Mr. GIDEON MURRAY (by private notice)
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that (1) the Government of India are making a profit of 100 per cent. on rice purchased in India and Burma by the Indian Rice Commissioner and exported for consumption in Ceylon and to certain other neighbouring British Colonies; (2) that this is causing great hardship, especially to those rice-eating natives of the population in Ceylon who do not reside on estates, and who have to buy their rice in the open market; (3) that the Indian Government will make a profit of 55 million rupees on the total transactions in Ceylon; (4) that there has been a bumper rice crop in India, and that had the market been a free one, the price would have fallen to more normal levels; and, whether, in view of these circumstances he will cause an immediate communication to be sent to the Government of India with the object of inquiry into the whole matter?
§ Mr. FISHER
We are in communication with the Government of India on the whole subject, and it is hoped that a definite statement will be made very shortly.
If the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that the facts I have stated are correct will he bring pressure to bear upon the Government of India to have the matter rectified?
§ Mr. FISHER
My information leads me to believe that the estimated profit is greatly exaggerated, but as I have 1660 already pointed out, representations have been made to the Government of India, and we are now awaiting their reply.
If the estimated profit is exaggerated will the right hon. Gentleman say what the profit actually is: if it is not 55 million rupees, what is it?
§ 3. Mr. SPOOR
asked whether the reports made by the officers of the Central Information Department from time to time on the Jallianwall Bagh and other incidents in the Punjab disturbances were placed before the Hunter Committee, and whether the said officers were examined as witnesses before the Committee?
§ Mr. FISHER
The Hunter Committee has been supplied by the Governments in India with all the information which it desired, but I do not yet know precisely what documents were put before it. I believe that three officers of the Punjab Criminal Intelligence Department gave evidence. The Report will be presented at the earliest possible moment.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Is there in this country a copy of the Reports made by the C.I.D. Central Information Department of the disturbances in the Punjab? Has the right hon. Gentleman seen them, and is the alleged implication of the police in the looting substantiated by them?