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New Indian Province

Volume 90: debated on Thursday 7 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he can state the area approximately, of that portion of the proposed new province situate beyond the present frontiers of His Majesty's Indian possessions, and stated to be as comprised in the political agencies of Dir, Swat, Chitral, the Khyber, the Kuram, Tochi, and Wano; and the estimated annual cost of the military occupation and political administration of these trans-frontier regions under the proposed scheme; and will the cost of maintenance be made an Imperial charge, this being a matter of Imperial defence.

The aggregate area of the present agencies will not be affected by the substitution for their control of the authority of the Government of India in the place of the authority of the Government of the Punjab. I have no estimate of their present extent. Until the details of the transfer are settled I cannot estimate the annual cost. The charges will continue to be borne, as they are at present, by the Government of India.