Jalapahar ; but a large number of outlying 
tea-gardens are absolutely at the mercy of possible raiders from 
Sikhim. Nor is it only the planters and their native labourers that 
have to be considered. Many of our subjects, Tibetans settled in 
Darjeeling, Lepchas, and Nepalese, have large transactions and 
interests in Sikhim, about which disputes constantly arise. For the 
last 2$ years our relations with the Sikhim Government have been so 
close, and our hold over it so strong, that the Deputy^ Commissioner 
of Darjeeling has, as a rule, found little difficulty in settling such 
disputes when referred to him. Processes, both civil and criminal, 
issued by the Darjeeling Courts, are virtually current in Sikhim, 
and the Darjeeling police have free access to the country. Sikhim, 
in fact, has been treated substantially as part of British India, subject- 
ed for political reasons to the nominal rule of a princelet of the 
Merovingian type. An instance will serve to illustrate what is meant. 
In July 1888 a murderous outbreak occurred in the Darjeeling jail ; 


a warder was killed and 8 convicts escaped. Some fled to Nepal, 
others were believed to have taken refuge in Sikhim. In the case 
of Nepal no hot pursuit was possible; the frontier was close, 
and we could not follow our criminals over it. The utmost that 
could be done was to demand extradition through the Resident at 
Katmandu, sending a formal record of the evidence against the 
offenders, with proof of the nationality of each. In the case of Sikhim 
no such formalities were necessary. The Deputy Commissioner 
sent off a party of armed police with orders to arrest the runaways, 
wherever found, and bring them back at once. Now, if Sikhim 
were allowed to become a part of Tibet, cases of this kind would 
give rise to inconvenient negotiations, and might even become a 
cause of friction between our representative at Pekin and the Chinese 
Government. It must further be remembered that a Tibetan Sikhim 
would lack the stability, the common sense, and the capacity for 
gradual advance towards civilisation, which characterise the Nepal 
Government. An extradition treaty would hardly be workable,* and 
every absconding criminal would become the subject of an irritating 
diplomatic wrangle. 

" Enough has perhaps been said to show that the obligation of 
driving the Tibetans out of Sikhim was imposed on us by the essen- 
tial conditions of our policy towards the east Himalayan States ; 
that this policy is a just and reasonable one ; and that it involves the 
assumption on our part of no more authority than is necessary if we 
are to keep the peace in this particular corner of the Indian Empire. 
To maintain this policy by the cheapest and most effective means 
was the sole object of the military operations commenced in March 
1888, and terminated by the engagement of the 24th September of 
that year. For the better understanding of the principles on which 
this little war was conducted, a further glance at the conformation of 
the country will be needed. Lingtu is a peak about 12 miles to the 
Sikhim side of the frontier, over the top of which our road runs to 
the Jeylap pass. The sides of this peak are very precipitous, and the 
road could not have been taken along them except at great expense. 
A force holding Lingtu can therefore block the road, and can also 
command the steep downs below the Jeylap, where Tibetan herdsmen 
pasture their sheep and cattle during the summer months. Both 
points probably counted for something with the Tibetans, who have 


a considerable, if not an excessive, sense of the value of position in 
warfare, and who seem also not to have overlooked the possible 
support which the habits of the herdsmen might give to the theory of 
a pastoral frontier extending to the Gamei. As a matter of fact, 
no such theory is at all tenable. The practice arises partly out 
of the necessities of the case — the pastures lie on both sides of the 
frontier, and cattle are bound to stray — and partly from the accident 
that a large part of the property owned in Tibet by the Rajas of 
Sikhim and their wives has consisted of cattle tended by Tibetan 
herdsmen, their servants. On the Singilela range, where it forms 
the border between Darjeeling and Nepal, Nepalese shepherds 
feed their flocks on either side of the frontier, paying grazing fees 
to our Forest officers — ^just as the Tibetans pay rent to the Raja of 
Sikhim for the period spent by them on the Sikhim side. But no 
Nepalese ofUcial would be so inconsequent as to make this a reason 
for asserting that the whole of the grazing tract belonged to Nepal. 

''At the beginning of hostilities, while our troops were being 
moved up from the plains, public opinion in India had hardly made 
up its mind to take the Lingtu garrison seriously. A turn for cheap 
swagger is a prominent trait in the Tibetan character, and it seemed 
not impossible that, in invading Sikhim, the Lamas were merely 
'Strying it on", and would withdraw their rabble directly the advance 
of our troops showed that we were in earnest. In order to leave open 
the door to an early reconciliation, and to make it cles^r that our only 
object was to restore the stains quo in Sikhim, and to secure that 
country and Bhutan from future aggressive interference on the part 
of Tibet, General Graham was directed not to pursue the enemy 
across the frontier, unless it was absolutely necessary to do so for 
military reasons. These instructions were carefully observed. In 
the storming of the stockade* at Jeyluk, a short distance below Lingtu, 
only 32 Tibetans were killed; and no attempt was made to pursue 
the Lingtu garrison, who fled from their fort when Sir Benjamin 
Bromhead and some men of the Pioneers (and the Derbyshires) 
reached the gate. The methods of defence adopted at Jeyluk recall 
some of the incidents of mediaeval warfare. Walls and stockades 
had been built across the most precipitous part of the road ; the 

*The stockade at Jeyluk was carried on the 20th March and Lingtu taken on 
the 2l8t idem. 


road itself was cut away so as to leave an impassable chasm ; rocks 
aiid tree-trunks were piled at favourable points, with levers to hurl 
them down on an ascending enemy ; and slings and arrows were 
freely, but vainly, used as our men advanced. The issue, one would 
think, might have shown that the weapons of Morgarten avail little 
against modem infantry. But the lesson was lost on the fanatical 
monks of the great monasteries around Lhassa. Their only answer 
to our pacific messages was to hasten up to the frontier all the troops 
they could collect, and to occupy the Jeylap and Pembiringo passes 
with a continually increasing force. Meanwhile we had fortified the 
more sheltered and defensible position of Gnatong, about 8 nriles 
to the south of the Jeylap, and lay waiting there for events to develop 
themselves. The whole of April and the early part of May were 
spent by the Tibetans in massing their troops on their own side of 
the passes. On the 21st May Sir Steuart Bayley arrived at the 
Gnatong camp on a visit, of which the enemy made an occasion for 
an attack, with a view possibly to his capture. On the 22nd. May, 
encouraged by a promise of victory from the ** shaking oracle " at 
Naichang, the Tibetans attacked Gnatong in force, were repulsed with 
heavy loss, and retired over the Jeylap. In order to avoid needless 
slaughter, our men were not encouraged to follow the flying enemy 
farther than was necessary to completely break up the attack and 
convince the Tibetans that they had been really defeated. This con- 
viction, however, came slowly to those who had taken no part in the 
fight. Strange rumours of the prowess of " the Lama army " that 
was gathering at Lhassa found their way across the frontier ; fresh 
troops were beaten up in all directions ; terrible threats were con- 
veyed to the leaders of the force on the frontier ; and every thing 
went to show that the counsels of the monastic party were still for 
open war. It is hardly surprising that this should have been so. The 
new Ampa, despatched by China with instructions to bring about a 
peaceful settlement, had not yet arrived, and the Lamas lacked the 
sagacity to perceive that we were only holding back in order to give 
him time to make his influence felt. To their eyes we appeared to 
forego without purpose our own advantage, and they drew from this 
the conclusions which most Asiatics would draw under similar cir- 

" Nevertheless, though the Lamas knew it not, their obstinacy, 


wasting itself on our defensive tactics, was daily bringing us 
nearer to the real object of the campaign. At relatively small 
cost to ourselves, we were wearing out the resources of Tibet, 
and leading her on to strike the blow which should be our oppor- 
tunity. The prisoners taken at Gnatong confirmed the reports 
received from our officers in Almora and Ladakh, that forced levies 
had been beaten up from the most distant provinces, and were fed 
and kept together with the utmost difficulty. The Tibetan commis- 
sariat is indeed somewhat less elaborate than our own. Forty 
pounds of barley flour, half a brick of tea, half a pound of salt, half 
a small sheep's bladder of butter, and 3 id. to buy meat, are said to 
represent a month's rations for a fighting man ; and it may be 
surmised that he gets little or no pay beyond this. But the simplest 
supplies are hard to obtain in a barren region intersected by 
mountain-ranges, and wanting in all effective means of carriage ; 
while a militia snatched on the spur of the moment from pastoral 
and agricultural pursuits is proverbially unsuited for prolonged 

*' As soon, then, as it was clear that Tibetan patience was coming 
to an end, and that our forbearance was still mistaken for timidity, 
fresh troops were ordered up and preparations made for bringing 
ihe campaign to a close directly the rains were over. By the middle 
of August, General Graham had under his command at Gnatong 
a wing of the Derbyshires, the 32nd Pioneers (Sikhs), one of the 
newly raised Gurkha regiments, and 6 mountain guns — in all, nearly 
2,000 men. After a month of waiting for fine weather, the conclusive 
engagement was brought on by the action of the Tibetans them- 
selves. Two ridges, the Tukola and the Nimla, intervene between 
our position at Gnatong and the Kaphu valley, into which the Jeylap 
and Pembiringo passes open. On the night of the 23rd September 
1888, our advanced pickets came in as usual, and reported no 
unusual activity on the part of the Tibetans. At daylight on the 
morning of the 24th the Gnatong garrison became aware that the 
enemy had advanced during the night 4 miles from their camp ; had 
occupied the Tukola ridge, 13,550 feet above the sea, and 1,500 feet 
higher than Gnatong ; and had built a stone wall 2 miles in length 
all along the crest of the ridge. Notwithstanding this marvellous 
piece of impromptu engineering, the weakness of their new position 


was apparent at a glance. The whole of their large force, numbering 
more than 11,000 men, was distributed in line along the wall; no 
attempt had been made to take advantage of the ground or to con*- 
centrate troops at points of importance ; while the entire position 
was enfiladed by the Tukola peak, on which their right flank rested. 
Once in possession of this peak, less thsn a mile and-a-half from 
Gnatong, we could roll up the enemy's line at leisure, and the con- 
formation of the ground was such that a force retiring towards the 
Jeylap musft need suffer terribly during its retreat. This fact deter* 
mined the scheme of our attack. Approaching the Tukola peak by 
a route which covered them from the fire of its defenders, the 
Gurkhas carried the position by a rush, and their attack^ combined 
with the paralell advance of the Pioneers, swept the Tibetans from 
the ridge. In their flight down that fatal hill, and the ascent 
of the Nimla ridge, which lay between them and the Jeylap, the 
ill-armed, undrilled militia whom the monks had sent forth as the 
army of Tibet lost nearly a tenth of their number in killed and 
wounded. On our side. Colonel Sir Benjamin Bromhead, command- 
ing the 3 and Pioneers, was severely wounded in the attempt to take 
prisoners 3 Tibetans, whom he believed to have surrendered ; one 
of the Gurkhas was severely, and .2 Pioneers were slightly, wounded. 
No effort was made by the Tibetans to rally their broken troops or to 
keep up a running fight ; the rout was complete. We bivouacked 
that night in the enemy's camp on the Jeylap, and no resistance was 
offered to our advance upon Rinchagong next day. Straggling 
parties of the enemy were seen emerging from the Tibetan side of 
the Pembiringo pass, but they broke off into Bhutan as soon as they 
realised that we were about to enter Rinchagong, and the village 
was empty when our toops reached it. The march to Chumbi 
through the beautiful valley of the Mochu was a mere promenade, 
and our troops returned to Gnatong without seeing any more of the 

" There seems to be reason to believe that this unavoidably 
severe lesson has been taken to heart by the Tibetans. The force 
which was dispersed at Gnatong had been drawn from all parts 
of the country, and the knowledge of out overwhelming military 
superiority must by this time be so widely diffused that even the 
arrogJtnce of the Lamas can no longer affect to ignore it. Indica- 


tions, indeed, are not wanting that the Tibetan claim to suzerainty 
over Sikhim had already been practically abandoned, though the 
Tibetans tried hard to retrieve their defeat in the field by a diplomatic 
triumph of the Fabian type, and seem for a time to have had the 
support of China in their efforts to tire out our representa- 

"The Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1890 secures the formal 
acknowledgment of our rights which the Gnatong victory entitles us 
to demand. At the close of a costly and vexatious campaign, carried 
on at an elevation never before reached by regular troops, and 
involving transport difficulties of the most serious kind, it was clearly 
essential to have something in the nature of a final settlement to show 
for our trouble. 

'' But we can afford to be content with a distinct surrender of the 
indefinite claim to control the course of events in Sikhim which 
for the last 3 years has troubled the peace of our frontier and 
stopped all trade between Darjeeling and Tibet. Above all things, 
we have no call to irritate the Tibetans and possibly excite the 
jealous territorial susceptibilities of China by introducing stipulations 
granting to European traders or travellers the coveted right of 
exploiting the commercial and scientific treasures of the interior of 
Tibet. Traders would assuredly fall foul of the monopolies reserved 
to the monks of the great monasteries ; while scientific research, 
however modest in its aims, could scarcely fail to come into collision 
with some form of religious or social prejudice. Here surely is one 
of the cases where " the half is more than the whole." Be the treaty 
never so meagre, we anyhow remain in possession of the disputed 
tract, while the roads and bridges made during the campaign ensure 
us the command of the passes against Tibetan inroads. Our 
influence is predominant in Sikhim ; it has been vigorously asserted 
by the introduction of essential reforms in the government of the 
State, and we need not fear that it will hereafter be permitted to 

In* short, the Anglo-Chinese agreement of 1890 provided for 
the boundary between Tibet and Sikhim being settled in accordance 
with our contentions ; for the recognition of the British Protectorate 

* Sir 8. Bayley*8 Introduction to " The 2nd BaUalion DerbyMrt Regimad 
in iU Sikhim expedition of 1888,'' 6y GapUin IggiUden. 


over Sikhim, with exclusive control over its internal administration 
and its foreign relations ; and in the future, for trade facilities, which 
have been systematically evaded. So far as Sikhim is concerned, 
tiie effect has been admirable ; the country is progressing peaceably 
and rapidly, untroubled by Tibetan aggressiveness. 

The reforms above mentioned were — the appointment of a Politi- 
cal Agent (Mr. J. C. White, of the Public Works Department) at 
Guntok to assist the Maharaja in Council with his advice in the 
administration of affairs, the establishment of a Council for the 
conduct of ordinary, civil, criminal and revenue work, the settlement 
of unoccupied waste land and land occupied by monasteries, and the 
preservation of sal forests by bringing them under the direct control 
of the darbar. 

In January 1888 the Indian Public Service Commission presented 
its report to the Government of India. It had been 

The Indian 

PabUe serrice appointed in October 1886 (consisting of 14 members 


with Sir Charles Aitchison, k. c. s. i. Lieutenant- 
Governor of the Panjab as President) to consider the question of the 
admission of natives to higher and more extensive employment in the 
civil administration in India, a question which affected Bengal as 
much as any other Province in India. The circumstances which gave 
rise to the necessity for this Commission have been summarized as 
♦follows : — 

*^ As regards the admission of natives of India to the administra- 
tion, it was enacted in 1833 under 3*4 Will. IV., c. 85, s. 87, 
that " no native of the said territories (India), nor any natural bom 
subject of His Majesty resident therein, shall by reason only of his 
religion, place of birth, descent, colour, or any of them, be disabled 
from holding any place, office, or employment, under the said (East 
India) Company." The great extension of the system of State 
instruction that has since taken place, together with the establishment 
of Universities in the 5 principal towns of India, soon supplied the 
Governments with a wide and amply-stocked field of selection for 
most of the offices other than those usually held by members of the 
Covenanted Service. For this last, however, in spite of the removal 
of disabilities of race or creed, up to 1870, only one native of the 
country had successfully competed. In that year, therefore, an Act 

* Moral and Material Progresa of India Report, 1891-92 p. 74. 


was passed (33 Vic. c. 3), under which natives of India of proved 
merit and abih'ty could be employed in the Civil Service of Her 
Majesty in India without entering that service in the manner provided 
in the Act for the Government of India, 1858. The rules under this 
Act, which had to be sanctioned by the Secretary of State, were at first 
drawn up so as to confifte the field of choice to those who had proved 
their merit and ability by their previous service in the subordinate 
ranks of the service of the Crown, but a revised code was afterwards 
sanctioned, in which this restriction was removed. One or two 
appointments only, and those to the judicial branch of the service, 
were made under it. The subject was reconsidered in 1879, ^^^ 
fresh provision made, under which the recruitment by this means 
could extend up to ^ of the total number of Civilians appointed in 
the year, and the nominee should be on probation for 2 years after 
his selection. A most important point was prominently brought by 
the Government of India in promulgating these rules to the notice 
of the local authorities who had the duty of selecting the nominees ; 
namely, that in their opinion, the appointments should, generally 
speaking, be confined to young men of good family and social 
position, possessed of fair abilities and education, to whom the offices 
open to them in the inferior ranks, or uncovenanted service, had not 
proved a sufficient inducement to come fonvard for employment, 
whilst the appointment of men already in the ser\ace of Government, 
or in the practice of a profession, should be quite exceptional and 
confined to persons who had obtained great distinction in their former 
career. This recommendation was based on the experience of the 
results of the extension of Public Instruction, as above mentioned. 
Advantage of the new system had been taken to the full by the 
sedentary or literate classes, who, except under the Brahman Peshwas, 
and as financiers and accountants under the Muhammadan rule, had 
been debarred from reaping the whole benefit of their intellectual 
superiority. But the ruling classes of the Hindus, and, still more 
markedly, the upper grades of the foreign community that was in 
power immediately before the introduction of the British regime, 
kept studiously aloof from institutions that would bring them into 
rivalry) and probably an unsuccessful one, with the classes whom they 
had so long regarded as their inferiors in position and capacity. In 
a very few years, however, it was found that the attempt to introduce 


the latter element into the administration by the above means was a 
failure, as men could not be got who combined high social position 
with the requisite intellectual and educational qualifications, and the 
men who were appointed were in many cases of a class that would 
have been content to have been provided for in the lower grades of the 
public service, above which their qualifications in either sense, social or 
intellectual, did not rise. In consideration of the fact, therefore, 
that, through the scheme inaugurated under the Statute of 1870, the 
end which it had been the wish of the Government to attain, whether 
on the ground of political expediency or of administrative advantage, 
had been in no way furthered, it was determined to institute an inquiry 
by means of a Commission on which the natives of India should be 
as adequately as possible represented, mth the object of devising a 
scheme which might reasonably be hoped to possess the necessary 
elements of finality, and to do full justice to the claims of natives of 
India to higher employment in the public service.'* 

The Government of India expressed their views on the Report of 

the Indian Public Service Commission in a despatch of the 9th 
October 1888, which the Secretary of State answered on the 12th 
September 1889. Lord Cross wrote : — 

*• The scheme framed by the Commission does not suggest any very 
serious change in the main features of the existing system of administra- 
tion. It proposes that, for the conduct of the higher branches of the 
Executive and Judicial work throughout India, there should continue to 
be, as at present, 2 distinct Services. The first of these would be the 
existing Covenanted Civil Service, which the Commission has proposed 
to call the Imperial Service, recruited by competition in England, and open 
without d istinction of race to all natural-born subjects of Her Majesty. 
Its numbers would continue to be regulated on a scale which would enable 
it to fill the majority of the highest civil offices, with such a number of 
smaller offices as will provide a course of training for the younger men. 
The second of the 2 Services would be called the Provincial Service, and 
it is to the constitution of this Service that the principal recommendations 
of the Commission refer. It would be recruited in each Province of India 
separately, and would hold the higher appointments of the existing 
Uncovenanted Service, together with a certain number of the appoint- 
ments now ordinarily reserved by law or practice to the Covenanted Civil 
Service, which would be transferred to the Provincial Service. It is 
proposed that the 2 classes of appointments should be gradually amal- 


gamated, and that recruitment should be effected provincially under 
various methods adapted to local circumstances. Among the appoint- 
ments to be transferred to the Provincial Service are yi of the offices of 
District or Civil and Sessions Judge, and j4 of the offices of Magistrate 
and Collector of a district, as well as others of both higher and lower 
rank. To facilitate this measure it is proposed that the transferred 
appointments in the Regulation Provinces should be excluded from the 
schedule of the Statute 24 & 25 Vict., c. 54, and that the strength of the 
Covenanted Civil Service should be proportionately reduced. The Pro- 
vincial Service would be open to all natural-bom subjects of Her 
Majesty, but recent residence of at least 3 years in a province and 
thorough knowledge of its language are recommended as among the 
essential conditions of admission to its Provincial Service. The Com-, 
mission further proposes that the grades of pay in the Provincial Service, 
and the pay of appointments to be held by its members, together with 
the general conditions of that Service as to leave and retiring annuity, 
should be fixed on independent grounds. The terms offered to the 
Provincial Service in these respects would be those which are necessary 
to secure locally in India the desired qualifications." 

These proposals were generally accepted, so that this was in 
brief the general result of the Commission. The Civil Service 
throughout India was to be divided into 2 sections, (i) the Civil 
Service of India^ and (2) the Provincial Service of each Province. 
The first it was decided to recruit as before by open competition in 
England '' keeping it as a corps d'^liie and its numbers limited to 
what is necessary to fill the chief administrative appointments of the 
Government, and such a number of the smaller appointments as 
will ensure a complete course of training for junior civilians." As 
regards the *' Statutory Civilians,'' i. e., the appointments made under 
the Statute of 1870, the alternative was offered to the incumbents of 
either entering the Provincial Service with a preferential claim, other 
qualifications being duly considered, to the higher appointments to 
be made available for that Service or else of remaining in their 
posts, outside any organised service, and dierefore without any claim 
to promotion on the ground of seniority but only on that of special 
merit and ability. Members of the Provincial Service were admitted 
in 1892-93 under the new scheme to certain judicial and executive 
appointments otherwise reserved to the Indian Civil Service, in 
accordance with rules made under the Act of 1870, in supersession 
of those of 1879, above quoted. The appointments thrown open 


were 6 posts of District and Sessions Judge, 4 posts of District 
Magistrate-Collector, one post of Jui.ior Secretary to the Board of 
Revenue, one post of Under-Secretary to Government, and some other 
subordinate appointments. But the posts referred to were not to be 
thrown into the general ccutre of the Provincial Service, until all the ex- 
isting Statutory Civil Servants were provided for either by promotion 
or by amalgamation with the new Provincial Service^ and until the prior 
claim of officers of the Civil Service of India and Commissions had 
been satisfied. The lower grades of the existing Uncovenanted Service 
were constituted a Subordinate Civil Service with the privilege of 
promotion to the Provincial Service in case of conspicuous merit. 
A severe tornado visited the town of Dacca on the evening of the 

7th April 1888, causing considerable loss to life and 

The Dacca '^ . 1 , , ^ 

Tornado of 7th property. It lasted only a few minutes, and extend- 

April 1888. 

ed over an area of 3^ miles in length and about 
200 paces in breadth. About 130 people lost their lives and more 
than 1,200 were seriously woimded, while the value of the property 
damaged was said to have been about 7 lakhs of rupees. It caused 
much damage to the police barracks at Lalbagh and to many public 
and private buildings. 

At about 8 o'clock p. m., of the 23rd of April, another tornado 
passed over the town of Bhadreswar near Serampore in the Hooghly 
district, lasting from 5 to 7 minutes and destroying houses and 
property to the value of Rs. 25,000. Twelve people and 400 cattle 
were killed. 

It was Sir S. Bayle/s object to give effect, as far as 
possible, to the recommendations of the Excise 


Commission of 1883-4 in regard to the out- 
still system, and every effort was made in Bengal to render the 
description of that system given in the Government of India's 
despatch, of the 25th. June 1887 to the Secretary of State, strictly 
correct. That description ran thus : — "The outstill system, as 
understood in India, is not a system by which, on payment of a 
lump sum the distiller is free to brew as much spirit as he likes 
and sell it whenever he likes. The duty is levied upon a strict 
calculation of the number of gallons which the still can produce, 
and the conditions, both of distillation and sale, are carefully re- 
gulated with reference to the existing local demand." 


The system was still on its trial, and, in the face of all the 
difficulties which had accompanied its introduction, it could not be 
alleged that it had everywhere been successfully enforced. Inquiry 
had indeed shown that it had lamentably failed in the metropolitan 
districts of Hooghly and Howrah, in which, as was seen by the light 
of experience it would probably have been better if it had never 
been tried. In such a tract the central distillery system was probably 
preferable to the outstill or contract system, and the question whether 
it would not be better to restore the sadar distilleries in this 
locality had to be considered. But as a general rule the system 
was understood to have met with a fair measure of success. The 
operations at the outstills, though liable to inspection, testing, and 
correction at the hands of Government officers were not brought at 
once absolutely imder control, and the transition from a system of 
unrestricted outstills to one of rigid regulation admitted only of 
gradual accomplishment. It was manifest that the success of the 
system depended a great deal on the tact and intelligence displayed 
by the officers engaged in the administration of excise, and that, 
without very close supervision and personal attention to details, 
there was every risk of the revenue being sacrificed without in any 
way checking drunkenness. The policy pursued N\'as the steady 
reduction in the liquid capacity of outstills in accordance with the 
local demand in each district, the prevention of the undue cheapen- 
ing of liquor by obtaining the highest possible fees from shops, 
by fixing the upset prices with reference to the quantity of liquor 
produced and the profits derived therefrom, and the maintenance, 
as far as possible, of a minimum price for the cheapest kind of 
liquor made in each district. Thus the liquid capacity of the stills 
in all districts for 1888-89 was calculated to be 62,363 gallons, as 
against 111,538 gallons in 1886-87, and the average amount of 
monthly license fee rose within the same period from Rs. 820 to 
Rs. 1,011. The number of shops under the j<i</ar distillery system 
fell from 655 in 1886-87 to 570 in 1887-88, and that of outstills 
fell from 3,608 to 3,535. 

The desirability of appointing an Excise Commissioner for 
Bengal came under discussion in 1888-9 ^^^^ ^^ ^'^^ decided to 
appoint one tentatively. This experiment took effect from the 
4th April 1889, and the appointment was afterwards made permanent. 


The Government of Bengal continued to direct its efforts towards 
carrying Into effect the recommendations of the Excise Commission 
bj the abolition of outstills and the substitution of the sadar distillery 
system in the 2^'Parganas and Howrah, and in the Serampore 
subdivision of Hooghly. The principle definitely established was that 
outstills should be gradually abolished in one populous district 
after another, until central distilleries were established in all localities 
suitable for their introduction. It was known that the immediate 
result of such reforms must be an appreciable loss to the Excise 
revenue, but ihey were nevertheless to be persisted in, and further 
action in the same direction was sanctioned. At the same time, 
where the system of outstills still obtained, no efforts were spared 
for its improvement ; and with this object their number and capacity 
were reduced, and the Excise Commissioner was to endeavour to 
raise the duty paid on outstill liquor in the form of license fees to the 
rate per gallon, London-proof, charged on distillery liquor in each 
district. Licensing officers were instructed to ascertain and consider 
local opinion regarding the location of shops, and the rule was laid 
down that on no account should sites be selected near markets, 
schools, factories, or other public places. The appointment of a 
better class of officers to the immediate charge of distilleries and 
the extension of the system of fixing minimum prices for the sale 
of country liquor to all districts with the excepdon of those of the 
Chittagong Division, which were excluded on account of local 
peculiarities, were the most important of the minor improvements 
carried out in the course of the year. The Patna system— %o called 
because it was first introduced in that Division — was in force in 
i8 districts. Under it the size and capacity of each still, and the 
number and capacity of the vats in which the yeast was prepared, 
were regulated by the local demand, upon which also the upset fee 
was calculated. Its success was so far testified to by the fact that 
where it was in force the total consumption of country spirits fell 
hy 238,492 gallons, the revenue increasing simultaneously by 
Rs. 1,09,772. 

The Excise policy of the Government of Bengal was based upon 
tiie following principles : that any extension of the habit of drinking 
was to be discouraged ; that the tax on spirits should be as high as 
possible without giving rise to illicit methods of making and 


selling liquor ; and that subject to these considerations, a maxi- 
mum revenue should be raised from a minimum consumption 
of intoxicants. Most important action was taken in this direc- 
tion under Sir S. Bayley's administration, and especially during 
1889-90. No pains were spared to improve the outstill system 
where outstills were retained. In the face of all the difficulUes which 
must ever accompany the introduction of radical changes, it could 
not be said that all the restrictions recommended by the Excise 
Commission had been successfully imposed ; but it was undoubted 
that great improvements had been effected ; that the distiller was not 
free to brew as much spirit as he liked and sell it whenever he liked ; 
and that the levy of duty as well as the conditions both of distillation 
and sale were carefully regulated with reference to the existing local 
demand. A system of regulated outstills had been organised, and, 
as the Excise Commission were careful to explain, if the producing 
capacity of outstills was limited and the revenue paid on each outstill 
was calculated in proportion to its capacity, there was little real 
difference in principle between such a system and the system of 
central distilleries. 

The total revenue derived from outstill license fees decreased in a 
year from Rs. 31,34.561 to Rs. 27,74,925. As the' fees were being 
gradually raised so as to force the retail price of liquor up to the 
price fixed by the distillery rate of duty for each dis^ict, the distillers 
in many cases refused to accept settlement. It was, however, always 
anticipated that the policy adopted would entail an immediate loss of 
revenue, and the deliberate intention throughout had been to force 
the abkars to increase their retail prices and so reduce consumption. 
If this result was attained, a temporary loss of revenue was regarded 
as comparatively a small matter ; and unless the demand for liquor 
had been artificially stimulated by an undue cheapening of outstill 
liquor, as compared with the price maintained by distillery spirit, it 
was certain that the normal demand would re-assert itself and the 
revenues recover. Unfortunately the effect of bad seasons rendered 
the influence of these changes on the revenue more conspicuous 
than they would otherwise have been. 

