asked the Secretary of State for India whether the situation in Malabar shows as yet any sign of improvement or otherwise?
I have not for some days past received any general review of the position. On the 27th October the Government of India reported that the General Officer Commanding the Madras District was satisfied with the situation, but needed more troops, which were being sent, in order to bring the operations to a close as soon as possible. The last received reports cover the four last days of October, and indicate that the troops and police are actively engaged in locating and capturing the rebels, who are still offering resistance, whenever they are met. In view of the difficulty of the country and the absence of communications, it is obvious that the complete pacification of the district must take time.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the communiqué issued by the district magistrate on the 4th of November stated that a refugee, with ghastly wounds in the neck, had seen 50 Hindus beheaded and their bodies thrown into a well? Has he no information about this?
I think that it would be more courteous if the Noble Lord had given me notice of a question of detail of that kind. I have stated to the House over and over again that there have been the most shocking atrocities committed by these rebels on loyal Hindu fellow subjects.
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware of all the communiqués which are published in the Press, which are issued by the district magistrate? Do not all these things come to his notice in the ordinary course?
To the best of my recollection every official telegram containing news on the subject of Malabar received in my office has been published, whether they are communications which have been issued in India or are reported by Reuter by the ordinary cable. There have been several telegrams from both sources reporting atrocities by the Moplahs. I cannot say offhand whether I have seen that particular telegram or whether it was an official communiqué.
Is not the right hon. Gentleman's information six days old?
In view of the violence of these crimes, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability, according to precedent, of offering the Moplahs Dominion Home Rule?