§ MR. GORELL BARNES (Kent, Faversham)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the leading article of The Pioneer of 16th July 1896, in which it is stated that chaos has supervened in the relations between landlord and tenant throughout Bengal by reason of certain decisions under the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885; whether it is true, as stated by The Pioneer, that the ruling of the full bench of the High Court of Bengal in the case of Upadhay Thakoor shows that for some years past some of the highest executive officers in Bengal, drawing pay of Rs.2,000 per mensem and upwards, have been employed under the Bengal Tenancy Act in exercising an illegal jurisdiction; whether it is true, as stated by the same authority, that some hundreds of thousands of decisions in recent rent and boundary cases have been invalidated by this ruling; and, whether he will lay all the papers upon the Table of the House of Commons before assenting to any extension of the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act, or any further alteration in the land laws of Bengal?
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
I have seen the article in The Pioneer to which my hon. Friend alludes, but I have no official information on the subject of the recent working of the Bengal Tenancy Act. I will, however, make inquiries on the subject.