In regard to the extension of the central disdllery system, 
Sir S. Bayley declared on more than one occasion that it must 
be distinctly understood by the Excise Commissioner and by all 


officers concerned with the administration of excise in Bengal that 
the policy which had received the approval of the Secretary of State 
and of Government was that the outstiil system should be replaced 
by a central distillery system whenever circumstances rendered it 
expedient ; and, speaking generally, the only circumstances which 
rendered the change inexpedient were sparse population, difficulties 
of supervision, proximity to alten territory, and a liquor which would 
bear neither transportation nor keeping. It was not intended that 
outstills should be suppressed in localities where experience showed 
that no other system could be advantageously introduced, and it was 
not thought possible to work up the central distillery system in Bengal 
to the extent attained in some other provinces. One-half of the 
Bengal revenue from country spirits, and outside Calcutta much the 
greater part, was derived from a tract of country where the principal 
material used for the manufacture was the flower of the mohwa tree, 
and the spirit so made would not bear transport, and rapidly deterior- 
ated when kept. It was of the weakest possible description, being 
80 or 90 per cent, below London-proof. Such spirit had to be 
manufactured near the place where it was consumed ; and this, if 
there were no other objection, was a conclusive reason why a central 
distillery system could not be successfully introduced into the rural 
parts of Bihar and Chota Nagpur. The people were accustomed to 
this weak liquor, and would only drink it when fresh. It would no 
doubt have been possible, as was done in Bombay, to manufacture a 
pure and strong spirit from the mohwa flower ; but this would not have 
been the liquor previously consumed, and any scheme to replace a 
weak liquor by a strong one would have been opposed to the first prin- 
ciples of excise administration. In Bengal the number of central dis- 
tilleries must always be limited. The failure of the old system of dis- 
tilleries was largely due to their excessive number — which at one time 
was 220— and to the consequent impossibility of exercising proper 
supervision over them. It was accordingly deemed advisable to have 
central distilleries only at the head-quarters of districts where they 
could be thoroughly watched by responsible officers, and in some 
cases arrangements were made for the establishment of depots or 
warehouses at subdivisional head-quarters from which shops remote 
from the distilleries could be supplied with liquor. 

From the ist April 1889, outstilln were abolished throughout the 


whole of the 2^-ParganaSy Howrah and the Serampore subdivision of 
Hooghly. From the ist April 1890 they were abolished throughout 
the whole of the Burdwan, Presidency, Dacca, and Orissa Divisions. 
The total revenue realised under the central distillery system during 
1 889-90, notwithstanding the extension of the distillery area, was only 
Rs. 19,32,207, against Rs. 19,55,754 in the previous year, while the 
statistics of consumption showed a lafge decline from 1,057,119 to 
853,259 gallons. The explanation of this decrease was that the year 
was one of general depression and bad trade. 

Special rules were issued for general guidance on the subject of 
the selection of sites for excise shops : distinct instructions were 
given to ascertain and consider local opinion, and it was ordered that 
where municipalities existed the Municipal Commissioners should be 
ronsulted in determining the location of shops. 

In 1889-90 complaints were made, which reached the Secretary' 
of State, by tea-planters and the Agents for tea 

The Excise 

aystom and toa gardens, that outstills and liquor-shops had been 


opened, sometimes in spite of the planters protests, 
close to or upon tea gardens, and that the facilities for drinking, the 
evil of drunkenness among tea garden labourers, and the drink 
revenue had all greatly increased during the last few years. A 
thorough and exhaustive inquiry was made into the complaints both 
in Bengal and Assam. With the latter I am not concerned here. 
The only districts in which tea is grown extensively in Bengal are 
Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. The results of the inquiry were duly 
communicated to the Government of India and to the Secretary of 
State. The evidence collected by the Deputy Commissioners of 
Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri did not support the conclusion that there 
had been any increase of drinking or of drunkenness among the 
garden coolies in recent years. The opinion held by some observers 
that drinking and drunkenness had increased was accounted for 
mainly by the fact that the number of the coolies of the drinking 
classes had increased very largely, and partly by the fact that, 
when drinking was only possible by obtaining illicit liquor, both 
the drinking of such untaxed liquor and any consequent drunkenness 
were carefully concealed as far as possible ; while, when the demand 
for drink was met by the supply of taxed liquor, there was no such 
powerful motive for concealment. The facilities for obtaining dnnk 


had not been increased. In Darjeeling the number of shops had 
actually been diminished, while in Jalpaiguri the increase in the 
number of shop« had been in a very much smaller ratio than the 
increase in the acreage under tea cultivation and in the numbers of 
the coolies of the drinking classes. The price of the liquor sold 
from the outstill shops had not been lowered, and had become as 
high as for the time it was possible to raise it in view of the 
facilities for illicit distillation and smuggling. The taxation was 
also as high as it could reasonably be made, and much higher 
than formerly. 

The selection of sites for shops had always received careful con- 
sideration, and the wishes of the planters in this matter had not 
been disregarded, but had been allowed weight in all cases in which 
they were obtainable. Objections made by planters had not always 
been allowed, but their objections had not been put aside without 
reason. An example was quoted of a case in which it would have 
been inexpedient to close a shop in deference to the objections of 
planters. Two tea planters objected to the location of a shop on or 
near one of the gardens. But at the same time they had still 
stronger objections to 2 shops in Sikhim just over the border, at 
which liquor was sold at lower prices than at the licensed shop. If 
the licensed shop had been closed, the result would have been 
not to diminish drinking, but to compel the coolies to buy all 
their liquor from the foreign shops over the Sikhim frontier, where 
they could obtain it untaxed and cheap. 

As an illustration of the evil effects of the outstills, some of the 
planters stated that the attendance of their coolies on the days follow- 
ing market days was seriously diminished in consequence of the 
drinking and drunkenness induced by the facilities for drinking 
afforded at the markets. As to this the evidence did not show 
satisfactorily that the attendance was seriously or steadily less on the 
days after market days than on other days ; while there were causes, 
other than drunkenness at the market, which would fully account for 
any falling'off that might have occurred. The charge that the 
outstill liquor was subjected to injurious adulteration was clearly 
shown by the evidence to be unfounded. 

During the inquiries made, the question whether it was desirable 
to make any radical change in the system of excise in the tea 


districts was very carefully considered. Government had no hesita- 
tion in stating, that the existing outstill system was that which was 
best^ suited to the tea tracts in both Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri, alike 
in the interests of the Government, the labouring population, and 
temperance. The justice of the conclusion was very strikingly con- 
firmed by the fact that the great majority of the planters of both 
Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri were in favour of the maintenance of the 
outstill system in preference to any other. 

Government were fully alive to the objecttrms which were 
generally urged against the outstill system. But in many places it 
was the system which was least open to objection — and indeed the 
only possible system if any sort of control were to be attempted. 
In such places all that could be done was to improve the adminis- 
tration to the fullest possible extent and to this the Government of 
Bengal were devoting great attention. 

The consideration of the Reports from Bengal and Assam in this 
matter led irresistibly to the conclusion that the accusations made 
against the excise administration in the tea districts were for the most 
part unfounded and in all cases exaggerated. Nevertheless, it was 
not regretted, that these complaints had been made, because the 
inquiries that ensued had brought the planters into closer communi- 
cation with the district authorities on the subject, with the result that 
they had been brought to look into the complex questions of excise 
administration from more than one point of view, to understand the 
difficulties with which the district officers had to contend, and had 
thus acquired information which qualified them to advise and assist 
Government in the future. 

The total revenue from excise fell during 1889-90 from 
Rs. 1,08,88,973 to Rs. 1,04,73,426, while the charges increased from 
Rs. 4,32,765 to Rs. 5,«8,739. 

At the instance of the Government of India, a special inquiry 
Omdition of the ^'^^ made in 1 887-8 ^into the condition of the lower 
lower ciasaes. classes in Bengal, with a view to discover what 

localities, if any, were, on account of the pressure of population and 
insufficiency of produce, in need of relief. The general result of 
this inquiry was that in the greater part of the Lower Provinces the 
industrious classes found no difficulty in supplying their primary 
wantb, and were, as a rule, well nourished. Their prosperity was 


greatest in the eastern districts, and gradually diminished towards the 
west. It did not seem to be impaired even where endemic disease 
had reduced the population and left the survivors to some extent 
emaciated or enfeebled. On the contrar}% the Reports from districts 
so afflicted showed that the inhabitants were rather better off than in 
neighbouring tracts. But the signs indicating prosperity ceased on 
reaching Bihar, where, though the cultivators who had holdings of 
a size sufficient to afford full occupation to their families were well-to- 
do, and the middle class enjoyed exceptional comfort, wages were so 
low that those who depended for their living entirely or mainly on 
their daily labour earned a very scanty subsistence. The number of 
these labourers, including those who held some land, was estimated 
at about 40 per cent of a population of over 15 millions. The cause 
of the lowness of wages appeared to be the multiplication of 
labourers in a healthy climate and under a social system founded on 
early marriages up to the point at which employment could be found 
on the lowest terms consistent with the maintenance of their families. 
This cause was of a permanent nature, social and climatic conditions 
remaining unchanged. Its effects could not be counteracted by any 
conceivable development of local industry, for that could hardly 
progress in geometric ratio with the increase of population. Emi- 
gration could afford a sufficient and lasting remedy only if it were 
conducted on a large scale and continuously. If, after a system of 
emigration had been established, its operation were to be checked 
by the occupation of waste lands, the existing difficulty would arise 
again. It was possible that popular education, which had hardly 
touched this part of the population, might in the course of many 
years effect a permanent change for the better, by altering the views 
and habits of the people, and in the meanwhile it would greatly 
facilitate the application of partial and temporary remedies, such as 
the introduction of new. industries and emigration. 

The Bengal Government accordingly about this time took into 
„ , ^ , consideration the question of affording some measure 

Emigration to ^ o 

BurmA. of relief to the over-populated districts of Bihar by 

promoting emigration, and, as Burma, with the high wages there 
earned and its large tract of unoccupied land, seemed to offer a suit- 
able outlet, Mr. P. Nolan, c. s., Secretary to Government, was, early 
in August 1888, deputed to that country by the Government ot India 



for the purpose of conferring with the officers of the Burma Com- 
mission and proposing definite measures on the subject. The general 
result of the discussions which took place was to show that emigra- 
tion from Bengal to Burma would be beneficial to individuals as well 
as to the State, and that with ordinary help from Government the 
existing emigration might be considerably stimulated without inter- 
fering with the voluntary system on which it was conducted, and 
which was its most valuable characteristic and had worked extremely 
well. For facilitating the desired movement, Mr. Nolan recommend- 
ed that the cost of deck passages from Calcutta to Rangoon should 
be reduced, by granting a subsidy for the purpose to the British 
India Steam Navigation Company according to the terms of their 
contract ; that equitable terms should be offered to capitalists willing 
to reclaim waste lands in Burma by the agency of Indian labourers 
or raiyats ; that a model seulement should be made at the expense 
of Government ; and that employment should be offered to Biharis 
on any great public works undertaken in Burma. Some gentlemen 
of position having intimated their intention to visit that province in 
order to ascertain for themselves the prospects of success in the pro 
posed undertaking, and having expressed a wish to be accompanied 
by a Bengal official competent to assist them with information and 
advice, the Director of Land Records was deputed to Burma in 
March 1889. During this visit he settled certain detailed rules, which 
were afterwards approved by the Chief Commissioner of Burma and 
the Government of India, offering lands on specially favourable terms 
for the introduction of settlers from Bihar and Chota Nagpur. The 
reduction of the deck fares was arranged, and certain capitalists 
obtained leases of areas in Burma for reclamation by Indian settlers. 
The legislation in connection with the Calcutta Municipality 
Calcutta Muni- (which had been impending for some time) was 
cipaflctof"i?88. effected by Act II (B.C.) of 1888. The more 
prominent alterations in the law introduced by this Act may be 
summarised as follows. It extended the jurisdiction of the Calcutta 
Corporation over a large portion of the suburbs. The sections regulat- 
ing the qualification of voters at elections were recast, and made to 
include the system of allowing plural votes according to a recognised 
method. The duties of the Corporation were minutely indicated ; 
while ample powers were reserved to the I^ocal Government to 


compel the Corporation to discbarge any of these duties should it 
neglect to do so. A section was introduced authorizing the im> 
position of a duty on petroleum. The Chapter relating to the 
imposition of rates was thoroughly recast, as also the system of 
valuation of house property in Calcutta. The scale prescribing the 
supply of filtered-water was considerably enlarged. The building 
regulations regarding houses and huts were almost entirely re-written, 
with special reference to the constniclion of houses and bastis on a 
recognised plan, so as lo guarantee proper ventilation, air-spaces^ 
open grounds around them, and - such other sanitary conditions as 
were deemed desirable. The first elections under this Act took place 
in March 1889. Instead of voting by papers previously distributed 
the vote had to be give in person. The number of voters being 
11,614, the voting power was found to be 46,402, and in wards 
where the seat was contested about 43 per cent of the voters came lo 
the poll. 

The restricted meaning attached to the word "labourer." as 
defined in the Indian Emigration Act, 1882, had 

The Inliind Kmi- 

graiitH* Health hitherto rendered it impossible for the Local 

Act, 1889. 

Government to apply the sanitary provisions con- 
tained in that Act to the case of *'free" or unregistered emigrants, 
a class of which large numbers were being drafted annually through 
Bengal to the labour districts of Assam. Outbreaks of cholera were 
occurring among the emigrants from Bengal to Assam, and certain 
emigration depots or resthouses had been found to be very defective 
in sanitary arrangements ; it seemed necessary that supervision should 
be .exercised over *free' emigrants as well as over the labourers 
who executed engagements under the Act. The object of Act I (B. C.) 
of 1882 was to obviate this difficulty, and this was done by vesting 
the Local Government with power to make rules for the sanitary pro- 
tection of all emigrants during their passage through Bengal, 
similar to those which existed under the Indian Emigration Act, 
1882, in regard only to ''labourers" as defined by the Act. Arrange- 
ments were made as soon as possible for the medical care and 
protection of emigrants en roule to A^sam. 

As it stood in 1888-89, the Subordinate Executive Service was 

Suboniinate divided into 2 branches. The upper was com- 

B^ecnitivc Service, posed of 242 Deputy CoUcctors, 35 probationary 


or officiating Deputy Collectors, and 29 Special Deputy Collectors ; 
and the lower of Sub-Deputy Collectors, 14 special temporary 
officers, 8 iahsildars, and 67 kanungos. For 23 years the question 
of the best means of recruiting this service had engaged the 
attention of successive Lieutenant-Governors ; and, although the 
same policy had on the whole been followed throughout, the serious 
difficulties encountered in dealing with the question, which had 
apparently arisen rather from the nature of the subject than from 
any difference of opinion as to the main object to be kept in view, 
had led to frequent changes in the system by which it was attempted 
to carry out the policy. These changes had produced inconvenient 
and embarrassing results. Claims created or recognized by one 
method of selecting candidates had been ignored or imperfectly 
satisfied on the introduction of another, and each system in turn 
had involved Government in a number of implied pledges which 
it had become practically impossible to fulfil. These causes, 
operating during a period of 1 2 years, had produced a state of 
such extreme complication and confusion that in 1888-89 it was 
decided to introduce a comprehensive scheme, which should take 
account of the essential and permanent requirements of Bengal 
and should at the same time provide for giving play to more than 
one method of selection. 

It was foreseen that, although in any scheme intended to be 
final the principle of competition must occupy a prominent — ^perhaps 
the most prominent — ^position, yet that this alone would not meet all 
wants. In the first place, the diverse character of the population 
affected had to be considered, and care taken to guard against a 
single race or class obtaining a virtual monopoly of the service, by 
which a large proportion of the every-day work of administration 
was done. At the time, and probably for many years to come, the 
immediate effect of recruiting the Subordinate Executive Service on 
an exclusively competitive basis would have been to debar Muham- 
madans, or natives of Bihar or Orissa, from any reasonable chance 
of obtaining appointments. In the next place, there were special 
reasons for appointing particular native gentlemen to the higher 
grades in the public service, e. g,, social or representative position, 
family connections, distinguished University attainments, .or meritori- 
ous service in other branches of the administration, and such 


qualifications might give a claim to appointment by nomination. 
There remained also a class of claimants, comprising, in the case 
of the upper branch of the Service, those Sub-Depuly Collectors 
who passed the Native Civil Service Examination in the years 
1872 — 75 and had earned by distinguished service in the lower 
branch the fulfilment of a promise of promotion to the upper given 
by Sir George Campbell, and, in the case of the lower branch, certain 
kanungos to whom the original conditions of their appointment had 
given claims for promotion. 

To meet these difficulties the following schemes were evolved, 
and orders issued for carrying them into effect. It was decided, in 
the case of the upper branch of the service, that an annual competi- 
tive examination should be held, open to all persons fulfilling certain 
conditions, and that \ the appointments should be given to those 
who obtained the highest aggregate of marks at that examination. 
Of the remaining appointments, it was intended to bestow \ on those 
who had claims to appointment by nomination, provided that the 
nominee had obtained not less than \ of of the full number of marks 
in the examination, and the remaining \ to candidates having claims 
to promotion from the subordinate branch of the service. The claims 
which were recognized as having already accrued against Govern- 
ment were to be disposed of partly by the immediate bestowal of 
appointments, and partly by a relaxation in favour of the claimants 
of the conditions of appearance at the competitive examination. 

The scheme for the lower branch of the service was based on the 
same principles. Its main features were that \ the vacancies occur- 
ring during the year 1889 should be filled up by nominees and J 
by kanungos \ that in 189c an exammation should be held of those 
whose claims to nomination had been recognized ; and that there- 
after appointments should be given, \ to the most successful com- 
petitors at an examination and \ to nominees obtaining at the same 
examination not less than fths of the total marks. 

In 1888-89 it was recorded that, on the whole, the working of 
District Boards during the past year, although bv 

DUtrict Boards. , 

no means devoid of blemishes, had been satisfactory, 
and Government recognized the interest taken by the members, and 
a praiseworthy desire on their part to aim at successful administra- 
tion. There had been in some cases signs of timidity ; in others of 


inexperience; in others of the undue subordination of public to 
private purposes ; and in some an unwise tendency to excessive 
interference with the executive in professional questions. These, 
however, it was considered, were more than counterbalanced by the 
advantage of entrusting the management of local affairs to the hands 
of those most permanently interested in its success, and the opinion 
of the Local Government was that what was chiefly required was 
more organization and wider opportunities for the receipt of advice, 
encouragement, and, where necessary, supervision and control, 
exercised by a higher authority with larger experience and observa- 
tion of the working of Boards throughout the whole province and 
in other parts of India than could be supplied by district Magistrates 
and Divisional Commissioners. If Local Self-Government in Bengal 
were to receive its proper expansion, it would, in the opinion of 
Government probably be necessary to supplement the efforts of local 
bodies with the assistance, support, and capacity for organization 
which a central authority with leisure and ability for such a task 
would alone be in a position to afford. Similarly, in reviewing the 
administration of municipalities in 1889 Sir Steuart Bayley recorded 
an opinion that the establishment of a Local Government Board, 
somewhat on the lines originally contemplated, would soon become 
an administrative necessity in Bengal. 

There was a considerable amount of survey and settlement work 
Surveys and ^o^c during 1 888-89. The Operations extended to 
setucmenta. ^^ ^^^^ ^^ 3,6*11,057 acres, of which 1,161,483 were 

surveyed. Of the area surveyed, 399,955 acres were comprised in 
Government estates, 717,123 in Wards' estates, and 44,405 acres in 
private estates. All the important areas were under survey by profes- 
sional agency, and the whole of the proceedings were under the 
supervision of the Director of Land Records. The figures showing 
the cost of survey and settlement per acre varied considerably. For 
instance, in estates surveyed professionally, the cost per acre varied 
from 4 annas to 6 annas 7 pies per acre, and the cost of settle- 
ment from 10 pies to 3 annas 11 pies per acre. In non-professional 
surveys the cost ranged from 2 annas to one rupee and 3 pies per 
acre, and the cost of settlement from 2 annas 9 pies to 9 annas one 
pie per acre. The total cost of both survey and settlement together 
ranged in estates surveyed by professional agency from 5 annas 



lo pies to 8 annas lo pies, and in the case of n on- professional 
agency from 2 annas to one rupee per acre. These variations 
depended upon the differences of the country dealt with, x\it personnel 
of the officers employed and other causes, but they rendered it very 
difficult to accept an all-round estimate for work on a large scale. 
The Government estates dealt with during the year were Angui, begun 
in 1886-7 ; Banki, begun in December 1887 ; the Jalpaiguri Western 
Duars ; old ihana Ramu in Chittagong ; Bhetia and Kamina Chuk 
in Midnapore, some petty estates in Backergunge and Tip- 
pera, and the Port Canning estates in the i^-Parganas. Consi- 
derable increase of revenue was obtained from Angul and the West- 
ern Duars. 

The Wards* estates in which survey and settlement operations 
were conducted were the Srinagar and Banaili Raj, Sankarpur, 
Churaman, Maldwar, the Burdwan Raj khas mahals^ Kujong and 
Kanika in Cuttack. The private estates dealt with were those of 
the Raja of Dubalhati in Rajshahi, Kesiari, Bogri, Purusattampur, 
Parbatipur in Midnapore, some small estates in . Muzaffarpur, 
mouza Jagadishpur in Chandauti in Burdwan, and Alakdia Durgapur 
in Tippera. These proceedings were undertaken on the application 
of the landlords in consequence of disputes between them and their 
tenants. The Dubalhati case threatened at one time to assume a 
serious aspect, but eventually an amicable compromise on the basis 
of terms suggested by the Settlement Officer and the Director was 
agreed to by the Raja and the great majority of the tenants. A 
programme of survey and settlement operations was submitted to 
the Government of India in 1888 for the last 4 years of the 
period of the Provincial contract viz., 1887-88 to 1891-92 : and a 
revised programme was subsquently prepared for the 5 years 1 889-90 
lo 1894-95, and approved by the Supreme Government. 

In 1888-89 the railways under the control of the Government of 
Bengal, and for which financial responsibility had 


been accepted, were : — 

Eastern Bengal State railway, Broad gauge ... ... '234! 

Do. Do. Metre gauge ... ... ^^^ 

Tirhut State railway ... ... ... ••• .•• 259 

Nalbati State railway ... ... ... ... ... 27^ 



Under the control, but not under the financial responsibility, of 
the Bengal Government : — 
Bengal Central railway ... ... ... ... 125 

The remaining portions of the Assam-Bihar railway, from Purnea 
north to near the Nepal boundary, and the remaining link between 
Katihar and Raiganj, were nearly completed, and were opened soon 
afterwards : the latter portion completed through railway communi- 
cation between northern and eastern Bengal and Bihar and the 
north-western Provinces, and was expected to exercise an important 
influence upon some of the richest and most populous districts of 
the province. A railway to Budge-Budge petroleum dep6t, 1 1 miles, 
was constructed to allow of the large and ever-increasing imports 
of petroleum being carried inland without danger to the town or 

In 1889 Sir Steuart Bayley extended the system of Honorar}* 
Honorary Magis- Magistrates which had been established in 1872-73 

by Sir George Campbell with a view to the education 
of the people in the management of their own affairs, to the 
representation of different classes on the Bench and to the relief of 
the paid Magistracy. The classes of persons to be selected as 
members of the Benches of Honorary Magistrates were considered, 
and it was laid down that ordinarily Benches would be independent, 
unless in cases where the consent of Government had been obtained 
to the association of a Stipendiary Magistrate with the Bench. The 
powers with which Benches might be invested were also reviewed, 
and the classes of cases to be tried by them, as also the extra-judicial 
ways of employing the services of Honorary Magistrates. Those 
who failed to attend Bench sittings without reasonable excuse were 
to be reported with a view to their removal. At the same time it 
was ruled that on all occasions of official ceremonies Honorary 
Magistrates should take precedence of all untitled persons not in 
Government service. 

At the close of the year 1888-89 the condition of the 3 districts 
Famine and flood ^^ North Bihar, — Champarau, Muzaffarpur, and 

Darbhanga — was such as to cause grave anxiety. 
In the two critical months of September and October 1888 the 
average rainfall in those distiricts was only 5*44 inches, and this, 
although nearly 2 inches greater than the amount which, fell in the 


corresponding months of 1873, ^^^ ^^^^ 7^^^ ^^ scarcity, was yet 
less than half the normal amount. This deficiency of rainfall 
extended to the whole of Bihar and affected the crops throughout the 
Division ; but the only tract as to which real anxiety was felt was a 
strip of land over 1000 square miles in area extending about 90 miles 
along the Nepal frontier from Champaran through Muzaffarpur and 
Darbhanga into Bhagalpur, and in this tract (of which the population 
was estimated at 17,030,102 souls) even as early as January 1889 
relief operations were commenced. The outturn of the harvest 
which followed did not fulfil expectations. The yield of opium and 
mangoes was deficient, while there was a marked deficiency in the 
rati harvest of the province generally, and prices, both wholesale 
and retail, rose everywhere. In Champaran and Muzaffarpur the 
subsidiary crop of cheena failed entirely. The first part of May was 
marked by intense heat and drought, and in the second part the 
distress deepened as the season advanced, and the number of 
labourers employed on relief works increased to 45,966. As it became 
obvious that it would be necessary to provide employment, though 
on a reduced scale, throughout the rains and until the autumn crop 
was reaped. Sir S. Bayley authorized the commencement of earth- 
work for the construction of a railway from Darbhanga to Sitamarhi, 
a survey of which had been completed^ although the project had not 
been sanctioned. 

In the latter half of June and the first week of July rain fell 
abundantly and was nowhere deficient, but already in Champaran 
some danger was caused by superabundance of rain ; and, although 
a break occurred in the second half of the month, it became evident 
towards its close that the damage caused by the long drought would 
be succeeded by damage of an opposite nature, and that there was 
little probability of escaping severe injury from floods. The tract 
on the borders of Nepal described as chiefly affected by the drought, 
being high up, suffered little, and in Darbhanga the floods subsided 
rapidly ; but Champaran and Muzaffarpur did not escape easily, 
although much of the land was replanted when the floods subsided. 
The subdivision of Bettia, comprising the upper portion of Cham- 
paran, was flooded by the Bor Gandak and its tributaries, while in 
the south-west the Gandak overflowed its banks : and in central 
Muzaffarpur the \vater of the Bor Gandak and the Bhagmati uniting 


washed away the entire crops from a tract of land about 27 miles in 
length and varying from i to 3 miles in breadth. On its northern 
bank also the Bhagmati cleared an area of 38 square miles, but the 
water drained off rapidly and much replanting was quickly effected, 
so that comparatively little damage was done. In Champaran the 
Collector estimated that the crops had been destroyed or extensively 
injured over a large tract, equivalent in the aggregate to their total 
destruction over an area of 1 1 7 square miles. So serious was the 
matter deemed that Sir S. Bayley twice visited the affected area 
— once in July-August and again in September ; and it was not 
until the end of October that the last relief centres were closed, 
distress had disappeared everywhere, and prospects were good. 
The Secretary of State in referring to the measures taken commended 
the local ofiicials, who, with the cordial assistance of the zamindars 
and planters, had enabled the people, by their promptitude and 
determination, to pass through an anxious time without loss of life 
or avoidable suffering. 

There was scarcity also in the Tributary mahals of Orissa, includ- 
ing the Government estates of Angul and the Khondmals. These 
mahals, 19 in number, form a rough tract, chiefly composed of hills 
and jungle, between Orissa and Chota Nagpur, and have an area of 
about 16,066 square miles, or half that of Ireland, and a population 
of 1,630,004 souls. The land is for the most part owned and culti- 
vated by Hindus ; but in addition to these there were the Pariahs 
(pahariah, hiliman), consisting of various aboriginal tribes and semi- 
Hinduized castes, such as the Khonds, Savars, Sonthals, &c., the 
descendants of the forest races by whom the uplands of Orissa were 
inhabited before the Aryan conquest, who comprise about \ of the 
population of Orissa and of the Tributary mahals. These, like the 
hill tribes on our frontier were^largely dependent on forest produce 
and on liberty to clear and cultivate the jungle ; but the regulations 
of the Forest Department, and regulations introduced in imitation of 
them by the Tributary chiefs, restricted the use of this resource. 
In the year 1888 the harvest was deficient, and the long drought, 
which affected some parts of the mahals from October in that year 
to the following June, not only largely enhanced the prices of food 
grains, but by preventing agriculturing operations deprived many <rf 
employment* Their condition was also aggravated by the fact that 


cholera, perhaps connected in its progress with scarcity, and the use 
of bad food, interfered with trade and led to a rapid depletion of 
food-stocks, and that in some cases also the cultivators sold their 
grain, believing that they would subsequently be able to purchase 
more cheaply, which they were unable to do. At first the Superin- 
tendent of the Tributary mahaU did not fully realise the gravity of 
the situation, but subsequently vigorous measures were taken — the 
forest rules were suspended, relief works were opened, gratuitous 
relief given, and advances were made to such of the Rajas as 
required them. There was a break in the rains in the last fortnight 
of September which gave rise to some apprehension ; but continuous 
rain fell during the first week of October and relief measures were 
then gradually stopped, and by the end of that month all cause for 
anxiety had ceased. As Sir S. Bayley was detained in Bihar 
himself and was unable to visit Orissa personally, he deputed for 
that purpose Sir John Edgar, who proceeded to Orissa and passed 
orders on the spot. 

In Khurda, Balasore, Midnapore and Murshidabad also there 
was slight scarcity, and relief to a small extent had to be given. 
• In the course of his visit to India, His Royal Highness Prince 

Albert Victor arrived in Calcutta on the ^rd January 

Visit of His Royal ^ . , , ^ . , « ^ 

Highoess Prince 1800, accompanied by Colonel Sir E. R. C. 

