HC Deb 30 January 1902 vol 101 cc1324-5

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if he will lay upon the Table of the House and circulate to members the note by Sir David Barbour, K.C.S.I., entitled "An Inquiry into the Incidence of Taxation in British India, 1881," which is the authority upon which Lord Cromer rests his statement in the Viceroy's Legislative Council, 1882, that the average agricultural income in British India was 18 rupees per head of the population; and, has he yet received a copy of the Official Memorandum prepared for the Viceroy of India from figures collected for the Famine Commission of 1898, showing the latest estimate of the value of agricultural production in India, from which the Viceroy, in a speech to his Council on 28th March 1901, estimated the average agricultural income per head at 20 rupees; and, if so, will he lay it upon the Table of the House, and print it for circulation as a Parliamentary Paper.


To the first part of the hon. Member's Question my answer is that, as has already been stated in answer to a question in this House in the year 1893, the note to which it refers was of a confidential nature, and was based on information which is now from 20 to 30 years old. For these reasons I do not think it expedient to present it to Parliament. In reply to the second Question, I have not received a copy of the Memorandum referred to, and I must consult the Viceroy before I can reply to the Question. There is a long and voluminous report on an inqury instituted by Lord Dufferin in 1888 into the condition of the agricultural population, and I propose to publish this.