§ 5. Colonel Sir CHARLES YATE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the Report on the administration of the gaols in the Punjab for the year 1923, and the remarks of the Governor-in-Council on the attacks in the public Press of India upon the prison administration, which only ceased when the bulk of the Akali prisoners were released and which the Governor-in-Council concluded had been engineered for political reasons and were, when not totally false, at all events greatly exaggerated, and that his sympathies were with the officials who were defamed, and placing on record his satisfaction with the efforts made to maintain prison discipline under the most difficult conditions; whether he will state in how many cases proceedings were taken against the defamers and with what result; and whether adequate measures will now at last be taken to put a stop to this defamation of officials in the Indian Press and to protect the officials, both British and Indian, in their endeavours to do their duty?
§ Mr. RICHARDS
The reply to the first part is in the affirmative. I cannot give figures as to the second part. As regards the last part, I would refer to the answer which I gave to a similar question on the 19th May last.
§ Sir C. YATE
Is it the case that most of these attacks were made in the paper called the "Bande Mataram," the Editor of which is Lala Lajpat Rai, and of which Har Kishen Lal, a former Minister, is now the chief shareholder?