HC Deb 16 August 1916 vol 85 cc1858-9

asked the Secretary of State for India if Mrs. Besant has been required under the India Press Act to give a security of Rs.2,000 for the newspaper "New India"; if so, why has this security been imposed; is he aware that this action has created indignation throughout India; that 120 meetings of protest against the Government's action have been held; that every Indian paper of any standing has protested against the action and has demanded the repeal of the Press Act; that the Bombay Presidency Association has taken up the matter and is drawing up a memorial for presentation to the Government; and if he proposes to take any action in the matter?

Mr. C. ROBERTS (Comptroller of the Household)

Security of Rs.2,000 has been required from Mrs. Besant's paper "New India" on account of articles which were considered by the Government of Madras to tend to bring into hatred or contempt the Government established by law in India and to excite disaffection. I am not prepared to interfere with the discretion which by law vests in the local Government. I am not aware that every Indian paper of standing has protested, or that the action has created indignation throughout India.

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