§ MR. G. N. CURZON (Southport)
I beg to ask the secretary of state for India a question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether he can give the House any further information upon the state of affairs in chitral; whether the British Agent is still invested in the Chitral fort, and, if so, what steps are being taken for his support or relief; whether the Indian Government have recognised a Mehatar of chitral; whether any further 44 information is forthcoming as to the attitude of Umra Khan?
MR. GEORGE RUSSELL
Beyond the information given to the House on the 21st instant in reply to the hon. Member for Banffshire (Sir W. Wedderburn) and a report identical with that which appeared in the newspapers about the melancholy loss of Captain Ross and his party near Buni, the Secretary of State has no information. It is believed that the British Agent, with 300 men, is still invested in the Chitral fort, and the Government of India have reported that the Chitral relief force will be despatched as soon as it can be made ready, by the 1st April if possible. So far as the Secretary of State is aware, the Government of India have not recognised anyone as the new Mehtar of Chitral. It is not known where Umra Khan is for certain, but he is supposed to be still in Chitral territory. Some of his men are reported by Lieutenant Jones to be holding the Fort of Drasan to the North of Chitral. No information has been received from Dr. Robertson direct, of later date than 1st March.