§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he can explain why telegrams from the Viceroy regarding the progress of famine in India have not for some weeks past been communicated to the British press, and whether he will state what is the present condition of the famine districts and the number of persons in receipt of relief at the present time in each of them separately.
§ LORD G. HAMILTON
(1) The communication of the official famine telegrams to the press was discontinued about three months ago, when the number of persons on relief had become comparatively very small. As it is now increasing, the publication will be resumed. (2) Owing to failure of spring crops, through deficiency of winter rains, serious scarcity prevails in parts of the Bombay Presidency, Bombay Native States, and Baroda, though the distress, I am glad to say, is much less than was expected three months back. Outside the Bombay Presidency and Native States scarcity does not prevail to any considerable extent. The numbers on relief, as telegraphed by the Viceroy, on 14th May, are:—Bombay, 312,000; Bombay Native States, 25,000; Baroda, 21,000; Hyderabad, 12,000; Madras, 6,000; Central Native States, 4,000; Central Provinces, 1,000: total, 381,000.
§ [No answer was returned.]