HC Deb 28 May 1919 vol 116 cc1248-9W

asked the Secretary of State for India whether fuller and more up-to-date information can be issued on Indian matters; whether he is aware that the full official statement of the Indian Government as to the cause of the Afghan invasion was never reproduced in this country until it was published in newspaper form fourteen days' later, by which time the first stage of the operation was over, and, further, that the Afghan request for a cessation of hostilities was never officially published at all; and whether, in view of the serious results of imperfect public knowledge on matters of importance, he can procure a better working of the intelligence system?


As regards the first and last parts of the question, steps have been taken which will, I hope, accelerate the issue of information in regard to Indian affairs. The second part of the question presumably refers to the Government of India's communiqué of the 6th May, published in the newspapers of the 19th May. The text of this message was not telegraphed direct to the India Office. The delay in its publication was doubtless attributable to the congestion of the cable lines, for which I cannot accept responsibility: I have kept the Press regularly supplied with the latest news of the military operations on the Afghan border. With reference to the third part of the question, I would refer the. hon. Member to the official statement published in the newspapers on the 27th May.