§ MR. S. SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Rev. A. W. Prauteh, a young missionary in Bombay, has been sent to prison for a month for denouncing the conduct of the Government in professing to close the licensed opium dens, and allowing the opening of unlicensed places of a precisely similar character all over their jurisdiction, although they have the power given them by the Opium Act of 1878 to frame rules to close them; and whether the Government will take steps for his immediate release?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. H. H. FOWLER, Wolverhampton, E.)
The Bombay newspapers report part of a case in which the Rev. Mr. Prauteh, with others, was charged with "defamation" by one Damajee Lakmi-chund, a licensed opium vendor; but they do not give the result of the trial. I have telegraphed to the Government of Bombay for information as to this case, and if my hon. Friend will repeat his question I will give him the result of my inquiry.