HC Deb 12 June 1939 vol 348 cc915-6W
Mr. Sorensen

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has any statement to make respecting the agreement with tribes on the North-west Frontier; the nature and conditions of this settlement; and whether the British air blockade which prevented the tribesmen from using their farmlands has now ceased?

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

Yes, Sir. A settlement was made with the Madda Khel on 10th April and with the Tori Khel on 14th May.

The Madda Khel had committed a number of offences, of which the most serious was an attack on Datta Khel, and had persistently harboured persons hostile to Government, in particular the Fakir of Ipi. As the result an air blockade was imposed on the tribe. On 10th April a tribal jirga expressed its willingness to comply with the Government's terms, which include the surrender of hostages for good behaviour, fortfeiture of allowances and a fine of rifles, and the blockade was accordingly raised.

The Tori Khel had for long been responsible for a number of kidnappings and for harbouring hostile elements, as the result of which action was taken to exclude them from their winter grazing grounds, partly by air proscription and partly by ground forces and an economic blockade was instituted. They have now handed over four captives, at the same time giving an undertaking to produce a further number within 20 days, and have reaffirmed their dissociation from hostile elements. he blockade has accordingly been raised.