HC Deb 04 December 1916 vol 88 cc647-8

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has seen the solemn affirmation of the widow of the late W. P. Singho, of Algoda, Ceylon, according to which six European gentlemen, with a number of Punjabi soldiers, came to their house early on 10th June, 1915, and, without accusation, warrant, or trial, dragged her husband out of his bed, tied his hands behind his back with the sheet, led him to the river' s bank and shot him there, with two others, with their rifles preventing his wife from following, but afterwards bidding her to bury the body near where it lay, and that if she attempted to bring it home she herself would be shot; if this case has been specially investigated, by what tribunal, and with what result; on what grounds it has been treated differently from the numerous similar cases already brought under his notice; how many of those cases are to be specially investigated; and why has this procedure been adopted instead of the English commission of inquiry respectfully petitioned for but refused?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Steel-Maitland)

I have seen a reproduction of this statement. The case is under investigation by the Governor of Ceylon. The procedure adopted in this case will be adopted in any similar case which, in the Governor's opinion, calls for investigation. I see no reason to modify my opinion that the appointment of a Commission from this country to inquire generally into the Ceylon riots is neither necessary nor desirable.