HC Deb 31 May 1881 vol 261 cc1780-1

asked the Secretary of State for India, If it be true, as reported in the "Times" by telegraph, dated 29th May, from Calcutta, that the Government have concluded a Treaty of Peace with the insurgent Bheel tribes, and that among the principal provisions of the Treaty are the following:—The Bheels are not to be troubled on account of the Census; their lands are not to be measured; all who took part in the recent insurrection are to be pardoned; all the Bheels who were imprisoned during the last three years are to be released on payment of a proper ransom; half the Tisalu tax is to be remitted; no new police stations are to be established; the Excise Duty is to be abolished; the Bheels are to be allowed to levy black mail on travellers; whether such a treaty has been accepted by the Bheels, who thereupon dispersed to their hills; and, if such a description of the said treaty be a fabrication, if he can take any steps to prevent in future the infliction of such hoaxes on the public?


Sir, we have only received extremely meagre telegraphic accounts of the disturbances which have taken place in the Bheel country. The insurgent Bheel Tribes are not British subjects; but the disturbances appear to have arisen amongst some of the tribes which are subject to the Oudepore State. From the accounts we have received, it seems that the importance of these disturbances has been very considerably exaggerated. The last information that reached us was that the Oudepore Dunbar appeared disposed to treat these tribes fairly, and to remedy any substantial grievances. It is extremely improbable that the British Agent would have concurred in any such Treaty as that alleged; but we have no full information at present. I think the hon. and gallant Member will see it is quite impossible that the Indian Government should exercise any supervision over the telegrams which are despatched from India to this country. Very useful and very accurate information is generally contained in them; but no doubt, in this case, the information furnished is extremely erroneous.