HC Deb 25 April 1895 vol 32 cc1629-30

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if he is aware that The Timesnewspaper has, during the last six days, devoted six columns to an analysis and criticism of the Reports of two Royal Commissions, namely, the Opium and Hemp Drugs Commissions; and that the Hemp Drugs Commission Report was commented upon by the Indian Press, with copious quotations, more than two months ago; and, if so, will he cause inquiry to be made how copies of Reports not yet presented to Parliament have got into the hands of the Press; and is he now able to state when these two Reports will be issued to Members of this House?

MR. CYRIL DODD (Essex, Maldon)

I would like to ask the Secretary of State for India whether these two Reports were sent to all the principal London papers at the same time, or only to The Times; and, if only to The Times, why that paper alone was selected?


The Secretary of State has seen the notices to which my hon. Friend refers. The Report of the Hemp Drugs Commission, with the orders of the Government of India thereon, have been published in India. The Secretary of State has been informed by the Secretary to the Opium Commission that, owing to an unfortunate misapprehension on his part of the practice in such matters, a copy of the Report was prematurely shown by him to a representative of the Press. His error has been pointed out to him. The Secretary of State will be happy to lay a copy of the Hemp Drugs Commission Report on the Table if my hon. friend will move for it. The Report of the Royal Commission on Opium will be laid upon the Table this evening.


asked why the error was confined to one paper only?


My hon. Friend continues to ask me for information which I do not possess. I would tell him if I knew, but I do not.