§ Mr. SORENSEN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India (1) whether he is aware that famine conditions prevail at present in a considerable part of Bengal; and what steps are being taken by the Bengal Government to relieve distress;
(2) whether the distress now prevailing in considerable areas of Bengal is due only to temporary causes or whether there has been a deterioration in the condition of the people for some years; and, if the latter is the case, what steps are being taken to relieve the burdens on the agriculturists?
§ Mr. BUTLER
I have received reports of distress in a number of areas in Bengal where the rainfall has been deficient. The authorities in those areas have opened test relief works and have distributed gratuitous relief to some thousands of persons. The Government of India will be asked for a fuller report with special reference to the points in which the hon. Member is interested.