HC Deb 16 May 1892 vol 4 cc984-5

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India a question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether, in a speech delivered by him at Brighton on the 9th instant, a brief account of which appeared in the Times on the 11th instant, he is correctly reported to have said, concerning a principle which has been adopted and acted upon by Her Majesty's Government, that he was glad the Arbitration Societies had not made it impossible to defend with the sword what the sword had won?


The words which the hon. Gentleman recites are not exactly those which I used; but, at the same time, they represent with approximate fidelity what I said. It will be obvious to this House that it must be many hundreds of years before the principles of the Society or the League, of which I understand the hon. Gentleman is the Secretary, can be successfully applied to the settlement of frontier disputes with turbulent hill tribes on the confines of our Indian Empire, and the opinion I expressed in the speech to which he has referred was one of purely personal satisfaction that I should not live long enough to see the time when an attempt will be made to settle these questions by the hon. Gentleman or the Society which he represents.

MR. BURT (Morpeth)

As the hon. Gentleman has admitted the substantial accuracy of the report, I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury if he approves of the language which is calculated to discredit the method of peaceful adjustment of differences between nations that has been more than once adopted by the Government of this country and carried on successfully for settlement of international differences.


So far as I heard what passed between my hon. Friend and the hon. Gentleman who put the question originally, I gather that my hon. Friend expresses his dissent from the view that the principle of arbitration can be successfully applied between the frontier tribes in India and the Government of India. It appears to me that in expressing the limitation to which the principle of arbitration can be applied with any probability of success during the next few years, my hon. Friend did a service rather than a disservice to the cause, because nothing does more harm to any cause, however good it may be, than the ill-timed and intemperate advocacy of its friends.


What about the speech of Lord Salisbury?


Order, order!