SIR CHARLES SCHWANN
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether His Majesty's Government is aware that, in connection with Viscount Kitchener's scheme for extensive redistribution of garrisons and forces on and beyond our Indian frontiers, due northward from the Pesham, Hoti-Murdan line, it is intended to strengthen the fortifications of Chitral and other defences on the mountainous routes beyond, leading to Gilgit and the Pamirs; that these proposed extensions purport to be prompted by alleged rumours of some Russian railway being designed to be taken through the defiles of the Hindu Kush; and that General Barrow proceeded with the recent annual reliefs to Chitral, being deputed to report to the Commander-in-Chief on the measures to carry out the proposed extensions of military preparation in these 124 remote regions beyond the borders of British India; what, if any, of the proposals included in draft redistribution scheme (drafted early in 1904) sanctioned, apparently, by the then Secretary of State in Council, for establishment of outposts or military stations in the tribal territories outside the statutory borders of British India or the external frontiers of His Majesty's Indian possessions are still under consideration; and (amongst others) is the proposal for establishment of a cantonment at or near Torseppah, in the mountainous country above Ali Musjid, definitively abandoned.
§ MR. MORLEY
I know of no intention to strengthen the defences of Chitral or of the mountainous routes beyond leading to Gilgit and the Pamirs. Chitral is for military purposes included in the Peshawar divisional command and General Barrow visited it on inspection duty. No outposts or military stations in tribal territories outside the statutory border of British India or the external frontiers of His Majesty's Indian possessions are contemplated. As I stated in the House last month a proposal for placing a permanent cantonment at or near Torseppah has, as I believe, been abandoned.