HC Deb 30 March 1885 vol 296 cc972-4

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether any portion (over or about £280,000) of the movable assets of the captured Princes of Kirwee has been retained by the Indian Government as not being legal booty, and has not been divided as prize money, and has not been entered in the Parliamentary Re-turn, No. 213, of Session 1876, as the Order of this House, dated 23rd July 1874, calling for a Return of the whole movable estate of the captured princes, and of all their assets retained by the civil power, expressly requires; whether any further legal proceedings are being initiated for the purpose of eliciting from the India Office, in compliance with the strict and repeated Orders of the Legislature, a full and true account of all the movable estate of the captured chiefs which has been retained by the local government, and has not been distributed as prize of war; and, will any supplementary Return, accounting for all movable assets of the Kirwee Princes retained by the local government, whether officially recognised as booty or not, be presented to Parliament to satisfy the Order of the House?


I can only repeat what I said in May last, when replying to a similar Question of the right hon. and gallant Member for Wigtown (Sir John Hay). I then said that— The Papers presented to Parliament in 1876, in compliance with the Order of the House of July 23, 1873, gave a complete Return of the amount of all movable property of enemies or insurgents in the territories of Oude or Kirwee, or of the proceeds thereof, which passed into the possession of the authorities in India since the outbreak of the War in 1857, distinguishing the funds which have been distributed among the troops, and the funds which have been retained, or otherwise disposed of, by the local government. The promissory notes, representing the sum referred to by the hon. and gallant Member, never at any time passed into the possession of Government. They were, therefore, not included in the Return. Where any such notes were captured, as at Lucknow, they are shown in the Return. As, therefore, the Return was prepared in strict accordance with the Orders of the House, there is no ground for supplementing it. I may add, full information concerning these promissory notes was submitted to the House in an earlier Return, No. 298, dated July 5,1869."—(3 Hansard, [287] 1300.) It is the case that in a letter of the 19th of March, addressed by the Rev. A. Kinloch to the India Office, he has declared an intention of applying for a mandamus requiring the Secretary of State to furnish a Return in compliance with the strict Orders of the House. These Orders, as I have shown, have already been strictly complied with.