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Report of the Civil Service Commission, the most interesting portion of which relates to the Proceedings in the Examination for the East India Service. It is a noble evidence of liberality on the part of the Government of India to leave its splendid prizes to the competition of superior talent; and great, we are happy to say, is the encouragement thereby given to learning and moral worth. The Commissioners of the Aberdeen Universities have recommended the fusion of King's College and Mareschal College. If we wish our Universities to preserve their position at the head of the educational institutions of the United Kingdom, it is of absolute necessity to infuse into them new vigour and activity, and to adapt them to the wants and spirit of the age in which we live. The Returns relating to Church Rates give some valuable facts in relation to the controverted question as to the liability of Dissenters to pay for the repairs and maintenance of Parish Churches. About 630,000l. per annum appear to have been spent within the last seven years, for such purposes, within the Archdeaconries of England and Wales, and about the half of that amount was raised by Church Rates. An interesting Paper will be found under this Series, respecting the excavations at Budrum, which brought to light the famous Mausoleum at Halicarnassus erected by Artemisia, the widow of Mausolus, in the year 353 B.C. The Report of the Trustees of the National Gallery shows that a steady progress has been made in the collection of portraits of distinguished persons.
Under Series D., “Railway, Shipping, and Postal Communication," we have evidences of great progress in all means of transport and communication. Not less than 52,000,000 tons of British and Foreign Shipping having been employed in the Foreign and Coasting Trade of the United Kingdom in the year 1859, viz. 19,000,000 tons in the Foreign and Colonial Trade, and 33,000,000 tons in the Coasting Trade. In consequence of the freedom of our Navigation Laws, as much as 40 per cent. of our Foreign Trade is carried on by foreign shipping ; but our Coasting Trade, though equally open to all nations, is little
interfered with. We invite the attention of our Readers to the details of Railway Traffic given in the paper on Miscellaneous Statistics. The facts connected with each Line of Railway are * interesting, especially in relation to the number of persons injured and killed on each Line. The Correspondence respecting the establishment of Telegraphic Communication in the Mediterranean, and with India, indicates the terms offered by the different Companies to accomplish an object so desirable, and which we trust may speedily be realized. In consequence of the objections raised to the Galway Contract, a committee was appointed to inquire into the manner in which Packet and Telegraphic Contracts are made. In the Report of the Evidence here inserted, a serious question was mooted as to how far it is competent for Parliament to disallow Contracts entered into by the Executive, and an opinion was expressed that, wherever practicable, the contracts should be made subject to their not receiving the disapproval of the House of Commons, and that they should commence from a certain date, provided there be no objection to them. Considerable interest is also attached to the Report on Railway and Canal Legislation, and especially to the plan suggested of passing an Act empowering Companies to make Railways on the Certificate of the Board of Trade, or of some other department especially appointed to consider the Bills, and all the objections offered to them.
Series E., “Justice and Crime,” has the usual Reports on Convict Prisons and Convict Discipline, and many Statutes of practical importance: such as the Act enabling Barristers to practise in the Admiralty Court, the Act for the Relief of Trustees, and that allowing the Courts in Scotland to receive verdicts in Civil cases, although the jury may not be unanimous.
In Series F., “British India, Colonies, and Dependencies," the most important papers are the Report on the Organization of the Indian Army, and the papers relative to the Establishment of British Columbia as a Colony. The Public Debt of India is rapidly increasing, and the state of Indian Finance has created
Series G., “Municipal Affairs and Population,” contains several interesting Returns on Electors and Representation, intended to illustrate the need of a new Reform Bill. Several statutes under this Series will be referred to with interest; especially the Act relating to Municipal Elections, the Act to facilitate grants of land for Recreation Grounds, and the Act for regulating meters used in the Supply of Gas.
Series H. includes a Report on Lunatic Asylums in Ireland, with other papers relating to Health.
This Volume concludes the Fourth Series of the ANNALS OF LEGISLATION, a work which is every year acquiring a firmer position as a record of national progress. The utmost care is bestowed to render it worthy of public acceptance, and the reader may use the facts and statements therein recorded with the fullest confidence in their accuracy and authenticity.
May 1, 1861.
Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Organization of the
Indian Army. The commission was issued on the 15th of July, 1858, to Major-General Jonathan Peel, Secretary of State of War, the Duke of Cambridge, Lord Stanley, the Marquis of Tweddale, Viscount Melville, Sir Henry G. W. Smith, Bart., Sir George A. Wetherall, Major-General Patrick Montgomerie, Major-General Henry Hancock, Colonel William Burlton, C.B., and Colonel Thomas Forsyth Tait, C.B. The purpose of the commission was to inquire into the organization of the army at present serving in the pay and under the control and management of the Honourable East India Company, in order to report what charges it might be expedient to make in the existing system. The Commissioners examined forty-seven witnesses, including many generals and colonels of the army, Sir Charles Trevelyan, the Earl of Ellenborough, and several physicians and surgeons; and on the 7th March, 1859, they reported as follows:
With reference to the first point suggested in your Majesty's warrant, viz. “ The terms on which the army of the East India Company is to be transferred to the Crown,” your Majesty's Commissioners observe, that the 56th clause of the Act for the better Government of India, assures to the forces which now belong to your Majesty's Indian army,“ the like pay, pensions, allowances, and privileges, and like advantages as regards promotion and otherwise, as if they had continued in the service of the said Company."
The privileges and advantages thus referred to, may be briefly stated to consist in a prescriptive right to rise strictly by seniority to the rank and emoluments of colonel of a regiment, with the option of retiring before attaining that position, or after various periods of service, on a scale of pay, or pension, considerably higher than that granted to officers of your Majesty's army of the line. No change, therefore, can be made, which would in any way disturb the system of promotion by seniority, as affecting officers now in the service, or interfere with any of their existing privileges ; 'but the 57th section of the above-recited Act, gives to your Majesty full power to frame new regulations on this, and all other points, to be applied to the case of officers and others, who hereafter may enter the Indian army.
The second question, viz. the “permanent force necessary to be maintained in the Indian provinces respectively, after the restoration of tranquillity," does not appear to your Majesty's Commissioners to admit of a reply, in a definite numerical form, as the amount of force must depend on the probability of either internal disturbances or external aggression. The estimates of force given in the evidence are most conflicting, ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 Europeans; and there can be doubt, that it will be necessary to maintain for the future defence of India, a European force of much greater strength than that which existed previous to the outbreak of 1857. The amount of such force should, in the opinion of your Majesty's Commissioners, be about 80,000; of which 50,000 would be required for Bengal, 15,000 for Madras, and 15,000 for Bombay. This amount and distribution, however, must always be affected by the political exigencies of the country; the introduction of railroads, and river steam navigation; the establishment of fortified posts, and other military considerations.
As regards the third question, the proportion “which European should bear to native corps in cavalry, infantry, and artillery respectively,” your Majesty's Commissioners are of opinion, that the amount of native force should not, under present circumstances, bear a greater proportion to the European, in cavalry and infantry, than two to one for Bengal, and three to one for Madras and Bombay respectively.
The evidence before the Commissioners is unanimous, that the artillery should be mainly a European force, and they agree in the opinion thus expressed, exceptions being made for such stations as are peculiarly detrimental to the European constitution.
In connection with this question, your Commissioners observe, that military police corps have been formed, or are in course of formation, throughout India. They see in this force, in its numerical strength, and military organization, differing, as it does, in no essential respect, from the regular sepoy army, the elements of future danger. They would, therefore, recommend that great caution be used, in not giving to this force a stricter military training, than may be required for the maintenance of discipline, lest a new native force be formed, which may hereafter become a source of embarrassment to the Government.
On the fourth question, as to “How far the European portion of the army should be composed of troops of the Line, taking India as part of the regular tour of service, and how far of troops raised for service in India only ?” your Majesty's Commissioners are unable to arrive at any unanimity of opinion; and the sentiments of many distinguished men, who
; have been examined, or have recorded their views on the subject, are no less divided than those of the Commissioners themselves. The latter can, therefore, offer no recommendation as a body, and must confine themselves to a report of the opinions of the majority and minority. The majority observe that a double European army, such as that now established, has had its origin in the double government, which has hitherto existed ;-the authority of the East India Company having been distinct from that of the Crown, though derived from it, and subordinate to its general control. The original formation was thus anomalous and exceptional; and as the transfer by Parliameift of the Government of India, from the Company to the Crown, has not carried with it the total amalgamation of the European portion of the two armies, it has become necessary fully to consider the subject. It does not appear that any case in history can be adduced, of the
. co-existence of two distinct armies supplied from the same sources, both as regards officers and men, serving the same Sovereign. They observe that, on the contrary, the great object of legislation in all civilized countries has been, so to organize the military forces and resources of the State, as to produce unity of feeling and interest, under one supreme authority, throughout the whole body. That it is impossible to arrive at these ends, in the case of two separate armies, not amenable to the same authority as regards discipline and organization, however closely assimilated in other respects. That nothing could be more unfortunate, not to say dangerous, than so to organize the armed forces of the State, as to sow the seeds, and form the groundwork, of professional jealousies and heart-burnings—the inevitable result of a double system - the consequence of which would be, that no selection for appointment could be made, from either service, which would be judged on its own intrinsic merits, but would be viewed rather with reference to that branch, whether line or local, from which the