Albert Victor. ^ ,, , y, ^ , 

Bradford, k. c. s. i. (then Political Secretary at the 
India Office and now Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police 
in London). A deputation from His Excellency the Viceroy and 
His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor met the Prince on board the 
Kistna. On landing at Prinsep's ghai. His Royal Highness was 
received by the Viceroy, the Lieutenant-Governor, the Members of 
Council, the Judges of the High Court and other leading officials. 
The reception was most enthusiastic. The Municipal Corporation 
of Calcutta presented at the ghai an address, to which a reply was 
given in suitable terms. His Royal Highness drove along the Ellen- 
borough course to Government House, where he was the guest of the 
Viceroy (Lord Lansdowne). At night, there were illuminations 
in the business part of the town. Messages of welcome were 
sent to the Prince by different communities, associations and muni*^ 
cipalities of the country. On the 5th, the Prince, accompanied 
by Lady Lansdowne, attended Divine Service at St, Paulas 


Cathedral. The principal ceremonies and festivities held in his 
honour were as follows; — A Reception at Government House, a 
Ball at Belvedere at which the Viceroy, Lady Lansdowne and the 
Duke and Duchess of Connaught were present, a grand f6te on the 
Tfiaidan and illuminations, a Dinner at the Bengal Club, a State Ball, 
a dinner with the Maharaja of Kuch Bihar, a drive through the city 
accompanied by Sir S. Bayley, a game at Polo at Ballygunge, a visit to 
the Zoological Gargen, and snipe-shooting at Kanchrapara with the 
Duke of Connaught. His Royal Highness left for Benares on the 
13th, the departure being private. The Prince expressed himself 
highly pleased with the f^te on the maidan and other entertainments 
provided for him. Sir S. Bayley received an autograph letter 
from His Excellency the Viceroy, expressing the great satisfaction of 
the Prince at the splendid reception given him. 

For 30 years the Chamber of Commerce had been agitating for a 
reduction in the number of public holidays, more 

Holidays. ^ ^ 

especially of those at the time of the Durga Puja^ 
and in 1889-90 they urged, in addition to the reasons previously 
advanced, that, since the passing of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 
XXVI of 1 88 1, the Banks no longer felt it safe to transact any 
business on holidays gazetted under the Act ; and they requested, 
therefore, that only holidays actually required to be devoted to 
necessary religious ceremonies should be gazetted under the Act, and 
that the other holidays should be made such by executive order for 
all offices save the few which were indispensable to the foreign trade 
of the Port. After the fullest inquiry, this solution of the difficulty 
commended itself to the Local Government, and was accepted by the 
Government of India, and 2 notifications were issued accordingly : 
i.e., one under section 25 of the Act above mentioned, the other as an 
Executive order of Government. 

Early in 1890 Sir S. Bayley had a comprehensive scheme of local 

taxation drawn up and laid before the Government 


Bchcmo of local of India. Its chief feature was the imposition of a 

taxation proposed. ^ 

local general cess on land, to be assessed and collect- 
ed like the Road Cess, the proceeds being devoted to general 
purposes and especially to the furtherance of sanitation and of pri- 
mary education. The suggestions put forward for legislation were 
summed up as follows : — 


I. (a) That a local general rate or cess be imposed on land in the 
' same manner as is now done in the case of the Road Cess, the amount 

of the general cess not to exceed one pice in the rupee on the annual 
value of land, and not to be less than one-third of a pice, or one pie, 
in the rupee on such value : provided that the general cess shall not 
be levied within the area of those Unions in which a system of local 
rating has been imposed on Union Committees. 

Hf) That the proceeds of the local general rate or cess shall be 
devoted to general purposes, and especially to the furtherance of sanita- 
tion and primary, education : provided that the Lieutenant-Governor 
shall have power to direct, in regard to any district, that the whole of 
the proceeds of the local general cess at its minimum rate of one pie 
in the rupee, or such proportion as may be determined of this minimum 
rate and not exceeding it, shall be devoted to the furtherance of primary 
education only. 

(^) That, subject to the maximum and minimum as aforesaid, the 
rate of the local general cess be fixed by the District Boards. 

(d) That the proceeds of the local general cess in regard to sani- 
tation and primary education be, so far as possible, expended locally. 

II. That it should be declared that the balance of the District 
Road Fund under the Cess Act, IX(B.C.) of 1880, shall be applied to 
the objects specified in section 109 of that Act, and to no other. 

III. That a permissive power, subject to the approval of Govern- 
ment in each case, should be granted to District Boards, on the estab- 
lishment of Union Committees, to authorize these Committee^ to 
assess and collect a local rate upon the residents within the Union 
according to their circumstances and property, the amount to be recover- 
ed by this rate being fixed by District Boards with the sanction of 
Government ; and that the whole of the proceeds of this rate, after 
deducting 5 per cent, for supervision and inspection, should be spent 
within the Union by the Union Committees under the control of the 
Local Boards, in the furtherance of sanitation and of primary education : 
provided that' the Lieutenant-Governor shall have power to direct that, 
in regard to any Union, such proportion of the local rate as he may 
determine shall be devoted to the furtherance of primary education only. 

IV. That District Boards should be allowed in their own right to 
establish toll-bars on bridges constructed by them until the cost of the 
bridge, including the capital and interest expended thereon, as well as the 
cost of maintenance and of renewal if necessary, has. been recovered. 

But no action was taken on the scheme, the Government of 
India agreeing with Sir S. Bayley that it was not then advisable to un* 



dertake legislation for the purpose of imposing fresh taxation in 

Act III (B. C.) of 1890 was passed not only to consolidate and 
The Port of amend the law relating to the Port of Calcutta and 

Calcutta. fQ ^ijg appointment of Commissioners for the Port, 

but also to make some important amendments in the existing law. 
The number of Port Commissioners was increased from 13 to 15 ; 
the manner in which the Port property should be valued for purposes 
ot municipal assessment was prescribed ; provision was made for the 
institution of civil suits by persons debarred the use of private 
wharves or other works, or whose wharves or other works were 
removed by the Commissioners ; some sections were introduced 
relating to the mode of preparing the budget and defining the 
liability of the Commissioners in respect of goods in their custody ; 
and provision was also made for the grant of pensions to the Port 
employes ; the position and duties of the Port police being at the 
same time more clearly defined. 

The Hon'ble Mr. Reynolds in introducing the Bill, (which 
became Act III) gave an interesting outline of the legislation connect- 
ed with the Calcutta Port Trust, as follows : — 

" The Calcutta Port Trust is a Corporation which has not yet 
attained to the age of legal majority. It was established, as the 
Council is probably aware, under Act V of 187c, and is consequently 

19 years of age. But, if it is an infant, it is a thriving and vigorous 
one. No one who remembers the condition of the river foreshore 

20 years ago can refuse to the Port Commissioners the right to 
indulge a feeling of pardonable pride in the improvements they have 
effected. The reclamation of the river banks, the jetties, the tramway, 
the tea warehouse, the petroleum depdt, the improved lightships, 
the admirable charts of the river which have been issued, are all 
monuments of the energy and success with which the Port Commis- 
sioners have discharged the duties entrusted to them. They are 
now engaged upon the greatest work they have yet taken in hand — 
the construction of the docks at Kidderpore. This work is making 
excellent progress, and it may be confidently anticipated that it will 
prove a great financial and commercial success. The operations of 
the Port Commissioners have not been confirmed to the Calcutta 
side of the river, for on the Howrah side they have reclaimed a large 

dm StEUARt BATLEt. 879 

tract of land, and have! made an excellentjoad along the foreshore. 
And all these improvements have been effected not only without any 
addition to the charges upon trade, but with an actual lightening of 
them. Calcutta from its geographical position can never be a cheap 
Port, the fees for pilotage and towage must always handicap this 
Port when compared with Bombay, but the Port Commissioners 
have been able to reduce the pilotage charges, and to do away 
altogether with the Port duties which were formerly levied. As a 
Port-due produces about Rs. 80,000 for each anna of the rate, 
the abolition of a 4 annas Port-due implies a relief to the shipping 
to the extent of about 3^ lakhs per annum. 

*' Honour should be given where honour is due ; and I therefore 
think it right to say that the success which has attended the adminis* 
tration of the Commissioners has been largely due to a individuals : 
to their first Chairman, Mr. Schalch, who laid down the lines of 
policy which the Commissioners have steadily followed, and to Mr« 
Duff Bruce, who was for 17 years the Vice-Chairman and Engineer 
of the Port Trust. But in bringing out these 2 names for special 
mention, I ought to add that their efforts would have had little 
result if they and their successors had not enjoyed (as I am happy 
to say they have enjoyed) the confidence and the co-operation of the 
Chamber of Commerce and of the mercantile community in general. 
Mr. Schalch may have been the head, and Mr. Bruce the right hand, 
but the backbone of the Port Trust is, and always has been, the 
Chamber of Commerce. 

" The legislstive charter of the Port Trust is Act V of 1870, but 
this Act was necessarily of a somewhat tentative character, as the 
establishment of a Port Trust in Calcutta was at first of the nature of 
an experiment. The experiment had been tried in another form by 
Act X of 1866, which vested the management of the Port in a 
Committee of the Calcutta Justices. The experiment in this form 
proved a failure, and hence it was natural that the Act of 1870 
should have been somewhat cautiously worded, and should have 
contained various restrictions. But as the duties and responsibilities 
of the Commissioners increased, and their administration was shown 
to be successful, the original Act of 1870 was supplemented by a 
number of amending Acts, all of which were in the direction of 
extending the powers conferred on the Commissioners* The most 


important of these are Act IV of 1880, which deals with the borrow- 
ing powers oi the Commissioners ; Act II of 1885, which authorized 
the construction of the Kidderpore docks; and Act III of 1887, 
which introduced the elective principle into the constitution of the 

" The result is that now we have altogether 9 Acts dealing with 
the Port Trust of Calcutta, and I believe the Council will agree that 
the time has come when it is advisahje, and indeed necessary, that 
these Acts should be consolidated." 

In 1890 the statistics of crime in Bengal attracted attention and 
were carefully scrutinized. The general inferences 

Polic6 reforms. 

drawn from them were that, although crime was 
not positively great in Bengal and was decreasing relatively to the 
increase of population, certain offences showed a tendency to 
increase ; that an unduly large proportion of the crime actually 
occurring was not brought to the notice of the police or of the 
Magistrates, and was therefore never inquired into ; that the police 
inquiry into a large number of the cases taken up was fruitless, and 
such cases never came before the Courts ; and that a dispropor- 
tionate number of the persons brought before the Courts . were 
acquitted. The broad result was that upwards of 70 per cent, of 
serious crime went unpunished, that at least 90 per cent, of the most 
dangerous offences against property remained undetected, and that 
in a period of 1 1 years the percentage of convictions among the 
total number of persons tried by the Courts and charged with offences 
in certain classes never exceeded 56 and in one year fell to 52. It 
was considered necessary to enquire minutely into the causes of this 
highly unsatisfactory condition of affairs, and to ascertain by what 
means, whether legislative or executive, remedies capable of being 
made practically eflFective could be devised and applied. As the 
conditions under which the administration of different provinces was 
carried on varied so much that practical results were likely to be 
attained only by concentrating attention on local circumstances and 
requirements, the Government of India refrained from appointing a 
general Commission, but left it to the Lieutenant-Governor, if he 
thought fit, to convene a Provincial Committee. Sir. S. Bayley 
accordingly appointed a Committee with Mr. John Beames, c. s., 
Commissioner of Bhagalpur, as President^ to thoroughly examine the 


whole subject of police administration in Bengal. Thefr Report was 
submitted in February 1891. 

Among the matters of lesser moment which engaged Sir S. 
Bayley's attention the following may be mention- 


ed : — the extension of the Local Self-Government 
Act and its development in administrative details : water-works at 
Bhagalpur : the resurvey of Calcutta : an inquiry into the working 
of the Sone canal system of irrigation : revised rules for the grant of 
tea and arable land leases and of leases of mica mines : the curtail- 
ment of annual Reports : the Pilot Service : tours of sub-divisional 
officers : the reorganization of the Calcutta madrasa : the treatment 
of recovered criminal lunatics : the employment of Muhammadans 
in the public service : Custom-house regulations : floods in the 
Burdwan and Presidency Divisions : the outstill system in Hooghly 
and Howrah : the question of maintaining embankments : the regula- 
tion of appointments in the Secretariat clerical service of the 
Government of Bengal and attached offices : the amendment of the 
Revenue Sale Law and the Public Demands Recovery Act : the 
foundation and future management of a new Leper Asylum for 

In an important speech at Patna on his first tour, Sir S. Bayley 

stated that the only policy he set upon himself was 


(as Sir A. Eden had meant when he said he had no 
policy) to go on steadily, doing the day's work as it came, remedying 
defects whenever brought to light, looking for no striking results, 
giving way to no far-reaching ambitions, but reforming little by little 
to meet actual necessities in a practical way. Thus no startling 
changes were effected in his time, and his administration appeared to 
be colourless, to use his own word. But progress was quietly main- 
tained : so far-sighted a political thinker as Sir S. Bayley could not 
fail to recognise the liberal movement, the iconoclastic spirit, of the 
age. The new measure of Local Self-Government was allowed to 
develop ; local bodies were to be influenced, not driven. Steps were 
taken in the direction of extending the elective system in municipali- 
ties,* arrangements had to be made for the advancement of natives in 
the Govemnient service — scientifk training and technical education 
were assisted. The reform in the indigo industry of Bihar, in which 
Sir S. Bjivley with his intimate knowledge of that province had been 


the adviser of Sir A. Eden, was successfully continued, and the tatter's 
policy of upholding the old and aristocratic families and preventing 
litigation was again acted upon, to their great advantage. It was Sir 
S. Bayley's '' special anxiety to contribute as far as lay in my power 
to the cooling down of any waves of race antagonism that might still 
linger as a residuum of the great disturbance of those waters that 
took place some years ago." Many speakers, Lord Elgin among 
them, have borne tribute to Sir S. Ba)1ey's ability, unfailing personal 
kindness, sympathy, readiness to help, and accessibility ; his literary 
attainments had attracted the notice of so competent a judge as Lord 
Lytton : the thoroughness of his work was generally acknowledged. 
His wonderful good heahh enabled him to carry on the laborious 
duties of his office without feeling the effects thereof as others had 
felt them. 

On the eve of the departure of Sir S. Bayley after filling the office 

of Lieutenant-Governor for nearly 4 years, a largely 

Statuo In Cnl* 

cutta: iu unveu- attended meeting was held, on December 6th 1890, 


in the hall of the British Indian Association, with the 
object of expressing the high regard in which he was held by all 
classes of the people of Bengal. The meeting was under the Chair- 
manship of the Maharaja Bahadur of Darbhanga, and was attended 
by the leaders of the Hindus and Muhammadans of Bengal and 
Bihar, and by representatives of the European community. At the 
meeting numerous telegrams and letters were read from residents in 
the mu/assal who, though unable to be present at the meeting, were 
anxious to give the movement their cordial sympathy and support. 
Resolutions were proposed by Maharaja Bahadur Sir Jotindro Mohan 
Tagore, (seconded by Sir Comer Petheram) and by Maharaja Bahadur 
' Sir Narendra Krishna (seconded by Sir Alexander Wilson and sup- 
ported by Prince Sir Jehan Kadr Mirza Bahadur) to record the 
meeting's appreciation of the eminent services which Sir Steuart 
Bayley had rendered to Bengal, and to present him with a farewell 

The address adopted by the meeting dealt with the incidents of 
his long and distinguished career in India and specially with his term 
of office as Lieutenant-Governor, and the great services he had 
rendered not only to Bengal and Bihar, but to the country at large 
by his efforts to settle disputes and his unceasing care and watchfi|l* 


ness against the threatenings of scarcity. On the adoption of the 
address the Maharaja of Dumraon, speaking in the vernacular, 
proposed that steps should be taken to raise a permanent memorial 
in honour of the retiring Lieutenant-Governor. 

The address was in due course presented at Belvedere by a 
deputation ; the reply given was a most feeling one, and was greatly 
appreciated. Mr. Hamo Thornycroft, the sculptor, was commis^ 
sioned to execute a marble statue of Sir Steuart Bayley. The Gov- 
ernment of India placed at the disposal of the memorial Committee 
a site for the statue, at the south of the Treasury buildings and to the 
west of the south-west gate of Government House. The ceremony 
of unveiling the statue was performed by the Viceroy (the Earl of 
Elgin) on the 17th December 189^, in the presence of a numerous 
assemblage. After the Maharaja of Darbhanga had read the Com- 
mittee's Report, in which they expressed their belief that it would be 
an acceptable addition to the many fine statues which adorn Calcutta, 
and worthy to take its place among them as a work of art, and as a 
faithful memorial of one of the most earnest, high-minded and sincere 
friends of the people who ever held rule in Bengal, Sir Charles Elliott 
said — " It is a great pleasure to me to have this opportunity of associat- 
ing myself with this ceremony which perpetuates the memory of my 
distinguished friend and predecessor, Sir Steuart Bayley. It is now 
some time since Sir Steuart Bayley left Calcutta, and the great 
majority of those who were intimate with him have passed away from 
among us, but there are still left a great many who personally 
remember him and were in touch with him, and we have here 
3 members of his family to whom it must be a great pleasure to be 
present on this occasion. To those who know him this statue is not 
necessary to perpetuate his memory, but to future generations it will 
be a memorial of a man who was one of the most cultivated and 
philanthropic Lieutenant-Governors of Bengal, who ever came to 
this country. At the request of the Committee I have to ask Your 
Excellency to unveil the Statue.*' 

His Excellency the Viceroy then rose and said : — 

Your Honor, Maharaja, Ladies and Gentlemen, — I respond with 

pleasure to the request which has been made by His Honor the 

Lieutenant-Governor. When the Committee first approached me 

on this subject it was intended that this ceremony should take pUce 


before I left Calcutta in the spring at the end of March ; but one of 
those delays to which works of art are peculiarly liable intervened, 
and, as my departure could not be postponed, and the statue declin- 
ed to be hurried, the Committee very kindly determined rather to 
wait till now than to proceed in my absence. Naturally, therefore, 
we have chosen the first day that was available, the more so as it is 
unfortunately the very last occasion on which we can have the 
pleasure of associating with us Sir Steuart Bayley's friend and 
successor, the present Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. 

Ladies and gentlemen, my position to-day is a perfectly definite 
one. I come here at the bidding of the Commitee to act on this 
occasion as their instrument. It was the subscribers to this fund 
who met some five years ago and resolved spontaneously to create 
it ; it is you who have carried out your purpose energetically and 
successfully ; it is you who have had the responsibility and can claim 
the credit. But when you told me that to complete the work in the 
manner on which you had set your heart, and to do full honour to 
a servant of Her Majesty so distinguished, my presence was neces- 
sary, I should have been a churl, indeed if I had not joined you 
here to-day. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the proceedings of the Committee and 
the meeting to-day testify, I think, to the fact that Sir Steuart 
Bayle/s services to this province are well known to you. You 
know also that when he left the shores of India he did not cease to 
work for India, but that he has long occupied, and still holds a 
high place, in the counsels of the Secretary of State. But looking 
at the proceedings of the Committee, I have been struck by the 
fact that there is much stress laid at every turn on one characteristic, 
and that is his unfailing personal kindness and sympathy, his 
accessibility and his evident desire to as:$ist any one who required 
his assistance. I cannot doubt that it was this characteristic which 
earned for him the respect and esteem expressed by you in the 
address which yon presented to him, and which determined you 
still {further to manifest your regard in the monument which we are 
to-day to unveil. And if I might be allowed to say so, it is here 
that I can most readily associate myself with you, even though my 
acquaintance with him is but slight, because I think I can almost 
claiip to be the person in this assemblage who has had the latest 


experience of the characteristic to which I have referred. During 
the last few months of my residence in England, when I was 
endeavouring to prepare myself for the arduous task which lay 
before me, many men who have held a distinguished place here in 
India gave me valuable aid, for which I am, and shall ever be, most 
grateful ; but from none did I receive more prompt and ready 
assistance than from Sir Steuart Bayley, and I well remember how I 
trespassed long on his valuable time while he explained the problems 
of which he was so great a master, and to which my attention 
was soon to be directed. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it to be a good principle that, 
when a few simple words suffice, lengthy dissertations are out of 
place. I would, therefore, only ask permission to say one word 
more. I am glad that, at the gate of Government House, there 
should be erected a statue on which there might be inscribed these 
words: — **This is the statue of an Englishman whose life amongst 
them evinced to the inhabitants of this Province that he cared for 
and loved them f and if you would wish one further sentence, 
it might be this — "This statue is erected to keep alive the memory 
of the man, and the memory that we are not ungrateful." 

The inscription on the statue, after the enumeration of Sir S. 
Bayley's principal appointments, runs thus : *' Erected by Public 
Subscription — As a Tribute of Respect — To a Just and Wise 
Administrator — Whose Generous Sympathies — Endeared Him — To 
the People of Bengal." 

On retiring from the Lieutenant-Governorship of Bengal in 

December 1890, Sir Steuart Bayley was appointed to 

Subeequont career. 

be Secretary in the Political and Secret Department 
of the India Office, and a Member of the Council of India in 1897. 




The 3 Lieutenant-Governors who succeeded Sir R. Temple had all 
belonged to the Lower Bengal branch of the Civil 

PreviouB Caroor. 

Service. Before Sir Charles Alfred Elliott received 
the appointment from Lord Lansdowne he had not served in the Pro- 
vince, though from his work on the Finance Commission and previous 
residence in Calcutta he had necessarily some knowledge of Bengal 
affairs, the officers and the leading inhabitants. His reputation in 
the N. W. Provinces, and as an expert in Settlements, Famine, 
Finance, and Public Works was great, his energy and ability were 
well-known, so that it was easy to prophesy that Bengal would 
experience another period of the active Government which had 
characterised Sir G. Campbell's rule : and the event fully justified 
the anticipation. Sir C. Elliott was educated at Harrow and Trinity 
College, Cambridge, and appointed to the Bengal Civil Service after 
the open competitive examination of 1856 ; arrived in India, 30th 
November 1856, and served in the N. W. Provinces as Assistant 
Magistrate and Collector, Joint-Magistrate and Deputy Collector, 
and Magistrate and Collector from April 1858 to May 1861 ; in 
Oudh as Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, and 
from February 1863 to October 1866, in the Central Provinces as 
Settlement Officer, Hoshangabad ; as Settlement Officer, Farakhabad, 
and as Secretary to Government, N. W. Provinces, 1870 to 1877; 
Commissioner of Meerut, March 1877 ; Famine Commissioner, 
Mysore, September 1877 J C.S.I., 1878 : Additional Secretary' to the 
Government of India, famine branch, May 1878 ; Secretary to the 
Famine Commission, June 1878 ; Census Commissioner, October 
1880; Chief Commissioner of Assam, March 1881 ; President of 
the Committee for the retrenchment of public expenditure, February 
1886 ; K.C.S.I., February 1887 ; Member of the Governor-General's 
Council (in charge of the Public Works Department) December 1887. 
His most important writings had been the "Chronicles of UoaQ/' the 


rnmmphotogpaphljy M«i W Johtwtonfc Ho 


Reports on the Mysore famine, 1878, and the Famine Commission, 
1880, and the Finance Commission's Report, 1887. He succeeded 
to the Lieutenant-Governorship on i8th December 1890. His first 
Private Secretary was Mr. P. C. Lyon, 1. c. s. : the appointment was 
held by Captain J. W. Currie, of the Madras Staff Corps, for most of 
the time. His Chief Secretaries were Sir John Edgar, k. c. i. e. and 
Mr. H. J. S. Cotton. When the first-named retired in 1892, an official 
notice of his services was issued, of which the last paragraph ran as 
follows : — "When Sir Charles Elliott became Lieutenant-Governor 
of Bengal, his want of acquaintance with the personnel, of the official 
staff, and with the past history of all current business, would have 
been a serious impediment to progress had he not found in Sir John 
Edgar a friend and a confidant whose judgment was never at fault, 
whose advice was always candid and far-seeing, and whose exertions 
to assist his Chief were unwearied. If the Administration of Bengal 
during the first year of Sir Charles Elliott's tenure of office maintained 
or advanced its old high reputation, it was chiefly due to the co- 
operation and counsel of Sir J John Edgar." 

Surveys and Settlements (of rent and revenue) occupied a very 
e . large portion of Sir C. Elliott's time. The work 

Survoys and o ^ 

Settiemeuta. ^j^g jjjg most important of all that tame btfore him 

and was continuous throughout his period of office : it will be desir- 
able therefore to deal with the whole subject at once. In the year 
1890-91 survey operations were in progress in Government, Wanis', 
and private estates over an area exceeding 11,708 square miles. 
The survey of Orissa, the Western Duars and Chiitagong was well 
advanced. The resurvey of Calcutta, commenced in 1886, was to 
be concluded in 1892. The settlement officer of Orissa joined in 
February 1891 : the settlement work in the Western Duars and 
Chittagong had been seriously commenced. The settlement of the 
Government estates of Angul and Banki was concluded during the 

At the beginning of the year 1891-92 these 3 important survey- 
settlements involving the assessment of land revenue in temporarily- 
settled estates were still in hand ; viz. the Western Duars in Jalpai- 
guri under Mr. D. Sunder, Deputy Magistrate-Collector; the 
Chittagong district under Mr. F. A. Slacke, c. s., and the Puri and 
Cuttack district of Orissa under Mr. H. M. Reily, Deputy Magistrate- 


Collector. In all these cases the survey was a cadastral one, and 
was carried out under officers of the Survey Department. Similar 
work on a similar scale was continued and undertaken in Govern- 
ment, Wards', and private estates. The reviews of concluded work 
showed that the proceedings had been generally marked by either 
indifference or actual opposition at first on the part of the raiyais, 
but this feeling disappeared as soon as they began to realise the 
benefits which would accrue to them from the ascertainment of their 
true position. It was noticeable that, though this was not in any 
case the main object of the survey being undertaken, the uniform 
result was a considerable enhancement of rent, varying from 5 to 19 
per cent. In short, the survey-settlement work in hand on the 1 st 
April 1 89 1 was more extended in area and more varied in description 
than at any previous period. Sir C. Elliott found it necessary to 
strengthen the staff of officers in superior and subordinate charge 
of s^tlement operations by the deputation thereto, especially 
in Orissa and Chittagong, of several Covenanted Civilians and 
members of the Statutory Civil Service, as well as a large 
number of Deputy and Sub-Deputy Collectors. Early in April 1891 
he personally inspected the progress of the work in the Western 
Duars and elsewhere, and deemed it necessary to state at greater 
length, after these inspections, his views of the duties of a settlement 
officer, explaining that they were not limited to the judicial decision 
of a certain number of cases, but should include the investigation of 
agricultural and economic facts relating to the area under survey and 
settlement, and the accumulation of information by original and 
spontaneous inquiry, from which the data for reasonable assessment, 
whether of fair rents in the Wards' estates or of the land revenue in 
temporarily-settled estates, could properly be deduced. The 
principles thus laid down were duly circulated for the guidance of 
settlement officers. 

A programme of the expenditure to be incurred on surveys and 

surve -aettio- Settlements in Bengal during the five years 1892-93 

"fOTiw^to"* to 1896-97 inclusive was prepared in January 1892 

1896-97. ^^^ ij^j^i before 'the Government of India. The 

total area to be professionally surveyed, excluding Calcutta, amount- 
ed to 2,350 square miles in Orissa, to 650 square miles in Chittagong, 
and to 16,500 square miles in Bihar — in all 19,500 square ' miles; 


estimated to give employment to 5 parties during each of the years 
1893-93 and 1893-94, and to 4 during the 3 remaining years. The 
survey work in Orissa was expected to end in September 1894, and 
in Chittagong in 1892-93 : while by the end of 1895-96 the Bihar 
parties should have finished north Bihar, and should be free for 
employment else\^here. The survey of the Western Duars was 
completed by the end of the cold weather of 1891-92. The total 
cost on account of surveys during the 5 years was estimated at 
Rs. 33,22,000, the rate for cadastral surveys being taken at Rs. 140 
per square mile for Orissa, Rs. 130 for Chittagong, and Rs. 120 for 
Bihar ; the rate for traverse survey for those parts of the country 
respectively being calculated at Rs. 40, Rs. 60, and Rs. 40 per square 
mile. In previous survey-settlement opperations it had seldom been 
found possible to keep the cost down to these rates, but the appoint- 
ment of a Director of Surveys for Bengal (Colonel Sandeman) was 
expected and did not fail to help to diminish the rate of charge. 
The total cost on account of settlement and record of rigflts in 
Orissa, Chittagong, Bihar, the Western Duars, and petty operations 
under district officers during this quinquennial period, was estimated 
at Rs. 34,66,000, of which Rs. 20,00,000 would be incurred in Bihar 
only. The settlement operations in Orissa were calculated to end 
in 1895-96, in Chittagong in 1894-95, in the Western Duars in 1893-94, 
while the preparation of a record of rights in north Bihar would 
extend beyond the 5 years, and according to the programme should 
be completed in 1897-98. The estimate for the entire survey and 
settlement charges to be incurred during the 5 years 1892 — 97 
amounted therefore to Rs. 67,88,000. The Government of India 
consented to the whole of this expenditure being excluded from 
the Provincial contract and debited to Imperial revenues. This was 
to take the place of the arrangement previously in force under which 
, the only Imperial item was the cost of traverse surveys. 

The chief new survey-setdement work undertaken during the 
Tho cadastral sur. y^^ 1 89 1 -9 2 was the resumption of the project of 
▼ey in north Bihar, carrying out a survey and settlement of Bihar under 
the Bengal Tenancy Act. This project had long been before the 
Government. It had been approved by the Government of India 
and the Secretary of State, and it was only not commenced in 
1889 because, of the temporary scarcity from which the Division 


was then suffering. This obstacle being removed, the project was 
revived by Sir C. Elliott in July 185 1, in a letter in which, while 
advocating the measure as in the highest degree beneficial to all 
parties interested in the land, he warned the Government of India 
that it would be unpopular wiih those who had to pay for it, and 
would excite a strong spirit of opposition. He trusted, however, that, 
as the advantages of the record of rights became known, this opposi- 
tion woulJ gradually disippcir. With a view to confine the opera- 
tions to manageable dimensions, it was proposed to deal at first with 
only the 4 districts of tlie Patna Division on the north of the Ganges, 
which contained an area of 12,500 square miles and would afford 
work for 5 years for 3 survey parties. l*he cost was calculated at 8 
annas an acre, of which the Government of India were expected to 
pay the charges of the traverse survey. The total estimate was, 
therefore, about 40 lakhs, of which about 5 lakhs would fall on 
Government and the remainder be divided equally between the 
zamimlars and the raiyals. It was proposed that the traverse survey 
should commence in the winter of 1891-93, and the cadastral work 
in Ocioher 1893. The Government of India considered the measure 
indispensable for the effective administration of the province and for 
the protection of the agricultural classes of Bihar : — 

'^His Excellency in Council is also impressed with the belief that no 
opportunity for setting the project on foot more suitable than the present 
is likely to be found. The task is one which, from its magnitude and 
importance, is not likely to be successfully undertaken by a Lieutenant- 
Governor whose term of office is nearing its close. Sir Charles Elliott 
has only recently acceded to the Government of the province ; his special 
experience in other parts of India and his known mastery of the subject 
mark him out as exceptionally competent to direct the administration of 
an undertaking which involves the survey and record of rights in a large 
territory ; moreover, he fully satisfied the Government of India that 
he clearly understands both the difficulties which have to be surmounted 
and the advantages which are to be gained in carrying out the measure. 
After full consideration the Government of India accept the view that the 
results of the project will be worth the trouble and the risk which it will 
entail, and Sir Charles Elliott may, subject to the Secretary of State's 
approval of the scheme, count on receiving their fullest support in bis 
conduct of the undertaking." 

