§ MR. T. HUGHES
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether further consideration on behalf of the troops entitled to the Banda and Kirwee Booty will be given by the Secretary of State to the claim which, in his Despatch No. 119, of 11th May 1871, he held to be borne out, for interest on 14½ lakhs (1,465,335 rupees) of Mogul rupees, captured by General Whitlock's force, and kept by the Government of India, from 1858 until 1862, in the State Treasury at Allahabad; why the 100 moneys, which appear from the protest of the Prize Agents to have been excluded from their contract with the auctioneer, were forced to auction by the authorities at Calcutta at a cost of about £6,000 for auction commission; whether it is intended that the troops should be idemnified by the Indian Government for the loss; and, if not, upon what grounds; and, whether the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown has been or will be taken as to the validity of these claims, or as to the equity of referring them, under the Act 3 and 4 Vic. c. 65, s. 22, if disputed, for judicial settlement?
MR. GRANT DUFF
My reply, Sir, to my hon. Friend's first Question must be in the negative, the Secretary of State in Council having decided that the claim alluded to in that Question is unfounded. In reply to his second Question, I have to say that the course adopted with regard to the moneys, or rather bullion, to which he refers was adopted as being that which the Government of India thought the best for all concerned. In reply to his third Question, I have to say that the claim of the troops to the indemnification referred to was submitted by their agents to the Treasury, the competent authority in such cases, which after hearing counsel decided against them. In reply to his fourth Question, I have to say that the Secretary of State in Council sees no reason for re-opening a matter which he considers to be res judicata.