HC Deb 15 March 1875 vol 222 c1803

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether, having regard to the occupation of Herat by the Ameer of Afghanistan, Her Majesty's Government are prepared to take such action as will be calculated to ensure the security of our Indian frontier, more especially with reference to Merv?


Sir, as the language of the Question does not very clearly describe the facts upon which the hon. Gentleman bases his Question, I may be permitted to point out to him that Herat and Merv are not, as the Question implies, in immediate proximity to our Indian frontier. Herat is about 750 miles and Merv about 950 miles distant from Peshawur; and, secondly, I must remind him that Herat has been for many years an integral part of the dominions of the Ameer of Afghanistan, and that the action which the Ameer has recently taken in reference to Herat has been to send troops upon whose fidelity he could more confidently rely to replace the garrison previously occupying that post. The Indian Government are fully aware of the strategical importance of Herat and Merv, and that one of their duties is to insure, to the best of their power, the security of their frontier. I think, therefore, the hon. Gentleman may rest assured that in the performance of that duty the Indian Government will give every consideration to any circumstances which may occur in the vicinity of Herat and Merv.