MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether any recent instructions have been issued to the provincial administrations by the Government of India with reference to Excise legislation; and whether he will state what is the present attitude of the Government of India with regard to the consideration of amendments in the Bengal Excise Bill directed to secure some practicable measure of local control in respect to the opening of shops for the sale of intoxicating liquors and drugs.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
The answer to the first part of the Question is in the negative. The Bengal Legislative Council have re-committed the Excise Bill to the Select Committee with instructions to consider the expediency of inserting provisions for securing the due ascertainment of local public opinion before new liquor or drug shops are opened, to the extent indicated in paragraph 103 of the Government of India's despatch of 4th February, 1890. I have no reason to suppose that the Government of India's attitude towards any specific proposals which may result from this reference will be other than that which may be inferred from the 681 contents of the above-mentioned despatch.