§ MR. A. BIRRELL (Fife, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, (1) whether the version of the Durand Agreement with the Amir of Afghanistan, published in The Standard of 1st April 1896, and in other papers, is correct; if so, whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been (tailed to the violation of the third article of that Agreement last November and December, when the Bashgal Valley was entered and taken possession of by Afghan troops, notwithstanding the stipulation that the Amir should not exercise interference therein: (2) whether Her Majesty's Government will take steps to secure the restitution of the territory thus improperly acquired, and such reparation as is now possible for the slaughter and enslavement of the many thousands of Kafirs in a district which was specially included within the British dominions; and (3) whether he will inform the House as to any action that has been taken by Her Majesty's Government on behalf of the people in those portions of Kafiristan which, by the Durand Agreement, have been assigned to the rule of the Amir?
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
My reply to the Question put by the right hon. Member for the Forest of Dean answers all the questions put by the hon. Member except the last. As regards the last, I stated, in reply to the hon. Member for Darlington, on the 23rd of March, that the Viceroy would use any favourable opportunity of exercising his good offices on behalf of the Amir's Kafir subjects, and he is prepared to do so; but, so far as I know, no such opportunity has yet occurred.