MR. LABCUCHERE (Northampton)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether a suggestion of an offer from the Nizam of Hyderabad of 60 lakhs of rupees for the frontier defences of India was brought under the notice of Her Majesty's Government, or of any Member of Her Majesty's Government, by Abdul Huk, when in London in the summer of 1887 as Jubilee Commissioner of H.H. the Nizam; whether any reply, verbal or in writing, was made to this suggestion; whether he is aware that Abdul Huk, on his return from London to Hyderabad, forwarded a draft letter containing the offer to Colonel Marshall, the British Private Secretary of the Nizam, and that he (Abdul Huk) stated that this draft had been written by a British Cabinet Minister; whether Colonel Marshall urged Sir Arman Jah, the Prime Minister of the Nizam, to adopt the proposal, and to submit it as his own to the Nizam; whether Sir Arman Jah, after some protest, presented the draft letter to His Highness, and at the same time intimated to him that the present was not the time for making the offer; whether eventually the draft letter was signed by His Highness, and Colonel Marshall took it to the Viceroy of India, together with a cheque signed by Abdul Huk, but unsigned by Sir Arman Jah, for 20 lakhs of rupees (the first yearly instalment) on the London 1237 and Provincial Bank; whether Sir Arman Jah, upon hearing of this cheque, protested that Abdul Huk had no right to give a cheque on property belonging to His Highness's Government, and deposited with the National Provincial Bank; whether the cheque was declined by the Viceroy, and the offer reserved for consideration; whether, if the Under Secretary of State for India is not sufficiently in possession of what took place in respect to this offer of His Highness to reply to these Questions, he will make inquiry in regard to them; whether any Despatches have been received from India in regard to the contemplated gift of the Nizam; and, if so, if he will lay them upon the Table of the House; whether he can state what are the functions of Colonel Marshall at Hyderabad, and if it is open to the Nizam to relieve him of those functions should His Highness deem it expedient to do so; and, whether he can inform the House if any decision has been arrived at in respect to the Nizam's offer?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
Paragraphs 1 and 2.—The suggestion in these Questions is absolutely devoid of foundation; paragraphs 3 to 9 relate to matters as to which the Secretary of State has no information or concern, and respecting which he thinks it unnecessary to ask for information. Paragraph 10.—No. Paragraph 11.—I described Colonel Marshall's position in an answer on April 26. As the Nizam asked for the loan of his services, his dismissal without reference to the Viceroy would be an act of discourtesy, of which it is inconceivable the Nizam would be guilty. Paragraph 12.—No.