Dadabhai Naoroji – 1893 Speech on Surwur Jung

Below is the text of the speech made by Dadabhai Naoroji, the the then Liberal MP for Finsbury Central, in the House of Commons on 30 March 1893.

In the absence of the hon. Member for Elgin and Nairn, I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the present British Resident at the Court of Hyderabad has been accepting as intermediary between himself and His Highness, the Nizam, a person of notoriously blemished antecedents and character, and well known to be hostile to the responsible Minister of State; whether he is aware that this person, named Surwur Jung, has, under the countenance of the Resident, succeeded in obtaining for himself all the real power in the Hyderabad State and completely paralysing the Ministry; whether he is aware that an action for defamation has been under trial before a subordinate of the Resident against the printer of a libellous pamphlet, of which Surwur Jung has been practically admitted to be the author, the complainant being the Home Secretary to the Hyderabad State; that Surwur Jung has compassed the suspension of the complainant from his office while the case is sub judice, has prevented him from having access to his own witnesses, has supported the defence by vast sums of money taken from the Public Treasury and from the trust funds of minors under his charge, and has established a reign of terror amongst witnesses whereby the course of justice is gravely prejudiced; whether he is aware that the complainant’s counsel has presented a Petition to the Resident’s Court, setting forth the contempts of Court which have been thus committed, but that the Resident has neither prevented nor punished such contempts; whether he is aware that during all the period covered by these matters the Resident has been receiving Surwur Jung in private conference at the British Residency, and that by means of the influence thus conferred upon him, Surwur Jung has now succeeded in extorting 100,000 rupees from the Minister by false pretences, with which offence he now stands charged before His Highness the Nizam; and whether, in the interests of public justice, Her Majesty’s Government will urge on the Government of India the necessity of Surwur Jung being removed from the influential position which he has acquired under the Resident’s support?