§ MR. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN (Kent, Faversham)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India what are the districts of Behar in which the Cadastral Survey has been actually commenced, 548 and whether these are identical with or adjacent to the districts in which the tree smearing has occurred; how many Europeans and how many natives have been appointed to the Behar Survey parties; what is the average salary of the native subordinates in these parties; whether his attention has been drawn to the statement of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, at Bhagalpur, or elsewhere, that there was some reason to fear corruption and extortion among the native subordinates, and promised that special precautions should be taken to check the extortion; and whether any, and what, special precautions, in pursuance of this promise, have been taken in Behar?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. H. H. FOWLER, Wolverhampton, E.)
I must respectfully protest against the suggestion which this question implies that the recent smearing of mango trees is the result of, or is connected with, any administrative action of the Indian Government with regard to the Cadastral Survey in a portion of Behar. Questions which make these or similar suggestions are immediately telegraphed to and are published in India, and are not calculated to assist the cause of order and good government in that country. I cannot state the numbers of Europeans and natives respectively appointed to the Behar Survey, but I believe the very great majority are natives; I am unable to give their average salaries. The Regulations issued for the guidance of the Survey Officials in Behar are very stringent; and the landholders have been invited to bring to the notice of Government any instance of misconduct or extortion on the part of the surveying staff, in order that wrong-doers may be punished.