[ Partition of Bengal, 1905. ] Five documents expressing reservations: three printed Bengal Chamber of Commerce circulars, one bearing ALS from Sir G. H. Sutherland to judge Richard Harington; autograph memorandum by Sutherland; printed circular.

Sir George Henry Sutherland (1866-1937), East India merchant, Sheriff of Calcutta 1901 and 1908; President of Bengal Chamber of Commerce, 1900-1901 [ Sir Richard Harington; Partition of Bengal, 1905 ]
Publication details: 
All items from 1905. Three circulars from Bengal Chamber of Commerce, Royal Exchange Buildings, Calcutta.
SKU: 19486

Five items, in good condition, on lightly aged paper. All three Bengal Chamber of Commerce circulars (Items One to Three below) are from H. M. Haywood, Acting Secretary, to the Secretary to the Government of India, Home Department, and are uniform in layout. Each is 2pp., 8vo, on a single leaf. The first two carry the compliment stamp of the Secretary of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce. ONE: Circular 'No. 1132-1905.' Calcutta, 6 July 1905. On 'the general question of appointing a person of long judicial experience, acquired as a Barrister, to be Chief Judge of a Chief Court in a large and popular [corrected in manuscript to 'populous'] mercantile centre like Rangoon', in reference to 'the appointment, for the third time in succession, of a member of the Indian Civil Service, to the Chief Judgeship of the Chief Court of Lower Burma'. TWO: Circular 'No. 1267-1905.' Calcutta, 27 July 1905. A considered response to 'the Resolution No. 2491, dated 19th July, of the Government of India, creating the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam'. The document concludes with the suggestion 'that it would be generally advantageous, and might tend to diminish the popular feeling against the partition scheme, if a definite announcement were made to the effect that the jurisdiction of the High Court is to remain permanently undisturbed'. Written at the foot of the reverse of the document is the following undated autograph memorandum by Sutherland: 'My dear Harington | Hope you have had a decent journey across. Here is copy of the Chamber's letter to Govt of India. It is rather weak in my opinion though I suppose it will draw some kind of assurances from Govt. | Remember me to Sir Lawrence Jenkin & wishing you a good voyage. | Yours | G. H. Sutherland'. THREE: Circular 'No. 1423-1905.' Calcutta, 26 August 1905. Responding to the Government of India's 'letter, No. 2703 dated 11th August 1905, upon the question of the maintenance of the jurisdiction of the Calcutta High Court over the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam'. Regarding the need 'for the maintenance of the jurisdiction of the High Court', there has been 'a feeling of apprehension, which has lately been growing, that notwithstanding any expressed intentions of Government, the operation of the partition scheme might lead to the curtailment of the jurisdiction, and possibly the lowering of the status of the High Court'. The document seeks assurances regarding 'apprehensions' which are 'so generally and so strongly held, that public bodies and individuals who, like the Chamber, do not object to the partition on other grounds, are disposed to withhold their support – if they do not even enter into active opposition – unless it can be made as clear as is practicable that the status, jurisdiction and functions of the High Court will not be prejudicially affected'. Attached to Three is FOUR: Undated signed autograph memorandum by Sutherland. 2pp., 16mo. Written in red ink, it reads: 'The Government's reply to Chambers first letter was of course unsatisfactory. I worried the Committee again & the Chambers has now weighed in with a really strong letter threatening opposition to the Partition if Govt wont give proper assurances. Meantime the air is full of rumours that the Partition Scheme is to be dropped & that Sir Andrew Fraser the L[ieutenant]. G[overnor].ship! I should be pleased if both rumours proved true. Fraser is a failure. | G. H. S.' FIVE: Duplicated copy of typed letter signed to the Secretary of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce from twelve firms, beginning with 'McLeod & Co.' and ending with 'Williamson Magor & Co.', and including Sutherland's firm of 'Begg Dunlop & Co.' Calcutta, 11 July 1905. 2pp., 8vo. Suggesting that 'the Chamber should require the insertion in the Act effecting the transfer of an express proviso that the Civil and Criminal jurisdiction now exercised by the High Court over the districts to comprise the new province shall continue to be exercised over those districts in all respects as fully and freely as it now is'. Sutherland's obituary in The Times, 12 May 1937, is headed 'An East India Merchant'. His entry in the Indian Biographical Dictionary (1915) reads as follows: 'partner of Messrs. Begg, Dunlopp [sic] and Company, Calcutta; b. 1866; s. of late Henry H. Sutherland; educ: Westminster; President, Bengal Chamber of Commerce, 1900-01; Sheriff of Calcutta, 1901 and 1908: Member, Bengal Legislative Council, 1900-02; and again 1907-08; Trustee, Indian Museum, 1903; Commissioner, Port of Calcutta,. 1903-04, and 1907; Director, Bank of Bengal. Recreations: Shooting and Golf. Address: Calcutta; Cringletie, Peeblesshire. Club: Bachelors’ Oriental.' Called to the Bar in 1886, Sir Richard Harington (1861-1911) practised as a barrister on the Oxford Circuit before taking up an appointment as a Puisne Judge in the High Court of Justice at Fort William in Bengal in 1899, in which capacity he served until returning home in 1913, having succeeded to the baronetcy two years previously. From the Harington family papers.