§ MR. O'GRADY (Leeds, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of state for India whether he is aware that Mr. F. F. Lyall, the district magistrate at Bhagalpur, has been using his influence to prevent the local gentry from taking part in political movements; whether, when the matter was brought to the attention of the Government, the facts wore not disputed, but the action of the magistrate was excused on the ground that he ought to take every opportunity of talking freely and confidentially with Indian gentlemen about many things; and whether, in view of such action and such excuse, stops will be taken to prevent their recurrence in future.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. CHARLES HOBHOUSE,) Bristol, E.
No official Papers have reached us, but as the Secretary of State understands the newspaper reports, he hardly sees why, if Indian gentlemen like to talk freely and confidentially with a district magistrate, we should interfere. Of course, if any specific evidence of the improper use of his influence by the magistrate is brought to the Secretary of State's notice, he will make inquiry.
§ * SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in this particular case the magistrate sent for the local gentry and used his influence with them and that they did not go to him voluntarily?† See Cols. 672–3.