HC Deb 26 April 1901 vol 92 cc1426-7
MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that Ahmednagar, the place to which 500 Boer prisoners have recently been sent, is unhealthy and in every respect unsuitable as a place of imprisonment for men coming from such a climate as that of South Africa; and whether he will consider the desirability of transferring these prisoners to some more suitable place, and whether he will consider the desirability of sending Boer prisoners in the future to Ireland.

The following questions also appeared on the Paper:—

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether a batch of Boer prisoners of about 500 has been deported to Ahmednagar, in the Bombay Presidency; and, if so, having regard to the heat of this locality and to its scanty water supply, will the Government consider the propriety of removing these prisoners of war to some less unhealthy place.

MR. HAVILAND BURKE (King's County, Tullamore)

To ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the arrival of 500 Boer prisoners of war at Bombay, and their despatch to Ahmednagar; and, seeing that the Ahmednagar district was last year so famine stricken that one in every four of the population was on Government relief, and was also subject to a water famine, and that these conditions still to some extent prevail in the district, which is liable to cholera, plague, and other Oriental diseases, whether he will consider the advisability of interning these prisoners of war in a more suitable district.

MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether he will make inquiry as to the suitability of the climate of Ahmednagar, in India to which place the first batch of Boer prisoners are said to have been consigned, at this season and during the summer months, for men not acclimatised to the heat of the district indicated, in order to prevent undue suffering and perhaps undue mortality.


The Viceroy of India undertook, after consultation with the local authorities, to send the Boer prisoners to suitable places, and Ahmednagar has been selected as one of them. A British regiment is permanently quartered there, and I never before heard that the place is considered to be unhealthy.


I should like to ask the Colonial Secretary to answer the second paragraph of my question.


I have nothing to do with the disposition of the prisoners.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say who is in control of that matter?


The Secretary of State for War.


I will put the question to him to-morrow.