§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he will 1918W give a Return showing the number of political prisoners at present in prison or interned in India; and in what gaols and in what category they are confined?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The particulars asked for cannot be collected without reference to the various local Governments in India, and there is the further difficulty that the expression "political prisoner" is itself a vague one. I will consult the Government of India as to how far it is possible to supply the information desired. As to the last words of the question, I would mention that the question of the treatment of political prisoners is under the consideration of the Government of India, and has also been discussed in several of the Provincial Legislative Councils. It was announced by the Home Member of the Government of India in the Legislative Assembly on 16th January last, in reply to a question as to the special treatment of political prisoners who had not committed any act of violence, that orders were understood to be already in force in most provinces to the effect that persons recently sentenced to rigorous imprisonment under Act XIV of 1908 or the Seditious Meetings Act should receive differential treatment in gaol in the matter of diet, clothing, labour, etc.