§ MR. MACLEAN (Cardiff)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to a statement by Colonel Jasper Burne, describing the sufferings of the people in the Bill country of Meywar, and stating 586 that 120 persons had been found dead in the limits of one small cantonment, and that only 10 per cent. of the population will be left alive in July; and what steps the Government of India is taking to avert such a loss of life.
§ LORD G. HAMILTON
I have seen.. Colonel Burne's letter to The Times referred to in the question. Meywar is a Native State to which British officers have been lent to superintend famine operations,, and the Indian Government some time back sanctioned a loan to that State of five lakhs to be spent on relief operations.. If the Maharana's Government, as advised by the officers lent to them, find that more help is needed, prompt consideration will be given to their requests. I should add that the Bhil people in their hills are very difficult to manage and cannot be induced, so long as they have any means, however precarious, of sustenance, to come to relief works. I have received no-reports tending to show that the State authorities of Meywar are remiss, or that the loss of life among the Bhils has. been, or is likely to be as appalling as is suggested in Colonel Burne's letter.