§ SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if an inquiry is to be held into the circumstances which 826 led to the withdrawal of the political officer from the Khyber in August last, and the refusal to support the Khyber Rifles by reinforcement from Peshawar?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON,) Middlesex, Ealing
The circumstances which have been reported to me in connection with this transaction show that the withdrawal of Captain Barton was only ordered after the military authorities on the spot decided that troops from Peshawar could not be pushed up the Khyber Pass, and the withdrawal was subsequently approved both by the local and supreme Governments. I do not propose, therefore, to institute any inquiry into this particular transaction, but in considering the arrangements which will be sent home from India for the future safeguarding of the Khyber Pass I shall take the opportunity of laying down what should be the principles governing the relations between tribal levies and their officers, so as to make clearer for the future the action to be taken at times of emergency.