HC Deb 02 July 1907 vol 177 cc522-4
SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether Lala Lajpat Rai during the course of his public career in India, extending over a period of twenty years, has ever been implicated in seditious or anti-British propaganda; and whether he has had laid before him and is able to indicate any speech or utterance or action by Lala Lajpat Rai at any time which could in any way be considered to transgress the limits of legitimate and constitutional agitation.

THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. Morley,) Montrose Burghs

Yes, I have seen public utterances of Lajpat Rai within the last two years which, as reported, are distinctly and strongly of the nature of anti-British propaganda, and can have no other meaning whatever. If the hon. Member will read Lajpat Rai's Lahore speech quoted in the Wafadar of 28th January, 1906, or his speech at Lyallpur reported in the Punjabee of 27th March, 1907, he will find language which I cannot think that the hon. Member, who was engaged for so many years in working the Indian system of Government, will consider as within the limits of constitutional agitation in India. These speeches, I will repeat, are not the only grounds or information for resort to the Law of 1818.

MR. BELLOC (Salford, S.)

asked whether the speeches to which the right hon. Gentleman alluded would give ground for a prosecution in a Court of Justice.


Yes, I am told that they would.


asked why they were not submitted to a Court of Justice.


Because, as I have already more than once explained, there is other information which it is against the public interest, at this moment at all events, to disclose.


asked the right hon. Gentleman whether the Law of 1818 was not merely an Ordinance of the self-constituted council of the old East India Company, which had never been sanctioned by that House.


said he would not argue with his hon. friend, but it was the law of the land in India. He dared say it was not sanctioned by that House, but that was another question. It was the law of the land in India.


And a very bad one.

MR. MYER (Lambeth, N.)

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been called to the utterance of a man named Hyndman, in which he says the trouble among the Indian people is solely due to our system of Government?


The hon. Member must give notice of that Question.