HC Deb 23 March 1925 vol 182 cc13-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state why the Government of the Straits Settlements makes an annual allowance to the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren of the late Sultan Ali; when the arrangement was made; and for how many generations such annual allowance is likely to be payable?


The history of this matter is as follows. In or about the year 1819 certain land was set apart by the East India Company to make a provison for the family of Sultan Hussain who ceded Singapore to the Company and who was the father of Sultan Ali. Many years later that provision was held by the Supreme Court of the Colony to have failed, and the land was held to have become Crown Land. It was decided that a sum roughly equal to the annual value of the land should be divided among Sultan Hussain's family, and effect was given to the decision by the Ordinance No. XIII of 1904, now known as Ordinance No. 187 of the Straits Settlements. The payment provided for amounts to 750 dollars per annum, with further provision for an increase if the net annual revenue from the land should exceed that sum. Payments will no doubt continue to be made at the discretion of the Colonial Government so long as there are persons eligible to receive them under the Ordinance.


Seeing that there are four great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren, and the number is apparently increasing by arithmetical progression, do the Government intend that the same grant shall be distributed to each, or will it be reduced as the families increase?


The total amount available for distribution depends on the revenue from the particular land which has been set apart.


Does the hon. Gentleman take into account the increased cost of living?