HC Deb 12 March 1883 vol 277 cc214-5

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If his attention has been called to the alarming statements regarding the universal feeling of Europeans and Eurasians in India against the Criminal Procedure Bill, which has been introduced in India with the sanction of the late Secretary of State for India; and, whether he would not consider it most advisable, in order to maintain the growing good feeling between the Natives and Europeans which has been so conspicuous of late years, to telegraph at once to the Viceroy to withdraw the Bill?


Without entering into a discussion of the exact description given by this Question, or writing to confirm it, we are aware that there has been dissatisfaction in India, and the attention of the Government has been called to it; but we do not think it our duty to instruct the Viceroy to withdraw the Bill. The Papers relating to the Bill will be laid on the Table, and no further steps in regard to it will be taken in due course until November, so that there will be ample time for the consideration of the merits of the question.


In consequence of the view expressed by the people of India, will not the Prime Minister urge upon the Viceroy to come to a decision before November? Does he not consider it a very grave and serious matter to keep this sore open until November?


Her Majesty's Government will give their best attention to the Question of the hon. Member; but certainly we could not give a pledge of that kind to the hon. Member, nor do I see on the face of the case how I can give any other answer to the hon. Member.


Before Easter I shall repeat the Question.