HC Deb 02 April 1928 vol 215 cc1572-3

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India the number of representatives of the depressed classes in the central and provincial legislatures of India and who appoints them; and whether any grant is made by the Government of India for the specific purpose of raising the status of these classes?


The number of seats provided specially for representatives of the depressed classes in the various legislatures is: Ten in Madras, four in the Central Provinces, two each in Bombay and Bihar, and one each in Bengal and the United Provinces. The appointments to these seats are made by the Governor. In addition, the Governor-General has nominated a representative of these classes to the Legislative Assembly. No grant from the Central Government is (or could be, under the present constitution) made for the benefit of these classes, but in some provinces the local Government is endeavouring to take special steps—educational and otherwise—towards their advancement. These matters are for the most part in the charge of Ministers responsible to the provincial legislatures.


Would the Noble Lord give the House any idea how much money is spent on the education side of what are called the depressed classes?


Not without nonce; it would require careful research in the case of every single province. It is a matter really within the discretion of the local Government, or rather the Minister of the transferred Department.


Is, there any reason why the request to devote one crore of rupees to these services was recently turned down?


I do not know to what the hon. Gentleman refers. I stated the constitutional position—the position under the law—in my answer.