[30th August, 1937]
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR
Mr. Speaker, members of the Orissa Legislative Assembly,
I have already in private congratulated you, Sir, on your election to the post of dignity which I feel sure you will fill with very great credit. I should like to give you now my congratulations in public.
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR
Next I want to welcome you all. I hope during your sessions I may have opportunities of continuing old friendships and of making new ones. May I give a special welcome to the two lady members? They are returned from general constituencies in which the electoral roll recognizes no distinction of class or creed. Such constituencies are, I believe, unique in India, save for similar ones in Assam. I have no doubt that the lady members of this Assembly will fully demonstrate the wisdom of the electoral provisions which have brought them here.I am not here to-day to make a political speech. Indeed I should like to dispel the idea, if it exists, that either now or on future occasions of this kind I am voicing the views or announcing the policy of Ministers. They are quite capable of doing that themselves and will have many opportunities of doing it here and elsewhere. But may I say one thing, that I am profoundly thankful that I can come to-day to address you as a legislative body in and likely to remain in being.
There is one particular point of contact between the Legislative Assembly and myself. That is the rules for the conduct of your business. The task of framing these rules in the first instance was placed upon me under the provisions of the Government of India Act ; and I should like to acknowledge the assistance I received from the Secretary to the Assembly in performing this duty. It is for the Assembly to alter, as may be desirable, the greater part of the rules. I understand that you have already taken this into consideration. A few of the rules are reserved to my discretion after consultation with you, Mr. Speaker, pending their revision, I trust that the existing rules, which are based on the rules and standing orders of the Bihar and Orissa Legislative Council, will prove to be reasonably convenient for the conduct of your business.
You are called upon to undertake in your first session one of the most important functions of a legislative body, the consideration of the financial proposals of the Ministry, and the voting of supply to carry on the business of Government. I take it that all of you like myself would be glad if more money was available for the many urgent need of the province, not the least being the mitigation of damage by flood. But as things are, I am sure that you will realise that all desirable projects cannot be immediately put into action.
I have only one more thing to say. I speak with some hesitation, with some reluctance, to parade in public my deepest convictions. Most of you are Hindus, a few of you are Moslems and a few again like myself are Christians. But in Orissa it may, I believe, be said that all of us agree that to use the valuable though very inadequate words of an English essayist there is " a Power not ourselves that makes for righteousness" Our instincts, our upbringing and our experience lead us to clothe that idea in diverse ways, when we come to think out the nature and attributes, of that power. But it is a power to which we all as humble men of heart may combine to appeal. It is on this assurance that I place before you certain passages from the prayers that are read before every sitting of the Houses of parliament. They are that ;
" God may direct and guide us in all our consultations."
That " we may lay aside all private interests, prejudices and partial affections", and finally that " result of our counsels may be to the public wealth, peace and tranquility of the realm and the uniting and knitting together of the hearts of all persons and estate within the same".
I take leave of you, Sir, and of you all and party that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your labours.