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An Insight into the Government of India Act, 1858 The announcement of various changes in the Indian Government has

guven rise to innumerous suggestions as to the policy which is to be adopted by the future administration of British Empire. The brief summary of the changes in the legislature and annexations which are the earmark of the rise of Eastern Empire has seemed an almost essential introduction to be followed up to. Most of the leading events of the anglo-ionidan history, and the most forms of the policy through which it has been passed, are assodciated, not so much with the successive charters of the east india company, as with the names of those men to whom the local government of the empire has been, from time to time committed; from the days when the peaceful traders presided over our earl;iest factories, top be afterwards succeeded by the warriors, who expelled the frencah and crushed the Marathas. The expansion of the british empire at the end of the eighteenth century simply concurred in the point of time with the loss of those American provinces which had therefore formed the bulk of our colonial domain.

EXISTING GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH INDIA Home Government: The British India Government was administered in England in 2 distinct base departments: 1. By the east India Company as represented by the Court of Directors. 2. By the crown as represented by the board of control. The court of directors consisted of 18 members which was reconstituted in the year of 1853 where it was provided that twelve shall be elected by the votes of all the proprietors who possess the qualification of 1000l. East India Stock, All the directors are appointed by the crown, and six of them are elected by the proprietors who must be a civil servant of the company with ten years of standing. The Chairman and his deputy of the court of directors are elected by a body made out of themselves annually by a ballot, the usual practice being that the deputy chairman of one year is elected chairman at the commencement of the succeeding one, and then retains the office for one year. The main powers are vested in the court of diorectors who originate all the measures for the government of india, and all grants of money, both at home and india. In the event of a nomination to any of the offices subject to veto not being approved by the crown, the court must proceed to make another; and if this be not made before the expiration of two months, the crown may appoint. The court has the power of recalling or removing any of the officers or servants of the company, and this power is absolute and uncontrolled.

The court of directors met weekly at the East India House for the transaction of business, the ordinary details of which are discharged by the three committees, designated: 1. Finance and Home 2. Political and Military 3. Revenue, Judicial and Legislative There is also a secret committee with peculiar functions which were altogether different from those of the three ordinary committees. The office of the secret committee was purely ministerial. It receives from India all dispatches on matters with respect to which secrecy is deemed important-including to those which relate to war, peace, or negotiations with native powers or states within the limits of charter, or other states or princes; and forwards such dispatches to the board of control. Local Government: The Supreme Local Administration of India (which was formerly distributed between the three co-ordi nate Governments of Port William, Madras, and Bombay,) is now centred in the " Governor- General of India in Council," the seat of the Supreme Govern ment being now at Calcutta, but removable at the will of the Governor-General. The Governor-General is, as has been stated, ap- Governor- pointed by the Court of Directors, with the approba- council tion of the Crown. The Supreme Council consists nsdpowers of four ordinary members, three of whom must have duties- been civil or military servants of the Company in India of at least ten years' standing, and the fourth a person not previously in the service of the Company. The Commander-in-Chief of the forces in India is also always admitted an extraordinary member of the Council, which thus consists altogether of five mem bers. To these were added in 1853, six Legislative Members, empowered only to sit and vote on the framing of Laws and Regulations ; of these, four are civil servants of the Company of ten years' standing in Bombay, Madras, Bengal, and the North- West Provinces respectively, and the two remaining The GovernorGeneral is, as has been stated, ap- Governor- pointed by the Court of Directors, with the approba- council tion of the Crown. The Supreme Council consists nsdpowers of four ordinary members, three of whom must have duties- been civil or military servants of the Company in India of at least ten years' standing, and the fourth a person not previously in the service of the Company. The Commander-in-Chief of the forces in India is also always admitted an extraordinary member of the Council, which thus consists altogether of five mem bers. To these were added in 1853, six Legislative Members, empowered only to sit and vote on the framing of Laws and Regulations ; of these, four are civil servants of the Company of ten years' standing in Bombay, Madras, Bengal, and the North- West Provinces respectively, and the two remaining members are the Chief Justice and one other Judge of the Supreme Court of Calcutta. The Governor-General in Council has also a direct control over all those districts of British India com prising the Punjab, Cis-Sutlej States, Oude, Berar, Pegu, the Tenasserim Provinces and the Straits' Set-tlements, which are not included within the limits of any of the four subordinate Governments. His authority extends also to the territories of all native princes with whom we

have contracted subsidiary or protective relations, and to the exercise of such in fluence as Great Britain may possess by treaty over those independent States which have accepted of our mediation. The official staff of the Governor- General in Coun- Official cil consists of four Secretaries of the four following Governor Departments : General- 1 . The political or so called " Foreign " Department, to which is committed all correspondence arising out of British relations with native States. 2. The Home Department, which is charged with the judicial and revenue correspondence. 3. The Financial Department. 4. The Military Department. There is also a Secret Department of both the Political and Finance Secretariats, to which all secret dispatches are entrusted. The mode of transacting the business of the Coun- Mode of cil is as follows : All papers involving questions for jnsact" discussion or projects of law are circulated, going business- first to the Governor-General and then to all the Members of Council. The Council meets at the Government House once or twice a week. At or before the Meeting, the GovernorGeneral writes orders on the backs of the papers, in which, if the Members of Council concur, they subscribe their initials, and letters in conformity therewith despatched from the Secretary's office. Every appointment is made by a minute of the Governor- General in Council. If the Members of Council concur, of course the appointment is made ; if they do not, the dissentients record their disap proval. If a majority objected, the appointment would not be pressed, and it is said that the Gover nor-General would not in general propose an appoint ment unless he knew it would be carried in Council. No new office can be established without reference to the home authorities; and the Government of India cannot expend more than 50,000 rupees upon public works without their sanction. An increase in the military establishment being generally a matter of emergency, is, in such case, made by the Governor-General in Council at once, but when not matter of emergency, the question must be referred home. The Governor-General ordinarily holds office for five years, and receives a salary of 25,000/., and each Member of his Council 10,000/. per annum. The absolute authority vested in the Governor- General in Council extends, not only over those pro vinces which, by lapse or annexation, have fallen under his direct control, as the Punjab, Oude, Berar, the Burmese Provinces, and the Straits Settlements, but also over the four subordinate Governments of British India, and applies to all powers, legislative and executive, The Governments of Madras and Bombay have the privilege of corresponding direct with the Court of Directors. They send their proceedings to the Governments of Madras and Bombay have the privilege of corresponding direct with the Court of Directors. They send their proceedings to the