HC Deb 28 March 1890 vol 343 c154
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether he will lay upon the Table the whole of the Minute of the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, as Viceroy and Governor General of India, dated 6th November, 1888, portions of which Minute have been already presented to Parliament?

*THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH,) Strand, Westminster

No, Sir; in view of the confidential nature of the circumstances, the Secretary of State cannot lay the Minute upon the Table.

MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)

May I ask whether the object with which this Paper has been asked for both in this and the other House, and the object with which it was granted, was not to communicate to the House the views of the Governor General and other Indian Authorities?


I am unable to follow the argument of the hon. Gentle man; but speaking upon the responsibility of Her Majesty's Government, I am prepared to say that it is not in the public interests that this Paper should be given.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the whole of this Minute has been printed in India, and that the withholding of it on the part of the Government may place in an unfortunate position the discussion which is likely to arise upon the Indian Council Bill?


I think it is possible that by a serious breach of confidence on the part of some one in the Public Service, what purports to be the Minute may have been given; but that would not justify me, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, in laying the Paper on the Table.