HC Deb 04 June 1896 vol 41 cc419-20

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether he is aware that in the Jubbulpoor Division of the Central Provinces the recent re-settlement enhanced the land revenue and other public charges beyond the limitations prescribed by the Government of India, Letter No. 451, of 24th August 1887; whether 60 per cent. is recognised as a reasonable limit of enhancement; and whether the recent enhancements in Jubbulpoor exceed 60 per cent. and leave no margin of profit to the proprietor; whether there is no canal irrigation in the Central Provinces, and that the principal crops have failed for the last three years; and, whether he will move the Government of India to modify the new settlement, and will suspend its operation for the present, having regard to the existing agricultural distress?


It is the fact that the recent enhancements of land revenue in some of the districts of the Jubbulpoor Division have exceeded 60 per cent. It is not the fact that no margin of profit is left to the proprietor. Speaking generally, the share of the rental left to the landlord is everywhere 40 per cent.; in many cases it is 50 per cent. or upwards. There is no canal irrigation in the Central Provinces. In two districts and part of a third district, out of the 18 districts which compose the Central Provinces, there has been serious failure or shortness of crop for three years. Large suspensions and remissions of land revenue have been granted in the two districts of Saugor and Damoli, and partial suspensions elsewhere. I do not propose to move the Government of India to modify the settlement.


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India—(1) whether an answer has been received from the Madras Government to his Dispatch of 1893 regarding improvements in the system of dealing with land revenue defaulters; if so, whether a further Dispatch on the subject has been sent to the Madras Government; and whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the whole correspondence, including the letters of Mr. Alexander Rogers, late Member of Council in Bombay; and (2) whether his attention has been drawn to a tabular statement at page 180 of the current number of the journal India, purporting to set forth, from documents at the India Office, all the material figures as to which he stated that it was necessary to refer to the Government of Madras?


An answer has been received from the Government of Madras, and a further Dispatch has been sent to them on the subject of land revenue defaulters. There will be no objection to laying on the Table the correspondence when it is concluded. I have not seen the paper to which the hon. Member refers in the second paragraph of his Question.