§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether he is aware of the date 791 of the permit granted by Mr. Crosthwaite to Mr. Streeter, junior, to enter and work the Ruby Mines; whether he will inform the House of the date when Mr. Crosthwaite's Report that he had issued such permit was received at the India Office; whether he will cause an investigation to be made among the officials of the India Office to ascertain the truth, or otherwise, of the current statement that certain of these officials possessed a knowledge of the fact that such permit had been issued prior to the 7th July instant; and, whether he is aware of the names of the persons interested with Mr. Streeter, junior, in the aforesaid permit, and will place the House is possession of this information?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
The Secretary of State is not aware of the exact date of the permit granted to Mr. Streeter, junior. It does not, however, appear to be a permit to enter and work the mines, but to dig for rubies on the old system without the use of machinery. Mr. Crosthwaite's Report was received on Friday, July 8, after office hours. I read it to the House on Tuesday, as I was absent from the House on Monday. The Secretary of State, on seeing the Question, made inquiry, but cannot learn that there is any foundation whatever for the statement as to the officials of the India Office. The Secretary of State has no knowledge of the persons interested with Mr. Streeter in the permit. I may, perhaps, be allowed to say that the Papers have only just arrived at the India Office; and I hope the House will not expect me to reply to any Question which is not in the interests of the Public Service.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
Does the hon. Gentleman mean that Papers dated as far back as January and February, 1886, have only just arrived at the India Office?
§ SIR JOHN GORST
That is rather a matter of debate than a Question. Negotiations in connection with these matters have been going on with the local Government in Burmah for a great number of months past; and the whole matter, as I have repeatedly explained, has now been referred to the Secretary of State in Council for their decision. Papers will be in the hands of hon. Members in a few days, and then would 792 be the time for the hon. Member to raise any objection.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
I raised no question of debate. I asked the hon. Gentleman whether it was a fact that Papers dated January and February, 1886, had only just arrived?
§ [No reply.]