§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he can state the reason why the Santhal Parganas are still administered by special laws; whether he has received any requests for the abolition of these special laws and to bring that part of the country under a modernised system of administration; and whether, in view of the poverty of the inhabitants under existing conditions, these requests will receive favourable consideration?1708W
§ Earl WINTERTON
My Noble Friend has received through the Government of India the text of a Resolution recently carried by the Indian Legislative Assembly to the general effect indicated in the question. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the Official Report of the Debate, and would refer him in particular to the speech of the Home Member of the Government of India, which indicates clearly the nature of the special laws in force in the Santhal Parganas, the reasons for their existence and the inexpediency of changing them. My Noble Friend concurs in the views expressed on behalf of the Government of India and proposes to take no action on the Resolution.