§ MR. BAUMANN (Peckham)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India whether the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the conduct of Mr. Arthur Crawford have presented their Report to the Government of Bombay, and, if so, when the Report will be published; and, whether the Secretary of State will take into consideration a statement that the Governor of Bombay promises to continue in their offices magistrates who swore that they took bribes?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR INDIA (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
The recent proceedings at Bombay in reference to Mr. Crawford have been an inquiry under Indian Act 37 of 1850, and not a criminal trial. The Report of the Commissioners furnishes the Government of Bombay with materials 122 to enable them to pass judgment upon his conduct. The Report has been received, and is now under the consideration of the Government of Bombay. But until a final decision is arrived at, the publication of the Report would be contrary to the intentions of the Act. If any such statement as that specified in the Question were made to the Secretary of State, he would, of course, take it into his consideration. The incriminated magistrates have, in fact, been suspended from their judicial functions pending the consideration of the Report.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
asked whether the suspension had taken place after many articles had appeared in Indian papers on the subject?
§ SIR JOHN GORST
In the Recess I went for a holiday, and I can assure the hon. Member that I did not spend my time in reading the Indian papers. I cannot answer the Question without notice.
§ MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)
Will the result of the investigation be communicated to the prisoner, or whatever he is called?
§ SIR JOHN GORST
That could not be done until the Government of Bombay has determined what action is to be taken in regard to the Report of the Commission. Until that determination has been arrived at it will be impossible to communicate the nature of the Report to anybody.