§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, How many native Burmese prisoners have been captured since 1st January, 1886, in the process of annexation and pacification of Upper Burmah; how many of these are now alive in prison in the Bengal Presidency; how many native Burmese have died in gaol in the Bengal Presidency, or in other custody, since their capture; whether any, and how many, of such prisoners have been tried, and on what charges; and, whether the Returns for the present year show a large increase in violent crime in Lower Burmah since the annexation of Upper Burmah?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
It is impossible to give any estimate of the number of prisoners captured during the military operations in Upper Burmah. During 1886, 148 Burmese prisoners were sent to the Bengal gaols; but this includes convicts from both Upper and Lower Burmah. I cannot tell how many of these (if any) died in gaol; but their general average of health is reported to have been fair, and their conduct remarkably good. The Secretary of State is not aware that any prisoners were detained except for the 243 purpose of being tried by Civil Law. No Returns of the offences charged and results of trials have been received, except those to be found at page 153 of the last Burmah Blue Book. The hon. Member will see that the most common offence is robbery and dacoity. The answer to the last Question is, Yes. The reason was, no doubt, the spread of anarchy and disorder from Upper to Lower Burmah.