The Government of India accepted the charge of i of the total 
expenditure as representing the cost of traverse surveys^ and gave 


their general assent to the arrangements proposed by Sir C. Elliott, 
who took an early opportunity to publicly notify, from Arrah 
in November 1891, the objects and intentions of Government in 
carrying out this undertaking. The object of the cadastral survey 
and settlement were declared to be to provide all persons interested 
in the land with an accurate record of the area and situation of 
all villages and estates, ol each tenure and of each raiyafs 
holding within an estate, and the status of every one who had rights 
in the land, and of the rent paid by each raiyat and tenure-holder. 
The advantages which would accrue to both zamindars and raiya/s, 
and the charges to which they would be liable for the costs uf the 
proceedings, were at the same time explained. A published Resolu- 
tion of Government, stating the results of the survey and settlement 
of 3 large Wards' estates showed how little litigation, comparatively 
speaking, had been caused, and how fully the expense had been 
recouped to the proprietors by the additions to their rent-roll which 
had been obtained by them on the discovery of the increased areas 
held by the raiyais. In November 1891 the Survey Department pro- 
ceeded to MuzafFarpur to resume the traverse survey, where tlie ex- 
perimental operations of 1886 had terminated. Work actually com- 
menced on the 19th December i89i,butthe survey party did not 
muster in full strength until January 1892. By the end of March 
1893 the party had completed the traverse survey of 743 miles. As 
was anticipated, considerable opposition to the measure was experi- 
enced. Meetings were held and resolutions passed at several of the 
towns in Bihar, objecting to the survey ; the Maharaja of Darbhanga 
presided at such a meeting in November 1891 ; and memorials were 
addressed to the Lieutenant-Governor and the Government of India. 
In answering these memorials, and also in his replies to addresses 
presented to him, Sir C. Elliott endeavoured to allay the agitation by 
explaining the advantages which would accrue to all parties concern- 
ed, and the efforts which Government was making to keep expendi- 
ture low, to prevent frauds and oppression by the underlings. It 
was partly with this object that in March 1892 a meeting was held at 
Muzaffarpur, under the presidency of the Commissioner of the 
Division, at which the Maharaja of Darbhanga and a number of 
the principal indigo-planters, zamindars, and leading gentlemen of 
Tirhut were present, to consider Colonel Sandeman's plan of carry- 


ingoutthe survey operations by the agency oi • pa/warts . specvMy 
trained for the purpose. In accordance with the decision then arrived 
at, measures were taken to afford instruction to .a selected number of 

pa/waris during the recess of 1892. Soon after the traverse survey 
had been commenced^ the consent of the Secretary of State to the 
plan of operations, which had been laid before him, was. received, 
and was generally made known to the persons interested, in the 
replies given to memorials against the cadastral survey of North 
Bihar. The cadastral survey was not set in hand till the end of 
October 1892. In that month a joint memorial of various Associa- 
tions was submitted, containing the fullest and most weighty protest 
advanced by the landowners : each , of the objections was fully 
answered by Sir C. Elliott. '*The measure . which has been under- 
taken in Bihar, is a necessary corollary of the Permanent Settlement 
and not a violation of it, and if the experience of all other provinces 
of India, and of those parts of Bengal which have enjoyed the 
blessing of a regular settlement, goes for anything, there can be little 
doubt that in a few years the landowners of Bengal will come to see 
the advantages of the very system which they now desire to see 
summarily abrogated.*' The survey-settlement work then went on 
steadily in North Bihar. By the end of March 1893,. 1800. square 
miles had been traversed in Muzaffarpur (including 803 sq. miles 
done in 1885-87), iioosq. miles in Champaran, and 213 in Saran. 
Similarly in Orissa, Chittagong, and the Maharaja of Hill Tipperah's 
estates, the survey-settlement proceedings, in their several stages, 
were in active progress in 1891-92, and until the end of Sir C. 
Elliott's time : other operations were completed from time to time 
and the results published. The outturn of survey work by pro- 
fessional agency during 1892-93 amounted to 4712 sq. miles of 
traverse survey, 2290 sq. miles of cadastral survey, 327 sq. miles of 
forest survey, 556 sq. miles of topographical survey, besides 187 sq. 
miles of skeleton boundary survey. Settlements of revenue or 
rents were at the same time carried on over 6600 sq. miles tem- 
porarily settled tracts and Government estates, 1337 sq. miles of 
Wards' estates, and 121 sq. miles of private estates. Survey-settlement 
work cost over 20 iak^s up to the end of September 1892. During 
the year. 1893-4 the area under, survey and settlement was further 
increased, additional work being undertaken in Palamau and Graya, 


On the I St September 1893 a memorial was received signed by 

5 bodies in combination — the British Indian Associa- 
tion, the Bihar Landholders' Association, the Indian 
Property Association, and the Zamindari Panchayat — in which the 
legality, necessity, and utility of the settlement-survey and the record 
„, . _ „ of rights were called in question. This memorial 

Sir A. F. Mac* 

DonnoU's Minute ^^g forwarded to the Government of India on the 

on the Bihar Ca* 

daetrai Surrey. jjg^ September With a long and comprehensive 
Minute by Sir A. P. MacDonnell, then Officiating Lieutenant-Governor, 
in which he traversed all the allegations made and traced the history 
of the question from the time of the Permanent Settlement In the 
final paragraph he summarised his conclusions as follows : — 

(i) that in these provinces raiyats were from the earliest times 
entitled to have a record of their rights in their holdings prepared at 
the landlords' expense ; 

(3) that it was the duty and intention of the Government from 
the earliest times to establish a record of rights ; 

(3) that the ^raiyats of Bihar had grievously suffered from the 
nonfulfilment of that duty and intention ; 

(4) that the rentals of Bihar landlords had within 3 generations 
increased to an amazing extent (the figures showed eighty-fold), and 
out of all proportion to what was contemplated at the time of the 
Permanent Settlement, or to what was justifiable by any subsequent 
legislation ; 

(5) that this increase in rent, and the destruction of razya// rights 
which it entailed, had reduced the raiyats of Bihar to an extreme 
stale of poverty and depression ; 

(6) that illegal enhancements of rent were still going on, and that 
the same abuses existed in Bihar, and the same necessity for a record 
of rights, as before the Tenancy Act was passed ; 

(7) that, without a cadastral survey and record of rights main- 
tained up to date, these abuses could not in Bihar be adequately 
and permanently checked ; 

(8) that a cadastral survey and record of rights, wherever under- 
taken, had proved an immediate remedy for such abuses as existed 
in north Bihar, and that they had, far from stirring up litigation and 
strife, produced peace and goodwill between landlord and tenant ; 

(9) that the proposals which he had made for the creation of a 



Land Record agency were justified alike by law, expediency, and 
moderation ; that the cess proposed, ^th anna (or one farthing) per 
rupee of rent, was not only moderate in itself, but must be regarded, 
not as fresh taxation, but as a great alleviation of a legal obligation 
which rested upon zamindars ; that the annual incidence of this cess 
on the land would not exceed one anna (one penny) per acre, pay- 
able half by the landlord and half by the tenant ; and that for such 
an insignificant charge the landlord would be able to recover arrears 
of rent through the Civil Court more speedily than at present, while 
the raiyai would secure protection against illegal demands and arbi- 
trary eviction ; 

(lo) that it was not incumbent on the Government to make, at 
the expense of the general tax-payer, any large contribution to the 
expenses of operations rendered necessary by the laches of landlords, 
whose income from the land had, largely through extra-l^gal means, 
increased enormously in 3 generations, and who contributed far less 
to the public exchequer than landlords similarly circumstanced in 
any other part of these provinces or perhaps of the Empire ; 

(i i) that the memorial of the zamindari Associations submitted 
to him for transmission to the Secretar}' of State was inaccurate on 
all material points. 

On the 21 st October the Government of India conveyed to Sir 
A. P. MacDonnell their thanks for having '' d|iLwn up* so able and 
masterly a review of the situation, and at the sarafe time so convincing 
an exposition of the administrative necessity of maintaining, on 
behalf of the raiyats of Bihar, an accurate record of rights." On the 
14th December 1893 the Secretary of State for India, in dealing 
with the memorial, referred to Sir A. P. MacDonnell's Minute as a 
''clear and comprehensive statement of the reasons for undertaking, 
prosecuting and maintaining a survey and record of rights in the 
districts of north Bihar" ; and decided that he would not depart from 
his predecessor's decision that a sun'ey should be made and a record 
of rights prepared for the 4 districts in question, as he was unable 
to see grounds for stopping the proceedings in the manner suggested 
by the joint memorial. 

Sir C. Elliott suggested a system in June 1892, not for the 

Kmpioymtnt of ^^fi^^^^ maintenance of the settlement record as it 

I'*'**'""- was maintained by annual revision in other provinces. 


but for making the registration of successions and transfers of 
occupancy rights easy and compulsory, by the multiplication of 
registration offices, and by imposing certain penalties and disabilities 
on those who failed to register. This suggestion remained under 
discussion for nearly a year, and before he took leave in 1893 he was 
aware that the preponderating opinion of the Bihar officers was that 
complete and efficient registration of all transfers could not be hoped 
for under this scheme. At this stage Sir A. P. MacDonnell took up 
the question and decided to recommend more thorough and drastic 
provisions for keeping the record up to date by periodical corrections 
and record of all changes. A draft Bill was drawn up under his 
orders, which provided for the creation of an establishment of Land 
Record keepers and Land Record Inspectors, and of Supervising 
Officers to superintend their work, and, as patwaris would be no 
longer required to submit village accounts to Government, it was 
proposed that the patwari Regulations should be repealed. All 
transfers of, and successions to, proprietary rights, tenures, raiyati 
holdings at fixed rates, and occupancy holdings, were to be reported 
to the Land Record-Keepers, holders of estates and tenures, and 
cultivating raiyats were to submit periodical returns showing the 
changes to be made in the records, and the Land Record ageney was 
to verify such reports and returns by local inquiry. To meet the ex- 
penses involved, the Bill provided for the levy, from proprietors, 
tenure-holders, and raiyais^ of a cess not exceeding ^th of an anna in 
the rupee of the annual value of the lands. The Government of 
India, while provisionally approving the principles of the Bill, were 
of opinion that the importance of the subject rendered it desirable 
that it should be examined by the light of the best experience 
that could be brought to bear upon it. A general Conference 
was accordingly held in the beginning of January 1894, at which 
officers from the N. W. Provinces, the Central Provinces, Assam, 
and Bengal, as well as Mr. Gibbon, Manager of the Bettia Raj, 
and Mr. Macnaghten, Secretary, Bihar Indigo-planters' Association, 
were present. The draft Bill was approved with certain minor 
alterations, and then referred for opinion to the Bengal Govern- 
ment by the Government of India. Sir C. Elliott, who had 
then returned from leave, considered that, although the Bill was 
sound in principle and would be thoroughly acceptable in other 



provinces of India where an efficient body of patwaris^ appointed 
and paid by Government, existed and where people had become 
accustomed to filing village accounts and seeing them periodically 
revised, great weight must be attached to the special conditions in 
Bengal, which militated against the introduction of such a system. 
He dwelt on the irritation which would be caused in the minds of 
zamindars and tenants who had hitherto been unaccustomed to the 
periodical visits of Government officials for the purpose of inquiring 
into changes in the rent-roll : on the difficulty of organising a 
new body of officials appointed to carry out a new set of dudes, 
and on the labour which the supervision of their work would entaul 
on the district officers; and above all on the unpopularity of 
introducing a new cess, however light. He adhered to his original 
opinion that it was sufficient, at least in Bihar and for the present, 
to rely on the cadastral record once made, and to revise it in a 
similar manner after the lapse of 3o or 30 years — ^a measure much 
less expensive than the creation of the proposed establishment. As 
regards the interval between the surveys, he was for facilitating the 
registration of transfers and successions, and doing what could be 
done to make it compulsory, as proposed in one part of the Bill. 

In a despatch dated the 5th July 1894, orders were received from 
the Secretary of State, approving the scheme advocated by Sir C. 
Elliott and inter alia agreeing to the latter's proposal that the Bill 
to provide for the scheme for the Maintenance of Records might 
also provide for the repeal of the patwari Regulations. The Govern- 
ment of India, jn forwarding the Secretary of State's despatch to 
the Government of Bengal, expressed their unwillingness to abandon 
a valuable agency that cost nothing to Government, to deprive the 
raiyais of what was often a protection to them and to forfeit a valu- 
able vantage ground in the future maintenance of the record of 
rights, unless something as good or better was provided to take the 
place of the Regulation patwari. The Board reported that it would 
be inexpedient to repeal the patwari Regulations unless and until 
provision was made by law for the creation of a better village or 
local peripatetic agency for the maintenance of the records. 

Sir C. Elliott retained his opinion that the position of the patwari 
in Bihar was untenable and mischievous, and thought that his legal 
status under the Regulations ought to be abolished. He considered 


it to be conclusively established that the unreformed paiwari (in his 
present condition) was an instrument which could not be employed 
effectually for the purpose of keeping village accounts or maintaining 
the record, and he never had any intention of utilizing the paiwari 
(as the Board proposed) in finding out and reporting mutations : 
as he also thought that nothing would be gained by retaining the 
paiwari as a nucleus of further reforms, he was anxious to repeal 
the paiwari Regulations. After consulting the Collectors of the 
Patna Division and the Commissioner, nearly all of whom were 
unfavourable to the retention of the paiwari in his existing status. 
Sir C. Elliott on the 2ist December 1894 urged the Government of 
India to allow the repeal of the paiwari Regulation. But the Viceroy 
decided, for the above reasons, not to repeal it and directed the 
clause drafted to repeal it to be struck out of Sir C. ElNott's Bill for 
the Maintenance of the Record of Rights. The net result of the 
controversy was that Bihar was protected trom the utilization of the 
paiwari \Xi the maintenance of the record of rights. 

The Secretary of State, in approving in the despatch of the 5th 
The maintenance J"ly 1 894 the schcmc proposed by Sir C. Elliott, 
reco conveyed his consent to the introduction into the 

Legislature of a Bill for the Maintenance of the Record of Rights in 
Bengal, accompanied with the proviso that no fresh tax should be 
imposed, and with the permission that the Bill should provide for 
(1) the maintenance of the record, (2) the levy of registration fees, 
and (3) the recovery- of the initial cost of survey and settlement by 
means of a temporary cess. A Bill was prepared in accordance with 
ihese instructions, the main principle of which was that facilities 
should be given for the compulsory registration of all changes by 
transfer or succession in the record of tenants' rights^ and that failure 
to register should be visited by self-acting disabilities as well as by 
direct penalties. The procedure of the Indian Registration Act 
(III of 1877) ^^^ adopted as far as possible, and the machinery for 
carrying out the procedure was to be provided by a large inultiplica- 
cation of Rural Sub-Registrars, to carry on the duties of Registrars 
of Mutations under the Bill. In the part of the Bill which dealt with 
the recovery of the initial cost of survey-settlement by means of a 
temporar}' cess to be levied rateably per acre from the zamindars and 
tenants of various descriptions concerned, some simple s^mendments 


of tha existing law were made to remove difficulties which had been 
found by experience to exist. The Bill was introduced by myself into 
the Bengal Legislative Council on the 19th January 1895, and was 
referred to a Select Committee who reported on the 3rd April 1895. 
The Hill as revised by them was debated in Council on the 13th April 
1895, was passed with small amendments, and became Act III 
(B. C.) of 1895. It provided for the maintenance of records of 
rights in* land, in the surveyed areas to which it might be extended, by 
requiring all classes of privileged tenants to register all mutations 
of tenant-rights whether due to succession or transfer. The regis- 
tration of mutations of the rights of non-occupancy raiyats and of 
under-rai^a/j was left optional. Measures were then adopted to 
bring the Act into effect, and steps were taken to open offices for 
the registration of mutations at Hajipur and Lalganj in Muzaffarpur 
and Bettia in Champaran, where records had been finally published 
under the Tenancy Act. 

During the survey year 1894-95 (from October 1894 to September 

1895) the work of survey and settlement was in 

Ghiof tracts under . i. . 

surrey and satUe- progTcss m J entire distncts and 20 estates or por- 


tions of districts comprising nearly 19,000 sq. miles, 
or about J of the entire province. The major settlements were the 
4 temporarily-settled districts of Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, and Chitta- 
gong, in all of which the land revenue had to be re-assessed ; also 
the 3 districts of Saran, Champaran, and Muzaffarpur in North Bihar, 
the Palamau Government estate, the Tikari Ward's estate, the 
Maharaja of Tippera*s estate, the Darjeeling tarat^ and the Govern- 
ment estate in Singhbhum, known as the Kolhan. All these survey- 
settlement operations proceeded throughout the year without friction 
or disturbance among the agricultural population. Sir C. Elliott 
inspected many of the settlement camps in the course of the year, 
and found that an intelligent interest was taken by the parties con- 
cerned in the proceedings, and that care was shown in explaining the 
meaning of the operations and what was required of each individual. 
The cost of survey and settlement incurred by Government from 
the beginning of the operations up to the 30th September 1895 in 
Orissa, Chittagong and the Western Duars — the 3 principal areas 
under settlement of land revenue — increased from nearly 32 lakhs 
to 36 lakhs of rupees. 
























































• • 



























































































• v« 






^ 2 




































































































































From 1 8909 1 to 1894-95, the whole area traversed by the theo- 
dolite was 18,822^ sq. miles, the figures being as follows : — Cadas- 
tral survey with records 1^,159^ sq. miles; cadastral survey without 
records, 1,034 sq. miles; skeleton boundary survey, 1,752 sq. miles; 
city survey 15 sq. miles ; topographical, 1,737 sq. miles; forest 501 sq. 
miles; aggregate outturn, 17,198^ sq. miles. In the outturn of cadas- 
tral survey are included the revision of previous cadastral surveys of 958 
sq. miles and the revision of the previous records of 417 sq. miles. 

From the results up to date of the record of the status and rents 
of tenants in 3 districts certain economic facts had com^ to light 
The quantity of land held as proprietor's sir, and the area under 
non-occupancy tenants, were wonderfully small compared with an 
average district of the N. W. Provinces. The area under settled 
raiyats was very large and testified to the benefits conferred by the 
Tenancy Act. Thus the settled raiyais held in Muzaffarpur 75*36 
per cent, of the holdings, in Champaran 77*42: in Saran 80*07. 
Raiyais of this class were paying an average rent, per acre, of 
Rs. 3-10-7 in Muzaffarpur and Re. 1-7-5 ^^ Champaran : occupancy 
raiyats were paying Rs. 4-12-3 per acre in Muzaffarpur: non-occu- 
pancy raiyais were paying Rs. 4-6-7 per acre in Muzaffarpur and 
Rs. i-ii-o in Champaran. Though the figures were incomplete they 
tended to dispel the impression that the north Bihar raiyai was a 
down-trodden and rack-rented creature. 

In the Western Duars the result of the settlement, as reviewed by 
Government in July 1895, showed that the resident jotedars formed 
far the largest body of the tenants and paid an average revenue of 1 5 
annas 7 pies per acre : their permanent under-tenants paying Re. 1-5-1 
per acre as rent Of the increase of revenue obtained ^ths were due 
to increased area brought under assessment, ^th to increased rates. 

Up to the present timejthe orders of Government have not been 
passed upon the Chittagong and Orissa settlement reports, and the 
work in north Bihar is not yet completed, so that it is impossible to 
give even the briefest summary of the economic facts emerging from 
these great settlement operations. 

Originally the Government of India undertook to bear ^th of the 

ApportionTnent ^^^*^ expenditure on the survey and record of rights 

JJ^ ^n*7rt*h *" north Bihar as representing the cost of the 

^***^- topographical part of the survey, the remaining j^s 


being divided equally between the ratytf/x and their xamiWarx. In 
July 1894, the SecreUry of State decided that the Sute share should 
not be less than } of the total expenses, the additional ^ being given 
in reduction of the ratyais' share of the expenditure. Under these 
orders the cost of the survey and record of rights in north Bihar were 
to fall, \ on the Government of India, ^^ on the raiyaU, and /^ on 
the zamindars. It was proposed to commence recoveries from the 
beginning of the field season, 1 895-96, and instructions were issued 
accordingly. The term " zamindars " was held to include tenure- 
holders of a proprietary character, of whom permanent tenure-holders 
were to pay the whole of the proprietary share of the costs, while for 
temporary tenure-holders a sliding scale was laid down, distributing 
the share between them and the proprietor, according to the unexpired 
period of the lease. Rent-free tenants were to pay both the landlords* 
and tenant's share of the costs. Under-ratya/s and non-occupancy 
raiyais were altogether exempted from payment. For Champaran 
as well as Muzaffarpur a rate of 8 annas an acre was taken as the 
basis for apportionment. On this basis, the tenants' and landlords' 
shares were to be respectively 30 and 42 pies per acre. Recoveries 
were to be taken in hand only where the record had been finally pub- 
lished, and, up to the end of September 1895, the operations had 
been so completed in 768 villages with an area of 250 sq. miles in 
the district of Muzaffarpur, and in 247 villages, comprising 400 sq. 
miles, in Champaran. The share of costs of each proprietor was to 
be collected from him when his copy of the record was handed to 
him or else recovered from him afterwards under the provisions of 
the Public Demands Recovery Act. It was estimated that the re- 
coveries in the financial year 1895-96 in the 2 districts would amount 
to about Rs 7?,ooo. 

In reviewing, on the eve of his retirement, the survey and 

iluestion of extend- Settlement Teports for the year ending 30th Sep- 

'"w"t«Imeittto tember 1895, Sir C. Elliott observed that the 

•outh liihar question would soon arise whether, when the survey 
and preparation of a record of rights were completed in the 4 districts 
of north Bihar, the operations should be extended to south Bihar 
or to the Bhagalpur Division, and he recorded his opinion that they 
should be so extended. He believed that the work already done 
had « to. a great extent dispelled the fears and suspicions with which 


the undertaking had at first been viewed. The raivats were learning 
to regard the record of rights as a valuable protection of their tenure, 
and the zamindars had begun to realise that it gave them a useful 
opportunity of securing a reasonable enhancement of rent, especially 
where cultivation had extended. The indigo planters had always 
perceived the advantage they reaped by obtaining accurate know- 
ledge of the rights and position of the parties with whom they had 
to deal, and the vague alarms felt as to the irruption of a great 
flood of litigation and as to the imposition of a heavy burden of 
expenditure had been to a great extent dissipated. Sir C. Elliott 
trusted the blessings conferred on the districts of north Bihar might 
in course of time be extended to all Bengal. The Board of Revenue 
were asked for a Report as to the need of extending these operations 
to south Bihar, and the advisability of doing so generally. 

On the 26th January 1891 His Imperial Highness the Grand 
viflit of the Duke Cesarewitch of Russia, (who became Emperor 

Ceaarewitoh. Nicholas II in 1894) accompanied by His Royal 

Highness Prince George of Greece and His Imperial Highness 
the Duke George Alexandrovitch of Russia, arrived at Calcutta as 
the guests of the Viceroy. They were received at the Howrah 
Railway Station by His Excellency, and with all honours during 
their visit of a few days. 

The third decennial Census of Bengal was held on the night of the 
The Conaua of 26th February 1891. For some months before this 
^^^' date the local authorities had been at work preparing 

and revising village lists, counting the houses in each village, marking 
out Census blocks, appointing and training enumerators. The pre- 
liminary enumeration was completed in all cases by the 1 5th or 20th 
February. The actual Census was effected by the enumerator verifying 
the presence of the persons already entered in his schedule book, 
and making the necessary erasions and additions in the case of 
absentees and of new arrivals. This work was efficiently and carefully 
carried out Only 154 of the total number of enumerators, who 
Aggregated nearly 400,cxx>, were paid. The enumeration was com- 
pleted without any disturbance. The cost of enumeration was 
^- 79)354 or Rs. 1,075 P^r million of population as against 
Rs. 1,73,849 or Rs. 2,475 per million in 1881. The work of abstrac- 
tion and tabulation was carried out at the head-quarters of eftch 


district instead of at 3 centres only, as in the previous Census* The 
cost of compilation was estimated at Rs. 6,15,000, against Rs. 6,54,000 
in 1881. 

The main results of the Census of 1891 were thus summarised. 

In eastern Bengal the population had increased by 13^ per cent., 

owing, for the most part, to the general prosperity of the country, 

comparative freedom from severe outbreaks of epidemic, and to 

immigration from Bihar and central Bengal. In northern Bengal the 

high-lying tracts showed an advance of more than 6 per cent., but 

over a large extent of country lying at the foot of the Himalayas and 

on both banks of the Ganges the population had declined. In 

western Bengal there had been a great growth in manufacturing and 

mining centres, but a loss in tracts affected by malarious fever. On 

the whole, however, western Bengal was more healthy than it had 

been 10 years before. North Bihar was overcrowded, while south 

Bihar showed a slower rate of increase than north Bihar owing to the 

greater relief afforded by emigration. The aboriginal races of Chota 

Nagpur and the Sonthal Parganas had increased by large numbers. 

Considering the population according to administrative Divisions, it 

was found that the population of the Burdwan Division had increased 

from 7,393,954 to 7,668,818, or by 3*98 per cent. ; of the Presidency 

Division from 8,211,986 to 8,512,630, or by 366 per cent. ; of the 

Rajshahi Division from 7,726,701 to 8,019,187, or by 378 per cent. ; 

of the Dacca Division from 8,705,916 to 9,844,127, or by 13*07 per 

cent.; and of the Chittagong Division from 3,569,071 to 4,190,081, 

or by 1770 per cent. The Patna Division showed an advance from 

15,060,993 to 15)790,737, or of 4*84 per cent., and the Bhagalpur 

Division from 8,066,111 to 88,582,490, or of 6*40 per cent. The 

population of Orissa had increased from 3,628,832 to 3,877,755, or 

by 6-85 per cent., and of Chota Nagpur from 4,225,989 to 4,638,238, 

or 975 per cent. The total population of Bengal, including the 

Tributary States of Orissa and Chota Nagpur, Hill Tippera and 

Kuch Bihar, had risen from 69,536,861 in 1881 to 74,643,366 in 

1891 — an increase of over 7 per cent.— of whom 37,236,485 were 

males and 37,406,881 females, ""giving an average density to the 

square mile of 398 persons. Between 1881 and 1891 the Hindus 

increased from 45,452,826 to 47,821,468, and the Muhammadans 

from 21,704,724 to 23,658,347. 


By the incorporation with Calcutta of the greater part of the area 
of the Suburban Municipality, a considerable extension was made to 
the town. The area formerly included in Calcutta was termed the 
" old town/' while that recently amalgamated with it was known as 
the '' added area/' The results of the Census of Calcutta showed 
that the population of the old town had risen from 401,671 to 
436,393, while that of the added area amounted 10213,008. This 
latter total could not be compared as a whole with the figures for 
1881, owing to the division of wards brought about by Act II (B. C.) 
of 1 888, portions having been added to Calcutta and other portions 
having been joined to various municipalities. The population of 
the Fort had fallen from 28,200 to 26,589, and that of the Port 
and Canals had slightly increased from 28,200 to 28,691. The total 
population of the Town of Calcutta, together with the Fort, Port 
and Canals, thus stood at 681,560. In the Town there were 428,762 
Hindus, 189,226 Muhammadans, and 26,406 Christians ; in the Fort 
there were 1,441 Hindus, 597 Muhammadans and 1251 Christians; 
and in the Port and Canals the numbers were 13,934 Hindus, 13.350 
Muhammadans, and 1,340 Christians. The proportion of Hindus 
to the total population of the town had increased, and that of 
Muhammadans had decreased since the last Census. The chief 
castes of Hindus were Brahmans and Kayasths, both over 55,000, 
Chamars and Kaibartas over 20,000, and Goalas and Subamabaniks 
close on 20,000, while of the Christians 9,323 were returned as 
Europeans, 9,803 as Eurasians, and 6,620 as natives. Of the 
population of the town, 64 per cent were males and 36 per cent, 
females. The education tables showed 33 5 per cent, of the males 
and 8*3 per cent of the females as either under instruction or as 
literate. As regards birthplace, 207,165 persons were shown as 
born in Calcutta and 55*475 in the 2^-Parganas district, the total of 
these amounting to 40 per cent, of the population of the town. 
Over 20,000 persons were returned as natives of each of the follow- 
ing districts : — Hooghly, Gaya, Burdwan, Midnapore, Patna, and 

The Report on the Moral and Material Progress and Condition of 
/if ^I'a for the 10 years ending 1891-92 gave the principal statistics 
for Bengal as follows : — 

Area. 151,543 square miles ; population, 71,346,987 ; mean density, 


471* to the sq. miles; 146 towns; 227,019 villages; 13*592,154 
occupied houses : and ' contained the following passage : — *' The 
Bengal of the present day is the most populous charge in India, and 
the Lieutenant-Governor is responsible for the management of a 
population of 71,346,987, or considerably more than that of the 
United States of America at their last Census of 1890. Taken by 
the historic divisions, Bengal Proper contains a population in round 
numbers of 40,400,000 ; Bihar, of 2i,265,ooo,^and Orissa, as received 
from the Marathas, of 4,047,000. Chota Nagpur returns 4,628,790 
within the British portion of its area. The physical divisions are 

Bengal. mnnt,. JUUnfaU, ^^^^^ '^ ^^« "^^S^*^- Speaking 

Nartibem Beng^ .. 4*9 .. 8578 generally, the whole of the pro. 
N^rSsihar" V. W St V. m"S viucc, cxcept north-westem Bihar, 
choteNwur :; :: iS ;; S-m and occasionally Onssa, Ues witWn 
°'*^ •• • *" • ^'^ a highly favourable zone of rain- 

fall, and famine is practically unknown in Bengal proper. In Orissa 
it prevailed on the historic occasion of 1866, and north Bihar was 
visited* to a certain extent, in 1874. But, on the whole, Bengal is, 
as the distribution of the population shows, a very fertile tract, and 
in Chota Nagpur the light incidence of population is due less to 
climatic defects than to the want of arable land which is so prominent 
a feature in the hill tracts of Central India. 

