HL Deb 01 May 1891 vol 352 cc1841-2

My Lords, seeing the noble Viscount the Secretary of State for India in his place, I am anxious to ask him a question of which he has received private notice. I am desirous of knowing whether he can inform the House if there is any foundation for the statement which has appeared in some of the newspapers that it was intended to summon the Maharajah of Manipur and other native princes to a Durbar at Manipur, and then at that Durbar or immediately afterwards to arrest some of them; and whether, if the statement is correct, as I hope and believe it is not, that proceeding had the authority of the Government of India? I need not point out the extreme importance of the question, and I will only express my own feeling and opinion in the matter: it seems to me incredible from my experience of Mr. Quinton and my knowledge of his character, that he could possibly have had any part in any proceeding of an unworthy or dishonourable kind.


In answer to the question of the noble Marquess, I have only to state that my information does not lead me to believe that the Government of India ever contemplated that the Senaputty would be invited to a Durbar with the intention of then arresting him there. I should have been much surprised if this had been done. As to what were the actual facts it is impossible for me at this moment to make any statement, because the Viceroy has not yet had the opportunity of obtaining all the information necessary, which in due time he will, no doubt, obtain. In the meantime, I do not think it would be right to lay Papers on the Table of your Lordships' House in an incomplete state, but I am expecting further Despatches, and as soon as the Papers are complete they will be presented to Parliament.