I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that, in the Diamond Harbour sub-division of the 24 Pegunnahs, Bengal, where the collector, Mr. Bolton, declares there is no acute distress, the Municipal Commissioners of Joynugger have resolved that the collection of taxes up to next December shall be realized without the pressure of distress warrants upon the people who are actually in distress, and are unable to pay; and, whether the Secretary of State will instruct the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal to institute a special inquiry, in order to ascertain whether the Joynugger Commissioners were justified, in view of the collector's statement, in taking so extreme a course?
SIR J. GORST
No information has been received from India on the subject. There do not appear to the Secretary of State to be grounds for instituting an inquiry. The matter is one which may safely be left in the hands of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the same opinion prevailed in reference to the North Western Provinces some years ago, and that a large number of persons died in consequence of no inquiry being made?
SIR J. GORST
I should like to remind the hon. Gentleman and the House that there are in India regulations which have been settled after great care and consideration, and that any rash interference with them would be very likely to lead to disaster.