HC Deb 13 July 1897 vol 51 cc29-30
SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

asked the Secretary of State for India if he would make inquiries into the truth of the specific allegations reported to have been made by Professor Gokhlee, of the Fergusson College, Poona, in the Manchester Guardian of July 2 last, for the authority of which he vouched, that two women were violated by British soldiers employed upon the plague search parties, ono of whom committed suicide afterwards.

MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)

asked whether Professor Gokhlee was the gentleman who addressed a meeting of hon. Members about a week ago on the subject of the plague regulations.


As soon as my attention was directed to this allegation I thought it necessary, from the gravity of the accusation made and the apparent authenticity with which it was surrounded, at once to telegraph to the Governor of Bombay asking him to make immediate inquiries as to the truth of the charge. His reply is as follows:— Regarding Gokhlee's statement alleging violation of women, from all inquiries I have made I am convinced this is a still more gross and malevolent invention than that about stripping women. [Cheers.] In reply to the second Question, I believe my hon. Friend is correct, that this is the same individual who recently addressed Members of this House in one of the committee rooms.


May I ask whether this professor is in receipt of salary from the Government?


No, Sir, he is a professor of political economy in a college which obtains a grant from the Bombay Government.

SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

Who invited the professor? [A. laugh.]

[No answer was given.]

MR. W. E. TOMLINSON (Preston)

Is it a Government appointment?


I cannot answer that, but I think the college authorities appoint.