HC Deb 29 November 1906 vol 166 cc288-9
MR. C. J. O'DONNELL (Newington, Walworth)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the fact that the Indian National Congress is about to assemble in Calcutta and discuss, amongst other things, the partition of Bengal, he will consent to receive deputations from the nobility and landowners of Bengal, from Indian members, past and present, of the Bengal Legislative Council, from the Calcutta bar, and from the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, in order to place before him their grievances caused by an ill-considered partition of their province, and in order to suggest to him other forms of partition of equal or greater administrative efficiency.

* MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

Before the right hon. Gentleman answers this Question, may I ask him whether, should he make or order any such inquiry as is suggested, he will take into account the wishes of the masses, as well as the complaints of the privileged classes, on whose behalf he has been interrogated?


If the bodies referred to in the Question desire to make representations in the sense described, it is entirely open to them, as it has been for a great many months past, to take the ordinary course of addressing the Governor-General, at least in the first instance. I am afraid I cannot undertake to receive what would be rather a demonstration than a deputation in the ordinary sense. Apart from such a course being a departure from invariable and wise precedent, it could lead to no useful object that I can see. As I have often stated, I am perfectly willing to consider new facts, but I may say I believe that both I and the Viceroy are entirely well informed as to the argumentative matters suggested by the hon. Member.