§ MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that injury is being caused to British credit in Southern India by the disclosures in connection with the insolvency of Messrs. Arbuthnot and Company, of Madras; that certain native 26 creditors are opposing the insolvent firm's petition for protection under the Insolvency Act on the ground that the firm have been in a state of virtual insolvency for some years; that these creditors have begged for a searching inquiry by the Crown in the interests, to use their own words, of truth and justice, of public morality, and British honour; and whether, under the exceptional circumstances, he will consider the advisability of instructing the Government of India to undertake a public inquiry independently of the proceedings of the local court.
THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE for INDIA (Mr. HOBHOUSE Bristol, E.)
The inquiry held by the Madras Insolvency Court is a public inquiry. The Secretary of State sees no reason at present for instituting an inquiry independent of this.