HC Deb 01 March 1881 vol 258 cc1947-8

asked the Secretary of State for India, If the Sir Donald Stewart, whose opinion is recorded in the late Blue Book, in a memorandum dated April 18th, 1879, as adverse to the retention of Kandahar, is the same Sir Donald Stewart who, on the 25th March, 1880, assured the Chiefs of Kandahar that "There was no chance of Kandahar again falling under the authority of the Supreme Ruler in Kabul"(Afghanistan, No. 1, page 20, 1881); and, who again on the 2nd July, 1880, expressed his "hearty agreement with the drift of a paper" of Sir Frederick Roberts, in which it is pointed out that "The Military occupation of Kandahar is, as I have before stated, of vital importance;" and, if so, whether the Government have any ground for believing that these later opinions do not express Sir Donald Stewart's present views.


In reply to this Question, and to another of which Notice has been given by the right hon. and gallant Member for Wigtown (Sir John Hay), I have to say that the Sir Donald Stewart, whoso opinion, adverse to the retention of Candahar, is recorded in the late Blue Book, in a Memorandum dated April 18, 1879, is the same officer who, on the 25th of March, 1880, communicated to the Chiefs and people of Candahar certain arrangements, by order of the Government of India, which arrangements, as the House is aware, it has not been found possible to maintain in practice. Sir Donald Stewart subsequently expressed his hearty agreement with the drift of a Paper written by Sir Frederick Roberts. I have reason to believe that Sir Donald Stewart's full and latest opinion on this question will be contained in a Minute which will shortly be sent home from India, and which I hope to be able to lay on the Table of the House.