§ *SIR WILLIAM WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India—(1) whether he will state what amount of breech-loading rifles, and what amount of ammunition have from time to time been given by the Government of India to successive Mihtars of Chitral; what amount to Umra Khan; and what amount Umra Khan was allowed by the Government of India to purchase in India; with what object the rifles and ammunition were given; and whether they have been used against our troops during the recent fighting in Chitral; (2) whether the statement made by Captain Younghusband at a meeting of the Geographical Society, as reported in The Times of the 25th March last, to the effect that—Nizam-ul-Mulk started from Gilghit with the support of Colonel Durand, and with that was able to turn out Sher Afzul,is correct; if so, what offence had Sher Afzul given the Government of India at that time so as to justify our Agent in supporting against him another pretender to the Mihtarship of Chitral; whether Colonel Durand acted in this matter under the orders of the Government of India, and whether such action was consistent with the policy of recognising the de facto ruler of Chitral; (3) whether at the forcing of the Malakand Pass about 500 Swat tribesmen were killed, and about 1,500 wounded; whether the Swat tribes live in independent territory; whether the Government of India have any right, by treaty or prescription, to march troops through that territory; and, whether on this occasion the Swat tribes had agreed to troops being marched through their 1165 territory; and if not, for what offence the losses above referred to were inflicted on them?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. HENRY FOWLER,) Wolverhampton, E.
My hon. Friend has put to me fifteen separate questions dealing with the policy and details of the recent Chitral relief expedition. In due course Papers relating to that expedition will be laid upon the Table of the House; but in the meantime it is impossible to give by means of question and answer a history of the circumstances connected with these operations.