Some interesting facts connected with the water-supply of Calcutta 
Calcutta water. ^^'"^ recorded in 1890-91, which are worth quoting, 
supply. a Convincing proof of the close relation that exists 

between the improvement of water-supply and the diminution of 
cholera was afforded by the fact that during the 5 years 1866- 1870, 
before filtered water was brought into Calcutta, no less than 18,422 
deaths from cholera occurred in the town, being 8*5 per 1,000 of 
the population as it then stood. With the introduction of the filtered 
water the mortality during the next 5 years, dropped to 5,922, 
or 27 per 1000. Between 1876 and 1880 a slight increase to 
6,598 deaths, or 3*0 per 1,000 was observed, and in the 5 years 
1 88 1 — 1885, when population was beginning to outrun the water^ 
supply, cholera mortality rose to 9,845 deaths, or 4*5 per 1,000. 
Finally, the effect of the water-supply extension of 1888 was to 
reduce the deaths from cholera during the 5 years 1886- 1890 to 

* Bxduding fendatory States fto. 


^»773> or 2*8 per looo on the existing population of the municipality. 
In the 21 years, therefore, during ^hich the town was supplied with 
pure drinking water the deatlvrate from cholera was decreased to a 
little more than i of its former standard. At the close of the year 
1890-91, the length of mains and services on the • filtered system 
amounted to 231 miles, of which 47 miles were laid during the 
year. The average daily supply per head of the population was 39*46 
gallons in the town and 15 gallons in the added area. A new 
pumping station, designed to supply the southern portion of the 
added area, was commenced at Bhawanipur." 

It will be convenient to group together here the frontier and 

political occurrences of Sir C. Elliott's time. The 

Ltuhai affairs. 

punitive measures which had been adopted from 
time to time against the hill tribes beyond the frontier having failed 
to be sufficiently deterrent, the policy of controlling them from 
within was determined upon ; a portion of the Lushai country was 
annexed, and a new frontier district, with an area estimated at 24,000 
sq. miles, was constituted from the ist. April 1891 under the Viame 
of the South Lushai Hills, under a Superintendent. The Chittagong 
Hill Tracts were converted from the ist. November 1891 into a 
subdivision in charge of an Assistant Commissioner under the 
direct supervision of the Commissioner of Chittagong. The troops 
were withdrawn, but a detachment of 200 Gurkhas was left at Fort 
Tregear about 45 miles distant from Lungleh. The exercise of 
control over the subjugated hill tribes from within, and the presence 
of troops at Fort Tregear produced a most salutary effect, so that 
perfect tranquillity prevailed in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The 
future security of the tract was to a great extent dependent upon the 
check which the Burma authorities would be able to keep on the 
wild tribes on the frontier. There was again a scare in the Chengri 
Valley, due to a rumour that Lienpunga was organizing a raiding 
party ; but confidence was soon restored by issuing a proclamation 
that Lienpunga and other Chiefs under him had been deported. 
Twenty-eight captives were recovered. Captain Shakespear's first 
efforts as Superintendent were directed to the dislodgment of the 
Chief Jakopa, at whose hands his predecessor had sustained a serious 
reverse a few months before. The expedition undertaken was com- 
pletely successful ; Jakopa's village was destroyed, he himself fled 


far away, and never attempted to return. The result was the final 
subjugation of the Molienpui tribes. A darbar was held at Lungleh 
January 1892, at which all the hill chiefs who attended swore friend* 
ship with one another ; the Superintendent and his officers toured 
about, and a meeting with Mr. McCabe, Political officer, North 
Lushai Hills, took place at Kairuma ; the boundary was settled between 
the north and south Lushai hills; the Shindu chief Dokola was 
captured and deported to Hazaribagh. The serious disturbances of 
March- April 1892 in the Howlong country, on the northern frontier, 
were put down with the assistance of a column sent from Fort White 
by the Chief Commissioner of Burma. In the beginning of March 
Captain Shakespear heard of the attack on Mr. McCabe at Lalbura's, 
and marched northwards to assist or relieve him. He was, however, 
able to get no further than Vansanga, when the whole country rose 
in arms, and after many skirmishes with the enemy he was compelled 
to entrench himself in Vansanga's village. There he kept all the 
hostile chiefs fully employed, and so prevented them from joining in 
the combination which was harassing the Aijal force ; but he was not 
able to cross the frontier or to return without a loss of prestige which 
would have been fatal to the security of the British power in these 
hills. Meanwhile the enemy constantly attacked Vansanga's village, 
attempted Lungleh itself, and spread themselves over the lines of com- 
munication, threatening Demagri, attacking the forts at Tinchang and 
Lalthuma in force, cutting the telegraph wires, destroying ferries 
and bridges, and occasionally shooting or cutting up transport 
followers and sepoys on the roads. At this period co-operation was 
afforded from Burma and a column marched from Fort White and 
effected a junction with Captain Shakespear. The combined forces 
then did all in their power to inflict effective punishment. Owing to 
the want of provisions occasioned by difficulties of transport, they 
had only 5 days at their disposal, but in this time they punished 
several villages, and the country was reduced to quiet and temporary 
submission. The Lushais were cowed by the sudden and unexpected 
appearance of reinforcements from the Burma side. The column 
which had thus rendered such valuable service marched on to 
Lungleh, and then to Chittagong, where arrangements were made 
for their return to Rangoon. 

With the departure of the Burma column the active opera* 


tions of the season closed. The hardships of the campaign, 
due to the unfavourable weather, the sickness among the troops, the 
want of roads, the distances to be traversed, and the difficulties of 
transport, were excessive and in the face of all these adverse con- 
ditions, the services of both officers and men deserved high com- 

In January 1892 a conference, of which Sir C. Elliott was a 
member, met at Calcutta to examine various questions relating to the 
country of the Lushai tribes. He strongly supported the proposal 
that the whole of this tract of country should be brought under one 
administration, and preferably that of Assam, and it was subsequently 
decided that the south Lushai bills should be transferred from Bengal 
to Assam as soon as possible. It was also decided that the Chittagong 
district should be transferred from Bengal to Assam as soon as the 
settlement operations then in progress had been brought to an end, 
and that, if it was found that there were difficulties in the way of an 
immediate transfer of the entire district, the subdivision of the Chitta- 
gong HilUTracts should be transferred in advance of the rest. The 
transfer of the whole of the Chittagong Division to Assam was, more- 
over, in contemplation. The South Lushai Hills were in September 
1895 included in Lower Bengal under 28 and 29 Vic. c. 17. s. 4 
and eventually transferred to Assam from the ist. April 1898. 

After the departure of the Burma Column in May 1 892 active 
operations ceased ; but, though the hostile Lushais were cowed, and 
their power scattered and broken, they were not crushed. The chiefs 
who rose against the British power were still independent and pre- 
pared to take the earliest opportunity of revenging themselves, and 
rumours were rife of their intention to attack the friendly tribes, and 
even Lungleh itself. It was therefore decided, after full consideration 
in December 1892, to despatch a punitive expedition, consisting of 
400 Gurkhas, 2 mountain-battery guns and 150 rifles of the i6th 
Bengal Infantry, for the protection of friendly villages, our convoys 
and communications, and to impress on the native tribes once for 
all a sense of British supremacy. This force, acting in concert with 
a column from Fort Aijal, completely effected its object, and, without 
meeting any resistance, established the authority of Government 
throughout the whole tract of country where it had been resisted, and 
returned to Bengal in February 1893. The general condition of the 


country, and the success attained in the payment of revenue and 
fines, pointed to the fact that the Lushais had abandoned all idea of 
combined resistance. An outpost was established at Lalrhima in 
the heart of the Lushai country, on the boundary line between the 
north and south Lushai territory, and the small force stationed there, 
together with the disarmament of hostile chiefs, would, it was believed, 
render it almost impossible for any serious trouble to again arise. 

The year 1893-4 was on the whole peaceful. The Lushai chief- 
tainess, Ropui Lieni, and her son, Lalthuama, who had been planning 
an attack on Lungleh, were arrested by Captain Shakespear in August 
1893, and detained in the Chittagong jail in acjcordance with 
warrants issued under Regulation III of 1818. Loncheva and 
Pavungat who had murdered an interpreter, named Shotingkara, in 
March 1892, were tried by Captain Shakespear and convicted and 
sentenced to transportation for life. Vasanga, another hostile chief, 
who was detained at Lungleh, was captured under very trying 
circumstances. A darbar was held at Lungleh at Christmas, at which 
the Commissioner of Chittagong was present. It was largely attended 
by the chiefs and their followers. The fines imposed - on the chiefs 
were realized during the year, amounting in all to 1 30 guns, one 
gyal and Rs. 950/- in cash. 

The Raja of Sikhim was given permission to reside during the 

rains at either Tumlong, Guntok, or Robdenchi. 


He chose the latter place, and went there in Febru- 
ary 1 89 1. In October the Council requested him to return to Guntok, 
but he refused. Sir C. Elliott then issued orders that it was expected 
of him that he would immediately return to Guntok, and also that his 
eldest son should be brought for education from Tibet. If the Raja 
failed to comply, all pecuniary allowances were to be stopped and in 
the last resort measures were to be taken to bring him to Guntok. 
The Raja ignored all the efforts of the Assistant Political Agent to 
induce him to go there. In March 1892 the Raja left Pemionchi 
ostensibly for his return to Guntok but in effect he endeavoured to 
find his way into Tibet via Nepal: he was arrested as soon as he 
crossed the border by the Nepalese authorities, who placed themselves 
in communication with the Government of India, and eventually 
escorted the Raja to Kurseong in the Darjeeling district, where he 
was detained und?r surv^illaq^e throughout i892r93. The Raja took 



no part in the adminisitration of the affairs of the State, which were* 
conducted by the Assistant Political Agent and the Council, acting 
together in complete agreement. The Raja's, attitude for some time 
remained unchanged, and he continued unwilling to return to Sikhim 
under the conditions imposed by Government. He declined to write 
to his eldest s6n, Tchoda Namgyel, who was still in Tibet, and exer- 
cised his influence to keep the boy away. His younger son, Chotal, 
who was recognised as the avatar ^ or incarnation, of the founder of 
th^ Phodung monastery, was being educated with the family of Raja 
Tenduk in Darjeeling, and allowed to make occasional visits into 
Sikhim. In the meantime, affairs in Sikhim continued quiet, and no 
change was contemplated in existing arrangements until the elder son 
returned from Tibet or the Maharaja showed himself to be more 
amenable to the authority of the British Government. 

No change took place until the Raja was removed to Darjeeling 
in April 1895, on expressing regret for his past conduct and subscrib- 
ing to a document in which he complied unreservedly with the condi- 
tions of the restoration imposed by Government ; he was subsequently 
allowed to return to Sikhim. He also wrote to ask his eldest son to 
return from Tibet. In the meantime suitable arrangements were 
made for the education of his second son and for the establishment 
of a school at Guntok. 

In accordance with the convention of 1890 between Great 
Britain and China, a trade mart was opened at Yatung on the Tibetan 
side of the frontier. The place was unsuitable for a mart and offered 
no attraction for traders ; but, though every attempt was made by the 
Chinese Amban to induce the Tibetans to substitute Phari for Yatung, 
it was found impossible to overcome their reluctance, and Yatung 
was eventually accepted by both the Chinese and British Governments 
as the only alternative to breaking off the negotiations altogether. 
As Yatung was the mart thus established by treaty, it was not possible 
that any change in the site could be sanctioned for the period of 5 
years during which the treaty was to be in force. The spirit of the 
treaty was violated by the erection of a solid stone wall across the 
valley, the^te of which was closed to traders from the Indian side, 
so that no interchange of trafHc such as was contemplated by the 
treaty could take place. Notwithstanding these difficulties, there was 
a large increase in some classes of the traffic, and the valine of the 


imports of raw wool from Tibet increased in one year from 
Rs. 3,02,498 to Rs. 4,98,593, and of musk from Rs. 3,343 to 
Rs. 81,204. 

Towards the close of 1894-95, a Commission, consisting of 
British, Chinese and Tibetan representatives, was appointed for the 
delimitation of the boundary between Sikhim and Tibet as defined in 
the Convention of 1890, but the Tibetans refused to supply transport 
for their party and the Chinese representative declared himself unable 
to move. Three pilfars which were put up at 3 passes where there was 
no dispute about the boundary were knocked down. After waiting 
for some time in the expectation that orders from Pekin miglu over- 
come Tibetan recusancy, the Comm ission was broken up in August 
1895, and further proceedings abandoned for the time ; but it was in 
contemplation to renew the demarcation in the following year. 

While this Commission was unable to proceed with its work, 
owing to the unwillingness of the Tibetans to send their delegates, 
a claim was made by the Tibetans to lands lying within the Sikhim 
boundary as laid down in the Convention with China, and on the 
settlement of that claim it was hoped that the demarcation of the 
boundary would be completed. 

On the Raja's return to his capital, Guntok, in November 1895, 
he was associated with the Council in the administration of the 
State, which was conducted under the advice and general supervision 
of the Political Officer. 

In May 1891, there took place an insurrection of the Bhuiyas of 
Keonjhur against their Maharaja^ resulting in his 


flight to Cuttack and final restoration, accompanied 
by Rai Nanda Kishore Das Bahadur as Government Agent. The 
oppressions and exactions of the Maharaja were the immediate 
cause of the disturbances, which were promptly suppressed by the 
local officers with the aid of the Government police. A detachment 
of troops from Calcutta was also ordered under arms, but it was 
only held in reserve and not called into action. Although all active 
resistance on the part of the insurgents appeared to have ceased, and 
the Maharaja was duly restored, the Bhuiyas, in spite of the efforts 
of the Government Agent towards reconciling them, held aloof, and. 
would neither pay the revenue due from them, nor allow the payment 
of revenue by -those under their influence. A proclamation was. 


issued warning them of the serious consequences of continued 
contumacy, and, if this warning was .neglected, they were during the 
ensuing cold weather, to be reduced to submission by force, and 
their ringleaders, if necessary, deported. The country which was in 
an -unsettled condition in the beginning of 1893-94, was gradually 
reduced to peace and order, and the Bhuiyas tendered complete sub- 
mission to their chief. The settlement operations in connection 
with the Bhuiya and Jnang Pirs were concluded on terms agreeable 
to, and accepted by, both parties, and leases were granted. The 
difficult question of personal services claimed by the Raja under the 
head of porterage, roof-thatching and dragging the car of the family 
god, out of which the rebellion had mainly sprung, was decided in a 
manner which it was hoped would be satisfactory and lasting, the 
nature and extent of the services to be claimed being defined with 
precision, or else commuted into an enhancement of the ordinary rent. 
At the request of the District Charitable Society and of the 

Eurasian and Anglo-Indian Association, Sir C. 

PAnpeiism among 

Buropeans and ElHott, in April 1 89 1, without pledging Govern- 


ment to accept any new financial responsibilities, 
appointed a representative Committee to enquire into the poverty or 
pauperism prevalent among Europeans and Eurasians in Calcutta 
and Howrah, and the various means possible for relieving and 
checking it. The Committee were occupied in this work for upwards 
of a year, and the Report which they submitted, with its appendices, 
was a valuable and interesting record of information. It was shown 
that statistics pointed to the existence of an amount of pauperism 
among the domiciled European community of Calcutta and Howrah 
far larger than what was believed to be the amount of similar des- 
titution in England, while the percentage of pauperism, that is, of all 
those who were in receipt of charitable relief of any kind, among 
Eurasians of all degrees of mixed blood was as high as 22.3. The 
causes of this excessive pauperism were shewn to be, partly, the 
increase of education among the natives of Bengal leading to sharper 
competition for employment ; partly, inherent defects of character 
common among Indo-Europeans, which often impeded and weaken- 
ed them in the struggle for existence ; and partly, and most important 
of all, the injudicious administration of charitable relief, which, by 
fiemoralizin^ the recipients of such aid, had contributed in no small 


measure to aggravate the evil. The relieving agencies of Calcutta, 
its charitable societies, its homes, and schools, and hospitals, control- 
led funds which in the aggregate were sufficient to meet even the exist- 
ing congested demand for relief ; and, if they were properly adminis- 
tered, not only would pauperism be diminished, but distress could'be 
absolutely stamped out. The principles advocated by the Committee 
were that the condition of idle paupers should be made less eligible 
than that of the independent poor, that indoor relief should be the 
rule and outdoor relief the exception, and that relief in aid of wages 

should be, if possible, avoided. 

In dealing with the remedies proposed by the Committee to 

counteract the prevailing tendencies in the direction of ever-increas- 
ing poverty. Sir C. Elliott confined himself mainly to a careful 
consideration of the means by which practical effect could be given 
to 3 schemes, of which 2 were intended to provide new sources of 
employment, and the third to promote the better organisation of 
charitable relief. Either of the 2 former would involve a not incon- 
siderable expenditure. One of them was the proposal to form an 
Indo-European regiment, and this Sir C. Elliott recommended to the 
favourable consideration of the Government of India, with the 
proviso that the new regiment should take the place of a native and 
not of a British regiment. The second proposal to establish a train- 
ing ship in the river Hooghly for Indo-European boys could hardly 
be undertaken with an assurance of ultimate success. Even if Indo- 
European boys could be induced to adopt the sea as a profession 
and to inure themselves to the perils and hardships of a sailor's life, 
there remained much doubt as to the possibility of obtaining employ- 
ment for them either as seamen or as ship apprentices. In view of 
this uncertainty, the cost of carrying out the scheme would be pro- 
hibitive, and in the shape presented the proposal had to be abandoned, 
but Sir C. Elliott was not without hope that some cheaper substitute 
might be found practicable. 

The Committee's third remedy, namely, the better organisation 
of charitable relief, was a matter in which it was impossible for 
Government, as such, to take any action ; but Sir C. Elliott expressed 
his general concurrence with the Committee, and approved their 
proposal that the District Charitable Society should undertake to 
deal' with all cases which in England would come within the operation 


of the Poor Law, leaving; to the femaihing charitable agencies those 
cases to which private charity was suitable. In order to carry out 
Ihis division of work, some central authority would bt necessary to 
investigate cases of destitution, to decide to which 6f the 2 classes 
they belonged, and otherwise to assist the various agencies in working 
harmoniously together. This work of a " Charity Organization Society" 
might, it was thought, be undertaken by the District Charitable Society, 
in addition to the duties assigned to it by the Committee. It seemed 
to have an organization suited for the purpose, though it would' be 
necessary to place its constitution on a somewhat wider basis, and 
to form a Central Committee consisting of representatives of all 
actions of the Christian religion, together with delegates from exist- 
ing charitable societies and institutions. Sir C. Elliott trusted that an 
earnest endeavour would be made to overcome the initial difficulties 
and to organize a practical scheme oh these lines, which would secure 
the co-operation of the various agencies of Calcutta. Again, in 
February 1893, the Calcutta Diocesan Conference urged that some- 
thing should be done to ameliorate the condition of poor Eiu'opeahs 
and Eurasians : but the suggestions were too general for the 
Bengal Government to accept any responsibility in respect 
of them. Sir C. Elliott pointed to the Sibpur Engineering College 
as affording a centre of practical education ; in respect of Govern- 
ment employment he expressed his willingness to treat this class of 
candidates equitably, but he regarded some of the proposals as being 
entirely beyond the legitimate sphere of State operations. 

The proposal to form an Indo-European regiment, with a view to 
„ „ . . , counteract the tendencies of that class towards 

Bnlifltment of 

^^tShT*" pauperism, having been rejected, the Government 
regiments. ^f India was asked to permit the admission of 

selected Eurasians into British regiments. It was suggested that the 
scheme might be tried tentatively, either by enlisting a limited number 
of men each year, or by limiting the number of such recruits per 
battalion or per company, or by restricting its operation for a definite 
period. It wias urged that in this way a supply of excellent soldiers 
might be obtained by the Army, who would enlist for long con- 
continued service, and that this would tend to effect a saving of 
considerable sums spent on reliefs. This proposal, however, did 
not ccimmeAd itself to Her Majesty's Government. The authodties 


at the War Office stated that the practical difficulties in the way of 
the proposed scheme were so great as to be almost insurmountable. 
The Military authorities at home declared themselves so strongly 
opposed to any departure from the existing principles which governed 
the enlistment of men for the Imperial forces that the Secretary of 
State for India felt it impossible to press the question further. 

In 1885 the Government of India suggested that steps should 
BthograpUc ^ taken towards the collection of more precise 
reeearches. information regarding the castes and occupations 
of the people of India, and Mr. H. H. Risley, c. s., was selected to 
prosecute ethnographic researches, from which, apart from the 
scientific results, substantial administrative benefits were anticipated. 
As the result of Mr. Risley's inquiries during 6 years. 2 volumes 
were brought out in the year 1891-92, containing the Ethnographic 
Glossary of all the castes, tribes, sub-castes, and sections, of which 
a substantial number of representatives was found in Bengal, with 
an introductory essay on Caste in relation to Marriage. These 
volumes were welcomed by Sir C. Elliott as an important addition 
to the stock of official information available on the subject and as a 
valuable contribution to scientific research. It was true that a com- 
plete knowledge of the caste system of India would not be obtained 
from the study of the Ethnographic Glossary alone. The greatest 
and purest castes of India, the Brahmans and Rajputs are (with the 
exception of the Maithila Brahmans of Bihar) exotics in Bengal, 
and it is only in Upper India, the country of their origin, that a 
full understanding of their main permanent subdivisions, and of the 
mutual relations of those subdivisions, can be obtained ; but still 
much learned information was contained in the Glossary respecting 
those clans or individuals of those castes who have emigrated into 
Bengal, and whose descendants have established local sub-castes 
with local customs of their own. The work contained the most 
complete account that had hitherto been put on official record with 
regard* to the numerous lower castes which had sprung up in Bengal, 
and to the representatives of the aboriginal races, who had more or 
less come under Hinduising influences. As a dictionary of the 
castes and their occupations, the Glossary was calculated to be useful 
to the Administration. The more Government officers knew about 
the religious ^nd social customs of the people of their district, the 


better able they would be to deal with either the possible social 
problems of the future, or with the practical questions arising in their 
ordinary work, such as the relations of the different castes to the land, 
their privileges in respect of rent, their relations to trade, their 
status in civil society, their internal organization, their rules as to 
marriage and divorce, and as to the giving and receiving of famine 
relief. It was believed that Bengal was the only province in which 
any substantial attempt had been made to carry out the wishes of 
the Government of India with respect to the investigation of castes 
and occupations originating from the Census of 1881. This work 
afforded a substantial frame-work on which further inquiries could be 
instituted and their results incorporated. 

The 2 volumes of the Ethnographic Glossary were circulated 
to all Commissioners, district and subdivisional officers, and other 
persons interested, and their criticisms invited with a view to supple- 
ment in a later edition the deficiencies incidental to such an under- 
taking. A scheme which Mr. Risley submitted in outline for the 
continuance of ethnographical researches in Bengal, and for their 
extension to other parts of India, was not accepted by the Supreme 
Government on the ground that such a work would swell to unwieldy 
proportions, but the republication of the Glossary v^ith the addition 
of Statistical information collected in the* last Census was subse- 
quently authorised. 

Mr. Risley also laid before Government 2 volumes containing 
his Anthropometric Data or series of tables of figures showing the 
results of measurements carried on under his orders, on the methods 
approved by European anthropologists, of the physical characteristics 
of certain selected castes and tribes. The conclusions to be deduced 
from these contributions were awaited. Another proposal made by 
Mr. Risley to continue Ethnographical researches in Bengal and 
extend them to other parts of India, by means of Honorary 
Directors in each province, was approved by the Government of 
India, but no financial assistance could be given, the work was left to 
amateur effort, and a central office was created at Calcutta in the 
Ethnographic Branch of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

Early in the year 1891 proceedings were instituted under Sir C. 

ProwcuUon of the ^lliott's Orders (with the approval of the Government 

9wn^^Mu gf India) which had for their object to bring home 


to the conductors of the Native Press of Bengal that the disloyal 
and seditious utterances in which so many of their number permitted 
themselves to indulge could not be tolerated. The Bangohasi 
newspaper, which was selected for prosecution, (upon the opinion 
of the Government legal advisers, by whom the 3 articles upon 
which the prosecution was based were chosen), was one of those 
which, upon the passing into law of the Age of Consent Act, had 
shown themselves conspicuously violent in their attacks upon the 

The 3 articles were those of the 20th March, i6th May, and 6th 
June, which are too long to quote in extenso as they filled 4 columns 
of the Englishman, They dealt with such subjects as the following : 
*Our condition' — * A Revealed Form of the English Ruler' — *An 
outspoken Policy is the Best for Uncivilised Persons ' — ' The Most 
Important and the First Idea of the Uncivilised Hindu ' — * What is to 
be the End ? ' The first article was to this effect : — 

*' People will by this time say that we are tully a subject people. 
In regard to our property, wealth, dependants, family, religioui usages 
and observances &c., we are completely subject to the English Ruler. 
If the English Ruler wishes, he can deprive us of our property, insult 
our families, give them trouble, and can obstruct us in the exercise of 
our religion, usages and observances. People will say this but we 
shall no longer be able to put our hands in their mouths. The 
English Viceroy, Governor-General, Lansdowne Bahadur, the other 
day, in the Legislative Council, in outspoken voice loudly, with 
swelling bosom, proclaimed this very matter.'' 

And the article went on to state that the Governor-General had 
said that the Hindu community must do what appears to be proper to 
the English and that the Hindus must forego all that may appear 
opposed to what the English think proper, and added further : " If in 
doing this, your religion is destroyed /let it be. If you are obstructed in 
observances which have descended to you from time immemorial, let 
it be. If you have to give a handful of water to your belief in the 
Shastras, you must give it — still the mighty Ruler, the Englishman, 
will never let you do that which may not appear to the English to be 
in conformity to good education, good morals, and civilization." 

The article went on also to inquire : " If it is so, O Probhu ! 
then declare it openly, and then destroy our all ; destroy our caste. 


i!0}igion, atid society ; then we shall understand from what motives, 
for the accomplishment of what object, you are carrying out these 
measures/' The article further said " that if the Governor-General 
has not envy of the Hindu religion in his mind ; and if he has 
entered on encompassing the ruin of the Hindus with the object of 
making his sway in India permanent, they clasp their hands and 
Entreat him to say so plainly, when they will execute bonds, binding 
themselves to perpetual slavery. The Governor-General may by the 
deep laid designs of politics diminish the strength of the bonds of 
lAdiari unity but he will never be able to destroy them so long as the 
religion remains unshaken " and so forth. 

Another article in the same issue was headed '* The Revealed 
Form of the English Ruler " and was as follows : — 

** In enacting the Consent Act, the English have been drawn into 
the vortex of circumstances and have been obliged to cast off both 
the mask and the slough. Now stands before us the severe terrible, 
disgusting, naked form of the Englishman. Our heart trembles at 
the sig^jt of this form. As Sita was stupefied on seeing the great 
ascetic, wearing the guise of a mendicant, transform himself suddenly 
into the ten-headed, twenty -eyed King of the Rakshasas, so have we 
been stupefied by fear, by wonder, by contempt, by insult. Oh ! 
Rama, Oh, Rama ! What a terrible form ! How fearful is its attitude ! 
And in that attitude how violent the dance and how deadly the subdued 
laugh which reverberates through half the Universe. The leering 
eyes perpetually revolve like the burning wheel in the potter's kiln, 
and with a thousand tongues in Mltchcha languages, with such words 
as pleases it, it is roaring incessantly. Oh, Madhu Sudana, King of 
Kings I Is this our Ruler ?" After much more in this strain as to the 
fearful form of the Ruler who *^ slanders the Hindus from the might 
of the gun," and so on, the article went on to say that the Hindu 
religion cannot be destroyed, though the chief fear is that it will be. 
and that '' the attempt to destroy it has rendered clearer the policy of 
the English." 

The law was clearly expounded in this case by the learned 
Chief Justice of Bengal, and it was shown beyond doubt that 
deliberate attempts to excite feelings of enmity and ill-will .against 
the Government and to hold it up to the hatred and contempt of 
the people) and misrepresentation of the true state of afEairs by 


'.partial statements of facts, so as to cause disaffection, were offences 
'under the law, and that writings of this nature in the public press 
rendered those who published them liable to punishment. In the 
trial which took- place the jury disagreed in their verdict, and, under 
the orders of the Chief Justice, the case was postponed as a remanei 
to the next ensuing Sessions of the High Court. The proprietor, 
editor, manager, and publisher of the Bangobasi then presented a 
petition to the Lieutenant-Governor, in which they expressed contri- 
tion for having allowed the articles which formed the subject of 
the prosecution to appear in that paper, promised henceforth to 
conduct it in a spirit of loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen-Empress 
and the Government of India and threw themselves unreservedly 
on the mercy of the Lieutenant-Governor. Representations were 
also made by the British Indian Association and by the Native 
Press Association — a body which was formed after the proceedings 
against the Bangobasi had been instituted, with the object, among 
others, of improving the tone of the Native Press and preserving 
moderation in the discussion of all public questions — interceding on 
behalf of the Bangobasi and entreating the Lieutenant-Governor to 
direct, in consideration of the humble submission of those res* 
ponsible for the paper, that further criminal proceedings should be 
stayed. These memorials were forwarded by Sir C. Elliott 
to the Government of India with His Honor's support, and, 
under the orders of His Excellency the Governor-General in 
Council, the matter was not pressed further against the defendants. 

There was reason to believe that this act of lenity was appre- 
ciated by the community generally, and that it exercised a healthy 
influence on the tone of the Press at the time. 

