HC Deb 02 March 1893 vol 9 c822
MR. CAINE (Bradford, E.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India if the Secretary of State for India will instruct the Government of India to create a Commission of Experts to inquire into, and report upon, the cultivation of, and trade in, all preparations of hemp drugs in Bengal, the effect of their consumption upon the social and moral condition of the people, and the desirability of prohibiting its growth and sale; such Commission also to invite written Reports on the same from all Commissioners in the other Provinces of British India; and that the Commission shall be partly composed of non-official natives of India?


The Secretary of State proposes to request the Viceroy to appoint a Commission to inquire into the cultivation and trade in hemp drugs, and he will be glad if the result of their inquiry is to show that further restrictions can be placed upon the sale and consumption of these drugs. The Commission will be composed, in part, of non-official natives of India. The Secretary of State will give instructions to ensure that the inquiry shall be as thorough and complete as possible; but he does not consider it desirable to interfere with the discretion of the Commission as to the methods of procedure which they may think best to adopt.


In consequence of the answer given, I beg to give notice, on behalf of the Member for North Manchester (Mr. Schwann), that he will not move the Resolution which stands first on the Order Book for to-morrow. That will facilitate the discussion of the question of railway rates.

SIR J. GORST (Cambridge University)

Will the question of opium be considered by the Commission?


No; the subject, however, is receiving the attention of the Secretary of State.