HC Deb 25 June 1902 vol 110 cc4-5
MR. MOUNT (Berkshire, Newbury)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether he has received a Report from the Meteorological Department in India predicting a serious deficiency of rain in Western India, more especially in Gujerat; and whether the Government of India are making preparations for a famine: And whether he can give any information as to the prospects of the monsoon.

(Answer.) A statement has been recently made in various newspapers to the effect that the Meteorological Department in India have reported that a serious deficiency of rain is probable, especially in Guzerat, and that the Bombay Government are consequently making special preparations. This statement is incorrect. The Government of India have, however, decided not to make public the forecasts which the Department submit to them from time to time, 011 account of the admittedly imperfect data on which such forecasts are necessarily based. The weekly Reports which are sent Home by the Government of India and published in this country give the most trustworthy indications that can be obtained both of the actual facts and of the prospects for the future. The last of these reports for the week ended 22nd June stated that the moonsoon had given heavy rain in the West Coast districts, and light rain in the Deccan and Sindh, and showers in Guzerat. Good rain has also fallen in Burma, Assam, and Lower Bengal, and agricultural prospects up to date are satisfactory on the whole.— (India Office)