HC Deb 25 June 1919 vol 117 cc162-3

asked the Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the reported warm approval of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms by the native princes, he can inform the House whether any of them have taken any steps to introduce them in their territories or have announced any intention to do so at an early date?

Mr. PRATT (Lord of the Treasury)

The Secretary of State has no special information on the subject, but he thinks it improbable that any ruling prince would introduce into his State the constitutional changes which are proposed for British India in the Bill before this House, until at least they had been definitely approved and enacted by Parliament. Also it does not follow that measures suitable for British India are equally suitable for the very different conditions prevailing in native States. The internal affairs of native States are, of course, entirely in the hands of the administration of the State.


Could not the hon. Gentleman suggest to the native princes that they also might experiment with the reforms, seeing that the Maharajah of Bikanir who claims to speak for them—


Order, Order! The hon. and gallant Member will kindly hand in that question.