HC Deb 03 March 1947 vol 434 cc17-8
33. Brigadier Low

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what are the reasons for the suspension of Nawao Sheikh Mahbub Ali Khan, Khan Bahadur, O.B.E., the political agent, Malakand.

Mr. A. Henderson

I am asking the Government of India for this information and on its receipt will communicate with the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Brigadier Low

As the suspension took place some time ago, does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman think that by now he should have this information?

Mr. Henderson

No, Sir. No official information had been received with regard to this particular officer prior to the placing of the Question on the Order Paper. Following that, a communication was sent to the Government of India asking for a report.

Mr. Nicholson

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman telling the House that the India Office did not hear the news until this Question was put on the Order Paper?

Mr. Henderson

The Government of India had not transmitted any official information to the India Office on this matter.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is it not ironical that the Government should be taking precipitate action, and now be asking for more time?

Brigadier Low

As the suspension took place in connection with the events arising out of disorders when Pandit Nehru visited the frontier some two months ago, surely the right. hon. and learned Gentleman made inquiries about it? He cannot make the House believe that he took no action at all.

Mr. Henderson

A report was received at the time, but, so far as I know, no suspension took place at that time. The suspension must have taken place subsequently.