HC Deb 05 May 1920 vol 128 cc2043-4
4. Mr. LUNN

asked the Secretary of State for India whether, in view of his assertion at the time of Mr. E. G. Horniman's deportation from India a year ago that this measure was necessitated by the emergency of the moment which required swift and prompt action to be taken, he will state the reasons why the Government of India, after this lapse of time, consider that Mr. Horniman's return to India is still incompatible with the public safety?


The Government of India have stated that they do not consider that Mr. Horniman's return to India is compatible with the public safety. As I stated in the House on 21st April, I do not propose to interfere with their discretion. I presume they have taken into account Mr. Horniman's journalistic work, and I am content to leave to the Government of India and the Government of Bombay the decision as to the date on which Mr. Horniman can be allowed to return.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Will Mr. Horniman be allowed to return after peace is finally ratified?


The decision as to when he will be allowed to return will be left to the Government of Bombay. If they decide that he shall return when peace is signed I shall accept their deci- sion. If they do not so decide I shall again accept their decision.


May I ask whether peace after the Great War has anything whatever to do with Mr. Horniman and his conduct?

Sir J. D. REES

Would not Mr. Horniman's return distinctly tend to destroy peace in India?


The point on which I prefer to rely is that by statute discretion is left with the Governor of Bombay. In the exercise of my responsibility to this House I propose to leave the matter to his discretion. If hon. Members do not like that, the best thing to do is to put down a Motion.


asked the Secretary of State for India, in view of the fact that Mr. G. Horniman was deported from India 12 months ago without trial, that he has been refused inquiry into the charges made against him, and that he denies the truth of these charges or any other justification for such deportation, if he will say what is the earliest occasion upon which the matter can be debated in the House?


My hon. Friend must address the Leader of the House as to opportunities for debate.