HC Deb 09 July 1923 vol 166 cc893-4
3. Sir C. YATE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if his attention has been called to the attack by certain national volunteers, carrying a national flag in one hand and a sledgehammer in the other, on the Holwell monument in Calcutta, erected by Lord Curzon, at his own expense, when Viceroy of India, to the memory of all those who perished in the Black Hole; whether, considering that this action is apparently a reflex of the attacks on the Lawrence statue at Lahore and may rapidly extend to attacks on all memorials throughout India, he will state what steps have been taken to put a stop to this movement; and whether these national volunteers have been proclaimed an illegal association?


I have seen reports in the Press as to attempts to damage this monument. They include a statement that two men were sentenced to one year's and six months' imprisonment respectively, while a third was discharged, after giving an undertaking of good behaviour. No report has been received as to any proclamation of unlawful associations by the Government of Bengal in connection with these incidents.


Does the Under-Secretary not think that there is great danger of this agitation spreading, and is it not necessary that some special steps should be taken to protect these ancient monuments?


I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that steps are being taken and, as he will see from my answer, those who have attempted to cause trouble and mischief in regard to these various memorials have been dealt with severely.