In accordance with the reccommendations of the Police Committee 
which sat iif 1 800-1, a Bill was prepared to amend 

VUlage Police. x, 

the village Chaukidart Act, 1870, and introduced 
into the Bengal Council on the 23rd April 1892. One object was to 
bring the village watch into closer relations with the district Magistrate. 
Another was to raise the social status of the Chaukidars, by substi- 
tuting men of better caste and more respectable position. The main 
alterations proposed were briefly set out in the Statement of Objects 
and Reasons as follows : — 

'^The present Bill ha^ been prepared to give effect to such of the 


proposals of the Police Committee of 1890-91 as have been accepted by 
Government in regard to the reconstitution of the village police. The 
Bill provides for the introduction of the Act into all villages irrespective 
of the number of houses they contain. It is proposed that the Magistrate 
may, with the consent of the Local Government, arrange for the elec- 
tion of a panchayat by the rate- payers in any manner most convenient. 
It is left to the Magistrate, and not to the panchayat^ to determine the 
numbei* of chaukidars to be employed, and to fix the salary of the 
chaukidars within certain limits. The appointment of a chaukidar will 
rest with the Magistrate, on the nomination of the panchayat^ and 
will no longer be made by the panchayat. The powers of arrest by a 
chaukidar have been extended so as to bring the law into accordance 
with the general practice. The appointment of a tahsildar is authorised 
not only, as now, on the application of the panchayat,^ but also at the 
discretion of the Magistrate, when he finds that collection is badly 
carried out and the chaukidar is not regularly paid. Fines and penalties 
will be credited no longer to the Chaukidari Village Fund, but to a 
district Chaukidari Reward Fund, the control over which will rest 
with the Magistrate. In other respects there are small modifications of 
the existing law. It is not considered expedient at present to undertake 
any legislation in regard to Part II of the Act relating io chakreut 

In the progress through Council of the Bill which became Act I 

(B.C.) of 1892 certain further amendments were incorporated, of 
which the following only need be mentioned. The number of the 
panchayat was fixed at *' not less than 3, nor more than 5," with a 
further proviso that in certain local areas the Local Government might 
reduce the number to i. This provision was inserted with reference to 
the peculiar conditions of tea estates in the districts of Darjeeling and 
Jalpaiguri, and of localities in other districts where it might not be 
possible to appoint more than one member. The Magistrate of the 
district was also authorised to delegate, with the sanction of the 
Commissioner, his powers under the Act, either wholly or in part, 
to any subordinate Magistrate of the first class in charge of a sub* 
division, or to the District Superintendent of Police. A proposal 
was also made to insert a clause forbidding police officers to make 
use of chaukidars as menial servants, but this amendment was with* 
drawn on the understanding that strict orders would be issued by 
Government on the subject. 

Next to low caste and disreputable antecedents one of the causes 


which had done much to degrade the village chaukidar in his own 
esteem and that of the public, and to lessen :his influence for good, 
had been the habit, too common among the provincial police, of 
treating him as a beast oi burden and a menial servant. The 
Government was pledged to do all it could to stop this custom, and 
Sir C. Elliott took every opportunity of giving publicity to his desire 
that Magistrates and District Superintendents of Police should set 
their faces sternly against the practice. 

The Police Committee made a number of recommendations for 
Th Re Ur ^^ improvement of the regular police, chiefly with 

Police. a, tendency to increasing the pay of the various 

grades. The most important suggestion was that no officers inferior 
in rank to Sub-Inspectors should be employed in the investigation 
of criminal cases and that head-constables, whose number would be 
greatly reduced, should be confined to work of a less responsible 
nature. This was accepted so far as financial exigencies permitted. 
In accordance also with the Committee's advice the special reserves 
of police on military lines were further organized^ under special 

Sir C. Elliott devoted much time and attention to the working of 
The Criminal ^^ Criminal Courts, and accepted generally the 

Courts. recommendations of the Police Committee on this 

subject He enjoined on Magistrates and sub-divisional officers 
that they should watch the proceedings of investigating police officers 
with greater care, and issue such instructions as they thought fit. 
The necessity of carefully watching over the work of their subor- 
dinates was impressed again and again on district Magistrates with 
special reference to delays in trying cases and unnecessary remands. 
At the suggestion of Sir C. Elliott the High Court issued 
instructions to Sessions Judges that they were authorised and expected 
to inspect the Courts of Magistrates subordinate to them. Above 
all things Sir C. Elliott insisted that there should be no avoidable 
delay in the disposal of cases.. It should, he laid down, be a point 
of honour with Magistrates not to plead want of time as an excuse 
for adjournment ; and when witnesses were in attendance the Court 
should not rise at 5 p. m., as had hithertd been too often the practice, 
but should sit till dusk or even after dark rather than subject parties 
and witnesses to the inconvenience of another day's detention. Great 


Improvement soon manifested itself in this department of the Adminis- 
tration, and his efforts to improve the procedure in Criminal Courts 
were cordially responded to by all classes of Magistrates. 

The change of Excise policy in Bengal, from the outstill system 

of Sir A. Eden's time, through the Excise Commis- 
sion of 1883-84, to the revival of sadar distilleries, 
has been shewn In the previous Chapter. Outstills were abolished 
on I St. April 1889 in Calcutta, the 24-Parganas, and Howrah, and 
from I St. April 1890 in the 16 remaining districts of the Presidency. 
Burdwan, Dacca and Orissa Divisions, with a loss of revenue. This 
loss was nothing more than might have been expected under a new 
policy introducing so great a change. The Government wrote as 
follows : " The advantages of the distillery system are great, and 
there is no reason why it should not succeed in raising a moderate 
revenue in settled tracts where the people are fairly prosperous, and 
at the same time in reducing consumption. In Northern Bengal, 
the Chittagong Division, and in Chota Nagpur, with the exception 
of Hazaribagh, there are no. distilleries. The dual system prevails 
in the Patna Division and in the districts of Monghyr, Bhagalpur 
and Hazaribagh. The central distillery supplies a certain area, and 
the rest of each district is served by outstills, which are placed under 
stringent restrictions as to the amount of liquor the lessses may 
manufacture. In Bihar the poverty of the people compels the 
supply of cheap and therefore weak liquor^ and undue pressure put 
upon the abkars only results in the stimulation of illicit distillation. 
During the year 1890-91 there was a marked decline in revenue in 

every district in Bihar, and the figures indicate less success in 


managing excise there than elsewhere in the province. - The attempt 
to raise the retail prices of outstill liquor has failed, and the ahkart 
have combined to refuse settlements. It appears probable that 
sufficient judgment has not been exercised, and that the upset prices 
have been fixed too high for the abkars to be able to recoup them- 
selves by raising the price of liquor. The trade in duty-paying 
spirit has been injuriously affected, but there is nothing to show that 
this has been accompanied by reduced consumption, and not by an 
increase in illicit distillation.^ 

Defects in the working of the Excise Department as regards 
country -spirit attracted Sir C. EHiott^s attention in respect of (i) 4he 


restriction of still and vat capacity in outstills : — (2) the system of 
fixing the duty on liquor according to its exact strength as measured 
by the hydrometer, compared with the system of issuing it at fixed 
strengths :— -(3) the system of fixing minimum prices of retail sale, 
(4) the rates of distillery fees : (5) the desirability of distilling weak 
liquor at the Government distilleries : (6) the failure of the attempt 
made in Bihar to raise the license fees of outstills. 

He expressed himself to be a hearty supporter of the central 
distillery system, — the essence of which was that every gallon of 
liquor distilled should pay duty to the State, — as opposed to the out- 
still system under which the more the liquor distilled the less the duty 
paid. But he strongly condemned the idea that the introduction of 
the Government distillery system should be followed by the introduc- 
tion of stronger liquor than the people had been in the habit, of 
drinking. Worked in this way, a system which was advocated oii 
principles of temperance as well as of sound finance would become 
an instrument making for the spread of drunkenness. He therefore 
insisted on the distilling (as a general rule) of no stronger liquor 
than was made at the outstills and generally consumed by the people^ 
subject to the condition that it must be strong enough to carry to the 
shops where it was to be sold. 

• As it had been noticed that the restriction of the still and vat 
capacity, excellent though the scheme was in principle, had been 
carried out in an unintelligent way, and practically had no effect 
whatever, as in most cases the limit was placed far above the real 
wants of the shop, the question was further thoroughly examined by 
Sir C. Elliott, and it was amply demonstrated that the system had 
proved a failure. It had given infinite trouble to the officials and 
caused gpreat annoyance to the abkars, who had frequently evaded 
the restriction altogether. He accordingly decided to withdraw, 
unconditionally, all existing restrictions on the capacity of vats from 
I St. April 1893. As regards the stills. Collectors were empowered 
to allow them to-be used of any size that might be thought desirable, 
reporting their action in each case to the Commissioner of Excise, 
who was given power to revise the orders if necessary. 

The idea that the extension of the Government distillery system 
should be followed bjf the introduction of stronger liquor than th^ 
people had been in the habit of drinking having been strongly conr 


demned, the question was further discussed before final orders were 
passed. There was no doubt that at equal prices the drinking public 
preferred strong to weak liquor ; but the question was — why Govern- 
ment should create a taste for strong drink by issuing strong liquor 
from its central distilleries when the practice of the outstillers (who 
unquestionably followed^ and did not form the public taste) showed 
that weak liquor was preferred ? The only possible defence of the 
practice, it was said, would be that the distillery liquor, though issued 
strong, was diluted and sold weak ; . and from this arose the sub- 
sidiary question whether the public preferred their liquor issued weak 
from the. distiller}' ready for drinking, or issued strong and then 
diluted to weakness in the shops. It was ascertained that as a rule 
dilution was practised to a ver\' small extent, and even then more as 
a fraud or as adulteration than with the intention of watering down 
liquor to any thing like the level of weak outstill liquor. There was 
no doubt that weak liquor, hot and fresh from the still, was 
preferred to strong liquor diluted with hot water ; but it 
w^s not so clear that weak liquor, which had grown cold 
and stale, was better liked than diluted strong liquor. This 
however, was but a side issue : the main point was that, when strong 
distillery liquor was manufactured, it was not habitually diluted to 
any thing like the weakness of outstill liquor and therefore the issu^ 
of such liquor must have tended to encourage a taste for strong 
drink. The Board and the £xcise Commissioner, far from forbidding 
the distillation of weak spirit, as was done in some places, were 
instructed to so far discourage the distillation of strong liquor as not to 
insist on it. It was held to be the wisest course to attempt to. meet 
the popular taste and allow the distillers to turn out the spirit for which 
they found the readiest sale. 

With regard to outstills, effect was given from the beginning of 
1893-94 to the order of Government, directing the withdrawal of the 
restriction on the capacities of the stills and the fermenting vats, 
which were introduced on the recommendation of the Excise Com- 
mission, but were found after full trial to be vexatious and ineffectual 
in practice. The licensees of outstills were not, however, allowed 
to increase the size of the stills already sanctioned without the approval 
of the Collectors and the Excise Commissioner. Sir C, Elliott antici- 
pated no evil results from the change. 


As the early cessation of the rains in September 1891 gave rise 
to apprehensions that the great winter rice crop of 
Bengal must be materially injured and that distress 
would probably ensue, Sir C. Elliott called for full and periodical 
reports as to the condition and prospects of the crops and of the 
people, revised and republished the Famine Code, caused lists of 
works available for purposes of relief to be prepared afresh, and thus 
maintained the Administration in readiness to meet famine, should 
it come. The first warning that scarcity was impending in some of 
the districts in the Patna, Bhagalpur, and Rajshahi Divisions was 
given in December 1891. The forecast then made was verified by 
the result. Although a good bhadoi harvest (or early rain crop) 
enabled the cultivators to bear without much suffering the loss of 
the greater part of the winter rice crop, the continuance of drought 
reduced the outturn of the rahi crop almost to nothing, and resulted 
in the presence of a more or less widespread distress, which in 
March 1892 necessitated the opening of relief works iu several 
districts. As was anticipated, the effects of the scarcity were most 
acutely felt in the district of Darbhanga, and in parts of Muzaffarpur, 
Monghyr, Bhagalpur, Purnea, and Dinajpur. Prices, though high, 
nowhere rose to actual famine pitch, but the dearth of employment 
threw on the District Boards the responsibility of enabling all 
agricultural labourers who were out of work to earn subsistence 
wages, and it was for this purpose that relief works were opened. 
In the event of district funds failing, (and a ruling of Government 
required that they should first be exhausted before an appeal to 
Govornment for funds could be entertained) Government undertook 
to supplement them from provincial resources, and to grant loans 
liberally under the Land Improvements' and Agriculturists' Loans 
Acts. Monthly Reports were, after the close of the year 1891-92, 
regularly submitted, giving particulars as to the affected tracts and the 
relief operations undertalcen. On the ist April 1892 there were about 
23,000 labourers on the relief works, and nearly 900 people were in 
receipt of gratuitous relief. 

For some years past the physical training of schoolboys had 
been encouraged by the formation of clubs for 

Physical training. ^ '' 

athletics, by drill and gymnastic exercises, in Col- 
legiate competitions s^ncl annual sports, In 1891-92 it was particularly 



noticed on every hand that there was a great increase of the zeal with 
which the national English games, especially football, were played. 
On tour Sir C. Elliott constantly watched the performances of the 
boys with the greatest interest. He noticed how much more the 
Bengalis took to these exercises than the Biharis : even in the Bihar 
zilla schools he observed that the most proficient boys were Bengalis 
by birth. He looked forward to great improvement in the physique 
of Bengalis in the course of one or two generations from this source. 
In the interior of the country no difficulty was experienced in obtain- 
ing space for the boys' games, but in Calcutta the opposite was the 
case. In Calcutta, sites on the maidan were allotted for 3 European 
and 2 NaUve Colleges, but the distance of the maidan from most of 
the private schools and the want of playgrounds near the boys' 
homes proved an insurmountable obstacle. Sir C. Elliott expressed 
a hope that some generous and public-spirited individuals would 
come forward and provide means for the physical improvement of 
their race : and with the aid of Government and private subscriptions 
Marcus Square in the centre of the town was cleared and made 
available for recreation. 

It was not only in the physical training of the youth of Bengal 
„ „ . that Sir C. Elliott showed himself to be interested. 

Welure oz 

studenta. jjg jost no Opportunity of advancing their welfare 

in every way possible : it was a matter which he had much at heart. 
He laboured for the provision of boarding accommodation for the 
students in Colleges in Calcutta, arranged for the enlargement of the 
boarding-house of the Presidency College, assisted the construction 
of a boarding-house for the students of the Calcutta madrasa, and 
at this time a boarding-house was established by the Oxford Mission. 
He induced the authorities at the Presidency College to attach more 
importance to the prize-giving at the end of term and to improve 
the occasion with recitations, &c. &c. : he helped greatly towards the 
establishment of the "Society for the higher training of young men," 
— subsequently called the University Institute : he invited the students 
from the Calcutta Colleges and Schools to Belvedere several times 
during his tenure of office, and organised river parties for them. But, 
with all his kindness and efforts for their welfare, he insisted on a 
proper sundard of discipline at all Educational Institutions and 
brooked no attempts at insubordination. 


The Civil Engineering College, formerly a department of the 
Presidency College, Calcutta, was transferred as 

The Civil Bogi- 

neering CoUfige, above recorded, by Sir A. Eden to Sibpur, and closely 


connected with the workshops established at that 
place about the same time by the Public Works Department. 
Arrangements were made for the instruction of 4 classes of students, 
namely — (i) Civil Engineers, (2) Mechanical Engineers, (3) Civil 
Overseers, (4) Foreman Mechanics. The second and third classes 
were, however, either never opened or were quickly closed for want of 
students. The first class was composed of matriculated members of 
the University, and prepared, after a course of study extending over 
four years, for the License in Engineering (Civil or Mechanical) 
granted by the University. The last class was of a lower status, in 
point both of the initial qualifications demanded of the students and of 
the standard of instruction to be imparted to them. The students in 
it were apprenticed to the Executive Engineer in charge of the work- 
shops, and hence were known as Mechanical Apprentices. Every 
student in each class was to work for some hours a day in the shops, 
both during the period of his class instruction and for a certain time 
after its close. 

A Committee of Engineers and Educational OfHcers was appoint- 
ed to revise the course of study and of practical training, and on 
their recommendation the following arrangements were introduced. 
The standard for admission to the Engineering Department of 
the College was raised, by requiring a candidate to have passed one 
or other of the following tests : — 

(i) The Entrance examination of the Calcutta University, after 
obtaining not less than 40 and 50 per cent respectively of the marks 
assigned to English and Mathematics. With this qualification the 
candidate had to be under 19 years of age. 

(2) The F. A. Examination of the Calcutta University ; the 
candidate's age being under 21 years. 

(3) The B. A. examination in the 6 course ; the candidate's age 
being under 23 years. 

In order to attract students of the highest attainments, it was 
determined to award the 10 special scholarships, reserved for students 
on admission to the College, to the following classes of students in 
prder : — (i) Bachelors of Arts who had taken up the B course ; 


(2) candidates who had passed the First Arts examination : (3) other 
candidates according to the number of marks gained in English 
and Mathematics jointly. 

In order that those students who failed to obtain a degree might 
still obtain some acknowledgment of the extent to which they had 
prosecuted their studies, the Principal of the College was authorised 
to hold a final College examination of the students of the Engineer 
class, and to issue certificates of proficiency in the theoretical course, 
similar to those which were granted to students of the apprentice 
class. The holders of the certificates, whether they obtained a 
degree or not, were afterwards to be put through the full course of 
manual instruction and practical training prescribed for the Engineer 

The advantage of securing to the province a supply of young 
men trained to engineering pursuits was, in Sir C. Elliott's opinion, 
a sufficient justification for the expenditure incurred, as it would be 
strictly reproductive. He encouraged students to join the Engineer- 
ing Department by every means in his power. Formerly i and 2 
appointments in the grade of Assistant Engineers were reserved in 
alternate years for students of the Sibpur College who qualified at 
the University Examination, and who afterwards showed satisfactory 
progress when posted on probation to public^works. Sir C. Elliott 
was prepared to direct that all appointments in the upper subordinate 
grade of the Public Works Department, made by the Government of 
Bengal, should be selected from students of the Sibpur Engineering 
College, who had graduated in Engineering at the Calcutta University 
and successfully passed the subsequent period of practical training. 
He also agreed that the students of the College, who, without having 
passed the University examination in Engineering, passed the final 
College examination, and had also gone through the subsequent 2 
years' course of practical instruction, should be declared qualified for 
employment as District Engineers, provided they had been employed 
in engineering works for not less than 5 years, exclusive of the time 
spent in their practical course, and held satisfactory^ certificates of 
good conduct and eflficiency during such employment. He trusted 
that the Sibpur College would attain to its true position as the centre 
of genuine technical education in Bengal, and would be a powerful 
factor in promoting and developing the industries of the province. 


In 1895 a course of mining instruction was sanctioned for this 
College. The award of 2 mining scholarships of Rs. 50 per mensem^ 
tenable for 2 years by holders of the B. E. degree who intended to 
take up mining as a profession, 'was sanctioned, and arrangements 
were made for their practical training under Dr. Saise, manager of 
the East Indian Railway Collieries. In the absence of passed B. E. 
candidates willing to undertake the training a commencement was 
made with a Licentiate of Engineering. 

The following notice of Primary Education in 1893 shows at a 
Primary B d u c a- fi^^^^^cc the figures for 20 years and the system in 
tion generauy- f^^ce. In the Chapter of the Bengal Administration 
Report for 1872-73, which- deals with the general system of public 
instruction under this heading, occurs the following passage : — * A 
plan for systematically establishing Government primary schools in 
all districts and of localising their administration has been framed, 
and a total Government grant, amounting to Rs. 5,50,000 a year, is 
now allotted.' In this sentence was announced the now well-known 
system of primary education initiated by Sir G. Campbell in his 
Resolution of 30th. September 1872. In August 1873 there were 
under the operation of the Government scheme 10,787 village 
schools with 255^728 scholars. In March 1883 there were 62,551 
primary schools with 1,094,911 scholars. In March 1893 the 
numbers were 47,525 schools with 1,122,930 scholars. This system 
has gone through many modifications during this period and possibly 
still further modifications may be required. Its main features, how- 
ever, are unlikely to be altered. 

The following quotation from the report of the Education 
Commission* places the policy that was adopted twenty years ago, 
with regard to the system of primary education in this province, in 
a clear light : — 

Bengal system: General view: — "The Bengal system of primary 
education is therefore based entirely upon the existing indigenous 
schools. Its declared policy towards them has been, first, to win their 
confidence, and then, secondly, to cautiously and gradually introduce 
necessary improvements. Any rapid improvement or elevation of their 
standard has been studiously avoided. The object of Government has 
been to give the masses of the people useful, however elementary, 

• 8ir W. W. Huntcr'8 : cieo Chapter VJll. i>age 7«) 


instruction in the schools which they themselves created and maintained 
and in the form in which they are said still to desire it The schools are 
declared to be village schools established and maintained by the people 
for the people ; and the Government contribution, small as it is, is a 
subsidy paid to the school-masters as an inducement to them to teach 
and as a reward for teaching those subjects of elementary liberal instruc- 
tion which find no place in the ordinary course of the village ^a/Asala, 
It is believed that any attempt to raise the schools as a body above the 
lower primary standard would be to drive away those pupils whom, 
above all others, it desires to attract. At the same time the general 
improvement , of the pathscUa is not wholly neglected ; and it is effected 
partly by the substitution, as opportunity offers, of younger and better 
educated teachers, and as a consequence thereof by the introduction of 
new subjects of study, serving to connect the /^r/Aro/d with the general 
education system of the province, and by encouraging the rise of selected 
schools to the upper standard. The motive to improvement is supplied 
not only by the small rewards that are earned at the annual gatherings, 
but by inspection, by the stimulus of a competitive examination, by the 
award of scholarships, and perhaps in a still higher degree by the know- 
ledge which the people in every village of Bengal have acquired, that the 
Government interests itself in their schools, desires them to prosper and 
is eager to co-operate with them in their improvement". 

Though the administration of affairs connected with primary 
education has of late years been in the hands of District Boards in 
the districts scheduled under the Local Self^Govemment Act, the 
system above described is still very generally in force. 

In dealing with the Municipal Reports of the year 1890-91, 

and in Muni- ^*' ^' ^^^^^ ^^*^ down that municipalities might 

cipaHtiM. fairly be required to provide primary education 

for boys of school-going age — a number which might be taken 
to be 15 per cent of the male population of the town. Commis- 
sioners of Divisions were authorised to give effect to this principle 
when passing the annual estimates under the Municipal Act, and to 
see that municipalities made ample provision for primary schools 
before allotting funds in support of secondary education. It was 
suggested that the best means of attaining this end would be to ask 
each municipality to prepare a definite scheme for providing the re- 
quisite number of primary schools, and to submit it for the Com-^ 
missioner's approval. It was proposed that the grants given by 
Govenmient to primary schools within municipal limits should 


be made over to the municipalities concerned for expenditure on the 
same object, and these, together with the relief afforded by the trans- 
fer of the collection and registration of vital statistics to the town 
police, were expected to appreciably relieve their finances and help 
them to meet the new liability. When these orders were repeated, 
it was laid down that municipalities should be called upon to provide 
instruction for i the number of boys of a schoolgoing age, as ascer- 
tained by taking them to be 15 per cent of the male population. A 
large number were not provided for as for obvious reasons it could not 
be expected that all the boys should be at school. Taking the average 
cost of this class of education at 10 annas per head (exclusive of that 
portion of the charge which was ordinarily met from fees and sub- 
scriptions), the cost which the municipalities were called upon to 
defray under these orders in providing education for 180, 112 boys 
was taken in round numbers at Rs. 67,000, which bore to the total 
ordinary income (i. e., excluding the income derived for specific 
purposes, such as lighting, conservancy, water-supply, maintenance 
of hospitals, &c.) of the municipalities during 1891-92 the ratio of 
3'2 per cent, — a very moderate demand to make on municipal reve- 
nues for the primary education of the boys resident within their limits. 
Municipalities were at the same time informed that, in those cases 
in which the municipal revenues were already so deeply pledged to 
obligatory expenditure that this small contribution could not be made 
to primary education,' some help would be afforded from provincial 
revenues for a year or 2 till the necessary equilibrium was established. 
In 1892 the transliteration of the Indian names of well-known 
speuing of vema. P*^«s» ^ivers &c. in Bengal, of vernacular technical 
cuiar names. terms in constant use, and names of religious 

festivals, was revised by the Bengal Government, with the approval 
of the Government of India, lists of words being published for 
general adoption. The spelling of the names of places and rivers 
which had been fixed by historical and literary usage was not altered, 
but it was laid down that all other names of places and all technical 
vernacular terms which it might be found necessary to employ in 
official letters should be transliterated on the scientific system 
accepted by Government. Sir C. Elliott considered the revision 
to be necessary, as the tendency of educated people was towards 
a system of spelling which was regarded as scientific, and as it 


was, moreover, becoming more and more irksome to spell by the 
antiquated phonetic methods a number of names which could 
not be said to have received the stamp of universal acceptance. 

The quinquennial arrangement with the Government of India 

Distinctive fea- for financial administration, which had been revised 

• viS^iai°cJ)nS2cte~f in 1887, had to be renewed in 1892. The provin- 

i8«7and 18W. ^j^^ contract, as it was called, of 1887 was based for 

the most part on the arrangements proposed by the Financial Com- 
mittee. No material advance in the system of decentralisation was 
made, but by a redistribution of the shares of the Imperial and Pro- 
vincial Governments in the 3 principal heads of Land Revenue, 
Stamps, and Excise, and by certain reductions in expenditure which 
were considered feasible, a general standard of normal revenue and 
expenditure was obtained, which was adopted as the "Ruling 
account/' The surplus of this account, amounting to Rs. 6,90,000, 
was appropriated by the Government of India through the Land 
Revenue head« leaving Bengal with a revenue and expenditure exact- 
ly equal. The Government of Bengal was admitted to a quarter 
share in the Land Revenue collections, except those from Govern- 
ment estates, whilst under Stamps and Excise its share was changed 
from J in the preceding contract to f and i respectively. The pro- 
portion of charges under Stamps and Excise followed the proportion 
of receipts. The cost of surveys and settlements and of the main- 
tenance of agricultural works and embankments was made entirely 
Provincial. Refunds and Drawbacks followed the proportions 
assigned for the revenues concerned. The Patna-Gaya State Railway 
was made Imperial, and the Eastern Bengal State Railway system. 
Provincial, with this reservation, that any excess over 30 lakhs in the 
net revenue from the Eastern Bengal State Railway (Proper) was to be 
credited to Imperial revenues. The interest on funds provided for 
outlay on State Railways and Irrigation Major Works was borne by 
the Provincial revenues and was calculated on the entire capital out- 
lay, including loss by exchange, from the commencement of opera- 
tions, but excluding the amount advanced from Provincial revenues 
during the term of the contract. The only important change made 
after this contract was finally settled was the transfer of the manage- 
ment of the Tirhut State Railway to the Bengal and North- Western 
Railway Company from the ist July 1890. 


The quinquennial period, 1887-88 to 1891-92,'' covered by this 
contract, began with a balance of nearly Rs. 20,00,000 in favour of 
Bengal and closed with a balance of Rs. ^73,85,000. The provincial 
resources, which were estimated at Rs. 4,64,47,000, averaged 
Rs. 5,i5,29^ocx), being an increase of Rs. 50,82,000; the expendi- 
ture, which was estimated at Rs. 4,64,47,000, averaged Rs. 5,14,52,000, 
showing an increase of Rs. 50,05,000 ; and the surplus of revenue 
over expenditure (after payment of a special contribution of 10 lakhs 
to. Imperial revenues in 1890-91) was Rs. 77,000 a year, or 
Rs. 3,85,000 in 5 years. 

The contract made in 1892 was also for another period of 5 
years commencing from the ist. April 1892. It was expressly 
declared to be a consolidated contract for all provincial revenues 
and expenditure, and not a collection of separate assignments for 
each head. Inter-provincial adjustments were abolished. The 
following changes were made in the provincial receipts and charges. 
The cost of surveys and settlements under Land Revenue, which 
under the last contract was entirely provincial, was made Im- 
perial, with the reservation that, if the recoveries on account of 
the survey and settlement operations in Bihar fell short of the 
expenditure which was recoverable from the zamindars and raiyais, 
the difference would be charged to the provincial Revenues. The 
whole of the general establishment of the Accountant-Genera 1 was 
made Imperial, but the charges of the Examiner of Local Accounts 
and his establishment continued to be provincial. All police 
charges, including Railway Police, were made provincial. The 
salaries and allowances of officers on the cadre of the Civil 
Veterinary Department were Imperial, but all other charges of that 
Department were made provincial. The Nalhati and the Tirhut 
State Railways were made Imperial, while the net receipts of the 
Eastern Bengal system were divided equally between the Imperial 
and the provincial revenues. It was also decided that the Govern- 
ment of Bengal should not exercise any administrative or financial 
powers in regard to railways. The capital expenditure on the 
Hijli tidal canal required to complete the work was to be advanced 
from the Imperial funds, the provincial Government paying interest 
as before^ After making allowance for all these alterations the 
Government of India adopted the following figures as the estimates 


of the total provincial revenue and expenditure for the new con- 
tract: — Revenue from all sources 4,24,93,000; Total provincial ex- 
penditure 4,10,54,000; Surplus I4j39,ooo. 

This surplus (Rs. 14,39,000) was appropriated to the Imperial 
Revenues through the Land Revenue head, and Bengal was thus 
left with a revenue and expenditure exactly equal. 

