HC Deb 27 June 1890 vol 346 c191
MR. BROOKFIELD (Sussex, Rye)

I beg to ask the hon. Baronet the Member for Walsall (Mr. C. Forster), as Chairman of the Committee on Public Petitions, whether, in the case of Indian Petitions signed in the Devanágari or Urdu characters, any means exist whereby the Committee can form an opinion as to the genuineness of such signatures; or whether it is the case that, by some custom or Standing Order made in previous years, the Petitions of East Indian subjects are exempt from the scrutiny to which ordinary Petitions are exposed?

SIR C. FORSTER (Walsall)

In answer to the question of the hon. Member, I have to state that there are no means of testing the genuineness of signatures signed in native characters to Indian Petitions. I may remind the House, as bearing upon the question, that in the Session of 1881 the Committee on Public Petitions were ordered to print Petitions, even if informal, which, in the opinion of the Committee, bore upon Indian subjects.