§ Mr. REES
asked the Under-Secretary for India whether, in view of the dissatisfaction generally expressed by those interested at the malversation and misuse of religious and charitable endowments, it is proposed to take any steps whereby the Government can more properly discharge its duties as ultimate trustees?
The UNDER-SECRETARY for INDIA (the Master of Elibank)
The position of the Government in regard to Indian religious and charitable endowments was explained in an answer given to the hon. Member on the 27th July, 1908. The Secretary of State cannot accept the position stated in the question that the Government are "ultimate trustees" of these endowments: it was the express object of Act 20 of 1863 to divest the Government of any duties as such trustees. The Bill referred to in the answer of July, 1908, is still before the Legislative Council of the Governor-General, and has been circulated for the opinion of those concerned. The Secretary of State is not aware which course the Government of India propose to take in regard to it.