The year 1892-3 was the first year in which arrangements were 
First Financial ™^^^ ^^^ ^^ expositiou of the systcm of Provincial 
Lt^T^iVt I v^o Finance in Bengal before the Lieutenant-Governor's 
Councu. Legislative Council. Although the financial state- 

ment was actually made before the Council assembled on the ist 
April 1893, the arrangements for the statement were all completed 
in the year 1892-3. In making the statement the Hon'ble Mr. H. H. 
Risley, Financial Secretary, explained briefly how the system of Pro- 
vincial Finance came to be introduced, and the main differences 
which distinguished it from the system of centralized finance which 
it displaced. He then compared Provincial Finance as understood 
in India with the cognate systems of Federal Finance as practised in 
the German Empire and the American Commonwealth : and finally 
explained the prominent and characteristic features of the budget 
for the year 1893-94. A concise but complete history was separately 
given of the working of the system of Provincial Finance for 2 1 years, 
from 1871-72 to 1891-92, during which period the system had been 
in force. It was there shown how, from having control over a few of 
the spending departments of Government, which were made over to 
the Local Government under the first decentralization Resolution 
of the Government of Lord Mayo in 1871-72, the Provincial Govern- 
ment had come to be entrusted with the financial management of 
almost every branch of revenue and expenditure arising in Bengal. 
The extent to which, by the contract commencing from ist April 
1892, the Provincial Government was allowed to share in these 
receipts and expenditure was shown in a schedule. On the receipt 
side of the account the Provincial Government received 12 per cent, 
on the land revenue collected from Government estates ; the rents 
of salt warehouses ; fines and other minor receipts ; provincial rates ; 
minor Customs receipts; interest on local loans; receipts from 
Courts of law, jails, police, marine, education, medical, Botanic 
Gardens, cinchona, fairs, emigration, and receipts in aid of superan- 


nuation ; also stationery and printing, except the value of supplies 
to railways and local bodies ; and all receipts from irrigation, navi- 
gation, and civil works. It received i of the assessed taxes, forest 
receipts, and registration receipts and the traffic earnings on the Eastern 
Bengal Railway system ; ^ of exdse and minor land revenue heads, 
and I of the important head of stamps. On the expenditure side the 
Government of Bengal was required to meet all charges under the head 
of land revenue, except survey and settlement, all expenditure for 
provincial rates, and the transferred heads of customs, salt and 
interest ; also all charges arising under the heads Courts of law, jails, 
police, marine, education, medical, and, with certain exceptions, poli- 
tical ; the whole of the cost of scientific and minor departments except 
Census, ancient manuscripts, and certain veterinary charges ; the 
whole of the cost of stationery and printing ; the working expenses 
of irrigation and navigation, and civil works with the exception of 
Imperial buildings. It was also made responsible for i of the 
expenditure under assessed taxes, forest and registration; for i 
of the working expenses of the Eastern Bengal Railway system : 
and for | of the stamp expenditure and i of excise. 

Towards the close of his Administration Sir C. Elliott recorded 

Five yean' Pro- & hrief retrospect of the Provincial Finance of the 

vtndai n»no©. ^ ^^^^ 1891-92 to 1895-96. The Opening balance 

in 1891-93 was lessened by the special benevolence of 10 iak^ 
levied by the Government of India in the preceding year. The 
sudden fall of the revenue in 1892-93, the first year of the new 
contract, was due chiefly to an important change in railway adminis- 
tration, and to the raising of the fixed contribution from provincial 
to Imperial revenues. In consequence of these and other changes, 
the balance at the close of the year was reduced to 22^ iakAs. The 
following year showed a revenue increased by nearly 8^ iakks, owing 
to receipts under stamps and excise, and from the Eastern Bengal 
State Railway ; and the closing balance rose to 26^ iak^. The 
revenue for 1894-95 exceeded that of the previous year by nearly 
17 iakhSi this being inclusive of 3 lakhs levied as an extraordinary 
contribution by the Government of India, and the balance at the 
close of the year reached the high figure of about 43 lakhs. On 
the whole period, besides the extraordinary benevolence of 10 lakhs 
levied at its commencement, Bengal contributed no less than 67I lakhs 


to meet the necessities of the Empire, over and above the heads of 
receipt ordinarily classed as Imperial, and those divided in stated 
proportions between the Local and Supreme Governments. Notwith- 
standing this drain upon the provincial resources, a substantial array 
of administrative improvements was carried out within the period. 
Three new districts were created ; the judicial staff was strengthened 
in several ways, and the number of Sub-Registrars increased ; the 
police was reorganised, and reinforced by reserves in every district ; 
jails were extended, and their water-supply improved ; the Medical 
College and Campbell Hospitals were enlarged and a new hospital 
for the south of Calcutta commenced ; the Sanitary and Vaccination 
Department was reorganised ; a supply of cheap quinine was brought 
within the reach of the poorest classes ; and improvements were 
effected in the Salt Department. Under the head of Public Works, 
the period was one of considerable activity ; a large number of 
Government offices, both in Calcutta and in the mufassal^ were newly 
constructed or enlarged ; new lines of communication were opened 
and existing lines improved ; special attention was given to the 
development of railways by means of feeder roads ; and the Orissa 
canals were extended and irrigation canals generally improved. 
The interests of education received careful attention : new schools 
were built and existing schools enlarged ; instruction in Engineering 
was improved ; veterinary and industrial schools were founded and 
primary female education promoted, and a great extension given 
to the boarding-house system in Calcutta. In allotting the available 
resources, an endeavour was made to distribute them as equitably 
as possible, with due regard to the relative urgency of the many 
demands put forward. 

One of the conditions of the new Provincial Contract which 
began on ist April 1892 involved a change in the 


relation of the Provincial Government to the Railways 
which had hitherto been under its financial control. The Govern- 
ment of India held that administrative difficulties had been caused 
by making over the management of State Railways to Local Govern- 
ments, that the measure was one of decentralization in name only^ 
as it had been found that Local Governments were unable to relieve 
the Public Works Department of the Government of India of any 
considerable amount of work in connection with the railways made 



provincial, while the double control sometimes caused delay and 
difficulties. Under these circumstances, it was suggested that the 
control of the railways should be centralized in the hands of the 
Government of India. It was proposed, however, that the Local 
Government should retain a financial interest in the working of the 
railways in the province, and, in order to ensure this, the offer was 
made that the Local and Imperial Governments should share equally in 
the net profits of those railways. The Government of Bengal cordially 
supported this proposal and effect was given to it in the new contract. 
Among the important railway projects considered during the year 
(189 1 -2) were (i) a branch line of 20 miles from Krishnagar to 
Ranaghat, (2) an extension from Khulna to Madaripur, and (3) a 
branch line from Magra to Katwa. Land was acquired in the Puri 
and Cuttack districts for the construction of the Ea«?t Coast Railway. 
The projects actually undertaken during the year were, (i) the 
Western Duars Railway, 30 miles in length, (2) the Kuch Bihar 
Railway, and {3) a feeder line, about 35 miles in length, from the 
Barsoi station of the Assam- Bihar section of the Eastern Bengal 
State Railway to Kishanganj in the Purnea district. The second 
was constructed at the cost of the Maharaja of Kuch Bihar with the 
help of a loan from Government. But the most interesting project 
was the Tarkeswar-Magra Steam Tramway, a light railway, 30} miles 
long, from Tarkeswar to Magra, both in the Hooghly district, to be 
undertaken by the Bengal Provincial Railway Company Limited. It 
was the first undertaking of its kind, to be solely conducted under 
native management; it was constructed, but failed to pay as expected. 
The question of constructing a bridge over the Ganges at Sara was 
considered and thought practicable by a Committee appointed for the 
purpose, but had to be abandoned, as the Government of India was 
unable to provide the cost, which was estimated at a crore of rupees. 
Subsequently, steam tramways were also constructed from Howrah 
to Amta and from Howrah to Sheakhalla by a private Company. 
Progress was made with the 175 miles of the Bengal- Assam railway 
passing through Bengal districts. A steam tramway was substituted 
for the proposed branch railway from Ranaghat via Santipur to 
Krishnagar. A line from Sultanpur to Bogra, advocated in 1891 as 
a famine relief work, was considered but postponed. Railway lines 
were sanctioned from Mogu]sarai to Gaya, and fron) Lakhisarai to 


Gaya : from Sini-Midnapur to Calcutta, and from Cuttack-Midnapur 
to Calcutta. 

Much attention was given in 1891-93 to the question of rural 
Rural sanitation Sanitation, which has always been one of extreme 
and wator^rappiy. difficulty in Bengal, not merely because the financial 
resources of District Boards are wholly inadequate to the work to be 
done, but also because no village agency exists competent to carry out 
the simple measures which are necessary to guard against the pollu- 
tion of the village site and the fouling of the water-supply. Under 
existing conditions, the District Board alone was in a position to take 
effective action in these matters, and the range within which its in- 
fluence could be exercised was necessarily limited. The Boards could 
not execute all the sanitary works that were needed. But they were 
directed to set examples as opportunity offered by cleaning tanks, 
digging or cleaning out wells, especially along the chief roads, and by 
promoting general knowledge of the measures which tended to 
improve the healthiness of a locality. If these sanitary works were 
well and cheaply done, not of too elaborate a character, and if use 
were made of materials available on the spot, it was hoped that 
neighbouring land-holders would be led to undertake works of the 
same kind, and that the villagers might theihselves combine to cany 
out petty local schemes, with or without the assistance of the Board. 
Such works were to be distributed impartially in different parts of the 
district, in order to diffuse as widely as possible the knowledge of 
what the District Board was doing and what its intent\pns were. 
In considering the various schemes which had been brought 
forward from time to time for the purpose of provid- 

Drainage and 

water-supply Con- ing Municipal towns, especially those on both banks 

of the river Hooghly near Calcutta, with a supply ot 
filtered water and with improved drainage. Sir C. Elliott was led to the 
conclusion that the existing municipal law did not make adequate 
provision for inducing municipalities to undertake, or to combime 
their resources for the purpose of undertaking, such schemes. His 
attention was also drawn to the facts that, in the opinion of the general 
public, shared in by the Sanitary Commissioner, obstructed drainage 
was to a large extent the cause of the fever which had for a long time 
afflicted Bengal, and that the existing laws did not authorize the 
execution of comprehensive schemes of drainage, embracing both 


municipal and rural areas. Tentative proposals were, therefore, drawn 
up with a view to secure this object, and were circulated to selected 
officers and non-official Chairmen of municipalities. On receipt of 
their opinions, a number of gentlemen, official and non-official, 
including the Chairmen of certain important mu/assal municipalities 
who were qualified by their position and experience to advise the 
Lieutenant-Governor on these difficult questions, were asked to meet 
Sir C. Elliott at a Conference at Belvedere on the i8th July 1892. 
After a full and careful discussion of the subject, the Conference 
arrived at the following conclusions : — 

(i) that the Local Government should be empowered of its own 
motion to require municipalities {a) to apply to Government for the 
extension of the provisions of the Municipal Act relating to water- 
supply and drainage, and (b) to combine with one another, and with 
District and Local Boards and Cantonment authorities, for the purpose 
of improving the water-supply and drainage of the area subject to 
their jurisdiction ; and 

(2) that when an application was made to Government on the 
part of the inhabitants of any tract where malarial fever prevailed, 
or when it was notorious that there was a high rate of mortality due 
to the want of drainage, provision should be made by law for 
ascertaining the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants or owners 
of property concerned, as represented by the District Board, and, if 
the majority supported the scheme, the Government should be 
empowered to carry out comprehensive schemes of drainage, and to 
raise from the area affected such funds as might be necessary for 
meeting the cost of such schemes. 

Steps were taken to give effect to these Resolutions, the first by 
The s a Hi tar including the necessary provisions in the Bill to 
^>rfiinBee^ Kct, amend the Bengal Municipal Act of 1884, then 

under consideration, while, in order to carry out the latter Resolution 
a separate draft bill was framed, and introduced into Council in 
February 1894. This passed through the usual stages into the Act, 
VIII (B.C.) of 1895, to facilitate the construction of drainage works 
for improving the sanitary condition of local areas. The Act 
provided that, whenever an ^application was received from a Dis- 
trict Board, reporting that they believed that the sanitary condi- 
tion of any^tract within their jurisdiction had been deteriorated by 


the obstruction "of drainage, the Local Government might by an 
order indicate the area of the tract affected, and prescribe the 
appointment of 9 or more persons as Drainage Commissioners, of 
whom not less than i were to be elected from the District or Local 
Board, and the remainder appointed from among the holders of 
estates and tenures in the said tract, or their managers. The Com- 
missioners were then, through an Engineer, to cause a survey 
to be made and prepare plans and estimates for the construction 
and maintenance of the necessary works, and forward them, together 
with a map of the affected area, to the Collector of the district. 
This survey, plans, estimates, &c. were to be called the survey and 
preliminary scheme. The Collector was then to publish in every 
village of the tract affected a notification, inviting objections, and to 
forward them, when received, to the Commissioners, who were to sub- 
mit them along with the survey and preliminary scheme, and a Report, 
if necessary, to the District Board for consideration. If the District 
Board rejected the scheme, they would have to defray all costs 
incurred up to this point : if they accepted it, they were to subqait 
it to the Collector, who was to forward it to the Local Government 
along with an estimate of the proportion to the road cess of the 
rate leviable in the tract required to pay off in 30 years the total 
cost of the undertaking and capitalized value of the expenses of 
maintenance. The Local Government might approve, modify or 
reject the scheme and decide what amount it would contribute, and 
the scheme, as modified, was then to be finally accepted or rejected 
by the District Board. The cost of construction and maintenance 
was to be spread over 30 years and recovered by means of a rate 
on land proportionate to, and payable along with, the road cess. 
The Act also made provision for the construction of works in 2 or 
more districts, for the payment of compensation, and for the punish- 
ment of persons obstructing public drainage. 

The Kidderpore docks were completed during the year 1891-92. 
It had been originally proposed to construct 2 

Kidderpore docks. 

docks at a cost of Ks. 3,03,31,515, but in 1884 
one dock only was sanctioned at a cost of Rs. . 2,00,00,000. A 
revised estimate amounted to Rs. 2,64,01,605, but in October 1890 
an accident of a serious nature happened to the dock walls, causing 
them to bulge in one or two places, wl^ich entailed extn^ ej^ 


penditure ; additional works also proved to be necessary. A revised 
estimate at Rs. 2,87,70,566, was sanctioned, and Rs. 2,80,98,066 
were spent by the end of 1892-93. No further movement was 
observed in the dock walls which had previously caused trouble and 
alarm, by bulging in places, (an accident which necessitated the ex- 
clusion of water for some months,) and it was hoped that the 
measures taken by the Engineer for their security, which were in 
accordance with the recommendation of a Special Committee, would 
prove successful. With the exception, however, of the graving 
dock, into which the first vessel was admitted on the loth of July 
1891, the docks were not at once used, as the necessary arrange- 
ments for connecting them with the railway lines were not imme- 
diately completed. The scale of fees to be charged both for the 
wet and graving dock was approved by the Local Government : and 
a table of rates for the Port Commissioners' tramway, separating 
terminal from carrying charges, had to be settled, as well as a 
working arrangement with the Eastern Bengal State Railway. The 
docks were legally open on the 28th September 1892, but were 
hardly in a condition to receive heavy traffic for some months after- 
wards. The first vessel entered the docks on the 28th June 1892, 
but it soon became evident that shippers were not disposed to take 
advantage of the facilities afforded, and the Port Commissioners 
were called on by Government to take measures to arrange for the defi- 
ciency in the revenues of the Port arising from interest on the capital 
expenditure on the docks having to be provided for. Port dues at the 
rate of 4 annas per registered ton were imposed on all vessels entering 
the Port, with effect from the ist of December 1892, and a special 
tax of 4 annas a ton levied, under the Calcutta Port Act, on all goods 
landed from or shipped into any vessel lying within Port limits from 
the I St. of January 1893. The special tax was continued during the 
year 1893-94, the estimated receipts from it being Rs. 8,50,000, and 
from Port dues Rs. 4,75,000. Sir C. Elliott caused the Port Commis* 
sioners to be addressed as to the measures which it might be thought 
advisable to take to attract traffic to the docks. 

In 1892 the standing orders in force with regard to the tours to 

be undertaken by administrative and executive 

officers were examined, and fresh instructions were 

issued in supersession of all previous rules on the subject of the 



* duratioi) and object of tours. Sir C. Elliott called attention to the 
great importance which he attached to personal supervision and com- 
munication bet>yeen the Heads of Departments and the Chief 
Executive Officers and their subordinates, and to close and minute 
inspection by them of all branches of the offices and of the 
work done by the subordinate officers. Specific orders on the sub- 
ject were issued in the case of each Head of Department and class 
of officers, prescribing the minimum period during which each was 
required to be on tour and the reports to be furnished. Touring and 
inspection were two of the duties of officers on which Sir C. Elliott 
laid the greatest stress, and in which he himself set an example. It 
had long been a commonplace of administration that officers should 
" go to the spot,*' but it had never before been insisted upon that 
officers should spend so much time on touring as was now prescrib- 
ed : and never before had so much inspection, (and such thorough- 
ness in the operation), been required. Opinions were divided as to 
the necessity or desirability of such orders : the effect was no doubt 
to ensure that the work of the country was better and more thorough- 
ly done. The orders on the subject of tours were considerably 
relaxed by Sir A. Mackenzie, soon after his assumption of office. 
Under the Indian Councils Act, 1892, 1. e, 55 and 56 Vic. c. 14 
the Governor General in Council was empowered 
lativo Council en- by proclamation to increase the number of Council- 


lors whom the Lieutenant-Governor might nominate 
for his assistance in making laws and regulations up to a maximum 
of 20, and, with the approval of the Secretary of State in Council, 
from time to time to make regulations as to the conditions under 
which such nominations, or any of them, shall be made by the 
Lieutenant-Governor, and to prescribe the manner in which such 
regulations shall be carried into effect. Accordingly, on the i6th 
March 1893, the Governor-General increased the number of Council- 
lors whom the Lieutenant-Governor might nominate from 12, at 
which it had stood since the proclamation of 17th Januar}' 1862, to 
20, the maximum allowed by the Indian Councils Act, 1892. Under 
Rule II of the regulations which were framed by the Governor- 
General in Council, it was laid down that the nomination to 7 seats 
in the Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal sdall be made 
by the Lieutenant-Governor on the recommendation of the following 


bodies and associations. — a, — The Corporation of Calcutta ; 6. — Such 
Municipal Corporations, or group or groups of Municipal Corpora- 
tions other than the Corporation of Calcutta, as the Lieutenant- 
Governor might from time to time prescribe by Notification in the 
Calcutta Gazette] c, — Such District Boards, or group or groups of 
District Boards, as the Lieutenant-Governor might from time to time 
prescribe as aforesaid ; d. — Such Association or Associations of 
merchants, manufacturers or tradesmen as the Lieutenant-Governor 
might from time to time prescribe as aforesaid ; e. — The Senate of 
the University of Calcutta. 

Of the above bodies, those described under a, </, and e were to 
recommend i nominee each, while those described under b and 
c would each be ordinarily represented by 2 members. The recom- 
mendations made by the bodies described under a, d, and e were 
to be made by a majority of the votes of the members of those 
bodies. With regard to the bodies described under b and c, the 
following procedure for nominations was laid down. As regards 
municipalities, those whose income was less than Rs. 5,000 were to be 
excluded, while those whose income exceeded that amount were to 
proceed each to elect a single electorical representative, who was to 
exercise a voting power proportionate to the income of the muni- 
cipality which elected him. Thus the representative of a municipality 
with an income of Rs. 5,000 and less than Rs. 10,060 was to be 
entitled to exercise only i vote at the conference of municipal 
electoral representatives, whilst the nominee of a municipality with an 
income of Rs. 100,000 and less than Rs. 150,000 was to exercise 
a voting power of 5 votes. For the District Board elections all 
districts were considered to be of equal importance, and each 
District Board was to nominate one representative exercising one 
vote at the election. For the elections of 1893 the municipalities 
of the Presidency and Rajshahi Divisions, and the District Boards 
of the Patna and Chittagong Divisions were selected as the first 
bodies to exercise these new privileges. 

Of the remaining 13 seats not more than 10 were ordinarily to 
be filled by officials nominated by the Lieutenant-Governor while 
the 3 remaining seats reserved for non-official members were to be 
filled by persons nominated by the Lieutenant-Governor, so as to 
secure) in his opinion, a fair representation of the different classes 


of the community, provided that i seat shall ordinarily be held by a 
representative of the great landholders of the Province. 

Under the powers conferred by section 2 of the Indian Councils 
Act, 1892, the Lieutenant-Governor, with the sanction of the Governor- 
General in Council, made rules authorizing members of the Council 
at any meeting for the purpose of making laws and regulations to ask 
questions as to matters of fact framed so as to be merely requests for 
information and neither argumentative, hypothetical nor defamatory, 
subject to disallowance by the Lieutenant-Governor on the ground that 
they could not be answered consistently with the public interests. 
No question may be asked as to any matters or branches of the 
Administration other than those under the control of the Lieutenant- 
Governor, or as to any matters which are or have been the subject 
of controversy between the Governor-General in Council or the 
Secretar}' of State and the Local Government, and no discussion 
shall be permitted in any case. The Lieutenant-Governor, under 
the further power conferred by the same section, and with the like 
sanction, made rules empowering Councillors to offer any observa- 
tions they might wish on the Financial Statement of the Government 
of Bengal, which is to be annually explained in Council, the Coimcil- 
lor who explains the statement having the right of reply ; the dis- 
cussion, limited to the branches of revenue and expenditure which 
are under the control of the Local Government, being closed by the 
President. The enlarged Council met for the first time on the 22nd 
July 1893, under the Officiating Lieutenant-Governor, Sir A. P. 
MacDonnell, who reviewed the history of the Legislative Councils, 
and regarded the occasion as a landmark which would be memora- 
ble in the constitutional history of the country. Under the new 
rules, the position of a member of the Legislative Council has 
acquired a greater value in public estimation ; the District Boards 
and municipalities throughout the province have in turn elected 
their representatives, generally of the pleader class, each for 2 years ; 
there has been considerable local competition among a limited 
number of candidates for each vacancy. The aristocracy, and the 
land-holders of the province, as well as the Muhammadans, have 
been well represented by the members carefully selected by the 
Lieutenant-Governors. The special constituencies, such as the 
University, the Calcutta Corporation, and Mercantile Associations 


have always furnished spokesmen who had their full confidence and 
distinguished themselves in debate. The discussions have generally 
been of a dignified, exhaustive, and business-like character, with a 
tendency perhaps (not unknown elsewhere) of the members to justify 
their election to their constituents by speaking constantly and at 
great length. The right of interpellation has been freely used, 
chiefly for the purposes of drawing attention to the conduct of 
officials and of eliciting information to be used later. It is difficult 
to see in what direction there can be a further liberalization of the 
principles on which the Legislative Council is established, so long 
as Government continues to preserve, as is at present essential, its 
official majority. 

Previous to 1892 the Bengal Legislative Council could not alter 
any Act of the Governor-General's Council, but, since the passing 
of the Indian Councils Act, 1892, it may, with the previous sanction 
of the Governor-General, but not otherwise, repeal or amend as .to 
Bengal any law or regulation made by any authority in India other 
than that Local Legislature. 

In May 1890 the Government of India called for a report from 

the Bengal Government on the working of the iury 

Trial by Jury. ° o j / 

system in Bengal, with special reference 10 the 
opinion entertained as to its merits as a means for the repression of 
crime, and requested that any improvements in its application which 
appeared to be necessary might be brought to notice. The subject 
arose out of the inquiry which had been occupying the Government 
of India regarding the working of the police and the machinery for 
the repression of crime in British India, during which it had been 
alleged by several authorities consulted that the jury system had, in 
some degree, favoured the escape of criminals. 

Reports were accordingly called for from the Commissioners and 
Judges of those districts in which the system was in force, as well 
as from the Inspector-General of Police. Sir C. Elliott was 
also favoured with a copy of the replies of the Hon'ble Judges 
of the High Court to a separate communication which had been 
addressed to them by the Government of India. From the Reports 
and Minutes received it became evident that the majority of the most 
experienced Judges and officers consulted emphatically condemned 
the system as then worked in Bengal, and were all of opinion that it 


was capable of improvement. After a careful consideration of the 
opinions and statistics t>erore him, Sir C. Elliott reported to the 
Government of India that there could be no doubt of the failure of 
the jury system in these Provinces in its existing shape. It Mras 
pointed out that it would be scarcely possible to obtain opinions from 
a large number of men more nearly approaching to unanimity than 
was the condemnation of the jury system in Bengal contained in the 
Reports and Minutes collected. Sir C. Elliott expressed his opinion 
that, if the result could have been foreseen, no advocate would have 
been found for the introduction of the western institution into India. 
But as it had been introduced, and was prized on political grounds 
as a means of identifying the people of the country with the adminis- 
tration of justice, he was averse from its total abolition, and thought 
that it would be sufficient to make such changes in its working as 
seemed best calculated to remove the objections which had been 
raised. To this end it was suggested that some extension should be 
made in the right of appeal ; that section 307 of the Criminal Proce- 
dure Code should be amended so as make it incun^bent on the 
Sessions Judge to refer to the High Court every case in which he 
differed in opinion from the jury ; that section 303 of the Criminal 
Procedure Code should be altered so as to make it incumbent upon 
the Judge to ascertain and record fully the reasons of the jury for 
their verdict; that certain classes of cases, especially those relating 
to murder, offences against the human body (with certain exceptions), 
offences against the public tranquillity, and offences relating to 
documents and trade-marks, should be withdrawn from the cognizance 
of juries ; that the remaining classes of offences to which the jury 
system applied should continue to be so tried ; and that offences 
relating to marriage should also be made triable by jury : it was also 
recommended that, where qualified jurymen were not easily obtain- 
able, the number of the jury should be reduced from 5 to 3 and that 
the limit of age qualifying for serving on a jury should be raised 

i to 25. 

In reply to these proposals, the Government of India remarked 
that from a review of the Reports received from other Provinces as 
well as from Bengal it appeared that the defects of the existing 

I system of trial by jury were mainly attributable to 2 causes :— {1) to 

the extension of the jury system (a) to areas to which it was unsuit- 


able, and (d) to classes of offences which, as experience showed, 
ought not to be cognizable by juries ; (2) to the fact that the provisions 
of section 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which were intended 
to give Sessions Judges and the High Courts power to remedy and 
correct wrong verdicts, had failed to fulfil this intention. 

His Excellency in Council expressed his approval of the sugges- 
tions made by Sir C. Elliott for modifying the classes of offences 
which should be made triable by jury. With regard 10 the proposals 
to amend sections 303 and 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 
the Governor-General in Council observed that, although there was 
a strong body of opinion among the Hon'ble Judges of the Calcutta 
and Madras High Courts in favour of the proposal to amend section 
307, yet it did not seem desirable that the Judge should be bound 
to refer cases in which the failure of justice was not quite clear ; 
while, with regard to the proposal to modify section 303, it was 
remarked that no room should be allowed for anything approaching 
to a cross-examination of the jury, not only because it would 
be difficult for untrained men, such as the jurors would be in 
most cases, to formulate their reasons in a satisfactory shape, but 
also because it was doubtful whether a mere statement of their 
reasons would help materially towards the disposal of the case. 
With reference to the question of allowing an appeal on the facts 
from the verdict of a jury. His Excellency was of opinton that this was 
not expedient, as it was not clear what advantage there would be in 
retaining the jury system at all if it was to be reduced so nearly to 
the level of a trial with assessors, and the necessity of •any such 
change in the law would be obviated by removing from the cogni- 
zance of juries such classes of cases as experience showed to be 

A notification was then published on the 20th October 1892, 
embodying the alterations which had met with the approval of the 
Government of India, in respect to the classes of cases to be tried 
by juries. At the same time the full correspondence on the subject 
was published in the Gazette, The publication of these orders was, 
however, received by an influential section of the public with much 
dissatisfaction, disapproval was expressed at the partial removal of 
what was looked upon as an important privilege. It was therefore 
suggested by Sir C. Elliott that it would be best to refer the whole 


subject to a Commission, with instructions to consider the various 
points under discussion and to report to Government on the feasibi- 
lity of any scheme which would be generally acceptable, and yet 
would safeguard the public from a recurrence of the failures of 
justice to which attention had been drawn in the published corres- 
pondence. This suggestion met with the approval of the Govern- 
ment of India and the Secretary of State, and a special Commission 
was accordingly appointed. The Commission came to the conclusion 
that it was desirable that the classes of offences which, before the 
20th. October 1892, were triable by jury in the 7 districts of 
Bengal to which the system had been originally extended, should 
continue to be triable by jury in those districts, and that the revised 
classification should be amended. 

In compliance with the recommendation of the Commission, and 
with the previous authorization of the Governor-General in Council, 
the notification of the aoth October 1892 was then withdrawn. The 
further recommendations made by the Commission were taken into 
consideration. While the more general questions were under dis- 
cussion, a careful revision of the jury lists was undertaken, under Sir 
C. Elliott's orders, in all the districts concerned, with the result that 
the number of persons liable to serve on a jury was reduced, while 
the qualifications of those selected were raised to a more efficient 

A Bill to amend the Inland Emigration Act, I of 1882, was intro- 

iniand Emigra- ^^^^^ *^^o the Imperial Legislative Council and 
^^^ passed into law as Act VII of 1893. The following 

were among the most important changes effected by this measure : — 
(i) The maximum term of labour-contracts was reduced from 5 
to 4 years, the term of labour-contracts executed in the labour districts 
being restricted to one year when they were not executed before an 
Inspector or a Magistrate, and to 4 years when they were so executed. 
The reduction of the term of engagement had always been an object 
with the authorities. 

(2) No labourer was to be bound by his labour-contract to under- 
take any work involving underground labour in mines, unless the 
contract contained a specific obligation to that effect. 

(3) The Local Government was empowered to cancel the contracts 
of labourers who had been wrongfully recruited and, on the 


application of any labourer whose contract had been so cancelled, to 
cancel also the contract of any labourer related to htm in certain 
specified degrees. Labourers whose contracts had been cancelled 
under these provisions might be repatriated, and, if necessary, an 
escort might be provided for them, the expense being recovered in 
the manner laid down in the Act. 

(4) Sub-contractors were debarred from working for more than 
one contractor. 

(5) Employers of labour were empowered to require medical 
certificates as to fitness to labour in the case of labourers recruited by 
contractors, as in the case of those recruited by gsivden-sardars or 
local agents. 

(6) The execution of labour-contracts at Dhubri was legalised : 
i.e., at the place where the immigrant embarked on the Brahmaputra 
on his voyage up that river : thus postponing the execution to the 
moment of entering the province of Assam. 

(7) The procedure for dealing with unhealthy gardens was revised 
in certain particulars. It was intended to bestow more complete 
power of inspection and subsequent action. Provision was made for 
the summoning of a Committee of Inquiry by the Magistrate on 
his own motion, or at the direction of the Local Government, and 
the power of the Local Government to declare an estate or a portion 
thereof unfit for the residence of labourers generally, or of any parti- 
cular class of labourers, was restricted to cases in which the finding 
of the Committee was not unanimous. 

