HL Deb 30 July 1897 vol 51 cc1588-9

said lie wished to ask Her Majesty's Government whether any further information could be given with regard to the operations in the Swat Valley, which had already resulted in the unfortunate loss of many brave men. Since putting the question on the Paper he had seen that the Secretary of State for India yesterday, in another place, mentioned that the cause of the rising of the tribes was the preaching of a mad Mullah, but if there was any other causes he hoped they might be communicated to the House. The last part of his question referred to the area over which the rising, which seemed to be on a considerable scale, was spread.


In the unavoidable absence of my noble Friend the Under Secretary of State for India, I have been asked to give the noble Lord the information for which he asks. The telegrams published in the London Press give information regarding the military operations in Malakand and in Swat, which agree with the shorter reports received at the India Office. It would be impossible for Her Majesty's Government to make any statement of the causes which have led to the attack without inquiries, which cannot be conducted whilst the fighting continues, and further information must be awaited before the area of the disturbance can be fixed. Dargai, situated somewhat to the south of the Malakand Pass, has not been attacked. It may be of interest to your Lordships if I read out two telegrams received from India yesterday and to-day. From Viceroy, July 29, 1897.—Malakand. —Camp attacked again last night. Casualties—Lieutenant Ford, 31st Bengal Infantry, wounded severely; Lieutenants Maclean, Guides, Swinley, 31st Bengal Infantry, slightly wounded; two Sepoys killed, eight wounded. Enemy's loss not known. They charged up to breastworks, but could not penetrate. Pursuit was not attempted, owing to fatigue of men. Chakdara safe. Dargai has not been attacked. Officers wounded doing well, except Colonel Lamb and Lieutenant Ford, whose condition is serious. In fighting of yesterday, when 24th Bengal Infantry were pressed on Hank by enemy, counter attack, led by Lieutenant Climo, drove back large body of enemy with loss of 90. 38th Bengal Infantry and squadron of 11th Bengal Lancers, strength eight European officers, 12 native officers, 552 rank and file, will probably reach Malakand this evening; 35th Bengal Infantry following. 37th Bengal infantry ordered Peshawar, 8th Bengal Infantry Nowshera, to replace troops reinforcing Malakand. Regret to say Major Taylor, 45th Bengal Infantry, dead. From Viceroy, July 30, 1897.—Malakand. —Total casualties up to July 29 apparently:— Killed—European officers and non-commissioned officers, three; native ranks. 17; followers, 15. Wounded—European officers, nine; native ranks, 71; followers, 11.