§ MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. William M'Grath Drysdale, who has served for 20 years in the Indian Police Force; whether he has been dismissed from the Service because he declined to comply with the following orders:—1st. To abstain from preaching to natives in the Nissar or any other district while you hold the position you do in the Punjab Police; 2nd, To abstain from addressing any of your subordinates on religious matters, in their lines or anywhere else, when your official status and their relation to you as subordinates cannot be put aside;whether the Government of India make 340 it penal for any of their servants to preach Christianity to the natives during their private time; whether the Government of India also make it penal for Mahomedans or Hindoos in their service to preach their respective religions during their private time; whether Mr. Drysdale is also deprived of his pension; and whether the pension of Civil Servants in India is earned by deduction, from their pay, and is their own property?
§ MR. MARK STEWART (Kirkcudbright)
I beg also to ask the Under Secretary of State for India if his attention has been called to the case of William M'Grath Drysdale—namely, that, after 20 years of faithful service, he has been discharged without compensation or pension, because, after office hours, ho was found preaching the Gospel; and if he will state what course Her Majesty's Government propose to adopt under the circumstances?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir J. GORST, Chatham)
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer the two questions at the same time. The removal of Mr. Drysdale from the Punjab Police Force seems to have been the result of a long correspondence between that officer and the Punjab Government as to the consistency of his acts and intentions with the Queen's Proclamation of 1888, enjoining those in authority under Her Majesty to abstain from all interference with the religious belief or worship of any of Her Indian subjects. The Secretary of State is at present in possession of an epitome only of that correspondence, and that not extending to the date of Mr. Drysdale's removal from office. The Government of India has been asked to report all the facts of the case. As regards the last paragraph of the question of the hon. Member for Flintshire (Mr. S. Smith), no part of the pension of an Indian police officer is earned by deduction from his pay.
§ MR. S. SMITH
I should like to point out that I have received no answer to several of the paragraphs of my question. May I ask for an answer to these paragraphs—Whether the Government of India make it penal for any of their servants to preach Christianity to the natives during their private time?341 AndWhether the Government of India also make it penal for Mahomedans or Hindoos in their service to preach their respective religions during their private time?
§ SIR J. GORST
I thought from the answer I have given that the hon. Member would understand that I have not yet received full information. I am expecting further details, and I should not like to commit myself to any statement in their absence.
§ MR. S. SMITH
Will the right hon. Gentleman be kind enough to inform the House of the information when it comes from India?
§ SIR J. GORST
Yes, Sir; certainly. The moment the information comes from India I shall be happy to inform the House of it.