HC Deb 17 January 1924 vol 169 cc267-8W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the murders and abductions on the North-West Frontier of India, any steps have been taken to prevent women residing there?


No general prohibition has been imposed. Under standing arrangements British officers are precluded from taking their wives and families into certain areas, such as the Khyber and Waziristan. In view of the recent outrages the position in other areas has been carefully examined. Women and children have been restricted as far as possible to cantonment limits, and other special precautions have been introduced where they were considered necessary. The civil and military authorities are satisfied that the continued residence of women in these areas subject to these limitations is not a matter for apprehension.

Lieut.- Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what is the present political and military situation on the Afghanistan frontier of India; whether any ultimatum or Diplomatic Note has been sent or handed to the Government at Kabul; and what is the purport of such ultimatum or Diplomatic Note?


The political situation is, in brief, that the surrender to the Afghan Government a few days ago of one of the murder-gangs has cleared the way for a settlement of one important question, and that it is hoped that a satisfactory settlement of other outstanding questions may be attained before long. The military situation on the British side of the frontier has not been affected in any way by Anglo-Afghan relations; on the Afghan side a small body of Afghan troops has been engaged in operations against the murderers. His Majesty's Minister communicated to the Afghan Government some months ago a Note stating that His Majesty's Government had decided, in accordance with the terms of the Anglo- Afghan treaty, to withhold permission for the transit of certain arms through India until the Afghan Government had taken steps to dispel the belief that it was pursuing an unfriendly and provocative policy towards Great Britain, and further representations have been made with a view in particular to expediting action against the murderers; but the report recently published as to the delivery of an ultimatum was entirely false.

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