§ MR. ONSLOW
asked the Secretary of State for India, When he expects to receive the Report called for in the following words from his Despatch to His Excellency the Viceroy of India, dated May 8th 1880, three weeks after the assumption of office of Her Majesty's present Ministers:—The desire of Her Majesty's Government is that Afghan territory should be evacuated whenever it appears possible to entertain the hope that a stable Government has been secured. Your Excellency will report as to the manner in which this object may be best attained;if he can state to the House, without detriment to the public service, what has been done during the past ten months for the attainment of this object; and, how it is that no Minutes from His Excellency the Viceroy or any Member of the Supreme Council has been included in the Blue Book recently issued regarding the abandonment or retention of Candahar?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
I suppose the Question of the hon. Member refers to a paragraph in a despatch dated the 21st, and not the 8th, of May. In response to that despatch the Government of India have not furnished anything which could be described as taking the form of a Report; but they have from time to time sent despatches, the major part of which have, I believe, been laid on the Table of the House, giving statements of their proceedings with regard to Cabul, the Khyber, and Kuram. I have already mentioned that a short despatch has been received on the subject of Candahar, and it will be laid on the Table as soon as the enclosures which belong to it are also received. In reply to the last part of the Question, I 738 may say that a Minute by the Commander-in-Chief, who is a Member of the Supreme Council, has been laid on the Table and included in the Blue Book recently issued. Other Minutes by Members of the Council are expected to arrive by the next mail, and I shall be able, I hope, to present them as soon as they arrive. I ought, perhaps, to state with reference to an answer given by my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Treasury on Tuesday, in which he stated that he did not expect any movement of troops would take place for a considerable time, that on the same day I received the following telegram:—The withdrawal of troops from the Candahar line commences at once. Three Native regiments and probably one European regiment will be ordered to return to India immediately.I do not anticipate that any very considerable movement of troops will take place immediately; but in order that there should be no misunderstanding with regard to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, I thought it my duty to make this communication to the House.
§ MR. ONSLOW
Now that our troops are leaving Candahar, I would like to ask the Secretary of State for India to whom it is proposed to give up Gandahar?