HC Deb 07 May 1891 vol 353 cc276-7

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India, with reference to the recent Reports on the Manipur disaster, whether he can inform the House how it came to happen that a very small military expedition, consisting of less than 500 native soldiers, was sent on an enterprise having for its object the dethronement of the Ruler of the neighbouring State without apparently any proper military supervision or any responsible estimate being formed as to the resistance to be expected and the hostile force to be encountered, the adequacy or otherwise of the very small military force sent, and the provision of a proper reserve of ammunition for the two different descriptions of rifles employed; whether the district and station from which this military force started is under the immediate military supervision of any superior military officer; and, if so, by whom; and what steps the Go- vernment of India propose to take for insuring proper military control in military matters, so as, if possible, to avert similar disaster to our arms in future?


Full Reports on the subject have not yet been received. In reply to the second paragraph of the question, I have to say that the station is in the Assam District, and under the command of Brigadier General Collett. As to the third paragraph, the Secretary of State has not heard of any special steps being taken by the Government of India.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman take this opportunity of saying how soon the Papers which have reached the Government will be presented to the House?


The Papers were presented to the House two days ago.


When will they be distributed?


That depends upon the printers.

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