§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether the Secretary of State has yet received any information from the Government of India respecting the question asked on 8th April of last year, respecting the number of highly-paid officials in Gwalior, and the desire of the Regency that they should be dis- 1635 missed; whether he is aware that the sum of 20 lakhs per annum is being expended on the maintenance of the so-called Public Works Department at Gwalior; whether all buildings and main and feeder roads of any value have been completed; whether there has been any effective audit or checking of the accounts of the Department during the past three years, when nearly a crore of rupees has been expended; and whether, in regard to this State, the Ruler of which is still a minor, the Government of India will use its influence to prevent the continuance of this expenditure.
§ THE UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir J. GORST,) Chatham
In reply to the first question of the hon. Member, I have to say that the hon. Member himself asked on the 8th of April, 1889, whether the Secretary of State was aware that Mr. Henvay, the Agent of the Governor General, on the 5th of March met the Maharajah of Gwalior, and, in deference to the wishes of His Highness and of the Council of Regency, arranged that a number of the highly-paid foreign officials should leave Gwalior. The Secretary of State was informed by the Government of India on the 28th of June, 1889, that there was no foundation for the statement made, and that during Mr. Henvay's visit to Gwalior no reference was made by the Maharajah, by the Mahareni Regent, or any of the members of the Council of Regency, to the employment of highly-paid foreign officials. The answer to the second paragraph of the hon. Member's question is in the affirmative. The expenditure on public works is about 20 laks per annum. The answer to the third question is in the negative. All the works of value have not been completed. The answer to the fourth paragraph is that the Secretary of State has no information as to the audit of the accounts of the Gwalior State. The answer to the fifth paragraph is that the Government of India will use its efforts in the State of Gwalior, as in every other Native State in India, to discourage expenditure which is not for the benefit of the people.