§ 17. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for India whether in the instructions issued to the governors of Indian provinces or presidencies they are directed to safeguard all members of His Majesty's services in the legitimate exercise of their functions and in the enjoyment of all recognised rights and privileges, and to see that no order of the Local Provincial Council or of the Local Legislative Council shall be so framed that any of the diverse interests of, or arising from, race, religion, education, social condition, wealth, or any other circumstance may receive unfair advantage, or may unfairly be deprived of privileges or advantages which they have heretofore enjoyed; and whether he is responsible to Parliament to see that governors of provinces act in accordance with his instructions?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The hon. Member has correctly quoted parts of certain passages in the instructions issued over the Royal Sign Manual to the governors of "Governors' provinces." The answer to the last part of this question is in the affirmative.
§ 18. Sir W. DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for India whether, seeing that in the preamble of the Government of India Act it is expressly stated that the Imperial Parliament, in considering the gradual development of self-governing institutions in India, must be guided by the co-operation received from those in whom new opportunities of service will be conferred and by the extent to which it is found that confidence can be reposed in their sense of responsibility, he will inform the House whether Members of Parliament will be able to ascertain from the Secretary of State from time to time as to the manner in which the various provincial councils are dealing with matters committed to them so that Parliament may be guided as to its future action regarding the conferring of further responsibilities on such provincial councils?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I would refer the hon. Member to the provisions in Section 84A of the amended Government of India Act for the appointment of the first Statutory Commission for the very purpose which he has in view. Parliament is, of course, 1776 fully entitled to seek information, but I trust it will not seek to intervene in matters specifically entrusted to Indian legislatures.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
I understand that this Parliament can ascertain facts which occur in these legislatures or with regard to the action of the governors without interfering with what actually takes place?
§ Viscount CURZON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I was requested to take a question off the Paper to-day which related solely to a question of fact and nothing else?