HC Deb 25 April 1907 vol 173 cc258-9

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that, in connection with the insolvency of Messrs. Arbuthnot and Company, of Madras, a vigilance committee has been set on foot consisting of some of the most prominent citizens; that this vigilance committee have publicly stated in these words that there is an evident desire in high quarters in Madras to screen the offenders from the consequences of their criminal negligence and fraudulent practices; that an expert opinion, unconnected with Madras, has been obtained by the vigilance committee to the effect that the whole report of the auditor discloses an organised fraud from the start; and whether, in view of these facts and of the further fact that the disclosures have, in the words of the committee, rudely shaken the belief of the Indian people in British probity and honour, he will consent to a public inquiry by the Crown into the whole of the circumstances of the insolvency, independently of the proceedings of the local Insolvency Court.


The inquiry in the Insolvency Court, which is presided over by an Indian Judge of the High Court, will afford full opportunities for investigating the allegations referred to in the Question, and, as I have stated before, I see at present no reason to institute a separate inquiry.