HC Deb 09 July 1919 vol 117 cc1778-9
2. Lieut.-Colonel W. GUINNESS

asked the Secretary of State for India whether, in connection with the Karachi troop-train incident, the trains and time-table were ordered from Simla; whether Major-General Shaw went on board the "Ballarat" immediately on its arrival and personally explained to the men the dangers of sunstroke; whether he re-remained at the docks from 6 a.m. until midday and saw the first train loaded; whether he authorised the supply of one pound of ice per man per day, 120 dozen mineral waters, and other special fruit and refreshments on the train; whether he provided extra wagons over and above the normal scale of accommodation; and whether the Secretary of State will therefore now withdraw the statement that Major-General Shaw took no steps nor gave any orders to see that the safety or comfort of the troops was provided for?


My hon. and gallant Friend knows that I am of opinion that in certain respects my predecessor's statement requires modification, but the fact remains that General Shaw did not, in my opinion, act up to his full responsibilities. General Shaw has not accepted the new Court of Inquiry before which the matters raised in the question might have been re-investigated, and that appears to me to be the end of the matter.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

Is not this question an entirely separate matter from the new Court of Inquiry, and will the right hon. Gentleman say whether, with the facts before, him, as disclosed by the Court which did sit, he disputes that General Shaw took the action mentioned in the question?


I do not think we could form ourselves into a Court of Inquiry into these facts in this House. My hon. and gallant Friend asks me whether I will withdraw the statement that Major-General Shaw took no steps nor gave any orders. I think he took some steps and gave some orders. I think those orders and those steps were inadequate.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether Major-General Shaw has been offered, or accepted the offer of, any appointment in India?


I think not.