HC Deb 06 December 1888 vol 331 cc1247-9
MR. J. M. MACLEAN (Oldham)

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether his attention had been drawn to the speech of the Marquess of Dufferin made at Calcutta on Saturday, when he said of the so-called National Congress— The members of the Congress are answerable for the distribution among thousands of ignorant and credulous men of publications animated by a very questionable spirit, and whose manifest intention is to excite the hatred of the people against the public servants of the Crown in India; whether urgent representations have been made to the Government of India by most of the Native Princes, and by the leaders of the Indian Mahomedans, as to the mischievous effects of these publications, and of the speeches made by delegates to the Congress; and, what steps, in these circumstances, the Indian Government intend to take with regard to further meetings of the Congress?

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked whether the Eight Hon. Sir Richard Garth, Q.C., late Chief Justice of Bengal, had declared the attacks on the Indian National Congress to be "unjust, ungenerous, and impolitic;" whether he had stated that in— Bringing to the notice of the Government what they considered to be defects and abuses in the present system" "they have done this in the most open, straightforward, and respectful way; and whether he had declared— For myself I have long been persuaded that many of the abuses complained of are real and serious; and that some of the proposed reforms would be not only of advantage to India, but would materially strengthen the hands of the Government.

MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked, if the hon. Gentleman had seen reports from India as to the excitement there arising from the insulting reference to a late president of the Congress, Mr. Naoroji, as a "black man," by the Marquess of Salisbury?


That Question of the hon. Member does not relate to the one before the House?


I will give Notice of it.


In answer to the Question on the Paper, I have to say that it does appear that the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava has made a speech in India containing the sentences quoted by the hon. Member; and it is also the fact that representations have been made to the Government of India by Native Chiefs and leading Mahomedans as to the mischievous effect of these publications and the speeches made by delegates at the Congress. With regard to the last paragraph of the Question, the Secretary of State has not yet received any intimation as to the intentions of the Government of India with regard to other meetings of the Congress. In reply to the Question of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh), the hon. Member must be aware that he has put a Question which it is impossible for me to answer. He asks me what are the opinions of Sir Richard Garth with reference to the Indian Congress. I received Nolice of his Question only 10 minutes ago, and have not yet had time to consult the opinions of Sir Richard Garth on the subject.


Has not the Government of India had in its hands for more than two months the pamphlet of Sir Richard Garth, A Few Plain Truths about India, containing the words I have quoted?


Yes, Sir; I have seen the pamphlet of Sir Richard Garth; but it is impossible for me in 10 minutes to verify the accuracy of the hon. Member's quotation.


Is it not a fact that this pamphlet must have been published long before the speech of the Marquess of Dufferin, which was made last Saturday?


Yes, Sir; I myself read the pamphlet some months ago.