§ MR. BENETT-STANFORD
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If he will lay upon the Table of the House, a Return showing the number of Mahometan Soldiers of the Native Army, Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery (Regular or Irregular), now serving under Her Majesty in India; and, whether in such Return he will separate the Sunnites, or those who look to the Sultan of Constantinople as the head of their religion, from the Shihites, who do not acknowledge him as such?
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
I have Do objection to state what is well known, that a very considerable part of the Native Army of India is composed of Mahometans, and that they are almost exclusively Sunnites; but, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, it is not desirable to lay on the Table of the House such a Return. The policy of the Indian Government has always been to endeavour to soften the religious differences existing between various sects; and I do not think it necessary to publish now for the first time Returns which might operate in a contrary direction.