HC Deb 22 February 1926 vol 192 cc9-10
21. Mr. SCURR

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India the reason why Haripada Dey, a clerk of the Public Works Department at Ikrah, has been dismissed from the East Indian Railway?


I have no information on the subject.


Will the Noble Lord obtain the information?


On a point of Order. May I ask if the specific point raised in the question, which relates to a subordinate clerk, is not a matter that might be left to the local provincial government, instead of being made the subject of question and answer in this House?


Are not the railways under the control of the central government, and therefore does not this matter come within the province of this House?


May I submit that this is the kind of question which, even before the Reforms Act was passed, did not come within the immediate cognisance of the Secretary of State, who, by invariable practice, left such matters to the discretion of the Government of India or the provincial government as the case might be. Since the Reforms Act was passed, as it is open to members of the Assembly or the provincial Councils to ask questions, make speeches and vote on such matters, I submit that it is not part of the duty of the Secretary of State to this House, as performed through me, to answer questions of this kind.


Is this not really a question of courtesy? Nearly all these questions would be ruled out if the doctrine just laid down were strictly followed. Is it not, however, the fact that the Noble Lord offered to make inquiries for us from India, on points such as this, in order that Members of this House might keep some check on what is going on there?


The line of demarcation between reserved and non-reserved subjects always gives me a great deal of difficulty. I must confess I think this question is one which might have been left to be dealt with in India.