The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 4
To The Right Honourable Benjamin Disraeli, M.P., First Lord of her Majesty's Treasury. — The Memorial of the Directors of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce
To The Right Honourable Benjamin Disraeli, M.P., First Lord of her Majesty's Treasury.
The Memorial of the Directors of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce,
That your memorialists take a profound interest in the prosperity of India, in the development of its natural resources, and in the extension of its commercial relations, believing that all measures for the promotion of these ends are for mutual advantage, and tend to strengthen the material and political bonds uniting India with the Empire.
That in the opinion of your memorialists the India Museum, by its unrivalled collections of the natural products and manufactures of India, may be rendered an important instrument for the development of the commerce of India, whilst at the same time it may supply models for our manufacturers, and indicate fresh outlets for English enterprise and capital.
That the museum, especially if taken in connection with the Indian Library, by exhibiting the literary and artistic achievements of the natives of India, and by illustrating the customs and habits of the people, is calculated to arouse and to foster the public interest in Indian affairs, as also to supply full and trustworthy information on all points bearing on the development of the material resources or the improvement of the social condition of the country.
That hitherto, however, the want of a suitable building and organisation has materially restricted the sphere of its action, and hampered its efficiency, and your memorialists, deeply sensible of the benefits the museum has already conferred, are the more alive to the influence it would exercise under more favourable conditions.
That your memorialists recognise with gratitude the efforts of the Indian Government in keeping up the museum, even in its present im- page 62 perfect state, and in carrying out many special measures, all tending to disseminate the knowledge of Indian products and manufactures in this country, and they would strongly urge the obligation now resting upon England for contributing its share towards the maintenance and extended usefulness of an institution the benefits of which are in no inconsiderable degree conferred on the people of this country.
That in the opinion of your memorialists the time has arrived when the Government of Great Britain should contribute a substantial share towards the funds necessary for the erection of a building for an India Museum.
That in view of the evidence afforded of the importance which her Majesty's Indian authorities attach to measures of this description, your memorialists entertain no doubt that they would gladly take advantage of the assistance proposed, and which would enable them to secure a full accomplishment of the objects herein set forth.
That your memorialists further feel that the present is the most suitable time for the consideration of this matter, so that before the expiry of the period for which it is understood temporary accommodation has been found at South Kensington for the India Museum collections, a permanent home may be provided for them in a more central position.
Your memorialists therefore, for these and other reasons, pray:—That her Majesty's Government will, at the earliest practicable opportunity, take into their earnest consideration the desirability of supplying the necessary funds required to carry out, in conjunction with her Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, the erection of an India Museum in a suitable and easily-accessible situation, by which course your memorialists are strongly of opinion that substantial benefits will be conferred alike on this country and on her Majesty's subjects in India.
And your memorialists will ever pray, &c.
Edmund Ashworth, President.
Thomas Browning, Secretary. Manchester,