HC Deb 29 March 1900 vol 81 cc697-8

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether, looking to the early recurrence of famine in India, and the unparalleled magnitude of the present visitation, as described by the Viceroy of India, he will suggest to the Government of India to institute, at a convenient time, a detailed inquiry into the condition and food supply of a few typical villages in the provinces liable to famine, with a view to ascertain whether, by local storage of grain in times of plenty, and other precautionary measures, the economic condition of such villages may be so far strengthened that the failure of a year's harvest will not bring the cultivators into danger of starvation.


During the past twenty year investigations have been made by two Famine Commissions, and there, has also been an exhaustive inquiry into the condition of the people. In these circumstances I am unwilling to call on the Government of India to institute at this moment another general inquiry of the kind suggested in the question. But the hon. Member may be sure that the knowledge and experience which is now being gained will be most carefully turned to account, and that any specific question will be investigated concerning which there may be insufficiency of information, with a view to the adoption of such further precautionary or economic measures as may appear to be advisable.