HC Deb 23 April 1861 vol 162 c986

said, he wished to ask the Secretary of State for India, Whether any previous steps were taken by the Government of India with a view to meeting the distress arising from the expected famine; whether there is now any general organization of the means at the disposal of Government for that purpose; whether the Government stimulated subscriptions by offering to contribute a sum equal to that which was subscribed; and whether it is intended to leave without assistance all who cannot be provided for by these means if they should prove insufficient?


Sir, I am not in a position to give more than a general answer to the questions put by the hon. Gentleman. The attention of the Government of India had been for many months directed to the probable effects of the drought in that country, and measures were taken on their part to obviate, as much as possible, the evils resulting therefrom. Work has been provided to a considerable extent, and also, in some districts, contributions have been offered in addition to the subscriptions. I cannot, however, give any explanation as to the precise mode in which the measures have been directed for that purpose. I know that measures have been taken on a very large scale, in some shape or another, and that the estimate of the sum to be given in relief by the Government is of very considerable amount.