§ SIR ROPER LETHBRIDGE (Kensington, N.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether the Press Commissioner's Office is a department under the control of the Government of India; whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been directed to a statement, published in The Indian Mirror and other Indian papers of the 6th of November, purporting to issue from the Press Commissioner's Office, and to be "an authoritative statement of facts relating to Sikkim affairs," in which reference is made to a serious divergence between the views of the Government of India and those of the 1012 Home authorities; whether there was any foundation for those statements; and, whether the Secretary of State will cause inquiry to be made as to the source from which these statements emanated, and on whose authority they were made?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
The office of Press Commissioner was abolished in 1880, and the functions formerly discharged by that officer are now performed partly by the Local Government and partly by the Foreign Department. The Secretary of State, as I have twice informed the House, has no official information as to the Memorandum referred to by the hon. Member. The Secretary of State desires me to say that there has never, since he held office, been any divergence of opinion between the Government of India and the Home Authorities in reference to Sikkim affairs, and that he should not think it necessary to trouble the Government of India by inquiries into its reminiscences of events long passed.
§ SIR ROPER LETHBRIDGE
asked who was responsible at the present moment for the communiques of the Press Commissioner that were inserted in all the papers in India?
§ SIR JOHN GORST
The hon. Member would gather from my answer that that responsibility is partly that of the Local Government and partly of the Foreign Department.