HC Deb 06 August 1907 vol 179 cc1820-1
SIR J. JARDINE (Roxburghshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he has received a memorial from above 700 persons living in the-part of Rangoon called Lanmadaw; whether it is likely that these persons will be evicted from their homes unless they consent to the new conditions of tenure offered by the Government of Burma; and whether there is any civil court in that province, with jurisdiction to try the question of title as between them and the Government or to accept a plaint if presented by them.


I considered in Council the memorial and decided that there was no sufficient ground for interference. The memorialists, if they do not accept the terms on which leases for ninety years have been offered to them, will be required to vacate the land, but compensation, as provided by the Lower Burma Town and Village Lands Act, will be given. Under that Act the civil courts have no jurisdiction.

*MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)

asked whether, although the people were being evicted from their homes on this land ostensibly for public purposes, the real reason was that the local Government intended, after raising the level of the sites, to sell them by auction to the highest bidder and make a handsome profit out of the transaction; and whether steps could not be taken, as in the case of the Irish evicted tenants of which the I House had lately heard so much, to enable these unfortunate Burmese residents of Lanmadaw to get back their holdings on reasonable terms?


said he was not prepared to accept the suggested difference between the real and the ostensible reason, but if the hon. Member would speak to him privately he would see if anything more could be done.