HC Deb 03 March 1896 vol 38 cc15-6

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to observations made in a Paper read by Sir J. B. Lyall, lately Lieutenant Governor of the Punjaub, at the Society of Arts on 13th February, on the high scientific and economic value of the work performed by the officers of the Indian Irrigation Department, its responsible and risky nature, and the exceptional hardships involved in living in insalubrious out stations where bread and decent food are not procurable, the unpopularity of the service, and the discontent among the executive and assistant engineers in it; whether, when Lieutenant Governor of the Punjaub, with Colonel Ottley as Chief Engineer, Sir J. B. Lyall proposed to the Government of India that, as partial compensation to these officers for the exceptional conditions above summarised, superior pay, in the form of out station allowances, should be granted to these engineers; whether the proposal was approved by the Indian Government; and whether any information of the proposal, and the grounds of disapproval, has been received at the India Office, and, if not, whether he will call for a Report on the subject from the Viceregal Government?


The statements in Sir J. B. Lyall's interesting Paper referred to by the hon. Member have been brought to my notice. It is the case that a recommendation was made by Sir J. B. Lyall, when Lieutenant Governor of the Punjaub, to the Government of India for the grant of "Jungle or out-station allowances" to certain engineers of the Irrigation Department. This recommendation was not, however, accepted by the Government of India, on the ground that the circumstances of the officers in question did not differ widely, if at all, from those of officers of the public Works and other Departments in other parts of India who were stationed in outlying or solitary districts. I see no reason for interfering with the discretion of the Government of India in this matter.