§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India if there is any foundation for the report from Bombay that a famine is regarded as inevitable in the North West Provinces in consequence of inadequate rainfall; and, if so, what steps are being taken, or will be taken, for the relief of distress?
§ *THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir J. GORST, Chatham)
The best answer I can give to the hon. Member is to read the following telegram which was received from the Viceroy to-day, and which contains the latest information upon the subject. It is dated the 28th of July, 1891, and is from the Viceroy to the Secretary of State—There is an improvement in agricultural prospects and development of monsoon season. There has been good general rainfall throughout the country except in the Madras Carnatic, and Upper Burma, in consequence of which there is no present cause of anxiety in Northern India. Strong monsoon blowing west coast. More rain imminent in Punjab and Rajputana, where fodder famine has been arrested by rain. Crop operations in Northern India generally progressing satisfactorily, and there is no present cause for anxiety in the North West Provinces and Oudh. Rain fell last week in Coimbatore region, slightly improving the condition of affected districts, but has ceased. With development of monsoon in Northern India, locust plague abating. In Northern India prices abating where there has been rain, hut information incomplete.There is thus no apprehension of famine in Northern India. As to the measures taken for the relief of distress, I can as jet add nothing to what I stated yesterday in answer to a question on the subject.