I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether, in the interests of good relations between rulers and ruled, he will advise the Government of India to repeal The Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, 1907, and the Regulation of 1818, under which Lajpat Rai and Agit Singh were arrested and transported without trial.
§ MR. MORLEY
I cannot admit that the best interests of rulers and ruled would be served by the measure that my hon. friend suggests, and the Answer to his Question is therefore in the negative. I may add that the Act of 1907 is in force in one district only, and that no meeting has been prohibited since it came into force.
§ MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Regulation of 1818 and Subsidiary Local Regulations conferring similar powers were of immense value in and after the pacification of Burma in ridding the country not only of the enemies of the Government, but of the enemies of the people, and that these Regulations were welcomed by all classes, notably by the Elders and by the best of the Buddhist clergy?
§ MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the peace of India is promoted by the closing of meetings?