§ 58. Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Secretary of State for India on what grounds an official connected with Patiala State has been selected to investigate the charges against the Maharaja and invested with absolute powers for such investigation?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Wedgwood Benn)
It is in accordance with the usual and natural procedure for investigating allegations of the kind in question that the inquiry to which my right hon. and gallant Friend refers should be conducted by the Agent to the Governor-General in the Punjab States in whose agency Patiala is included.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Will exactly the same procedure be followed as in the case of the inquiry into Nabha and Indore? Was the agent then the person holding the inquiry?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Montagu-Chelmsford report suggested that in cases of maladministration in native States the inquiry should be of a judicial character conducted by a judicial commission, and not of the nature of the inquiry that my right hon. Friend is proposing now?
§ Mr. MARLEY
Is the Secretary of State not aware that the people of the native States made a request that there should be three High Court Judges appointed to this inquiry and that this name was actually suggested by Patiala as the person who should conduct the inquiry?
Is this the inquiry that the Maharaja himself asked for, or did the request made by the Maharaja to the Government of India refer to a pending libel action which he is bringing?
Seeing that the natural and usual procedure is being objected to, will the Secretary of State not depart from it in this case?