§ MR. SLAGG (Burnley)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether the Secretary of State for India has had his attention directed to a "confidential" Circular, No. 5, issued by Mr. J. C. Veasey, Inspector General of Police, Bengal, dated Calcutta, December 30, 1887; whether the Circular in question directs Sub-Inspectors to submit weekly to District Superintendents a confidential Report in which—Everything, however apparently trivial, that can have a political significanceis to be set forth; informs District Superintendents that—Sub-Inspectors should invariably have it impressed upon them that the collection of information for the weekly Report is by no means the least important part of their duties, and that aptitude for this kind of work will recommend them for advancement;and directs that among the subjects to be reported upon are to be the following:—Religious excitement; comments on Laws and Government measures; affairs in independent or semi-independent Native States, and rumours regarding them; constitution, objects, and proceedings of Native Societies, whether established for political or ostensibly for other objects; political or mass meetings; their origin, organization, and result as to public feeling in the neighbourhood, selected with especial reference to any tendency towards, or probability of, agrarian excitement;whether, in a particular district, an Inspector of Police has considered that this Circular imposed on him the duty of inquiring whether certain persons who attended the meetings of the Indian National Congress at Madras in December last paid their own expenses, or whether those expenses were paid by the public; whether the Secretary of 1365 State will express his disapproval of this system in India which places religious assemblies, jubilee rejoicings, and the political meetings of a loyal population under the scrutiny of the police; and, whether the Secretary of State will lay a copy of the Circular in question upon the Table of the House?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
The Secretary of State has no official knowledge either of the Circular in question or of the action of the police under it. He will direct inquiries to be made from the Government of India on the subject. Of course, no pledge can be given at the present stage as to laying the Report on the Table.