(8) Provision was made for the cancellation and determina- 
tion of labour contracts by the Inspector or Magistrate in certain 
cases, such cancellation giving the Inspector or Magistrate power, 
'on the application of the labourers concerned, to cancel also the 
contract of any labourer employed on any estate belonging to 
the same employer, and related in certain specified degrees to 
the labourer whose contract had been cancelled under these pro- 

(9) Power was given to the Inspector or Magistrate to equalise 
the terms of contracts entered into by husband and wife. 

(10) Provision was made for the repatriation of, and the grants 
of compensation to, labourers and their relatives in certain cases, 
when their contracts had been cancelled or determined by the Inspec- 


tor or Magistrate, and also for the repatriation in certain cases of 
persons not under contract. 

(ii) Provision was made for the punishment of gaLrdeii'Sardars 
for improperly disposing of labourers recruited by them. 

The Member in charge of the measure spoke as follows : — * The 
result of this protracted investigation has been not only to show that 
the continuance of the labour system established in 1882 is essential 
for the well-being of the industry, which has done so much towards 
colonising and opening out the rising province ot Assam, and in the 
prosperity of which the Government of India and all of us have a 
great and natural interest, but also to bear out the opinion, expressed 
again and again by successive Chief Commissioners and other 
impartial observers, that the condition of labourers on tea-gardens is 
far superior to that of the masses in the districts from which they 
emigrate. It has been also made clear that the time has not yet 
come when labourers can be left to emigrate of their own accord and 
at their own charges ; that without the security of the present system 
employers could not risk large expenditure in assisting them to 
emigrate ; and that, therefore, the continuance of the system estab- 
lished in 1882 is still required as a means towards drawing-off the 
surplus population • of the recruiting areas and opening-out the 
sparsely peopled districts of Assam. The system has worked emi- 
nently to the advantage of the emigrants, and in a manner on the 
whole creditable to the body of planters ; and the Government of 
India, after prolonged and anxious consideration, have come to the 
conclusion that there are only two serious^ evils which have to be 
remedied. These are, first, abuses and malpractices in recruitment ; 
and, secondly, the high rate of sickness and mortality on the gardens, 
chiefly among newly-arrived emigrants.' 

When Sir C. Elliott took 6 months leave on medical certificate 
sir A. p. Mac- "^ J""^^ '^93> ^^s place was temporarily filled by 
ST'^Lieut^t: Sir Antony Patrick MacDonnell, of the Indian 
Governor. ^j^jj gervice, then Chief Commissioner of the 

Central Provinces. The latter had arrived in India in 1865, and 
first distinguished himself in the Bengal famine of 1874, as 
Collector of Darbhanga, receiving special promotion from Sir 
R. Temple for his services. He wrote in 1875-76 a standard 
book of reference on * Food supply and famine relief in Bihar and 


Bengal/ As Revenue-General Secretary to the Bengal Government 
from 1882 — 86 he was Sir R. Thompson's chief adviser in the dis- 
cussions connected with the Bengal Tenancy Act. He had also held 
the appointment of Home Secretary to the Government of India> 
1886 — 90, and officiated as Chief Commissioner of Burma in 1889; 
be was made C. S. I. in June 1888 and K. C. S. I. in January 1893. 
During his six months in Bengal, Sir A. P. MacDonnell was chiefly 
concerned with the survey-settlement work, especially that of north 
Bihar. His views were not in accord with those of Sir C. Elliott, 
and the differences of opinion were further manifested while Sir 
A. P. MacDonnell was Member of the Govemor-Generars Council 
from December 1893 to April 1895-, after he became Lieutenant- 
Governor of the N. W. Provinces (in November 1895) he ex- 
perienced another famine in 1896-97 and was made a G. C. S. I. oii 
the 22nd June 1897. 

In August 1 893 the Government of India recognised the hardships 
Exchange Com- ^^'^^^h European officers in Government offices (in 
pen&ition. Bengal, as elsewhere) had undergone in consequence 

of the fall in the rate of exchange, as stated in their prayer for the 
adoption of measures of relief. The facts left no doubt that Govern- 
ment servants were suffering from wide-spread and severe distress. 
The Government of India lost no opportunity of expressing sympathy 
with those who had been affected and of urging upon the Secretary 
of State the necessity of applying an early and adequate remedy. 
But it had not been possible to deal with the matter while measures 
regarding the reform of the currency were still under consideration. 
When those measures were completed the following scheme was 
sanctioned. To every European and Eurasian officer, of Govern- 
ment, Civil or Military, not domiciled in India (except those whose 
pay was fixed in sterling and converted into rupees annually at the 
official rate) an allowance was granted, to be designated Exchange 
Compensation allowance, sufficient to enable each officer to remit to 
Europe ^ his salary, subject to a maximum limit of /'looo a year, 
at a privileged rate. The privileged rate was fixed until further orders 
at i^. 6d, the rupee. The allowance, which wjts to be admissible 
whether any remittance was actually made to Europe or not, was 
given in the form of a percentage on the officers* salary, varying with 
the rate of exchange assumed as the market-rate for the quarter, and 


calculated to yield an amount equal to the difference between i salary 
converted at is, 6d, and ^ salary converted at the average market 
rate. The allowance was to be payable monthly along with the pay, 
and under the pay rules, and was to be subject in every case to an 
annual maximum equal to the difference between £1000 converted 
at IS. 6d., and the same sum converted at the average market-rate. 
Rules were issued prescribing the manner in which the percentage 
for each quarter should be calculated, and defining the conditions 
under which the allowance might be drawn. These orders took effect 
from the 1st of April 1883. 

During the early part of 1893-94 considerable activity was shown 

Auti.kine-kuiin ^^ ^^^ different associations formed for the protec- 
agitauon in BiW. tjo^ of kine, known as Gorakhshini Sabhas, in col- 
lecting subscriptions and in promoting the anti-kine-killing move- 
ment. Later, however, their efforts in this direction were less mark- 
ed, and many of the branches either ceased to exist or confined their 
attention to their legitimate object, viz, the care and feeding of 
diseased, aged, and otherwise useless cattle. During April and May 
1893 there were several riots, occasioned by the forcible rescuing of 
cattle from Muhammadan butchers, and in no less than 7 places in 
the Gaya district was it found necessary to appoint additional police 
under section 15 of the Police Act. These measures were fortunate- 
ly taken in time to act as a warning at the approaching Bakr-Id, and 
that festival passed off without scenes of violence in any part of Bihar 
except at the village of Hilsa in the Bihar subdivision of the Paina 
district, where serious disturbances occurred. It was held that mis- 
management on the part of the Government subordinates on the spot 
was mainly responsible for what took place. The riots at Hilsa 
occurred on the 26th and 27th June, and the Muharram passed off 
quietly ; but on the 27th August a very serious riot broke out at 
Koath in the Sasaram subdivision of Shahabad. A large concourse 
of Hindus assembled from the neighbouring villages and made a raid 
on the Muhammadan butchers of Koath, who were charged with 
having caught and slaughtered a Brahmini bull. The Muhammadans 
in revenge, on the afternoon of the same day, made an attack on 
the Hindu quarters, in the course of which several persons were 
severely injured, some with gunshot wounds. In the counter cases 
which were brought, several accused on both sides were sentenced to 


2 years* rigorous imprisonment, and the sentences were upheld m 
appeal by the Sessions Judge and the High Court* Meanwhile in the 
Saran district a drove of cattle intended for the Dinapore Commissariat 
was stopped on the 3 1 st August by a riotous mob of Hindus at a place 
called Bala on the high road between Champaran and Chapra. The 
officer in charge of the Basantpur police-station then took up the case 
and brought the cattle to the thana^ where they were eventually 
placed for safety inside the police compound in charge of an Inspec- 
tor and an armed guard of 10 men, who had been despatched 
thither from Chapra. The subdi visional officer and the District 
Superintendent of Police went to the spot and commenced inquiries ; 
but, taking advantage of their temporary absence, and incited by 
the preaching of a wandering propagandist, a large mob of Hindus, 
who had collected from different villages for miles around, armed 
with lathis^ on the evening of the 6th September at nightfall, after 
an unsuccessful parley with the police with a view to their purchase, 
made a determined assault on the thana in an attempt to forcibly 
rescue the cattle. The police, however, stood their ground well, and, 
after discharging blank cartridge with no effect, fired a round of 
buck-shot, which wounded several of the assailants, 2 of them un- 
fortunately mortally, and caused the mob to immediately disperse. 
Several accused persons were prosecuted in each case — in the Bala case 
before the subdivisional officer of Gopalganj on a charge of rioting, 
and in the Basantapur case before the Chapra Sessions Court on 
charges of dacoiiy and rioting. In the former case the convictions 
were all set aside by the Judge in appeal, while in the latter only 2 
out of 1 2 accused were convicted on the rioting charge, but even these 
sentences were reversed by the High Court. These trials illustrated 
the very great difficulty there often is in such cases in procuring 
satisfactory proof of identity. The 2 men who were convicted by 
the Sessions Court actually bore on their bodies the marks of the 
buck-shot, but, though convicted unanimously by both the Judge 
and the Assessors, they were given by the High Court the benefit 
of the doubt of their having been disinterested passers-by. Besides 
the prosecution of the actual offenders, steps were also taken to call 
others to account, and prosecutions were instituted against certain 
maliks and chauktdars for failure to give information, and a 
number of sudhus found in the district at the time were required 


to give security to keep the peace. After the occurrences above 
narrated the tension of feeling much relaxed, and although subse- 
quently cases occasionally occurred of Muhammadans being refused 
the use of wells, and otherwise boycotted, no further open breaches 
of the peace were reported. There was a good deal of mutual 
forbearance on both sides, especially among the leaders of each 
party. This was particularly marked by the absence in most places 
of any tendency on the part of the Muhammadans to increase the 
number of kine sacrifices, and their care to avoid doing anything 
ostentatiously to hurt the feelings of the Hindus. 

The ploughmen's begging movement first appeared in the 
Gopalganj subdivision of the Saran district in the beginning of 
November, having apparently come across the border from Gorakh- 
pur. All ploughmen, the story went, were commended to give 
their cattle 3 days' rest and go round the neighbouring villages 
begging. With the proceeds 3 wheaten cakes were prepared, i for 
the ploughman himself, i for his cattle, and the third to be buried 
under their stalls. The movement gradually spread throughout 
Bihar, and after affording a few days' wonder passed away, and 
nothing was afterwards heard of it. 

The tree-daubing mystery also afforded the widest grounds for 
speculation. This movement consisted in marking trees with daubs 
of mud, <in which were stuck hairs of different animals, buffaloes' 
hair and pigs' bristles, according to the reports predominating ; and 
it slowly spread through the north Gangetic districts eastM^ards into 
Bhagalpur and Purnea, and westwards through many of the districts 
of the N. W. Provinces. It also appeared in a few places in the 
districts to the south of the Ganges, and was generally attributed to 
wandering gangs of sadhus^ or religious mendicants. The move- 
ment died out in a few months and the result seemed to show that 
it had no real political significance. 

In Sir A. Eden's time orders had been issued that either Nagri 
Court Ian- ^^ Kaithi should be exclusively used throughout 
guago in Bihar. ^j^g Patna Division, and that the use in the Courts 
of any document in the Persian character, except as exhibits, should 
be absolutely forbidden. The intention of Government was that 
Hindi should be the language and Kaithi the character used in the 
Courts. Subsequent experience, however, showed that the Nagrf- 


character was more easily written and more legible than Kaithi, and 
in accordance with the views expressed by the British Indian Asso- 
ciation and others Sir C. Elliott decided that the Nagri character 
should in future be used in the Courts in Bihar, and that the Court 
. registers should be maintained in English and Hindi. On further 
investigation it came to his knowledge that the difficulty of writing 
the Kaithi character in a legible hand, and the extent to which the 
Nagri character was known in Bihar, had been somewhat exaggerated 
in the representations made to him. The Hon'ble Judges of the 
High Court pointed out that the law empowered the Local Govern- 
ment to declare what was to be deemed to be th« language of the 
Courts, but provided no authority for the issue of orders regarding 
the character in which such language was to be written. Sir C. 
Elliott accordingly cancelled his previous orders which had pres- 
cribed the use of the Nagri character, - and revived the orders 
formerly in force, under which the Kaithi character was introduced 
into the Courts and offices of the Patna, Bhagalpur, and Chota 
Nagpur Divisions. But it was ordered that the headings of all 
registers, other than those prescribed by the High Court, kept up 
in the Courts and offices, not in Bihar only, but throughout the 
province, were in future to be printed in English only. Figures 
were invariably to be written in English (i. e., Arabic) numerals. 
All clerks in charge of registers were warned that they must learn 
the English character, and that, if they were not sufficiently well 
acquainted with the English language by a certain date to admit of 
their keeping the registers in the English character, their prospects 
of promotion would be endangered. 

The Secretary of State for India having, in answer to a question 

put in the House of Commons, signified his willing- 
Hemp Drugs *^ TOO 

Commission. jj^gg jq have a Commission appointed to inquire into 

the cultivation of the hemp plant in Bengal, a Commission was 
appointed in July 1893 by the Government of India to inquire into 
the production and consumption of hemp drugs in the whole of 
India. The Government of Bengal rendered to the Commission all 
the assistance in its power by procuring witnesses from all parts of 
the province to give evidence before them and by carrying out in 
other ways the wishes of the Commission. Before any oral evidence 
was recorded, a series of questions framed by the Commission with 


the object of eliciting information on the subject-matter of their 
inquiry were widely distributed among Commissioners, Collectors, 
District Boards, and officers of the Police and Medical Departments, 
private gentlemen and other public associations. The Commission 
held sittings in Calcutta and in other selected centres in Bengal. 
Their report was submitted in 1894, and the Government of India 
issued a Resolution in March 1895. The subject was one of consi- 
derable concern to Bengal, in which a large amount of excise revenue 
is derived from the taxation of ganja. The Commission found that 
very vague opinions or impressions had been formed on matters 
relating to ganja consumption. The evidence taken showed pre- 
sumptix'ely that the moderate use of hemp drugs does not cause 
injury, though exceptional cases might indicate differenily. The 
Government of India found also that hemp drugs cause insanity 
in far fewer cases than had previously been popularly understood; 
that the insanity so caused was usually of a temporary character 
and of shorter duration than the insanity due to other causes : 
and that there were no such marked ill-effects, physical, mental 
or moral, attendant on the use of hemp drugs, as there were popu- 
larly believed to be before the inquiry of the Commission was 

In accordance with the orders of the Government of India 

certain statistics were compiled in 1893-4 showing 
tiativw^iu the the Strength of the Indian Civil Service and the 

non*Regulation Commission, the Provincial Civil 
Service and the Subordinate Civil Service, and the number and per- 
centage of natives of India employed therein on the 1st July in the 
years 1870, 1879, 1 881, and 1893. While these statistics showed a 
very Urge diminution in the strength of officers holding posts in the 
cadre of the Indian Civil Service, the number in Bengal (excluding 
Assam) in 1870 being 265, and in 1893 only 207, they were princi- 
pally remarkable for the illustration they afforded of the large reduc- 
tion in the numbers of executive and judicial appointments in the 
Provincial Service held by Europeans and Eurasians. In 1870, out 
of a service of 231 members in the Executive Branch of the Provin- 
cial Service, there were 81 European, Eurasian, and American 
officers, of whom 33 were European British subjects. In 1893 the 
total strength of the service had been raised to 368 members, of 


whom only 38 were Europeans, Eurasians, and Armenians and only 
12 were European British subjects. In the Subordinate Judicial 
Service, out of a total staff of 257 officers in 1870, 12 were Europeans 
and Eurasians, and only i was a European British subject. In 1893 
the strength of the service had been raised to 364, and there was not 
a single European or Eurasian in the service. Nothing could show 
more clearly than these figures how largely the magisterial and judi- 
cial appointments in Bengal had passed in recent years into the 
hands of pure natives of India. 

In 1892 the Government of India issued the following rules 
under the Statute 33 Vic. c. 3, sec. 6, in supersession of the rules 
of August 1870 : — 

1 . The Local Government may appoint any member of the Pro- 
vincial Civil Service subordinate to it, who is a Native of India and of 
proved merit and ability, to any of the offices, places and employments 
ordinarily held by members of the Civil Service of India, to fill 
which it has been declared by such Local Government (by notification 
in the official Gazette) that members of such Provincial Civil Service 
can properly be appointed, provided that no appointment shall be 
made to the office of District and Sessions Judge, or Chief Adminis- 
trative officer of a district, or to any administrative office of higher 
rank, if the vacancy to be filled is permanent, or for a period of more 
than 3 . months, without the sanction of the Governor-General of 
India in Council. 

2. The Local Government may, with the previous sanction of 
the Governor-General in Council (but not otherwise), at any time 
appoint any Native of India of proved merit and ability to any of 
the offices, places, and employments specified by such Local Govern- 
ment in any such notification as in Rule- i is mentioned ; provided 
that not more than one-fourth of the offices, places and employments 
so specified shall at any one time be held by Na^tives of India not 
members of the Provincial Civil Service subordinate to. that Local 
Government : but this proviso shall not apply to or include any Native 
of India (not a member of a Provincial Service) who has, prior to the 
making of these rules, been appointed under Statute 33 Vic. c. 3* 
s. 6, to an office, place or employment in the Civil Service of 

In 1891-92 a ruling of the High Court which had the effect of 


declaring important provisions of the municipal law not to be in force 

in certain municipalities called for immediate 
Munidpfti remedy. Sir C. Elliott was thus led to enter upon the 

Act 1894. , .,,,.,* 

general question whether the time had not come to 
amend the Bengal Municipal Act, III of 1884, on a variety of points 
which had from time to time been brought to notice as calling for 
amendment. The matter principally requiring reform was the system 
under which the assessment of municipal rates was framed, in which 
many irregularities were found to exist. Larger powers were also 
needed to enable the municipalities to enforce sanitary regulations, 
and provisions were required to facilitate the control of the Govem- 
^ ment over municipalities which neglected their duties — a control 
which could then only be exercised by the drastic process of sus- 
pending or abolishing the powers of the Commissioners. A draft 
Bill embodying such changes as app)eared to be most urgently called 
for was accordingly prepared, was approved by the Government of 
India, introduced into Council in July 1892, dealt with by a Select 
Committee and so much altered, even in important principles, as to 
require republication. Thereupon considerable opposition to certain 
provisions of the Bill was manifested, on the ground that they tended 
to interfere with the principles of Local Self-Govemment and to put 
the municipalities in a worse position than was contemplated in the 
Act of 1884. Sir C. Elliott took note of these objections, and, in 
his desire not to insist on reforms distasteful to the majority of those 
concerned in cases where the administration could be satisfactorily 
maintained by taking any other course, formally withdrew, in a speech 
made at a meeting of the Legislative Council held towards the 
beginning of January 1893, those provisions of the Bill against 
which hostile criticism had chiefly been directed, viz., those empower- 
ing the Local Government of its own motion to vary the boundaries 
of a municipality, or to deprive a municipality of its power to elect a 
Chairman in case of continued neglect of duty. The other points 
objected to by the public were left to the consideration of the Select 
Committee, to whom the opinions received were communicated, and 
Anally to that of the Council. When proceedings had reached this 
stage, the question of remodelling the constitution of the Legislative 
Council on a mixed basis of election and nomination engaged the 
attention of Government, and it was decided not to proceed with the 


Bill till the Council and with it the Select Committee on the 
Bill, were revised and enlarged. The measure was subsequently 
reintroduced into Council, and passed into law. 

The Bengal Municipal Act IV (B. C.) of 1894 was divisible into 
3 categories ; the first consisted of important changes in the law ; 
the second of administrative changes of minor importance ; and 
the third of changes merely corrective, which repaired omissions, 
gave effect to judicial decisions, recast the wording of sections with 
the object of removing possible doubts, and repealed those which 
were no longer necessary. 

The important alterations in, and additions to, the law effected 
by the Act were the following : — 

Power was given to the Commissioners of any municipality to 
unite with any other neighbouring local authority or local authorities 
in constituting a Joint-Committee for any purpose in which joint 
interests were concerned. 

Effect was given to the Resolutions passed at the Belvedere 
Conference on the i8th of July 1892, on the subject of drainage and 
water-supply, local authorities being empowered to introduce schemes 
for carrying out a system of drainage or for supplying water for 
domestic purposes, provision being made for Government taking the 
initiative when a local authority was unwilling to do so, Government 
at the same time being precluded from carrying out a scheme to 
which Irds of the Commissioners or Joint-Committee, in certain 
cases, or Jrds of the rate-payers of a municipality in other cases, 
were opposed. 

The franchise was extended to persons holding an office on a 
salary of not less than Rs. 50 a month, provided that — 

(a) they were paid by a registered Company which had paid 
Rs. 100 in rates during the year ; 

(d) they were under a joint undivided family, one of the members 
of which had paid not less than Rs. 3 as rates during the year ; 

(c) they occupied holdings in respect of which a similar minimum 
payment had been paid. 

Power was given to Government to disestablish a municipality, 
or to alter its boundaries when it no longer fulfilled the conditions 
which originally justified its creation ; to appoint Commissioners 
tX'officio ; to delegate some of its less important powers to Commis*- 


sioners of Divisions ; to appoint a special auditor when the accounts 
of a municipality were in confusion ; to appoint an assessor of 
municipal taxes when it had been found that the affairs of a muni- 
cipality required it, and when the Commissioners would not move 

Commissioners were empowered to order a survey ; to organise 
a fire-brigade ; to close after due formalities any source of water- 
supply which was suspected of being dangerous to health ; to 
exercise greater control over buildings in a dangerous state ; to 
frame wider bye-laws than before^ and to make rules for the conduct 
of their business, and, in the case of municipalities in the hills, to 
make bye-laws for the prevention of landslips and other dangers to 
which such localities were especially liable. Commissioners of 
Divisions were precluded from finally passing orders on municipal 
budgets until the Municipal Commissioners had had an opportunity 
of replying to their criticisms. 

The maximum rate leviable for the supply of water was increased 
from 6 to 7i per cent, on the value of holdings. The tax on persons 
and the tax on holdings might be levied in the same municipality, 
and arable lands might be assessed where the personal tax was in 
force. Detailed building regulations were provided by the Act. 
which might be extended to any municipality at the request of the 
Commissioners thereof. 

Sir C. Elliott availed himself of the occasion of a disturbance in 

Maintenance of ^^^ ^^^" ^^ Rampur Boalia in connection with the 
order at feetivaia. Muharram Celebration to issue general instructions 
regarding the maintenance of order on the occasion of the Muharram 
and other festivals when large concourses of people assemble 
together. He directed that the carrying of sticks, which could be 
used for purpose of attack, should be prohibited whenever there 
might be reason to expect disturbance. But this prohibition was 
not made universal, for it had to be remembered that, as a rule, 
these processions were peaceful and popular, and also that fencing 
with sticks was by immemorial usage a conspicuous feature in the 
Muharram proceedings. 

If assemblages of the public were not permitted to carry weapons 
of offence, the ordinary police with their batons would be sufficiently 
equipped to be able to maintain and enforce order even against 


large crowds. It was therefore laid down that the armed police 
should always be kept in reserve and only called out when it was 
necessary to take some specific action such as to disperse a mob, 
and that they should never be entrusted with the routine duty of 
marshalling the processions. When armed police were necessary 
they should go out only by special order of the district Superin- 
tendent of police, who should consult the district Magistrate if there 
was time to do so. The district Superintendent should himself be 
in charge of the party ; but, if he should be temporarily engaged 
elsewhere, the command must devolve on his Assistant or on an 
Inspector. If it was necessary to call out the armed police at 
subdivisional head-quarters, the responsibility was to rest on the 
Inspector in charge, subject to the orders of the subdivisional officer. 
In all cases when armed police were sent out, they should keep 
together in compact bodies under competent officers fully instructed. 
The officer in charge of the party would be responsible for the 
order to fire if the emergency should arise ; but in no case should 
such an extreme measure be resorted to unless it was absolutelv 
necessary for the protection of life and property. 

The Indian Museum derived great benefits from Sir C. Elliott's 
regard for Archaeology, and it may be mentioned 
that in recognition thereof the Trustees of the 
Museum presented him with an address on his departure, and erected 
a tablet in his honour. Early in May 1894, the Trustees of the 
Museum drew the attention of Government to the historical and 
philological importance of the Asoka * inscriptions scattered all over 
India, and to the fact that no permanent memorial of them existed, 
while the originals were exposed to decay and injury. As the 
Museum contained no copy of these inscriptioifs, and it seemed to 
Sir C. Elliott desirable that a collection of them should be made and 
exhibited for the information of the public, he arranged to have casts 
taken of those which existed in Bengal, and addressed the Govern- 
ments of the N. W. Provinces and Bombay for the Khalsi and Girnar 
inscriptions respectively. As an application to the Government of 
India for the appointment of a special Archaeological officer for 
Bengal proved unsuccessful, Mr. A. £. Caddy, then employed as 
teacher of drawing at the Sibpur Civil Engineering College, was 

Aspki^ : King of Magatlha b.c. 264, died B.C. 223, 


deputed to take plaster casts of the inscriptions at all the sites In 
Bengal, viz., the Radia and Mathia pillars in Champaran ; Sahasaram 
(or Sasaram) in Shahabad ; Barabar and Nagarjuni in Gaya ; Dhauli 
and Khandagiri in Cuttack ; and, with the assistance of the Madras 
Government, Jogoda in Ganjam. The undertaking proved more 
laborious than had been anticipated. Eventually the Indian Museum 
was presented by Government with a facsimile set in plaster of the 
Asoka inscriptions at these places. The Government of the N. W. 
Provinces furnished a copy of the Khalsi inscriptions in Dehra Doon. 
Dr. Hultzsch, Epigraphist to the Madras Government, provided copies 
of 3 inscriptions found at Siddapur in the Mysore territory, and Dr. 
Fuhrer, Archaeological Surveyor, N. W. Provinces and Oudh, obtained 
a copy of the Asoka inscription at Nigliva in Nepal, and of that on 
the pillar at Allahabad, so that the collection of such inscriptions at 
the Indian Museum was made as complete as possible, in a separate 
Asoka Court. 

Also, Surgeon Major L. A, Wad dell, of the Bengal Sanitary- 
Department, a well-known authority on Buddhistic antiquities, was 
deputed to make investigations of the Buddhistic remains in the Swat 
Valley and in the direction of Chitral, and to procure specimens and 
relics for the Indian Museum. Major Waddell received much assis- 
tance from the civil, political, and militar}' officers. A number of 
sculptures, figures, and carvings were discovered in the Swat Valley 
and at Dargai, and the Government of India sanctioned their presen- 
tation to the Trustees of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, after the autho- 
rities of the Lahore Museum had made a selection of such of the 
articles found at Dargai as they required. Mr. Caddy was also 
deputed to the Swat Valley and obtained a number of interesting 
Grecian and Buddhistic remains for the Indian Museum. He also 
took moulds of the rock inscriptions at Girnar in Kattiawar and 
Siddapur for the same purpose. 

It was arranged that at the close of the rains of 1894 excavations 
should be made, under the supervision of the Collector of Patna, 
and with the advice of Dr. Fuhrer, in some of the more important 
mounds to the south of the city of Patna which were sup]>osed to 
cover the site of Asoka's capital of Pataliputra, a relic stupa and 
the vihara of Buddha's footprint. Some excavations were made and a 
circular wall, probably the remains of a watch-tower, brought to light; 


but the primary object in view, viz., the discovery of the site of the 
Maurya Palace, was not effected, and it was decided to continue the 
explorations subsequently in consultation with Major Waddell. He 
visited Patna under Sir A. Mackenzie's orders in February 1896, and 
indicated certain sites on which, in his opinion, excavations were 
likely to be more successful. The local authorities were entrusted 
with the arrangements for these excavations. 

The construction estimate of the Orissa Canals project was closed 
on the 31st. March 1895, and up to that date 

OriMNi CanalM. 

the outlay amounted to Rs. 2,61,84,061. The 
further expenditure required to complete works already sanctioned, 
but which had either not been commenced or had not been com- 
pleted on the 31st. March 1895, was Rs. 1,86,621. The total cost 
of the project was therefore Rs. 2,63,70,682. As the result of this 
outlay, the province of Orissa was provided with the following works, 
which were for the most part situated in the Cuttack district : — 7 weirs 
across river channels, with an aggregate length of 3^ miles, and 
constituting, with the canal head sluices and entrance locks the most 
extensive system of head works of any canal system in India : — ^there 
were 204I miles of canals, which were navigable in addition to 
carrying water for irrigation ; these canals communicated with tidal 
water at 5 points, of which the more important were the locks ai 
Alba and Jumboo : the former gave the [most direct route to Chand- 
bali, and thence by sea-going steamers to Calcutta, while the latter 
opened into tidal creeks leading to False Point harbour : there were 
also 75 miles of canal for irrigation only : the distributaries aggre- 
gated 1,091! miles in length. First-class embankments for a total 
length of 172^ miles had been constructed and charged to the 
project, which gave protection to an area of over 850 square miles. 
More than 200 miles of drainage cuts had been made to prevent the 
soil being water-logged from the use of canal irrigation, and a 
considerable number of natural drainage channels had been opened 
up and made more efficient. The aggregate supply of water avail- 
able at the heads of the main canals was 6,058 cubic feet per second, 
out of which 5,340 might be usefully employed in irrigation. With 
this supply it was probable that, in a year of drought, the area on 
which a full crop could be guaranteed would be about 272,ooj 
acres. The largest area previously irrigated was 186,627 areas. 


The Orissa Canals have proved an expensive undertaking, and there 
is little hope of their becoming remunerative, but on the other hand 
the works have been and are of great value to Orissa. The large 
expenditure has greatly improved the position of the labouring 
classes. Trade has been developed, and a large area has been put 
practically beyond the fear of famine. 

In October 1895 the Bengal Chamber of Commerce suggested 
Labour In ui ^^ Government the appointment of a Commission 

Commission. ^q consider the question of the supply of labour, 
not only to the tea industry in Assam, but also to the local mines 
of Bengal. Attention was drawn