HC Deb 11 March 1881 vol 259 cc809-10

asked the Secretary of State for India, What arrangements have been made for appointing a permanent Government at Candahar, now that it has been announced that our troops are on the eve of being withdrawn; and if he could state to the House the nature of these arrangements?


I am extremely anxious to give the House, as soon as I am able, any information upon this subject which can be given with advantage to the Public Service. I have every reason to hope that the progress of the arrangements is satisfactory; but I must remind the House that the Government of India have in this case, as they had last year when the arrangements were made prior to the withdrawal of the troops from Cabul, a very difficult and very delicate task. I have no hesitation in saying that any premature disclosure of the arrangements under consideration immediately prior to the withdrawal of troops from Cabul would have had a tendency to prevent the satisfactory arrangements then made. I cannot take upon myself the responsibility at this moment of stating what is going on—what steps the Government of India are taking; and I think it is extremely likely that such a premature announcement would have very inconvenient consequences.