§ Resolution [August 14] reported.
§ MR. O'DONNELL
asked if he might receive some assurance from the Secretary of State for India that some more efficient steps would be taken to reduce the mortality in Bengal gaols? It was true there had been some reduction in the rate of mortality; the frightful rate of 97 per 1,000 had certainly been reduced; but at present the mortality was as high as 70 per 1,000. There was no reason why that rate should continue, because he found that, through the judicious action of the Bengal authorities from the year 1768 down to the year 1876, the rate of mortality was as low as about 40 per 1,000, and it was only since 1877 that the frightful proportions to which he referred had been realized. The reason why he made this demand was that he had been accused of aiming his criticisms more directly against one single official. He desired to know who were responsible for the continued high rate of mortality in Bengal gaols, and what assurances they could get that that high mortality would be diminished?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, he thought the Papers which had been presented would prove to the House that every effort was now being made to reduce the very high rate of mortality in the Bengal gaols. The subject was receiving the most careful attention of the Government of India. They acknowledged that the sanitary condition of the gaols was not what was desirable; but he thought the House might be satisfied with the assurance that there was no desire to allow the present rate of mortality to continue.
§ Resolution agreed to.