HC Deb 29 October 1906 vol 163 c688

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether representation has been made to him regarding the appointment of the present Siem of the Cherra State in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills District, pointing out that Lord Curzon, in making such appointment, violated the usual and traditional custom by which the clans and people of Cherra State considered, selected, and submitted to the proper authority for ratification the name of a successor to the Siemship who, in their judgment, was best fitted for the position; and whether, in view of the protest of the clans and people of the Cherra State, he will grant an investigation into the matter by an officer conversant with the language, manners, and customs of the people, with a view of remedying, if possible, the grievance complained of.


No memorials as to the Siemship of the Cherra State have been received by the Secretary of State through the Government of India since the statement made by my predecessor on 18th February, 1904, in reply to a similar Question. † As was then explained, the Government of India, having regard to precedents and to all the circumstances of the ease, were unable to approve the recommendation of the Chief Commissioner that the decision of the majority of the Durbar, at which only the twelve heads of the clans constituting the State were present, should be accepted, and ordered a popular election to be held at which Roba Singh was chosen unanimously. The Government then confirmed Roba Singh as chief. I see no sufficient reason for re-opening the question, which was very carefully considered both by the Government of India and the Secretary of State in Council.