HC Deb 01 April 1935 vol 300 cc4-5
6. Duchess of ATHOLL

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that under a recent decree of the Travancore State Government, Indian members of the Anglican, Nonconformist, and Roman Catholic (Latin rite) churches are officially classified as members of the depressed classes; that at recent meetings of an Anglican church council and an All-India Catholic congress, resolutions of protest were passed against this classification; and whether the Government of India will make representations to the Government of Travancore on the subject?


I am not aware of the precise details of the classification in question, but the Travancore Government have stated, in reply to inquiries on the matter, that, according to the classification now in force, Travancore Christians as a whole are divided into five main groups, of which "depressed classes" is the fifth, representing members of that class converted to Christianity. I have no information as to the resolutions referred to in the second part of the question. The matter is one relating to the internal administration of the State and in the circumstances it would not appear that any question of further action on the part of the Government of India arises.

Duchess of ATHOLL

Is it not the case that the terms of the Travancore Treaty of 1805 have always been construed as justifying representations by the Paramount Power to the Travancore Durbar on questions affecting the welfare of Christians within that State, and that the Durbar have recognised the right of the Paramount Power to tender advice of that kind?


I must remind the Noble Lady that this is a matter that refers to the internal affairs of the State and that inquiries have already been made. If there is anything substantial in what the Noble Lady has brought to my notice, I am sure that we may rely upon the discretion of the Paramount Power in India to look into the matter.