§ MR. BURT (Morpeth)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the Report of the revised settlement of the district of Gurgaon, Panjab, and all other Papers connected therewith until Orders were passed, and including the Orders passed, by the Panjab Government; whether he is aware that remissions of rent were refused by the Government of India to the people in a time of crop loss through drought, and that between 1877 and 1882, 150,000 head of cattle were found to have died, 80,000 of the agricultural population had disappeared, and a debt of Rx.200,000 incurred; and whether the Secretary of State will inquire into these facts, and take such steps as will put a stop to their recurrence?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir J. GORST, Chatham)
The Report and Papers asked for make a volume of 500 pages. I shall be glad to lend the hon. Member a copy; but the Secretary of State does 836 not think it necessary to lay it on the Table. The Secretary of State is aware that a mistake was made by the officer, since dead, who refused to suspend a part of the land revenue in Gurgaon in 1877. But since then substantial benefit has been conferred on the district by remissions of arrears, by reductions of the demand, and by loans for the purchase of cattle. The cultivated area of the district is returning to the old level, and the number of cattle has been fully recovered. The Secretary of State is satisfied that the suggestions of the Famine Commission of 1880, the Orders of the Government of India issued in 1885, and the provisions of the Punjab Famine Code issued in 1888, will, if carefully observed, prevent the commission of similar mistakes in the future.