HC Deb 05 November 1912 vol 43 cc1017-8
15. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability of arranging that the India Office shall have some separate representation during the remainder of this Session in the House, seeing that no means exist except by questions of bringing any matter connected with Indian administration before Parliament?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

In the absence of the Under-Secretary of State, questions on matters of Indian administration have been answered by my Friend the Financial Secretary to the War Office from information furnished by, and with the full authority of, the Secretary of State for India.

Sir J. D. REES

Does not the Order Paper to-day illustrate the inconvenience of the absence of the Secretary of State in another place and of the Under-Secretary in another country?


No, because the answers are given with the full authority of the Secretary of State.


In the case of voluntary and foreseen absence has it not been usual to appoint some one directly concerned with the administration on behalf of which the answers are given, and has it not been only in cases of illness and other unforeseen absence that a substitute from another Department has acted in the place of the absent Minister?


I do not think so. When my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster went to India exactly the same course was pursued.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider there are certain Members of the Opposition who know everything about India?