§ MR. S. SMITH
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the further steps taken by the authorities at Bombay with reference to the prosecution of the various persons charged with exposing the conduct of the Government there in professing to close the licensed opium dens while allowing the opening of similar unlicensed premises as clubs; whether he is aware that one of the de- 1470 fendants, Man Sukh Lai (a European), was sentenced to one month's imprisonment, while it was represented to the Court that his assistance was necessary for the defence of Alfred S. Dyer, the editor of The Bombay Guardian, whose right-hand man he was in editorial and other work, and who is also being put on trial on a similar charge; and whether the Government can take any steps in the matter?
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER
T have no reason to think that the Government of Bombay has taken any steps with reference to the prosecutions to which my hon. Friend refers. They were private prosecutions by private individuals for defamation, in which Government was not concerned. I am not aware whether the facts are as given in the second clause of my hon. Friend's question, but I understand that the defendant had the option of paying a fine or going to prison, and that the line was of such an amount as would permit of an appeal to the High Court. I am unable to interfere with the action of the Courts. The defendant's remedy is to appeal to the High Court.
§ MR. WOLFF (Belfast, E.)
When are we likely to hear anything further of the Report of the Opium Commission?