§ MR. J. H. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
On behalf of the hon. Member for West Denbighshire, I beg to ask the Secretary of state for India whether, in connection with the scientific expedition to be sent out to India to investigate the origin and causes of plague, the co-operation of those in the areas affected possessing a knowledge of the difficulties of the problem from an Indian standpoint will be sought; and whether he will consider the desirability of adding to the Committee an Indian member with special experience of plague.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guild-ford)
There seems to be some misunderstanding as to the object and scope of the inquiry. The administrative aspects of plague were exhaustively dealt with by Sir Thomas Fraser's Commission of 1898–9, and the practical difficulties of combating the disease are familiar to the Indian Government and its officers. The present investigation will be confined to purely scientific problems, in the hope that, if these are solved, advance will be made in the practical treatment of the disease. The composition of the expedition has been settled on the advice of the two scientific societies which have undertaken to supervise the inquiry, and I do not propose to add another investigator to those already selected. The expedition will work in the plague-affected areas, and will naturally avail itself of local knowledge and co-operation in respect of matters within the scope of the inquiry.